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  1. #1
    Senior Member powpow's Avatar
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    Vallejo to Novato on Hwy. 37?

    I was wondering what this stretch is like (shoulder width, traffic etc.). I know it's a heavily used regional highway, but it seems the only good way to traverse the North Bay. I'm going from the East Bay to Marin on road bike. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Type 1 Racer rydaddy's Avatar
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    Hwy 37... if I recall it used to be nicknamed "blood alley". That was before they added the center median. I'm pretty sure biking is not allowed on this stretch of highway, and rightly so. Besides, the rumble strips will drive you nuts.

    You'll most likely have to take a big detour into napa, to sonoma and then into marin county.

    Edit: I'd recommend you ride from east bay to a ferry or take bart to the city and ride across the golden gate.

  3. #3
    New! With Self Loathing! scottmorrison99's Avatar
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    rydaddy, we still call it Blood Alley. Where the center divider is out of Vallejo it is 1 lane each way. I commute by bike and regularly ride major roads and highways where allowed; but Highway 37 on a bike? Suicide. I don't like to drive that section of road.

  4. #4
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydaddy

    Edit: I'd recommend you ride from east bay to a ferry or take bart to the city and ride across the golden gate.
    I think that's what I'd do. The GG Bridge is such a great ride anyway.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  5. #5
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    All these scary comments aside, Hwy. 37 was part of the recent Bay In A Day double century route. And I rode the entire length from Novato to Vallejo (the opposite direction) ... in the dark (with lighting, of course). A couple of bridges had no shoulder, and much of the shoulder had those nasty rumble strips in part of it -- meaning I had to stay way right, and there was a bit of debris as well.

    But all of us made it (some of us with flats, though). The road *is* bicycle-legal from Mare Island westward. And actually, I think the very early hour of the day was probably safer, because traffic was extremely light.

    If you want to head up through Napa, there are other ways to get across the north end of the bay. But if you want the shortest route, Hwy. 37 is at least among the somewhat viable (if a bit scary) possibilties.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rushfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kniwt
    All these scary comments aside, Hwy. 37 was part of the recent Bay In A Day double century route. And I rode the entire length from Novato to Vallejo (the opposite direction) ... in the dark (with lighting, of course). A couple of bridges had no shoulder, and much of the shoulder had those nasty rumble strips in part of it -- meaning I had to stay way right, and there was a bit of debris as well.

    But all of us made it (some of us with flats, though). The road *is* bicycle-legal from Mare Island westward. And actually, I think the very early hour of the day was probably safer, because traffic was extremely light.

    If you want to head up through Napa, there are other ways to get across the north end of the bay. But if you want the shortest route, Hwy. 37 is at least among the somewhat viable (if a bit scary) possibilties.
    The Solano County official bike map confirms the legality, but not a route I would take. Don't take Highway 12, either-way too busy, way too narrow.

  7. #7
    Pretty sure... nollij's Avatar
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    Totally Legal

    Kniwt is right, it is legal from Novato to Mare Island at least. It is probably the fastest way to ride across the bay from Novato since you CAN'T ride on the SR/Richmond bridge. If you were riding for pleasure, this probably isn't the way you'd go, but for commuting, it's short length makes it very appealing. The "scary" factor depends on the time of day. The rumble strips are a pain to avoid, but they also give you a little more protection against cars veering into you, plus they give you a audible warning if someone's swerving towards you. If you travel this route early mornings or late evenings, there's not too much traffic. Just be WELL lit and keep you wits about you; if you hear a car on the rumble strips, be ready to MOVE. I don't go to Vallejo or the east bay that often, so I've not had the opportunity to ride this route yet, but I'll post here when I do and let cha know how it went.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I have just posted an alternate to Highway 37 on www.bikely.com under the name Novato/vallejo By-pass. Basically it takes you north to Highway 12, across southern Sonoma and Napa counties, thru the city of Napa and south back towards Mare Island.
    This space open

  9. #9
    Pretty sure... nollij's Avatar
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    Can't find the bikely route

    Ken, I looked for your route on Bikely, and couldn't find it: will you post it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    I have just posted an alternate to Highway 37 on www.bikely.com under the name Novato/vallejo By-pass. Basically it takes you north to Highway 12, across southern Sonoma and Napa counties, thru the city of Napa and south back towards Mare Island.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    My error. I had not hit the finished button when I posted it. Try again under Novato or Vallejo or Novato/vallejo. If you want to continue south you are headed towards the bike route over the Carquinez Bridge and the east bay. If you are in a hurry stay on Hwy 12 between Napa and south Sonoma county, skipping the back roads I take through the Carneros area.
    This space open

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