Riding Calaveras Reservoir to Holiday Supper

Found this un-published post from Christmas Eve, 2010.

I cannot not resist a forty mile bike ride to a hot dinner.

This Christmas Eve, my dad and brother came up to visit me in the East Bay, and invited me to meet them in San Jose for a home-cooked supper with my cousin Yick-kei. Now, hoofing it down to San Jose from North Oakland is a bit of a chore, whether you’re gridlocking on the highways, or moping along on Amtrak. However, home-cooking is hard to pass up. I Google-mapped my cousin’s place to see if it would be Bart-n-bike friendly and surprise! His house was located right at the end of one of my favorite rides in the South Bay — Pleasanton Bart to Calaveras Reservoir to Sierra Rd.

Navigation for this ride is easy as pie. Bart out to Dublin/Pleasanton and head for the west hills. Take a left onto Foothill Rd and ride to the one-diner town of Sunol. Main St Sunol spits out onto Paloma Rd (Highway 84) and it’s less than a mile between Sunol and the junction of Paloma with Calaveras Rd. This section on Highway 84 is usually backed up with cars, so prepared to breeze past the gridlock. From the junction, it’s a rolling and scenic ride through pasture, oaks and laurels on the west rim of the Calaveras Reservoir. The south end of the reservoir descends steeply to a t-intersection.

In recent years, I’ve been getting better acquainted with my paternal side of the family, and in particular,  their Wenzhou-nese homecooking. Wenzhou is a major port city on the northeastern coast of China, in Zhejiang province. To my Cantonese tastebuds, Wenzhou cookery has a strong Shanghai-nese influence, with darker and more complex flavors as a result of heavier use of salt, rice wine and preserved vegetables. Cantonese cookery is my culinary mother-tongue, so I suppose that I’m developing a Wenzhou-nese father-tongue!

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