Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CycloMonkey in Livermore, CA

Things went so well on our trip to Sunol, that we decided to venture a little ways in the other direction. That would be Livermore, to the east. Still, not too far. The one thing about Livermore, compared to Sunol, is that it's rather exposed and can get quite hot. I was a bit slow getting going, but it was still early enough to be at a comfortable temperature. Whether my jersey pocket stayed comfortable or not, CycloMonkey didn't say. But nothing around here compares to an actual jungle, so my furry little friend was fine.

I opted for a "mostly bike paths" route and avoided whatever busy streets I could. I also took my single-speed bike and consequently avoided any big hills. CycloMonkey was a bit disappointed in that last decision, but whatever. After a brief tour of old town Pleasanton and then the vineyards near Ruby Hills, we detoured onto a path that lead to Wente Vineyards. It was a surprisingly bumpy bike path. No nausea, no worries. After that, we headed to the Holdener Park trail. At certain times of the year, there are llamas grazing. Again, the disappointment on CycloMonkey's face was apparent - if you know what to look for. No llamas today. No wildlife at all, really.

with Mt. Diablo in the background
Holdener Park crests a little knoll that provides some nice views of the Tri-Valley area - particularly of Mt. Diablo. That particular ascent was not in the cards today, certainly not with my single-speed. But it filled CycloMonkey's cottony brain with new aspirations for adventure.

From that trail to another, through Livermore and back to Pleasanton, we stopped as we did yesterday, at Tully's for coffee. This time we were surprised to meet some of my Cycleholic friends. CycloMonkey loves to meet new people, and Mike and Andrea were friendly, and curious about CycloMonkey. Thanks to the transparency of social media, they recognized him and already knew a bit about him. But there's nothing like meeting someone face to face to really get to know them. It's great to make new friends!

Sitting nearby was a man with a dog. CycloMonkey has seen way too many dogs in his time, but most were fine and this one was on a leash. Then the man came over and asked if one of us would mind holding the leash while he went in for coffee. So I did. CycloMonkey attempted to introduce himself but Sparky (the dog) was having an anxiety attack because the man was inside. Sparky was some sort of little Spaniel with white fur and light brown patches, long curly ears and a little stub of a tail going crazy. Perhaps "anxiety attack" paints the wrong picture, he was okay, he was happy, but clearly he wants nothing other than to be with that particular man. CycloMonkey, of course, is not so desperately attached to any human. After a hard summer fending for himself, he's comfortable and confident - appreciative of human company - but not defined by it.

Once the man return, my friends headed off to lunch while CycloMonkey and I headed home. Another uneventful ride to build confidence, venture slightly farther away and whet the appetite for broader vistas.

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