By Becky Warren
Recently I have purchased a road bike with a friend with our intention of biking once a week (highly recommend City Works if you are interested in buying a bike). Little did I know at the time how enjoyable biking in the Sacramento area is. No matter what bike you may have, it is worth taking a bike ride along the American River Bike Trail. The bike trail follows the river where you can also enjoy the changing autumn leaves – it is an incredible experience every time.
Through our biking adventures, my favorite bike ride is riding to Old Town Fair Oaks. If you are looking for a weekend activity – I definitely recommend checking out this cute and funky community.
Where to Start: Watt Avenue & La Riviera Drive (From downtown Sacramento, take Highway 50 to Watt Avenue, turn right on La Riviera Drive and park in the shopping center on the right where Big Lots and Cafe Roma is located).
What to Bring: Bike, Bike Helmet, Water, Watch, License & Cash
Distance: Approximately 22-24 miles round trip (if you stay for breakfast or lunch in Old Town Fair Oaks, the entire adventure takes about 3 hours or so)
Bike Trail Highlights: During your bike trip to Old Town Fair Oaks, you will be sharing the bike trail with other bikers, runners, and walkers. Everyone is friendly and its fun to meet new people on the trail. On your way to Old Town Fair Oaks, you will travel over two bridges with incredible views. This portion of the bike trail is relatively flat and there is no pressure to go fast. There are several natural spots to stop along the way as you pass through several lovely parks.
How to Get to Old Town Fair Oaks:When you get to about the 20 mile marker (you start your bike ride on the 10 mile marker), you will see a path to a foot bridge across the river on the lefthand side. This is a beautiful foot bridge and fun to bike over. Once you cross the bridge, you head straight uphill until you get to the intersection and turn right and follow the road into town.
Chickens & Roosters: This is a community who loves their chickens. They are not afraid of people and are all over the town. They are a respected part of the community. Watch out for some of these chickens (particularly the white ones) – they are not all friendly. Also you will notice that the chickens we saw were actually using the crosswalk – they clearly don’t mess around in Old Town Fair Oaks!
Sunflower Natural Foods Restaurant: Umm, this is the BEST vegan burger you will ever try. I have been going here for years and its a great place for lunch as you take a break from your ride. They have amazing smoothies, vegan chili and cornbread, and their famous Nutburgers. I’m telling you, if you haven’t tried one, you must! Its the best vegan burger you will ever have.
Fair Oaks Coffee House & Deli: We just checked out this cute coffee place on our last bike ride. Its a lovely place with yummy breakfast items and pastries. Their lunch menu also looked delicious serving sandwiches and salads. Sitting outside, watching the Fair Oaks chickens is entertaining, and everyone you meet is very mellow and friendly.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for something a little different to do over the weekend, I highly recommend it. You will burn some calories, enjoy the outdoors, meet cute runners and bikers, and hang out with chickens – what more can you want?