Springtime Bike Ride

Last Saturday I took a long awaited bike ride up into the hills and then back to my home.  My new favorite route, which starts and ends at my house, goes up 21st Ave. to 29th St., then over to 23rd Ave which becomes Ardley, Glen Park St., Park Blvd up to Montclair, Butters Canyon and finally Skyline going east all the way to the Zoo (Grass Valley Rd.)  From Grass Valley, which is a sort of scary descent (big trees on either side of you on a narrow road), eventually becomes Golf Links road, which is a pretty bad surface these days.  I made it without incident and without a flat tire down to the entrance to the Oakland Zoo, near Hwy 580.  Going under the highway, Golf Links Road becomes 98th ave (?) and eventually, you reach Bancroft which takes you back west through some of the toughest neighborhood in East Oakland.  In beautiful spring weather like we had Saturday though, even the toughest hoods manage to look presentable, and all is well in the world.  Which is why “I bike Oakland!”

I only took 2 pictures on that ride so I am going to show them to you now.

One is a very healthy looking tree on 21st Ave. around 23rd St.  My friend the tree expert thinks it’s a Sweetgum tree.


That is a real picture BTW.  The trees get that green when it gets sunny after a good rain.

My friend the tree guy says: “The City planted a lot of them (Sweetgums) along streets a few decades ago and they’ve grown big, but their aggressive roots are breaking sidewalks and roadways all over town, and the spiky brown seed-balls are a nuisance on sidewalks. They aren’t allowed as street-trees anymore.”

The other picture is of a billboard I saw on Foothill Blvd. in the Fruitvale area.  I think the 420-cannabis commercials are just funny.


What is less funny is my neighbor here got busted by the cops for a 100 plant indoor grow.  Actually he didn’t get busted, his house got broken into so the theives stole the equipment.  The cops showed up and measured and photographed everything.  Apparently the guy (I suspect with the owner’s help) was stealing his power from PG&E.  We haven’t really gentrified yet if the houses are being used for pot grows and no people are living in them.


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