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TOP TEN BIKE RIDES IN CALIFORNIA



My favorite locations to ride a bike today and someday soon!




San Francisco Bay Bridge West Span Path


When the new Bay Bridge East Span opened in 2013, pedestrians and bicyclists fell in love with the 15-foot-wide shared-use pathway that stretched initially from Oakland to the iconic single tower and, since 2016, all the way to Yerba Buena Island.


BATA, Caltrans and a multidisciplinary team of engineers and consultants are currently studying whether we can eventually extend this path—enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors every year —around the island and across the West Span of the bridge into downtown San Francisco.


In addition to providing a continuous bike/pedestrian route from Oakland to San Francisco, helping to ease commute traffic as people switch from cars to bicycles, the project also would improve access to the West Span for Caltrans maintenance crews, thereby reducing the need for lane closures on the historic bridge.


Davis Bike Loop


The Davis Bike Loop is an example of how including biking and walking into a city’s design can enhance the community. The approximately 12-mile route connects ten interconnecting parklands known as The Greenbelt in the college town of Davis. The path is suitable for walking, jogging or bicycling through the parks and quiet residential neighborhoods.

The route was designed to be safe and pleasant, but not fast, and easy enough to navigate that parents can send their kids across town for a music lesson on a safe, easy-to-follow route. It is suitable for casual bicyclists, who don't mind going slow and yielding to pedestrians, young riders, old riders, and new riders. It is also great for experienced riders who want a slow, comfortable ride on a sunny day. It connects the town regions and creates a sense of community.


Sacramento, American River Bike and Johnny Cash Bike Trails


The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail (or American River Bike Trail) is a 32-mile long paved multi-use pathway that runs between the confluence of the Sacramento River with the American River, just north of downtown Sacramento, California, and Beal's Point at Folsom Lake, north of Folsom. Not only is it a major recreational destination that goes through oak forests and grasslands, but it’s an artery for commuter cyclists, helping reduce fossil fuel usage and air pollution. The trail is considered one of the longest paved purpose-built bike trails in the country.


Oakland Slow Streets


The best antidote to sitting at home worrying about the pandemic is to get outside and get some exercise. Slow Streets in Oakland turned neighborhood streets into safe zones for kids and adults to play while keeping safely socially distanced. They also served as crucial connections for essential workers to commute safely by bike. Californians rediscovered how joyful their neighborhoods could be once speeding cars were taken out of the equation. We suspect they will not want to go back to normal.



San Francisco, Market Street


The Better Market Street project in San Francisco’s business district, is an exciting vision of how repair and replacement of old infrastructure can lead to a renaissance of an area.

When the 2.2 mile-long project is complete, Market Street—San Francisco’s busiest pedestrian street, bicycle thoroughfare, and transit corridor—will be transformed. A renewed Market Street, designed for cyclists and pedestrians to be key users, will anchor neighborhoods, link public open spaces, and connect the city's Civic Center with cultural, social, convention, tourism, and retail destinations, as well as Salesforce Transit Center, the regional transit hub. It will be a place to stop and spend time, meet friends, watch people while sitting in a café, or just stroll and take in the scene.


San Rafael Bridge


The bicycle and pedestrian path across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opened on November 16, 2019, enabling cyclists and pedestrians to take in breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay while traveling on the upper deck of the bridge between Marin and Contra Costa counties. With the opening of the new six-mile path, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is now part of the San Francisco Bay Trail, connecting the Bay Trail between Contra Costa and Marin counties, and adding another link to the future 500-mile bicycle and hiking network benefits for residents in both counties.



Shasta Bike Depot and the Downtown Connector Loop Trail


Take a bike tour and experience how active transportation and clean mobility are being employed in a transformative way to build prosperity for all people in Redding and Shasta County. In recent years local agencies and community organizations have come together like never before with remarkable public-private-nonprofit collaboration. The scope of new projects is transformational, deliberately centered-in and serving low-income people in a designated Opportunity Zone. The coordinated investments include two of the state’s largest Sustainable Community grants with complimentary affordable housing, active transportation, transit, and urban greening improvements, funded by California Climate Investments.


Shasta Bike Depot serves as a bike station, offers trail tourism activities and will soon offer Redding Bikeshare with a full fleet of electric bikes. The Depot is located adjacent to the Redding Transit Center, soon to be connected to the Sacramento Transit Center and beyond with clean, electric long-range buses. The Depot is on a protected urban trail loop that seeks to connect more than 68,000 people in and out of Downtown walking and biking. This part urban-trail, part river-trail is also the backbone of the Redding Cultural District, featuring a Calatrava-designed Sundial Bridge enticing visitors and residents to walk and bike over the Sacramento River.


The California Central Valley Bikeways Project


This project will facilitate a safe and equitable bike network system in California’s Central Valley. It will provide easy access to future high speed rail stations and further the goal of providing sustainable mobility throughout the state. Although it’s still in the planning stages, the promise to connect rural areas to urban transportation hubs is exciting..


San Diego Bike Share Program


Hopping on a bike in San Diego will get easier in 2021. In a multi-year agreement, Discover credit card company will sponsor program operator DecoBike in a program that will transform the city’s public bike share program. Expect a new mobile app, an enhanced membership fob, and, most important, more bikes!


“The actions we take today will make a big difference tomorrow,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “Discover’s support of the San Diego bike share program will enable improvements to the system and allow for its continued expansion. Increasing commuter bicycling opportunities is an important goal of our Climate Action Plan. Also, the concentration of bike share locations in the urban core will play an important part in the Downtown Mobility Plan, which will enhance bicycle safety and increase ridership.”


Napa Vine Trail


The Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition is a grass-roots nonprofit with a vision to build a walking/biking trail system to connect the entire Napa Valley--physically, artistically, and culturally. The goal is to build 47 safe and scenic miles of level, paved, family-friendly, dog-friendly, free-access Class I trail, stretching from the Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga.