A Bumpy Ride at China Camp


My bike has a flat tire. It has had a flat tire since the rainy night of my last pilates lesson in February, when I ran over a glass shard biking home from Hayes Valley. My brother has a perfectly functional bike collecting dust on his balcony simply because it got a flat tire too, years ago, and he was too lazy to patch it up. Now it has two flat tires.

I bring up these stories of genetic bicycle failures because it's sunny days like these I wish I could ride the single track at China Camp in San Rafael again. I ain't no X-Games-caliber athlete, so the park's beginner-friendly Shoreline Trail-to-China-Camp-Point-and-back-again loop provides just the right amount of bumpy-ride (6-ish miles?) to feel sore in all the right (or wrong) places the next day. Even on that well-trodden path, my little hybrid Bianchi has still suffered two flat tires. The smarty pantses (pantsies?) at Freewheel on Hayes Street gave a good bit of advice to me after my chronic patch-up visits: Don't inflate tires to full capacity when heading out on the trail. Too blown-up equals eventual blow-out. You'll have to do your own physics calculations on that one, but intuitively, it sounds good to me. Download the China Camp brochure (with trail map) here.