One dark, chilly, damp night commuting home last winter, I dreamed of a warm evening where Dick and I would pedal off to a park for a picnic for a bike date. But with distractions like vacationing with family in Florida, mountain bike racing with my girlfriends, and even waiting for the UPS man, it was August and alas, no picnic.
With sunset getting earlier each week, it was now or never. First task: find a location. Most park picnic areas are designed for kids’ birthday parties and loud family gatherings. I wanted something romantic. I considered going back to the Rodin Garden at Stanford, but was worried it wouldn’t be private enough.
After a bit of searching, I found a promising spot: the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto. With a historic home, carriage and tea houses, plus formal gardens it was romantic. After scouting it on my bike one evening, I found wooden picnic tables under a heritage oak tree and even a bike rack.
So I went shopping, prepared a picnic meal and packed it in Juliett’s ample single pannier and front basket and headed for work, telling Dick to pick me up that evening for a bike date picnic at a surprise location.
When we arrived we took a slow stroll around the gardens first, along with a dozen or so visitors: a young mother showing her toddler insects on a flower, two women friends in a deep discussion, a man pushing his elderly father in his wheelchair. You can see from the gallery of photos below why people are drawn to this beautiful public space. But by the time we poured a glass of white wine and unpacked Juliett’s baskets for our meal, we had the garden to ourselves.
What is still on your “to do” list for this summer? What summer fun do you still have planned?
About Bike Date Friday: Since September 2010, my husband and I have had a standing date every Friday night. We eat at a different place every week and arrive by bike. There’s no better way to end the work week.