Starting at 1st Avenue in Oakland and pedaling the length of International Boulevard south to San Leandro — and back — is one way to take your mind off your troubles.
The other way is to finish with a slow circuit of Lake Merritt and get up close and personal with a gaggle of geese at the end of it all.
It's Saturday afternoon. I'm sitting in the cafe at the Barnes & Noble in Oakland's Jack London Square. The sky is blue, the sun is shining down and the flags outside are flowing and flapping in the breeze overhead. A. has just come back to the table with a magazine. I'm off to get her a small soy peppermint hot chocolate and a lemon-raspberry square. I'll probably have some Earl Grey and a cookie.
Now I'm back at my seat, dialing down the brightness of my MacBook's screen. I chose a large hot chocolate instead of the Earl Grey and I thought a sugar cookie would go well with it. I'm looking at the clock and seeing that it's later than I thought, almost 5 p.m.. I can hear the sounds of passing trains along the Embarcadero outside the bookstore. There are sailboats passing by outside in the strait between Oakland and Alameda. The overhead music from the store speakers is Duran Duran's "New Moon on Monday." So long since I've heard that song! (I think I liked "Save a Prayer" a little better, but they were both good songs.) Two men just walked out of the cafe doors and a chilly gust of air came wafting in. My hot chocolate is good. I'm peeking at A.'s magazine and seeing that it's next month's InStyle. A few bites and A.'s square is gone.