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River Fox Train Railbikes Excursion 9/24/2021

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up at the Quality Inn in Woodland and did our usual morning preparations before meeting Robin and Bill at the car at 7:00 AM. We drove to the Black Bear Diner for breakfast then had a ten minute drive to the River Fox Railbike boarding area which is the same as the regular train.

The four of us checked in and had to sign waivers and after turning them in, we visited the gift shop to see what they offered and asked if they would be open when we returned and the lady said yes. We were then led past all the passenger train equipment to where the railbikes were. After we were given a safety briefing and told how to operate them, it was now time to climb aboard our railbikes. This morning the riders were our quartet and another couple. Elizabeth would be the operator of our bike.

Railbikes for Adventurers

Escape the ordinary and discover Sacramento's newest adventure as you pedal your way down the tracks on a journey unlike any other! These pedal-powered vehicles have never been offered before in Sacramento – you'll feel like you’ve been transported to another place and time while you cruise along the river and the Yolo Countryside. Enjoy the breeze and the picturesque views from a whole new perspective. And don't forget to bring a friend or loved one along – our Railbikes have seating for two, so you can share the good times. This is an awesome experience you don't want to miss. Depart on your one-of-a-kind trip today.

Our Rail Bike Adventure

A picture before the event began. We were required to wear helmets and seatbelts and if we needed to stop, to raise our hand. There was a guide leading the procession and one bringing up the rear. These guides had a horn to blow for traffic at the rural crossing and would have a radio to activate the signals at the main crossing along this route.

A motor is used to start these vehicles and then would switch off as soon as we started pedalling. The pedalling was very enjoyable and allowed me to take pictures for this story while I pedalled along.

The Sacramento River.

Milepost 9.

The Sacramento River on this early fall day.

We went by the Haviland sign. I was surprised how easy and enjoyable this experience really was.

We then passed the Kiesel sign.

We passed the Milepost 8 sign and I could not believe we had already travelled a mile in what seemed to be only a few minutes of pedalling.

Bill and Robin were on the railbike behind us and they bumped us as we came to a stop before crossing the main highway.

A view looking to the west.

It was easy to keep our distance from our guide in front of us as one either applied the brakes a little or simply stopped pedalling.

We crossed one of the rural grade crossings.

Following our leader was the name of our game on this trip.

We pedalled past the Vin signpost.

Milepost 7 and I could not believe we had travelled over two miles.

This route was mostly straight track and one reason the Sacramento Northern could run high speed to Oakland in the interurban days.

Approaching another rural crossing.

Going past the Beatrice sign.

Farmland to the east.

What a beautiful cool morning this turned out to be.

We ran by the Milepost 6 sign.

Crossing a culvert along our route.

Still following our leader.

Trees off to the east.

Elizabeth and I were both happily pedalling along on this fantastic morning aboard the railbikes but there was one surprise about to happen to us.

We were completely amazed by the name of the sign, Marty, as he is one of my best friends and had a good laugh about it.

Surprisingly my knees were not giving me any problems this morning. The pedometer on the phone I use to count my steps was counting how many times I pedalled this morning which surprised both of us.

We ran by Milepost 5 and knew we were approaching the turn-around location.

Everyone followed our leader down the rails.

The first of two bridges along the route.

At Fourness was the second bridge.

The red flag signalled me to put up my hand to alert the riders behind us that we would be stopping.

This is the piece of equipment used to turn a railbike.

Here you get to see how they turned our railbike around.

Elizabeth and our turned railbike. She had never seen anything like this before.

Here is Bill and Robin's railbike being turned.

There was a great weeping willow tree at this location.

On the way back, we would be looking at Bill and Robin in front of us.

Bill and Robin at Fourness.

The second trestle.

Milepost 5 signpost.

We went by the Marty sign again.

Our friends still in front of us.

We passed by the Milepost 6 signpost.

A jet coming into land at Sacramento International Airport; a common scene on our trip.

We went back by the Beatrice sign.

Notice where Bill and Robin are in front of us. We had to stop as my seatbelt somehow came undone so I raised my hand and our operator stopped to help me retrieve it.

Passing Milepost 7 as we pedalled faster to catch the pack.

We went by the Vin sign and were still trailing but it did not matter.

Interesting fall colors on the trees.

Milepost 8.

We caught up to the pack at the highway crossing.

The River Fox sign alerting drivers to the fact that trains are running.

On the way back to Haviland.

We are about to make one of the few curves on our trip today.

Passing the Haviland sign.

Passing Milepost 9 before we returned to where we had started from. We thanked both of our operators for an excellent time and Elizabeth and I really enjoyed our experience on these railbikes and cannot wait to do more of them in the future. We are hooked on railbikes!

Power for the River Fox excursion train that operates on weekends. From here we walked over to the gift shop and each bought a T-shirt and a lapel pin then returned to the car and drove south to Middle River, the crossing of the BNSF line in San Joaquin Valley delta.

A great reflection picture of the 1929 through truss draw bridge of Santa Fe heritage.

San Joaquin Train 712 was our only train at this location.

Elizabeth waiting for another train that never came. From here she continued to drive us toward Salinas via Altamont Pass and Highway 84 to Interstate 680 to US 101. She drove most of the way until I took over for the last sixty miles to Salinas where we checked into the Quality Inn. The four of us met at 5:00 PM and went to dinner at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse before returning to the hotel where I worked on the stories while Elizabeth did her usual Internet checking before we called it a night.