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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the Natomas area of Sacramento and work in the Rancho Cordova area. I think I could ride American River Bike Trail out here and it would be about 20 miles maybe? Sadly, a 20 mile ride would probably take only a little longer than my 18 mile drive on highway 50.

Anyhow, have any of you ridden that way? Am I close on the distance estimate? What's the trail like? I'm going to ride it Saturday but thought I'd try to get some advance info before heading out there in the morning ;).

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the offer but this weekend is bad. I'm going to try and be up early and then just hit that trail for a bit and see how things go. I have to be home early so my wife and I can make it to a massive fourth of july party :D
 

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If I lived in the Natomas area and work in Rancho Cambodia, I would ride the ATBT everyday. Think how much shape you can get in by putting in 20 miles each way.

Plus with gas being around $3.08/gal, that's what..$6.17 a day or $30.00/week or $120/ month or...you get the picture.

The trail is great, although on the weekends you will get your fair share of walkers, joggers, riders, eye candy, etc. so go early. However, during the morning commute, you will find it not so crowded.

Give it a try and you will probably like it.

Just my $.02,

jps
 

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Google is a wonderful thing. Here is a map with mile markers and access points:
http://www.saccycle.com/bikewaymaps/map6.htm

I used to ride the trail regularly ~10 years ago from CSUS up to Folsom Lake, but don't recall the distance. The portion of trail between Discovery Park and Cal-Expo (especially around Del Paso Heights) was always a little sketchy, and I suspect that hasn't changed.
 

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we talking road bike here?

When I used to live in Rancho I rode all up and down the BT. Of course then my bike was primary transportation :) Are you talking road bike or on MTB? Personally I find riding on the MTB to be slow and kind of boring on the pavement. Well actually roadbikes are kind of boring on pavement also... but it beats driving any day. Personally I would love to have a commute on the bike trail. I know some folks don't like dodging rolller bladers and foot traffic but it's better than than having to dodge cars and trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
imjps: All of those reasons are exactly why I'm wanting to do this. My car averages 21mpg so it's not too bad, the main things I really dislike is just parking on 50 in the mornings or evenings and nearly getting clobbered by people doing their makeup/talking on the phone/reading the paper/whatever when traffic halts in a hurry. Additionally, if I stick with this, once I get in a good routine I can start working in some training intervals and ride in different zones and such. Then I can go out and rock at Prairie City in the summer. I went out a few weeks ago (before I went on vacation and drank away all my gains :D) and did ok but I was dying at the end of my race.

Thanks, anotherbrian. I've been studying that map a bit I was just mostly wondering what the conditions of the trail were like. I've ridden Granite Bay to the Hatchery and it was nice, but I've heard sometimes bad things about the Cal-Expo area as mentioned above. I'm a relatively big guy so most people probably won't give me any issue, though at 7-8am and 5-6pm I don't expect much in the way of thugs ;)

0gre: I'll be riding my Mountain Bike for now. It's got a lockout on the front fork and when I ride pavement I usually just pop it on, pump the tires WAY up (though I ride high pressures on trail too) and go for it. If I truly like commuting this way and stick with it for 6-7 months, I'll probably pick up a road/commuter type bike. Hopefully the lighter weight and the skinnies will make the trip a bit faster. My only concern if I like the commute is how I'll work it out when I have classes again at Sac State in the fall ;). Luckily the trail goes right through there, and if I can do two days a week for all my classes I'll just drive those days.
 

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I ride near that atleast a few times a week. I get off the trail at discovery to get to my work and I live up near watt ave. Not exactly where you work but it's a nice ride - paved of course. Sac sucks fo dirt
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BrandonMiller said:
I ride near that atleast a few times a week. I get off the trail at discovery to get to my work and I live up near watt ave. Not exactly where you work but it's a nice ride - paved of course. Sac sucks fo dirt
yeah it does :( With work I just can't get up to Auburn for trails except for weekends.
 

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Ditto on what imjps said

I live in the Rosemont area and ride the BT on a regular basis either to Old Town or Beals Point. While there have been a few incidents on the BT near DP and CalExpo in years past, nothing comes to mind the last couple of years. I find it like going anywhere in town, stay aware, pay attention , be courteous and you can avoid most unpleasant situations. The BT is definitely a jewel for commuting and mid-week rides.

