Destination: Buckley Marina
Mileage: 12.4 miles
Trailhead: Target at Pacific Ave and March Ln
Elevation: Sea level
It was like biking on a cloud. The bike seat that is, bike path conditions were mostly sub-par, but it’s OK because I was sitting on a puffy Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow cloud. I had errands to run in Stockton, but wanted to test out my new seat; after some research, I patched together this loop. While it’s not an ideal road bike ride, Atticus and I were free from the usual trainer and enjoying the fresh air. You know, when we weren’t choking on exhaust fumes…
One of my errands was Target, which worked perfectly for this loop starting at Pacific Avenue and March Lane. I crossed March Lane to the south side and got on the East Bay Municipal Utility District Right-of-Way heading east. This stretch had a decent surface, but the various road crossings were a bit annoying. I turned south on West Lane, there was no bike line here, but it was recently repaved and not yet painted, it was plenty wide so there’s potential. Before crossing over the Calaveras River, I turned west on the bike path and was safe from speeding cars and exhaust. Plus, it was clear enough to spot Mount Diablo in the distance!
The path traveled along the Calaveras River that more so resembled a slough or wetland than a river. At first there was housing on either side and then the path paralleled the University of the Pacific; they must have a decent tennis program based on the facilities I saw. After the campus, it was back to traveling along suburbia. Along the path there are a few hazards that could ruin your day, including chunks of the side that eroded away, but these were all well marked with orange paint. My plan was to take the bike path all the way to Buckley Cove, until I reached an intense gate that only allowed pedestrians through.
Looking at the map on my phone, I adapted my plan to ride along the neighborhood street that mirrored the pedestrian path, but was thwarted when I peddled up to a gated community. I adapted yet again and rode on the outskirts of the gated community along their tree-lined bike path on Brookside Road. The path continued as I turned west along March Lane all the way to Buckley Cove Park.
Take a snack and enjoy a bench in the shade with a view of the water, and if you’re lucky a passing boat. After a few photos I pedaled back along the bike path the direction I came. After the intersection of March Lane and Brookside Road the bike path ended and the road was way too narrow with way too many cars to brave the pavement, so I rode on the sidewalk. Going under Highway 5 was a cattle-shoot of an adventure with the highway pillar on one side and the pedestrian guard rail close on the other. If I had met any other folks on this stretch I would have dismounted for everyone’s safety.
After a block, I picked up the East Bay Municipal Utility District Right-of-Way again. The path was pretty terrible in sections with my arms getting the vibration itches from the rough conditions; but at least I only had to brave traffic at road crossings. There was one really nice stretch across from the Hobby Lobby parking lot thanks to an improvement project. This brought me back to the intersection at Target. As I pulled up to the car a unicyclist was loading his wheel into the trunk of his car. I wonder where he was riding…