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American River Bike Trail ARBT ?

Old 06-01-20, 12:05 PM
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American River Bike Trail ARBT ?

I see in the past issues with safety on the American River Bike Trail.
However nothing posted recently.

Are there still issues with some parts of this trail for a lone cyclist ?

Thanks

Barry
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Old 06-08-20, 02:10 PM
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Are you concerned about road conditions, high foot traffic, or the presence of “undesirable”/potentially criminal elements?

I ride this trail several times a week, although I’m out in Carmichael (not Sacramento). If your concern is about the latter, you are totally fine from around Power Inn (or to be safe, Watt ave) all the way out past Folsom. Absolutely zero concerns about crime along that whole stretch.

Once you get from about Power Inn all the way to downtown Sacramento, Discovery Park, etc there can be quite a few homeless camps nearby... I still ride this route down to Old Sacramento solo but there is a legitimate concern. Years ago I was accosted by 2 homeless guys who tried to steal my bike near Old Sac on the trail (they were pretending to have chain problems and waved me down, I slowed to assist and one of them grabbed my handlebars and tried to push me off, I shoved him away and sped off). So the concern is valid. If you are older or not physically intimidating you may want to stay off that stretch.

The vast majority of homeless people are completely harmless, and like I said I still ride there solo, just be aware of your surroundings.
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Old 06-08-20, 02:35 PM
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The main thing lately has been the amount of broken glass and other debris from the encampments near the Blue Diamond entrance. Otherwise pretty safe.
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Old 06-08-20, 03:39 PM
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unfreindlies!

Thanks guys...
Exactly what I needed. Glass I can deal with...... unfriendlies... not so much.
(yes unfriendlies is a word.... honest)

I'll find parking at Powerhouse or Watts.

Barry
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Old 06-12-20, 06:46 PM
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I’m on this trail at least once a week and have only encountered things that make my “spidey senses” climb when I get within about 5 miles of Discovery Park. I usually park at Bannister Park and then head to Discovery and back which is about 42 miles and mostly flat or park near Mikes Bikes in Folsom and then head towards all the paths in that direction which is shorter but lots of hill work.
Great trail system and one that really doesn’t concern me much especially if you ride with others.
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Old 08-05-20, 11:08 AM
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I'm in midtown Sacramento and ride the spur connector from Blue Diamond (C and 20th roughly) to the main bike trail by Northgate/Del Paso, and then upriver all the time. I am not actively concerned about safety, but always alert to avoid any potential trouble over by Blue Diamond; the homeless population there is pretty significant. (Honestly, it's a tragedy, but that's not what this post is about). Once I hit the main trail it feels completely safe to me.

If you're not comfortable with potentially encountering homeless people, I'd recommend parking in College Greens (other side of the river from CSUS) and riding upriver. I've never seen anything up there that would give me any concerns at all.
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Old 08-05-20, 11:22 AM
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Homeless people don't generally worry me.
But that said, part of being street smart is not placing yourself into known areas of issue.
The issue on a bike could simply be abundant broken glass.

I'd hate to have an issue biking, only to be told by the locals "oh, we don't go there!" or "why'd you do that?"
The downtown end of the ARBT seems to be a "oh, we done go there" area.

Nuff said... I'll start further up.
Shame, coz it would have been fun to take the train from the Bay Area to downtown.

Barry

So, I guess at this point I'm looking for safe parking a Howe or Watts ?
Even paid parking would be fine. I don't know what is in that area?

Last edited by Barry2; 08-05-20 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 08-05-20, 11:43 AM
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Well, like I said, I ride this section all the time (3-4 times a week). So I think it's fine, it's really a matter of how anyone feels about things. You could do it and almost certainly enjoy the ride. From Amtrak I would probably pick up the bike trail in Old Sacramento that connects to Discovery Park and head upriver. That way you'd avoid the spur connector by Blue Diamond that has such a high homeless population.