My 2 cents
 

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I used to ride that route in the mornings and late evenings (sometimes well after dark)... I did that for about 2 years and was never hassled by anyone. Some strange sights for sure, but no hassles. Now I commute from CSUS up to Rancho Cordova on the bike path and don't have any problems either. In all honestly, I've experienced more grief riding on the RT in the past six months than in all my time on the bike path. Riding around Rancho Cordova is easily the scariest part of the commute, with the traffic on Sunrise and Folsom being particularly bad.
 

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I've been bike commuting from Rancho Cordova to Discovery (and then into West Sac) about 3+ days a week for the last 3 years. I often use Light Rail in the morning to cut the milage down. I use an HID during winter (well, not so much this last lazy winter). I've had countless experiences on the bike trail while commuting and most all were positive.

It's true there are some homeless folks wandering around the closer you are to downtown/discovery, and I wouldn't recommend a solo woman ride around at night either. But by and large the trail is a safe place to recreate. It's patroled by park rangers, and cops (w/ helicopter) are never far.

(Note: the rangers do not like mtbing off the paved bike trail as it's all poaching. You can ride the crushed pumice jogging path along the pavement (which I think is fun), but the singletrack is all technically off limits.)

You're about right on the milage, it's 23 door to door for me. I highly recommend the bike trail for commuting, I love it. If you can pick up a cheap used road bike, that would be great. Or maybe a cheap second set of wheels with skinny slicks...

Enjoy.
 

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Its real nice..

sonicsuby said:
I live in the Natomas area of Sacramento and work in the Rancho Cordova area. I think I could ride American River Bike Trail out here and it would be about 20 miles maybe? Sadly, a 20 mile ride would probably take only a little longer than my 18 mile drive on highway 50.

Anyhow, have any of you ridden that way? Am I close on the distance estimate? What's the trail like? I'm going to ride it Saturday but thought I'd try to get some advance info before heading out there in the morning ;).

Thanks.
Lots of shade, water stops, and nice scenery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
flatline: that's me :)

JFR: I wish you commuted from west sac to Rancho, I'd love a commuting buddy :(.

I'm not sure what I'll do about the skinny tires. IMO they emasculate the bike something fierce. My thinking right now is that if I dig the commute and really stick with it, I'll take the gas money I save (~$40/week) and in about 6 months I'll have the money laying around to pick up a decent road bike. I figure by then, I'll be used to riding mountain bike tires a ton and the switch to skinnies and a light weight bike will cut my commute pretty nice :)

I rode the bike trail from Discovery to Northgate last night. I turned around as it was getting close to dark and I still hadn't had dinner yet. It was a nice ride. I actually really enjoy the ease of riding on the bike trail, it's very well maintained. I think this commute is something I can definitely do. Thanks for all of your help and any more is certainly welcome.
 

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BTW I don't know of any water stops on my 12 mile commute from watt to discovery..

They are all east of that to the best of my knowledge so if your pushin yourself (or its hot) bring water!

I picked up a set or slick type tires but I got sick of changing them for monday and changing back friday so the nobbies stay on..

Pick up an mp3 player and enjoy the ride :)
 

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I ride from Folsom to work in downtown a couple times a week. Its a pretty nice ride, albeit a tad long for my liking (35 mi each way). I agree with the other posts that it is pretty safe. Although I ride a roadbike now, the first few times I rode it on a hardtail. Its definitely a doable commute.
 

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Water @ Howe Avenue, just west of the bridge is a newly installed water fountain, At Watt itself is also a water fountain.

Also there's one Near Busiiness 80, by the Bathrooms that are off to the south, not so easy to spot. (Just past the Railroad underpass I believe)
 

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I have a second home in River Park in Sacto near the Sac State campus. I look forward to going out on the bike trail every time I am there. It is quite the scene with lots of other cyclists. Everyone seems very well behaved from my experience. I had a flat recently and I must have declined help from about twenty riders as they passed by. There are frequent water stops and outhouses. I highly recommend a road bike. Your commute will be much faster. The pavement is excellent. They use recycled tires mixed with the asphalt. It gives the pavement a very nice feel. The trail is mostly flat so you can have a very tight gear ratio. I use a 1978 vintage Colnago with a straight block of cogs. It is a great way to escape all the cars and get a good aerobic workout. You will forget that you are in the center of a huge megalopolis. It can only help your MTB conditioning. I like to spin about 100 rpms for about 50 miles and then go home. There is lots of wildlife including turkeys, coyotes, deer, and waterfowl. Have fun.
 
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