Cycling Claremont: the Bernard Biological Field Station...
When I was a kid ... oh no you say, another one of those stories. Don't worry there are no reminscences of miles long trudges through the snow, it was the San Fernando Valley after all, and the most we would ever get was a good drenching rain. One of the notable things I remember though, were the open spaces; the Valley had not yet become the massive suburban housing grid it is now. Almost, but not quite. There were still plenty of empty lots around for us to ride our bikes through, build tracks and jumps in.
If you have ever ridden along Foothill Blvd through Claremont, or maybe up Mills Avenue, you may have wonderingly noticed the large, fenced-in open space north of Foothill, and west of Mills. This is the Bernard Field Station, an 86 acre expanse of little disturbed native land, including a small pond, vernal pools, oak woodland, and sage scrub habitat. The field station is a part of the Claremont Colleges, and as such periodically comes under scrutiny for campus expansion. It serves as a living research laboratory so you won't be riding your bikes through it, nor constructing any bmx-type tracks. Access is limited to qualified researchers and, by permission, to community groups. Even without that access though, I can enjoy and appreciate the open space. It is certainly nice to be able to look off to the side while gliding down (or back up) Mills on an evening and be able to see the sun setting, with no clutter of buildings or houses in the way blocking the view. The view from Foothill, of the mountains at the north edge of town is, if anything, even better. If you are interested, the field station's blog includes many photos of what that land looks like from the inside.
The Cycling Claremont series of posts highlight some of the local businesses I have been known to frequent because I like what they offer, because they are bicycle friendly, or because they provide something unique or interesting, and which visitors to Claremont may also like.