Confession: I don’t know know if there are formal rules for the bike/walking trail that runs from the edge of Yuba City to Sutter -- who should be in what lane, how do bicyclists and walkers coexist, who yields, etc. 

Bike riders must get frustrated at times by walkers who, sometimes with strollers or small children and/or dogs, take up the whole trail and seem clueless about bike traffic. Walkers, I know, get frustrated when bikers come upon them from behind and give no warning (thanks to those who ring a bell and/or shout out “on your left”).

Why the big deal? A $10 million verdict was recently reached for an accident between a pair of walkers and a couple riding a tandem bike. It was reported in the Sacramento Bee that the rules of the American River Parkway are that walkers should walk on the left, so as to face oncoming bike traffic. The young couple walking the trail got confused and got in the way of the tandem ... it might seem silly to sue over such an accident, but the injuries were serious and lasting.

So what are the rules of the road for the Sutter Bike Trail?

 We don’t know of any posted rules; nor do we find any online. It’s a fairly wide and straight trail, smoothly paved and with dirt shoulders that make it easy to get out of the way ... if you’re aware you’re in the way. Common sense should suffice; but just know that serious smashups can occur even on biking/hiking trails. 

If you’re looking for a handy trail that gets you out of town, by the way, this is a good one (as long as you’re not looking for elevation -- it’s about as flat, smooth and straight as it could get). The five-mile trail runs the route of the former Sacramento Northern Railroad, from Hooper Road in Yuba City to Acacia Road in Sutter. It’s not a big hiking challenge, but it’s a great walk, run or ride. You get instantly out into the countryside, surrounded by orchards and rice fields and have a great view of the buttes.


Thumbs Up: Representatives of the Yuba City Downtown Business Association recently reported they  increased the profitability of events by 50 percent this last year. Sandee Drown, president of the business association, said that with that profit, they spent some money sprucing up the downtown.

Downtown Yuba City is a pleasant place to be. Keep up the good work.


Thumbs Down: We were sorry to see those rankings published recently that put the Yuba-Sutter area at No. 17 for the highest rate of car thefts. 

We did appreciate the tip by Sutter County Undersheriff Scott Smallwood encouraging car owners to get into the habit of checking to make sure their vehicles are secured at the same time each night. Later in the evening ... maybe when you check to make sure your house doors are locked ... press the lock button on your key fob (don’t press the unlock button by mistake, like someone we know does now and then.)


Thumbs Down: In these fine-weather days we’ve been having, we too easily forget: fire season doesn’t end on a specific date ... it ends when rainy season begins.


Thumbs Up: It was announced last week that the bankruptcy court had extended the deadline until Dec. 31 for people to file claims against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for fire losses caused by the company.

It’s a bankruptcy process and they need to work things through the court in a somewhat expedient manner. But people who have lost everything may need a while to pull together their resources and come to the conclusion that a claim should be filed. Give them as much time as possible.

Anyone who suffered loss or injury due to a fire before Jan. 29, 2019, can file a claim as part of the company’s Chapter 11 process. Check out Or talk to a lawyer. A PGE claim service center is at 231 D Street in Marysville.


Ugh: I was on the sofa, next to my wife, who was eating dinner while typing on her phone. I heard my  phone ringing in the kitchen, where I was charging it. I went to check. The message, from my wife, read: “Bring the salt when you come back.”

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