If ever there was a bike built for the California Aqueduct bike trail (Great overhead Picture of the Tracy section) it is a Volagi Vijae. The surface requires a bike with exceptional road damping and the Vijae fits the bill nicely.
The trail ranges from uncomfortable chipseal to some pretty gnarly railroad crossings like the one below.
It is a very desolate trail but with many signs of urban mischief such as broken bottles, Graffiti, shotgun shells, motorcycle tracks etc. I cant say I ever feel totally safe on the trail on my own but if you ride it early in the morning on a weekend you are lucky if you see another person. The further you get from Tracy the more desolate things become and the better your chance of seeing Coyotes and other critters.
The downside of riding such a lightly traveled trail is that you are stuck if you have a mishap. The chances of someone passing to lend a hand seems pretty remote. I got a flat today (flint) and realized I had only one tube with me and that if I got another I was going to have a pretty long hike to civilization. I normally have a couple of tubes and a repair kit when I go exploring but today I forgot.
The worst part of the trail is that they put lots of motorcycle deterrent crossings that are really awkward to go through and I always seem to end up bashing a shin or an ankle. I also end up wishing for a lighter bike 🙂
I plan to ride the whole trail one day. I estimate this to be around a 140 mile round trip. I will have to choose a day with light winds as this trail can be absolutely brutal on a windy day.
“Part of the California Aqueduct
Bikeway begins at San Luis Creek and goes
70 miles north to the Bethany Reservoir
State Recreation Area. Rest stops are ten
miles apart, and bicyclists can camp overnight
in the Bethany Reservoir picnic area.
There is no piped water, but chemical toilets
are available. “