The Lafayette-Moraga and Contra Costa Canal regional trails in central Contra Costa County are great places to ride your bicycle for recreational and commuting purposes.
East Bay Regional Park District's recreation department staff will highlight these trails during several guided rides in the next couple of weeks.
Two of the rides, both free, are on Saturday on the Lafayette-Moraga Trail. The first is a 6.5-miler from 10 a.m. to noon, starting at the staging area on Olympic Boulevard at Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette.
This one is designed for beginning cyclists. Bring your bike, helmet, a snack, water bottle and dress as the weather dictates. A limited number of loaner bicycles and helmets are available, but you must call 510-544-2553 in advance.
Then from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, there's a 10-mile ride for more experienced cyclists. Also starting at the Olympic Boulevard staging area, this ride will use bicycle-friendly streets as well as the paved trail. Bring your bike, helmet, water bottle, a snack, a camera and/or binoculars. Again, some loaner bicycles are available on request. In the unlikely event of rain, the programs will be canceled. For more information on either ride, call 510-544-2553.
The Contra Costa Canal Trail ride is from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 11, led by Connie Anderson and Deborah Osteen, and designed for ages 10 and older. It's either nine or 16 miles, with a "bike on BART" option for those who
The itinerary includes a stop for a sandwich at the Larkey Market & Deli, and a tour of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. Registration is required, and there's a fee of $18 per person ($20 for nondistrict residents). For registration and information, phone 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 30078.
ANTIOCH: The Pittsburg Mine was one of several located within what is now Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch. Naturalist Bob Kanagaki will lead a shady hike from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday through the valley where the miners once lived and worked.
The program is free and designed for ages 7 and older. Meet in the parking lot at the upper end of Somersville Road, four miles south of Highway 4 in Antioch. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.
BRENTWOOD: Naturalist Mike Moran continues his Thursday birding series with a walk along the Marsh Creek Regional Trail in Brentwood from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, in search of wading wildlife. The program's free, but registration is required. Call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 30005.
TAKE A STROLL: An easy half-mile walk is the plan for a "Senior Stroll" from 10:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 11 at Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County. The park is located on Geary Road off Calaveras Road about five miles south of Interstate 680.
The stroll is free of charge, but registration is required. Call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 29963.
music by the water: Concerts at the Cove, the free live music series at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, will conclude with a "battle of the bands" from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10.
Battling bands scheduled are Rene Escovedo and the Fuse (Latin Jazz Fusion), The Bob Claire Orchestra (Classic R&B) and The Jim Parodi Band (Classic Rock). The visitor center will stage nature-themed activities starting at 4:30 p.m.
Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Ave. Park on Webster Street or in the Crown Beach lot at Otis and Shoreline drives. For details, call 510-544-3187.
FLYING FLOWERS: Butterflies and dragonflies will be the guests of honor, so to speak, during two programs on Sunday at Tilden Nature Area in Berkeley, hosted by naturalist Anthony Fisher.
From 10 a.m. to noon, Anthony will lead a safari in search of butterflies. Bring a camera for a digital capture of some "flying flowers."
Anthony's dragonfly program will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Dragonflies live most of their lives in water before metamorphing into the familiar flying predators. They've been doing this for literally millions of years.
Both programs are free. Meet at Tilden's Environmental Education Center at the north end of Central Park Drive. For details, call 510-544-2233.
Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.