The Bay Area is a perfect place for cycling. We have rideable weather all year, a vast array of terrain and scenery, and great cycling roads all over the place. We also have a transit system that allows bikes; the combination of BART and bike can get you to all of the best places to ride, car-free.
I organize recreational rides for friends of different backgrounds, ranging from serious racing cyclists to people doing fun rides for the first time in their adult lives. Each of the rides listed here starts at a BART station, and most have options for beginning, intermediate, and advanced cyclists. The routes start off together, so groups can ride together and peel off for their own ride when appropriate. You can do them in the order presented here, which is a good training ride series, or just do the ones that look fun. Ride Bike!
|Happy Valley||Orinda||Easy: 10.5km|
|Features Papa Bear and the long Pumphouse Hill descent|
|Moraga, Canyon, Pinehurst||Orinda||Easy: 17km|
|Pinehurst is one of the signature East Bay biking roads|
|Sunol, Palomares||West Dublin/ Pleasanton||Easy: 29km|
|Palomares is a beautiful ride; there are a couple of wineries with tasting rooms|
|The Three Bears||Orinda||Easy: 15km|
|Probably the most popular East Bay road for serious cyclists|
|Mount Diablo||Castro Valley||Easy: 32km|
|Almost 20km straight uphill, with a descent to match|
|Morgan Territory||Concord||Int: 67km|
|Hard to beat this one; spectacular rural riding east of Diablo|
|The Tiburon Loop||Daly City||Easy: 27km|
|One of the most popular loops in the Bay Area, this route adds a couple of fun roads in the Marin Headlands|
|Mount Tamalpais||Daly City||Easy: 27km|
|Beautiful riding through Marin County and San Francisco. Advanced riders can skip the Marin Headlands if they want something a bit easier|
|The Cheese Factory Century||Daly City||Easy: 27km|
|A nice tour of east and central Marin, with a picnic option at the Marin French Cheese Company|
|The Berkeley Hills Death Ride||Berkeley||Int: 67km|
|Yes, the longer ride is easier; the short ride goes up a series of ridiculously steep climbs|
|Tunitas Creek Road||Colma||Adv: 99.5km||Adv: 1210m||Tunitas Creek Road is one of the best cycling roads anywhere, and Highway 1 is fun in its own way|
|The East Bay Dead End Tour||Castro Valley||Easy: 26km|
|A tour of six different dead end roads in the East Bay; unusual riding with very little traffic|
|Mount Hamilton||East Dublin/ Pleasanton||Adv: 131km|
|Not really intermediate/ advanced; more like advanced/ masochistic. A one-of-a-kind ride in the middle of nowhere|
I owe a debt to Grant Petersen (now of Rivendell Cycles) for his old Roads to Ride books. Technology has made them less relevant, but for many years they were the best way to find great rides in the Bay Area.
I’ve shamelessly stolen the “Ride Bike!” exclamation from Jobst Brandt (although he sort of stole it from Fausto Coppi).