But you could also get off at Amtrak Station in Sacramento, and ride up to Sac State on surface streets, cross the Guy West bridge up there and connect with the bike trail there. Something like 7th to D St, stay on D (passes under the freeway) until 33rd, jump one block over to C, then take C (merges with a right turn into Elvas) towards Sac State. That's a nice ride through a historic neighborhood, and once you hit C/Elvas you're able to ride at a good clip. Your first couple miles will be at city pace (slow with frequent intersections) but it's pleasant riding. You can drop the proverbial hammer once you hit C if you are so inclined.
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Old 08-05-20, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by funonwheels
Well, like I said, I ride this section all the time (3-4 times a week). So I think it's fine, it's really a matter of how anyone feels about things. You could do it and almost certainly enjoy the ride. From Amtrak I would probably pick up the bike trail in Old Sacramento that connects to Discovery Park and head upriver. That way you'd avoid the spur connector by Blue Diamond that has such a high homeless population.

But you could also get off at Amtrak Station in Sacramento, and ride up to Sac State on surface streets, cross the Guy West bridge up there and connect with the bike trail there. Something like 7th to D St, stay on D (passes under the freeway) until 33rd, jump one block over to C, then take C (merges with a right turn into Elvas) towards Sac State. That's a nice ride through a historic neighborhood, and once you hit C/Elvas you're able to ride at a good clip. Your first couple miles will be at city pace (slow with frequent intersections) but it's pleasant riding. You can drop the proverbial hammer once you hit C if you are so inclined.
Agree with this.
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Old 08-10-20, 03:04 PM
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ARBT review

Just for context, I'm 56 and began riding 8 months ago after spending too many decades behind a desk.
This is only my 3rd 40+ mile ride and I have a (LOW) FTP of about 150W. So yes, I'm a beginner.

My buddy and I left the Bay Area early Sunday in order to be on the ARBT for 8am in order to miss the heat.
Per peoples suggestions, we started at Howe (Watt) and Hwy50. Parked in the retail lot just south of the river. This allow us to skip the broken glass and other things on the trail closer to Sac.
The Bridge across the river (Howe Ave) has a nice safe bike lane on the East side that drops you on the trail at the ~10 Mile marker.

The first 5+ miles average a lot of shade and are very flat.
Miles 5-10 seem to lose some of that shade.
Miles 10-15 little shade and the trail begins to be less flat... micro hills.
Miles 15-20 now we begin to climb, not steep but constant enough to wear on me in the now 87F heat.
At just over 20 miles we flipped a U-turn and headed back.

Temperature started at 68F... hit 87F by the time we turned around... and 100F by the time we returned.
8am start was not early enough for this time of year.
From the time we got on the trail to the time we got back I never saw ANY broken glass. It is an awesome, well kept, paved trail.
Of the couple water fountains I checked, they were ON. I chose to bring water and not use them.

I'd recommend this scenic ride to people of all capabilities. Just pick your turn around point to match your goal for the day.
I will admit to being tired on the return and I took a wrong turn. Wound up on a trail that dead ends. If you can bring GPS I'd suggest you do.
There are not many places you can make a wrong turn, I found one !

I hope this encourages others to give this trail a try.

Barry
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Old 08-10-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2
The first 5+ miles average a lot of shade and are very flat.
Miles 5-10 seem to lose some of that shade.
Miles 10-15 little shade and the trail begins to be less flat... micro hills.
Miles 15-20 now we begin to climb, not steep but constant enough to wear on me in the now 87F heat.
If you start earlier and a little further past Watt, like William Pond or Bannister Park, you can get up to Folsom where the climbing picks up significantly and there are several nice pit stop locations (Folsom Grind, Karen’s Bakery, or Coffee Republic). I do this ride about twice a week.

There’s a nice big hill right at Folsom Grind if you feel like torturing yourself with hill repeats
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Old 08-10-20, 03:43 PM
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Yep. This time of year, an 8am start is very late. Luckily, it's a dry heat. I'm glad you had a good ride and come back any time!
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