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It's Elementary! A favorite in-town ride

Jan Bridge sees connecting the Davis elementary schools makes for a good way to burn the miles in March and learn Davis neighborhoods. Especially good in threatening weather.

As a rule, I ride in Davis.  I enjoy the security of the marked bike lanes and knowing that the most of the drivers expect they're to share the road with cyclists.  I also began my riding strictly for errands, and some habits die hard.  

I anticipate that for March Madness, 8 out of every 10 miles I ride will be within Davis City Limits. I have created a number of loops that are approximately 20 miles, and one of my favorite is a tour of the Davis Elementary Schools.  No matter where you live in Davis, you are within 2 miles of your closest elementary school, and probably there is a bike path or marked bike lane that will get you to that campus.  You can easily follow the Elementary Tour by beginning at your closest Elementary School and following these directions.  

You can follow the route HERE using ridewithgps.com

I am closest to North Davis (14th and F Street) and will begin there.  

From (1) North Davis Elementary, head West on 14th street to Anderson Road, make a left onto Anderson Road, (2) Cesar Chavez Elementary School will be on your right.  Continue south on Anderson and make a right onto 8th Street.  Travel one long block to Sycamore Lane and make a right turn.  Pedal north for about a quarter of a mile and (3) Willett Elementary will be on your left.  Just north of Willett make a careful left turn onto the bike path and head west.  This bike path will take you over 113 to West Davis.  At the T, turn left and continue south.  When you reach Hampton Drive you have a choice.  If you like bike paths, stay on the path, turn right and you will skirt the parks and (4) Patwin Elementary.  If you prefer bike lanes, then make a right onto Hampton, and where Hampton meets Shasta, make a left onto Shasta.  You now are on the north side of the park, and Patwin will be on your left as you pass the second traffic circle.  

At this point in the ride I usually feel the need for some pedaling, so when Shasta meets Arlington, I turn right, go to Lake Blvd, turn left (south), pedal down Lake to Russell, cross Russell, make a right on the bike path, go two long blocks to the Avenue of Olives, go south on the Ave to Hutchison, and follow Hutchison through the new West Lake Village, onto campus, and then across campus until I connect with the Putah Creek Bike Path that will take me under I-80 and into south Davis.  At this point I follow the City Green Loop Bike Path signs.  The Green Loop goes into the park East of (5) Montgomery Elementary School and then behind the school to emerge at Drummond  Avenue.  

Continue to follow the Green Loop until you see the left turn directing you to the Pelz overcrossing.  Instead of a left, continue straight.  The Bike Path will deliver you to San Marino Drive.  Travel east on San Marino to Mace Blvd.  Turn left on Mace and travel two blocks north to a right turn on Cowell Blvd.  Travel Cowell to Schmeiser; turn left on Schmeiser, then left again on Hamel Street.  (6) Pioneer Elementary School will be on your right.  

Continue on Hamel to the T at Swingle.  Turn Left on Swingle, then Left on El Cemonte, and finally turn right on Cowell Blvd.  Cowell Blvd will take you to the Pelz Overcrossing - a right turn just after you cross La Vida Way.  Up and over the Pelz - it is  good practice using your lower gears, then down to the other side.  

There is a short cut here, but inevitably at this time in the ride, I need a bathroom stop.  So I turn right on the first cement bike path and head East (toward Target).  At the end of this long bike path, bear left (away from Target) and you will come to the John Berravetto Park.  Great Bathrooms.  

Exit the park with a right turn on Arroyo Avenue, and make a left turn onto Alhambra.  You will cross over 5th street and the next intersection make a left turn onto Loyola Drive.  (7) Korematsu Elementary school is on your left.  

Only one more elementary school to go.  Continue West on Loyola until it dead ends at Poleline Road.  Turn north on Poleline and make an immediate right onto Birch Lane.  Head north on Birch Lane and (8) Birch Lane elementary school will be on your right.  

To complete the loop, just north of the Birch Lane School make a left turn on Chapman, and a left turn on Madrone, this will bring you back to Poleline.  I suggest a left turn onto Poleline (head south) and then a right turn onto the bike path opposite Loyola Drive.  This puts you on Drexel Drive.  Take Drexel Drive to J Street.  

If you prefer bike paths, then follow the Green Loop by making a right turn on J Street and a left on the bike path that takes you through the apartment complex and under the railroad tracks through the tunnel.  There is a VERY sharp right hand turn required just as you exit the tunnel so please be careful.  Then follow the Green Loop to the crossing of F Street into Community Park.  Turn south on F Street, and make a right turn on 14th to pass (1) North Davis Elementary School. 

Personally I prefer bike lanes to bike paths.  So when I come to J street on Drexel, I make a left turn onto J Street, and head south.  At 8th street, make a right onto the bike lane on 8th and travel West over the railroad tracks to F Street, then right onto F and back north to 14th Streets/

 
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