San Francisco Bay Area's best bike routes 

Here’s your get-started guide to two-wheeled adventure

Golden Gate Park biking

Biking Golden Gate Park is better when the roads are closed

Max Nathan / Getty Images

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NORTH BAY

  • Ride: Start in San Rafael and zip east to the new car-free Cal Park Hill Tunnel, a converted freight-train track, as it leads you to the Tiburon Loop, one of the most scenic rides in the Bay Area. Try to keep your eyes off Richardson Bay and Angel Island long enough to spot deer, wild turkeys, and the hilltop mansions along Paradise Drive. 22-mile route; tinyurl.com/tiburon-loop  
  • Refuel: We’re down with any brewpub that decorates its digs with hanging bike frames. In Larkspur, the Marin Brewing Co.’s sunny patio and bold, citrusy IPAs just seal the deal. marinbrewing.com
  • Gear up: San Rafael’s Summit Bicycles claims Marin’s largest selection of rentals, from $2,500 custom-tuned suspension bikes to sleek road racers. From $30/day; summitmarin.com

SAN FRANCISCO

  • Ride: The city closes off the eastern half of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to cars on Sundays, allowing for traffic-free pedaling past the park’s greatest hits—the Conservatory of Flowers, de Young Museum, manmade waterfalls. 2 miles closed to cars; sfrecpark.org
  •  Refuel: At NoPa’s Mojo Bicycle Cafe, hirsute mechanics will tune up your ride while you hit the back garden and throw down the Bird, a lime- and chipotle-marinated chicken sandwich with avocado and Swiss cheese. mojobicyclecafe.com  
  • Gear up: The folks behind the spokes at Avenue Cyclery keep their rentals in tip-top shape. Pick up a Trek hybrid and spin 50 yards to Golden Gate Park. From $30/day; avenuecyclery.com

EAST BAY

  •  Ride: From Oakland’s Jack London Square, cruise along the wide, flat San Francisco Bay Trail until you reach Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, with its commanding views of the bay. Then head north on landscaped Mandela Parkway to the Berkeley shore for glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge. 18.4 miles round-trip; baytrail.org
  • Refuel: Take advantage of the bike parking in the courtyard of Berkeley’s Local 123 before heading inside for frothy ales from Drake’s Brewing. Order the Walrus, a crunchy roll crammed with salami and housemade herb butter. local123cafe.com
  •  Gear up: In Oakland’s Jack London Square, Bay Area Bikes can get you outfitted with everything from kid-friendly two-wheelers to speedy road bicycles. From $25/day; bayareabikes.com

PENINSULA

  •  Ride: Begin at the southern end of Cañada Road, in Woodside, and head north. The final 1.2 miles are closed to traffic every Sunday and take in jaw-dropping views of rolling hills and lush Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir. 14.6 miles round-trip; chainreaction.com/canada_road.htm
  • Refuel: The South West Tri-Tip sandwich with pepper-jack cheese at Woodside’s Roberts Market is legendary. robertsmarket.com
  • Gear up: The guys at Chain Reaction Bicycles in Redwood City can size you up to the right frame and are great with local route recommendations. Closed Sun; chainreaction.com

 

 

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