Bay Area Bike Rides

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.

These routes are designed for riders 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 and ends at a BART station, focused on Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, with rides going through the East Bay, Marin County, and the Peninsula. Most have options for beginning, intermediate, and advanced cyclists, and 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 pick the ones that look fun. Ride Bike!

RouteStart atDistanceClimbComments
RouteStart atDistanceClimbComments
Happy ValleyOrinda10.5km/ 17km/ 39.5km100m/ 240m/ 620mFeatures Papa Bear and the long Pumphouse Hill descent
Moraga, Canyon, PinehurstOrinda17km/ 28km/ 50km100m/ 360m/ 550mPinehurst is one of the signature East Bay biking roads
Sunol, PalomaresWest Dublin/ Pleasanton29km/ 43km/ 77km50m/ 360m/ 980mPalomares is a beautiful ride; there are a couple of wineries with tasting rooms
The Three BearsOrinda15km/ 46km/ 56km100m/ 530m/ 881mProbably the most popular East Bay road for serious cyclists
Mount DiabloCastro Valley32km/ 55km/ 70km 220m/ 740m/ 1240mAlmost 20km straight uphill, with a descent to match
Morgan TerritoryConcord67km/ 109km800m/ 1160mHard to beat this one; spectacular rural riding east of Diablo
The Tiburon LoopDaly City27km/ 48km/ 89km150m/ 500m/ 770mOne of the most popular loops in the Bay Area, this route adds a couple of fun roads in the Marin Headlands
Mount TamalpaisDaly City27km/ 48km/ 105km150m/ 500m/ 1400mBeautiful riding through Marin County and San Francisco. Advanced riders can skip the Marin Headlands if they want something a bit easier
The Cheese Factory CenturyDaly City27km/ 78km/ 171km150m/ 488m/ 1120mA nice tour of east and central Marin, with a picnic option at the Marin French Cheese Company
The Berkeley Hills Death RideBerkeley55km/ 55km1570m/ 1550mThe stats are the same but the rides aren't; the Death Ride goes up a series of ridiculously steep climbs
Tunitas Creek RoadColma99.5km1210mTunitas Creek Road is one of the best cycling roads anywhere, and Highway 1 is fun in its own way
The East Bay Dead End TourCastro Valley26km/ 68km/ 120km180m/ 520m/ 1360mA tour of six different dead end roads in the East Bay; unusual riding with very little traffic
Mount HamiltonEast Dublin/ Pleasanton131km/ 175km1750m/ 2230mNot really intermediate/ advanced; more like advanced/ masochistic. A one-of-a-kind ride in the middle of nowhere

Acknowledgements

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).

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