5 great bike rides in Oakland
on January 26, 2011
Oakland is considered a great place to ride bikes—it has temperate weather, flat streets, hills and a diverse array of scenery. After Oakland North did a story on 10 great walks in Oakland, we thought a story on five great bike rides in Oakland would be helpful, too.
All rides we picked originate at City Hall on 14th Street and Broadway, but you don’t necessarily need to start there—they can be taken from anywhere in Oakland. Each route dips in and out of Oakland’s surrounding cities, such as Berkeley, Piedmont, Alameda and Emeryville. We chose a total of three flat rides and two hill rides and several variations can be made for each ride—shortening or combining routes to make an extra long ride. The routes are all based on good scenery, low traffic and using as many designated bikeways as possible. Look at the photo slide-show to see a photo from each route as well as a route map. Below are links to interactive maps for all the routes which show mile markers, distance totals and the exact trails to take to follow each route.
Embarcadero to Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline –17 miles
Port of Oakland–8 to 13 miles
Montclair to Skyline–20 miles
Old tunnel road–17 miles
Bay trail through Emeryville–6 to 30 miles
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This is cool — at approximately the 6.8 mile mark on the Old Tunnel Road route (approximately directly over the real tunnel) is a turn-about with a monument marking the entrance to the entrance to the original Caldecott, then known as the “Kennedy Tunnel” or “Broadway Tunnel” and opened in 1903 to one-way traffic.
In between 3 and 4 on the Montclair/Skyline route is pretty punishing. I’d recommend going Broadway all the way to lake Temescal and then cutting through, or going out Moraga Ave instead.
Taking Adeline into the port seems a lot nicer than going under the freeway on 7th to me.
I’ve not been able to find the trail between 5 and 6 on the Embarcadero/Shorline route. I bike that way a lot on my way to Hayward, and I wind up going left on Lesser and out Oakport Street and picking up the trail at the slough.
I agree with Doug. Taking Broadway Terrace to get to Tunnel is a Cat 2 climb. If you’re looking for a relaxing/moderate ride, look elsewhere unless you don’t mind walking your bike up hill.
On the other hand, if you’re a two wheeled masochist that loves nothing more than conquering tough climbs (WOO!) start your stop watch as soon as you turn onto Brdwy Terrace and try to beat your old time 😉
Nice post. A great way to connect rides 1 and 5 is to take Mandela Pkwy to Third, which is featured on the Port of Oakland ride. Thank you city of Oakland for opening the ‘Third Curve’ a couple years back. And a shout out to the city of Emeryville for reducing Shellmound to one lane of traffic each way on the overpass. It now feels much safer on the overpass while pulling a bike trailer full of kids; it used to be pretty hairy even without a trailer
Thanks everyone for your great comments and tips! If you have any additional rides you’d like to suggest, feel free to add them here in the comment section.
In Emeryville, Powell St. under I-80 is really hairy for bikes due to the double turn lanes heading towards the freeway. I end up riding in the sidewalk. But once you get to the shoreline the views are amazing. It’s one of my favorite rides.
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