Sacramento/American River Cycle Ride

Please note, this post is part of a series. Click here to read it from the beginning.

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I am so glad that I decided to spend the first few days of my trip in Sacramento. It provides the perfect mix of exploring and relaxing/getting over jetlag.

After exhausting Old Sacramento on my first day, I decided to have a stroll through the ‘new’ town and compare the two. Unfortunately, the city is one big building site at the moment. Weirdly, I like photographing building sites, but I’m sure it doesn’t appeal to most tourists. From what I could see, they’re planning to build a new sports stadium, and it should look amazing once it’s finished.

In a bid to stay active whilst on holiday, and to give my blistered feet a rest after all the walking I’d done the previous day, I decided to hire a bike from Old Sacramento and venture out onto the American River trail.

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Bike rental at Practical Cycle begins at just $5 per hour/$25 for the day for a basic, one-speed cruiser. This is the option I went for. If you’re planning on covering some distance, cycling on main roads or you’re not too confident on a push bike, I’d recommend upgrading. Once you’re on the trail, it’s an easy surface to ride on. Ironically, the track you need to ride on to get from the bike shop to the trail when you’re still getting used to the bike is really bumpy. I only had time to cycle about 45 minutes along the river before I had to turn back, but the trail apparently stretches over 30km.

Heading out onto the bike trail also gave me the opportunity to have a closer look at the two water towers that I had seen from the boat cruise. The difference in size between the two, old and new, shows you how much the population of Sacramento has exploded.

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Useful Info:

2 hours bike rental: $10

The Taff Trail

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We are extremely lucky here in Cardiff. We live in a beautiful capital city with all the amenities and facilities that you would expect to find in such a place, but we also have some amazing green spaces to explore and relax in. Standing in front of the Millennium Stadium and looking up the River Taff, you’d be forgiven for thinking Bute Park is completely surrounded by the city. However, it hides a secret that is there to be found by those willing to venture a bit further.

The Taff Trail, as the name suggests, follows the River Taff from Cardiff all the way up to Brecon, a whopping 55 miles. I’d love to be able to tell you that I’ve walked, or even cycled, the whole route. Alas, for now, the first stage from Bute Park to Llandaff North will have to do.

Most of the trail allows you to forget that you’re anywhere near an urban centre, although the occasional tall building and the spire of Llandaf Cathedral peeping above the treetops don’t let you completely forget. Your surroundings change with every twist and turn of the path as you walk past tree carvings, under roads through beautiful gardens. On the day of my walk we were enjoying some hot, sunny weather and lots of the local kids were cooling off in the weir, daring each other to jump of the bridge.

My Dad and I are already planning to catch a train to Llandaf and tackle the next section of the trail, and I’m hoping to cycle to Castell Coch (8 miles from Cardiff) next time we have some good weather.

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