October 9, 2010

Wheels for Meals Ride

We missed the Wheels for Meals Ride last year but didn't want to miss it again so this year we headed out to Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area. Proceeds from the event benefit the Meals on Wheels Programs in Alameda County. After paying our $6 entry fee for Shadow Cliffs, we parked in one of the paved lots. We made our way over to the check-in desk to check in for our ride. There was no same day registration for the event. There were three routes this year, a 15 mile ride, a 35 mile ride and a 70 mile ride. We did the 15 mile ride and pre-registered online for $25. To avoid a mass start each route was given a designated hour to be able to check in. For example, we could check in between 9am and 10am. Once checked in we received our bib for our bikes and a color coded wristband that matched our route markers on the ride. The wristband for the 15 mile ride was green so we followed the green route markers on our ride. There was coffee, water and bagels at the check-in station as well. We made our way through the parking lot and up our first hill to get out of Shadow Cliffs. We headed east on Stanley Blvd. and then made a few turns to ride through quiet residential streets of Livermore. At 5 miles we reached our first rest stop at Charles Borromeo Church. The volunteers here were very enthusiastic and friendly. There was water, gatorade, fruit, candy and trailmix. After a quick break we headed back on our ride. After about one mile we were riding through vineyards and up a few short hills.

We descended for about two miles on the Vineyard and Wetmore bike paths before we reached our second rest stop at Sycamore Grove Park. This stop was "Fiesta" themed with music and sombreros. Again there was water, gatorade, fruit, jerkey, peanut butter sandwiches and trailmix. We enjoyed the shade for a short while before heading back on the ride. We took East Vineyard Avenue for most of the remainder of the ride through some beautiful scenery before making our way back to Stanley Blvd. We rode on the bike path to the finish and as we entered Shadow Cliffs there were volunteers cheering us on. We made our way back to the Lakeside Picnic Area where they provided a great BBQ for all participants, complete with dessert. We picked up our T-shirts and with our full stomachs slowly rode back to our car to head home. It was a great ride benefiting a great cause, we would definitely do it again. The weather was perfect, warm but not hot. We were impressed with how organized the fairly new event was. Can't wait for next year.

Pit Stop #1

Pit Stop #2

Post Ride BBQ

Post Ride BBQ

Wheels for Meals Website
Alameda County Meals on Wheels Website