I recently acquired a road bike and am now in search of bike paths across California – I’m not quite ready to brave actual roads. I was passing through the Yosemite area and decided to take Atticus for a ride on the Yosemite Valley bike path. I went 8.5 miles in 45 minutes, which included a beer break at Mirror Lake.
Gorgeous scenery, but the tourists proved to be a bit of a challenge. On numerous occasions I found myself riding up on a group of folks on foot spread out across the width of the bike path ogling the granite monoliths above rather than paying attention to their surroundings. I was missing my bike bell that was on my cruiser at home, but got lots of practice yelling, “on your left!”
For a moment I contemplated having better luck on the road, but then thought I bet the drivers are also ogling the scenery instead of paying attention to the road and decided I was safer dodging folks on foot than cars.
Some of the path has rolling hills and I was able to practice switching gears, plus I got a taste for a big hill riding up to Mirror Lake. I enjoyed the ride, but due to the tourists, I think I’ll look for a less populated area next ride.
However, I would consider bringing Atticus back to Yosemite for a ride during the few days that Tioga Pass Road is open to bikes only. In the spring after the road is plowed, park staff needs a week or so to prepare facilities, during this time Tioga Pass Road is open to cyclists, but not motor vehicles. Count me in! I will note there isn’t a big announcement regarding this cycle-friendly time, call Yosemite or monitor local road bike forums.
On your left!