Hope I don't sound flip, but please ride BART to Fremont. The whole trip is going to be boring, traffic choked and horrendous. Get Krebs bicycle map of the Bay Area, and follow its advice. It's at nearly every LBS in the Bay Area. A nice, but very indirect route if you must ride is to take transit to Livermore, then ride the Mines-Mt. Hamilton route into San Jose. It;s a serious undertaking. I'd plan a full, ambitious day.
Not to bang the drum too hard, but please don't begin a trip in California riding through some of the worst traffic-choked sprawl outside of the L.A. basin.
I'd suggest taking Bart to Daly City, hop on Skyline Blvd and take it all the way to Saratoga, and then there are plenty of safe options to ride into San Jose. Skyline is a very scenic and safe ride. Also, there's a 10 mile bike path along this route called "Tom Sawyer rec path". It's great!
You can take the wonderful Bay Trail almost all of the way, and some of the most spectacular stretches are in San Leandro, Hayward, and Fremont.
Is that trail hard to follow? That is, I see that there are lots of gaps in it and I worry about getting confused. I'm not too familiar with the East Bay.
Originally Posted by Takara
About a month ago, I rode from Berkeley to downtown San Jose and took 14th/International/Mission almost the entire way, much of which was unpleasant, high-speed, narrow shoulder. Seriously not enjoyable for miles and miles.
Unless you want to ride up through the east hills (as another poster suggests--ambitious but probably beautiful), I'd suggest hopping on transit for a chunk of it.
It's hard to follow the first time, and there are gaps, but it's really worth giving the trail a try -- lots of it winds right along the margins of salt marsh, and the birds and the views are spectacular.
Originally Posted by 82times
The East Bay Bicycle Coalition will sell you a very useful map of bike trails and routes in this area.
Depending on exactly where from Oakland to where in San Jose:
Scenic Route: Get to Castro Valley maybe by connecting with Seven Hills and Redwood Rd from the north, take Castro Valley Blvd east (very reasonable with bike lane and not too much traffic) to Palomares Canyon. Palomares south (low traffic, very scenic) to Niles Canyon. Take Niles Canyon Road (Highway 84) east (considerable traffic depending on time of day and no shoulder for first few miles) past small town of Sunol to Calaveras Rd south. Ride past Sunol Regional Wilderness up Calaveras Rd past reservoir to Milpitas (scenic and isolated). Then go south from Milpitas on Piedmont and Old Piedmont, following the Krebs bicycle map until you need to drop down to the west to wherever your destination in San Jose is. You may need to resort to the Capitol Expressway to get south and west into SJ and while this will be unpleasant it is reasonably safe as long as you are cautious about the on and off ramps.
Express Way: A faster, more direct way (and reasonable if not as totally pleasant as the former) is to get onto Mission Blvd from Castro Valley by riding down Redwood Rd and A Street to the center of Hayward. There is a 0.5 to 1 mile section through Hayward that is difficult to cycle through but you can walk and ride on sidewalks at times. Then get on Mission (238) going south, turn west at S. Grimmer to Warm Springs, then south on Warm Springs. Note: The suggestion to ride BART would get you into the Warm Springs region without the difficult Hayward section. Not sure what to do south of Calaveras if you go this route since I have always come in from the east from the Calaveras Reservoir and taken Piedmont as described above. The Krebs map shows routes into northern and central San Jose but I have not done these.
Almost all I have described is a bike route, rural road and/or has bike lanes except as noted. As one approaches the heart of central San Jose it will be recognized that one is in an intensely urban area (but you know that coming from OAK).
Get the Krebs "South San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay Areas Bicycle Touring Map" as it shows all of this and I have found it to be generally reliable. (But take a compass 'cause sometimes streets are renamed.)
Has this ride come off yet? Kind of curious as to the outcome.
I've ridden this in reverse, and I would say go on Redwood Rd. It's fun.
Can you please give some details on your route? I am planning something similar and am particularly interested in your route south of Fremont.
Originally Posted by iain.dalton
I went from South San Jose to Berkeley. The most interesting part of my route was Redwood Rd. I hugged the hills, instead of the bay, so it was different from the routes others have posted. I went on Capitol Expy/Ave, then Milpitas Blvd, then Warm Springs Blvd, then Mission Blvd, then Redwood Rd.
I simply used Google Maps to plot my route. Here it is: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...h&ie=UTF8&z=10 . I'm sure there's a more scenic route south of Fremont.
I would suggest looking at one of the many GPS forums. I have accounts on several of them, where I have posted dozens of rides, and I keep discovering new sites for GPSers. These are forums and websites where people share their rides.
There are several others, but these are the ones I have used. I like gpsies.com search feature the best, but they are basically a German site, and most of their rides are in Europe.
BART to the other side. Skyline is a nice ride. In general, that side of the bay is a lot more pleasant, especially if you stay up in the hills.
Originally Posted by MichelleMachete
Another option is to bike over the Dumbarton Bridge. Some people like it; others don't. You could try it and see....