Winner of the 2013 100 Miles of Nowhere, Coed Simultaneous Bike and Kayak Relay, Oakland CA Division

06.5.2013 | 6:33 am

By Jessica F

It would be a bit hyperbolic to say that the only reason I wanted to participate in 100 Mile of Nowhere was to have a ridiculous course, but that’s pretty much it. I don’t remember if I knew about this park with a great view before I started scheming over 100 Miles of Nowhere or not.


Great view, eh? (Downtown SF, the Bay Bridge, and Treasure Island, for those of you not from around here.) I love infrastructure: bridges, railroads, transmission lines, ports. This has the additional historical footnote of being the westernmost point on the Union Pacific Railroad.

Plus, the water link from one end of the park to the other would be my hook to get my kayaking boyfriend to participate. First I thought we would both bike and kayak, but the number of transitions seemed overwhelming. So we agreed that he would kayak and I would bicycle. Flat water kayaking for a whitewater kayaker is basically like being on rollers in a basement for a mountain biker.


Because kayaking is much slower than bicycling, we decided it would be a parallel relay event. (This is probably a concept I’ve invented. Which hopefully means we’ve placed first in our division: Coed Simultaneous Bike and Kayak Relay, Oakland CA.) The bicycle leg was 80 miles, and the kayaking leg was 20 miles, back and forth across the narrow section of the park horseshoe.

I’ve included the Strava screen for the ride. Started from the house, a bunch of times around the park, and a deviation for a sausage at Rosamunde’s before heading home to realize an extra loop around the block was needed to hit 80 miles.


The day was great: sunny, not too hot or windy, lots of birds (pelicans, blue herons, white egrets, avocets, gulls by the dozens and Canada geese by the hundreds). My boyfriend, T, got the best view of a pelican diving for a fish just ten feet off his kayak. Next time we do this, I’ll be getting a kayak leg, too. Getting hissed at by Canada geese multiple times just doesn’t have the same cachet.

However, if you are familiar with Arrested Development, you’ll understand why I was concerned for his well-being after seeing a harbor seal early on in the day, but it kept its distance. Sand sharks and bat rays were also hanging around.

I have done one other 100 Miles Of Nowhere, a few years ago with a friend doing loops of Golden Gate Park. One of the interesting things about spending all day in a park is seeing the ebb and flow of various parts of the community interacting (and operating completely separately in different areas), and generally all having a good time.

The Middle Harbor Shoreline park also has the benefit of being along the shipping channel. One of the bike legs looked out at multiple sailboats heading out the morning, a huge container ship coming into port later that day, and at the end, a large Coast Guard ship, probably heading up out of the Gate and up the coast. I can’t describe the effect of seeing these different sized vessels gliding by, apparently crossing my path at the end of the bike path.

We ended up taking about 8 hours to do the ride/paddle, and Strava shows me with 6 hours and 40 minutes of rolling time.

PS: FYI, Fatty, you’ve created another Strava user. I was wondering if I needed to bring out my long unused GPS device to track the ride, and of course thought about iPhone apps. When I saw Strava on the list of bike tracking apps, I immediately chose it. And ended up with a couple of trophies by the end of the day for the competitive Oakland Middle Harbor area. Also, I was impressed that Strava didn’t destroy my battery. I managed to get through all 8 hours with battery left over. As good or better than my purpose-built GPS device. Of course, most of the time, the screen was off. I’m just disappointed I didn’t know how excellent (and easy-to-use) Strava was for my first real mountain bike ride last weekend in Pennsylvania.


  1. Comment by rich | 06.5.2013 | 8:24 am

    In all the years I’ve ridden in Oakland and the east bay, I don’t think I’ve ever been down there near the bay….might have to explore that area.
    Great job!

  2. Comment by ClydeinKS | 06.5.2013 | 8:36 am

    Sounds like a great route that provided changing scenery, not sure how much other activity will be going on for us this weekend.
    Kudos on the ride and Strava achievements!

  3. Comment by Carl | 06.5.2013 | 8:37 am

    Great report… and be careful, Strava is addicting! Plus you can choose Team Fatty as your bike club on there also!

  4. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.5.2013 | 10:42 am

    Great report and thanks for the new spot to eat! Would love to get Fatty into their spot to ‘taste test’ before Davis,but I’m not sure how he does in ‘Big Cities’.

  5. Comment by SR | 06.5.2013 | 11:32 am

    When I was gainfully unemployed, I started exploring the Bay Trail on foot and by bike. Middle Harbor Shoreline Park quickly became one of my favorites, so much so that I took a guy there to hang out. We used Google Sky Map to learn constellations. Then he said, “Ah, I’m going for it” and kissed me. Coming up on our 1 year anniversary now.

    Anyway, this is my favorite park, like, EVER.

  6. Comment by Kasper | 06.5.2013 | 11:36 am

    Great article. Normally i do not comment. But thumbs up for this text and the images! Looks like an interesting route!

  7. Comment by Wife#1 | 06.5.2013 | 11:39 am

    @SR… your comment could become a post all on it’s own! What a great story and happy anniversary!

    Beautiful route for you and BF Jessica! I’m jealous, we were not very far from you as the crow flies, but it was HOT for us.

  8. Comment by Eric L | 06.5.2013 | 3:30 pm

    Looks like a lovely spot. I need to figure out how to get from the end of the bay trail in Emeryville to where the part of the trail you rode on begins.

    Would love to find some like-minded East Bay crazy folks to do next year’s 100 MON with.

  9. Comment by Heidi | 06.5.2013 | 4:49 pm

    Do bike + kayak = biyak?

  10. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 06.5.2013 | 9:35 pm

    Love your creative approach to sharing the miles. Have you figured out how to share the t-shirt?

    Now I’ve got another place I want to visit: Portview Park. Nicely told!

  11. Comment by The Hammer | 06.10.2013 | 9:43 am

    What a great course for the 100MoN! I’m jealous. I love watching the birds…and people I meet along the way on my rides too. I’m glad your boyfriend got to experience the ride with you too! congrats on your accomplishment!


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