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Riding in the Bay area

Old 02-07-04, 07:40 PM
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gqsmoothie
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Riding in the Bay area

I am thinking of moving to the Bay area, Berkeley to be exact. When I was there a year ago I was thinking that it would be tough riding up some of the hills around there on a mtb. What do you Bay area cyclist think? And as far as safety? Can you bring you bike on BART? Can you ride across the toll bridges? Do you have to pay to ride across them??

Any thoughts, tips, and/or suggestions would be helpful

Thanx

GWQ
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Old 02-07-04, 10:02 PM
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The Carquinez Bridge has a new way for bikes/pedestrians to cross. Advocates are still working on the Bay Bridge and San Rafael Bridge. My club frequently rides across the Dumbarton Bridge in the south Bay. To cross the Dumbarton you ride through the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge on the old road, then go over on the pedestrian path. No charge. You can ride your MTB up any of the steep hills. We ride road bikes up them on the roads all the time. A club you might check out in the Berkeley area is the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. Great club. You can bring bikes on BART, but only certain trains, and I think the last car. When the pros race in San Francisco in September, the entire early train is filled with bikes.
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Old 02-08-04, 12:14 AM
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Ommmm

With traffic and parking what they are, a bike is often the fastest way around. But to gain respect in the nation's liberal mecca, insist that the only reasons you ride are for the environment and to be more connected to your neighborhood. Or to be more a part of the cycle of life!
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Old 02-09-04, 11:33 AM
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I was an undergrad at Cal in the 80s. I rode my trusty Schwinn World Sport to class everyday and occasionally I'd ride up Strawberry Canyon and to Tilden Park. Even if you have a car, which I did, you'd still want to ride your bike for short trips. Parking is so bad that once you find a spot, you don't want to move your car unless absolutely necessary.

Go Bears!
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Old 02-10-04, 02:18 AM
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The Bay Area is a great area to ride your bike, whether it's a hybrid, moutain bike, road bike, recumbent or unicycle (I've seen all of the above). I'm in San Francisco and don't ride in the East Bay much as I ride mostly in Marin, but I know there are terrific rides in the Berkeley area -- the East Bay hills are great for training and after a few months you'll have no problems riding any hills anywhere.

Berkeley is a very bike-friendly city, as is the whole Bay Area. But as in any city anywhere, once in a while you're going to encounter bad drivers and anti-bike motorists. I've never felt unsafe riding anywhere in the city, though. And a good thing is, there are bike lanes everywhere.

You can take your bike on BART, except for the first car. And it's best to avoid BART during morning and evening rush hours. You won't really need to take BART unless you're planning to ride in the North Bay like Marin and you're going through San Francisco.

And there's no toll for cyclists. :-)

-Kevin
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Old 02-16-04, 07:23 PM
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Biking in the Bay is pure delight. The hills are great for a workout and views. They feature great road rides and lots of dirt trails in Tilden, Redwood, etc. Running your errands around Berkeley is no problem with an abundunce of bike lanes, bike facilities and designated 'bike friendly' streets that feature lots of 'traffic-calming' devices for motorvehicles that give the advantage to cyclists. Staying in the 'flats' of Berkeley, you could easily live on a single, three, or seven speed. See www.momovelo.com for inspiration.

As far as getting into SF, Bart does not allow bikes under the bay in morning and evening rush hours. AC Transit buses are ALL equipped with bike racks and they have excellent Transbay service into SF. Lastly the most cost-effective, schedule deficient method into the city with your bike is a shuttle run by CalTrans from the macarthur bart station. (I use this service to get into SF and then bike commute through SF, across the golden gate into Marin every day. An incredible commute!)

There are also two great advocacy organizations in the East Bay. The East Bay Bike Coalition (www.ebbc.org) and the Bicycle Friendly Berkeley Coalition (www.bfbc.org).

Come on out, the weather is great (when it's not raining.)
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Old 02-18-04, 12:02 AM
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You can bring bikes onto BART not during rush hours or when a car is not crowded (they tell you to use your own judgement, here). Actually, quite a lot of people do bring their bikes onto BART and AC Transit. Pretty much all of the buses have bike racks, as The Wanderer said.

Berkeley itself is a very bike-friendly town. Some parts of Oakland and SF may not be very suitable for biking, but most of Berkeley and the other cities are good for bicycle commuting, and a lot of people do bike around.

If you want to ride trails, Redwood Regional Park and Tilden have some great trails. Up around Half-Moon Bay and that rural San Francisco area, there's some great singletrack and trails, too, but it's about an hour or longer drive from Berkeley. Really, it's trails galore around here.

Um...hills probably won't be a problem in the Bay Area. Unless you live up in them, you can get around them pretty easily and quickly. Of course, if you're looking for some hills to get a workout on, there's plenty. I've taken advantage of the Bay Area's many hills and it really gives you a great workout. The trails have a lot of hills, too, especially Redwood.
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Old 06-24-04, 09:02 PM
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No bikes on the first BART car. Tons of bike thieves -- probably similar to any other campus, but the police seem to be inept. Six bikes were stolen from behind my apartment, and the police didn't even bother taking a description of the thief. I guess its very routine, so watch out. The hills are a bit insane to go up, but more insane to go down.
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Old 06-25-04, 06:56 PM
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If you bike in the Bay Area, don't forget to visit Mt. Hamilton, our l'Alpe D'Huez.
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Old 06-25-04, 08:23 PM
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In Berkeley there are a few roads with purple signs that specifically designate them as "bicycle boulevards." Pretty nifty, I cant wait to try them out when I commute to class this fall. These streets basically end for cars via large cement barriers every few hundred feet so few cars travel on them, and when they do, they usually do so at slow speeds. The painted bicycle on the ground that you normally see when bike lanes begin take up the entire "real" lane on these streets

Also yes, beware the thieves. Don't even think about riding alone at night if you value your bike.
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Old 06-25-04, 10:41 PM
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It's a good idea to have a beater bike if you are going to leave it outside for any length of time. Keep your nice bike indoors unless you are riding it.

As for the hills, well you can see my subtitle.
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Old 06-27-04, 12:43 PM
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iceratt
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Originally Posted by Spider
It's a good idea to have a beater bike if you are going to leave it outside for any length of time.
Nice thing about living in Marin was that I wasn't too woried about anyone taking my $900 bike. Any self respecting thief wouldn't touch a bike that was devoid of titanium and composites, and costing at least twice that. A simple U lock around the frontwheel and frame was plenty, anytime and anywhere.
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Old 06-27-04, 09:59 PM
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My favorite thing about riding in the bay area was that you could do one way rides and take the BART back home. I did syline blvd in the East Bay alot. then cought the BART back to San Leandro. The Dumbarton Bridge was mentioned above, what is great down there is to ride out on the levees (sp??) that take you way out in the bay, on a warm, calm Sunday morning nothing is more pleasant than that. If you want to climb a hill, Mt. Diablo is a nice climb, it's an uphill slog for 10 miles or something, but at a doable grade, with the kicker at the very end, I'd ride there then BART back.

As for Dirt in the Region Parks you need a bell on your bike. I rode mostly in Chabot park with was a nice place.
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