A Quickly Conceived Ride
to Collect HOG ABC Points

A Tour of East Bay Cities and Counties
Monday, April 21, 2008
I have been doing okay collecting HOG ABC's of Touring points so far this year considering that as yet I have taken no long trips.  I've gotten most of the easy city letters, now I have to concentrate on county letters.

In June I'm planning to go to Laconia, New Hampshire.  If I have a good handle on the city and county letters, I will not need so many side trips away from the main route for the group.

The weather is dry with highs in the mid 50's and a bit windy.  This is a kind of cold for late April.

First stop is for Alameda County for an "A" county.  There is a courthouse in Hayward that did just fine.  I stopped in an illegal position in the front of the county building in a red zone almost blocking the driveway.  Since there were a lot of cops walking around the area, I was a bit nervous.

Notice that the Hog Tales cover is clipped on my left saddlebag.  After I took the photo, I hurriedly put on the helmet, climbed on, and rode off.

That was the last I saw of the forgotten magazine cover or the clip.

From Hayward I rode north on 580 looking for 13 over to 24.  Getting onto 13 was no problem.  Getting from 13 to 24 was.  I saw a sign that said 24 west, but I needed to go east.  Continuing on 13 north, I soon found myself heading west on Ashby Avenue and through the various surface streets of Berkeley.  This was kind of fun and brought back pleasant memories of when my brother Chuck was a student there and I'd go up for a visit.  Realizing the I was too far north, I wandered back south finally finding myself in Oakland.

Soon I found myself next to the 24 freeway, but having no idea where an on-ramp was located. But at last I was successful and headed through the Caldecott Tunnel headed in the right direction.

Orinda is an "O" city with polyanna-ish street names like Happy Valley Road.  I was looking for the post office.  I finally found it in a corner of a shopping center next to a Bank of America and a Safeway.

Back on highway 24 east and onto 680 north.  Destination is Martinez.  It's a great little town and has the county courthouse for Contra Costa County, "C"

I would have liked to stay and explore, but being alone and it being a bit chilly, I was anxious to continue, especially since the next planned stop was on the way home.

Dublin, a "D" city is right at the intersection of 580 and 680.  Coming south on 680, where I wanted to go is the last off ramp north of 580.  In the past, finding this off ramp has proved a bit tricky since I can never remember street names for more than 30 seconds.  Often I have found myself at the actual interchange of 680 and 580 and realized that I have gone too far.  It always feels like famous cooking instruction: "Cook until it smokes and then 5 minutes less."

I have used the Dublin Post Office in past year's ABCs, so this time it was much easier to find.

It was a relatively short ride, but nice.  I only got four ABCs points, but the two city points were good.

The city letter "D" is not all that tough, but the city letter "O" almost demands that one visits Oakland.  Not a fun prospect even if I did do just that when trying to get on the freeway to Orinda.

And, getting two county letters doubled my achievement so far this year.  With everything in California named San-this or Santa-that, once you get an "S" county, namely Santa Clara, one is surrounded by more "S" counties than you can shake a stick at as shown in the county map page. (click on California on the map).  And you soon have to travel quite a distance before you reach a county with a different letter.

Updated: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 12:31:15 PM