There are a lot of great rides in the East Bay, but it would be hard to top a midnight ride to Livermore for donuts. My friend Doug and I left North Oakland at 6pm and spun our pedals FAST. A swift 3 hrs later, we cruised past the high school crowd rowdying it up in downtown Livermore, arriving at famed all-night donut palace, the Donut Wheel. We chowed two donuts each and hopped back on our bikes. A bit past the Dublin/Pleasanton BART, a cop flashed us down just as we started jamming on the Ironhorse Trail.
“You can’t be on the trail past 10pm curfew,” he informed us, “You got ID?”
I asked him what the trouble was. He replied that there had been muggings on the trail. While he called in our IDs, we got off our bikes and stretched our hamstrings in the halogen day of the cop cruiser’s spotlight. A black man ambled up behind us on the trail and got swepted up in the sting as well. He looked at us on our bikes, and smirked, “You get caught running off with refrigerators on the back of those bikes?”
The cop waved us off with a warning and moved on to bust the other guy, who apparently had been caught on the trail before. Doug and I lifted our bikes over the fence to the street, which mind you runs parallel to the trail, and continued on our way. Doug chuckled and shook his head, just someone try to mug us going 25 mph.
Still, I ride off feeling impotent in the face of racist, bedroom community paranoia. I pumped my legs even harder through dark-deadened suburbia. Belligerence faded into adrenaline and insomnia.
Taking a break on the Lafayette-Moraga trail sometime after 2am, I spotted the constellation Cassiopeia, higher in the sky than I had ever seen it. It’s late, I realized. We raced burned out legs up Pinehurst Rd, the climb a welcome change from flat, empty roads. Rolled back in bed finally, 4am.
Hard to top a midnight ride for donuts.