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Turlocks Canal Drive perfect for fall cycling
Turlock Highs dazzling fountain, and building structure is one of the best scenery pieces for a bike ride down Canal Drive. - photo by Brooke Borba

Whether you are an avid cyclist bent on adventure, or a calm, slow biker wanting to cruise down the street, Canal Drive in Turlock offers one of the more bike-friendly paths for an autumn jaunt.

Not only is the bike path on Canal near many major services, but it is also distinctive based on its various “level” transitions, that offer cyclists an upbeat, and generally pleasing cycling experience as they are apt to choose between a basic trail, dedicated lanes, or bike friendly roads. Apart from Canal’s structure, the path designates a lovely atmosphere that promotes the fall festivities.

The Central Valley has happened upon November at last. The air grows cool, the clouds hover above, blocking the sun from its, occasionally grueling, California rays. There is no longer the smell of hot, burning pavement (as usually witnessed by the summertime), but rather replaced by the scent of wet grass, the fine foliage of bright green leaves, finally losing their lusciously rich emerald color. Some of the leaves, already strewn across the pavement, are discolored, crinkled, and lightly crunch beneath the bike’s tires soothingly. The surrounding air is brisk, sharp, and cold once inhaled.

The scenery itself is attractive once merging off Geer Road towards East Canal Drive. Certain amenities are located within blocks away of Canal Drive, including a Skate Park, the Turlock Library, the Sutter Health Medical Foundation, the Turlock Community Auditorium, and many schools and churches.

The most preferable location to entertain yourself while passing along Canal Street is Crane Park. Just to the left of Canal Drive, following North Berkley Avenue, the park itself is large, and exquisitely green with noteworthy maintenance, complete with bulky, shadowing trees that gently cascade falling leaves that leaves one in a spellbound stupor in the magnitude of its beauty.

Concrete tables that resemble lovely works of art rather than seating arrangements complete the look, and offer the scenic driver a chance to catch their breath, or eat their lunch. Apart from the illustrious park, the scenery presents opulent houses worthy of adoration or envy.

Once the park is skipped, the trail offers different roads that are shared with traffic. However, I would choose to stick on the side of traffic on the right, due to the beauty of the Turlock High School and its marvelous architectural structure, complete with a fountain head of a lion just before entering the classic, perfectly molded building.

If indifferent to these beautiful structures, or wish that you had a chance to eat, there is a Starbucks, and other services ahead that offer relief, just off North Johnson Road. But if one were to continue their drive, they would pass by many carefully constructed houses.

Canal Drive ends once it intersects into North Daubenberger Road. However, beyond a dirt mound offers a path, right past the RAM Farms, Inc. The pumpkin patch and corn maze still add to the allure, and thematic ride of this drive. The canal path strenuously continues with a country like ambiance for quite a while. Eventually, the long path intersects into North Gratton Road; and the Canal path is complete.

209 reporter