The loop around Briones Regional Park takes off from Bicycle Coffee, nestled in Jack London Square just southwest of Chinatown in Oakland. This ride really takes you around the heart of what some would call East Bay.
Bicycle coffee is a great place for meeting up if you’re in the Oakland area. If you didn’t get a meal before you left the house, Bicycle Coffee serves pastries and other small breakfast meals to get you going. Beyond that, I do recommend bringing 50-100 carbs on this ride to sustain you through the duration of the route.
(Rating and link to the Strava route is located below)
I’ve been lucky enough to have good friends Sean Martin (@sean_eric_martin) and Kevin Mihovich (@kevlarisbulletproof) show me around the East Bay Hills as of late. I’m not well versed in the East Bay so it was really nice having these dudes show me around.
The cycling community is made up of many different characters and I can safely say that most cyclists are always willing to lend a hand if you really need it. But also keep the number rule of cycling in the back of your mind when interacting with new cycling friends… be self sufficient, and know when to ask for help.
Note: You do merge onto Interstate 24 after the biggest descent on this ride where you will be hugging the shoulder until you reach Camino Pablo. This section, called “Time Warp” moves fast, with the wind to your back and a nice down grade, you’ll be whizzing along the highway with 70-85mph auto traffic directly to your left (bring your eyewear). Be safe when merging through the exits and keep an eye out for debris. I have no photos of this section for a reason, there’s no room for risky moves here.
From Bicycle Coffee you will quickly get through Oakland via Broadway crossing over Interstate 24 and into the Berkeley Hills. The big climb is steady but long, covering about 8 miles and 1,400 feet mostly through the Berkeley neighborhoods.
The descent will dump you out onto Interstate 24, “Time Warp”, where you’ll be cruising at high-speeds past the Wilder Road exit and then exiting at Camino Pablo. Camino Pablo eventually links up with Bear Creak Road and loops you around Briones Regional Park.
After descending out of Briones you’ll encounter several climbs through Lafayette ranging from 5-17% grade with a portion of the last leg touching Redwood Regional Park, a calming grove of Redwood trees just east of Oakland.
We concluded our ride by picking up some bodily replenishments at Savemore Market along Park Blvd just outside of Central Oakland. All of the boys picked up sandwiches and were thoroughly satisfied by the price point and taste. If the market doesn’t satisfy the calling of your stomach there are plenty of other delis and restaurants within the vicinity that will get your energy levels back up to par.
The longer I live in San Francisco the more that I’m drawn to the calming roads of East Bay. Easily overlooked, the East Bay’s roads undoubtedly have just as much to offer as the roads of Marin, with weather that ultimately stays more consistent than the wind blown roads of Marin.
With that being said, the link to the route is below, be safe and enjoy the ride.
Link to Strava route with GPX for GPS users here
RATING : 9/10
This ride is fun, but it’s also extremely challenging. With such a big variation of neighborhood, access roads, and Interstate roads I have to rate this one a 9 out of 10. In addition there are several climbs that will test even the elite cyclists.
When riding this route remember to own the lane and make yourself visible. Keep both your back and front light on in order to increase your visibility.
And remember, go further, suffer more, that’s the only choice.