(CBS SF) — The Bay Area is brimming with beautiful bike rides made for bonding with friends over stunning views, accelerated heart rates and picnic lunches.
Whichever direction you decide to veer, you’ll find plenty of world-class bike routes to pedal. We’ve narrowed it down to our five favorite.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: Parts of San Mateo County Pummeled with Heavy Rain, Flooding
Bike To Work Resources:
The Tiburon Loop
Also known as the Paradise Loop, this 38-mile route features a pleasant mix of nature and civility as cyclists glide through downtown Tiburon and follow paths that edge up against Richardson Bay with the Marin Headlands in the distance. The late actor Robin Williams was often spotted in cycling gear riding this route. Depending on your cycling level, there’s a variety of options, with the most advanced taking cyclists down a steep hill on Conzelman Road. There’s excellent bird, and sometimes whale, watching near the Point Bonita Lighthouse at Bird Island. For less experienced cyclists, or perhaps ones craving a more leisurely ride, the Sausalito ferry will take you and your bike back to San Francisco.
The Silverado Trail
Although there are designated bike lanes, traffic on the weekends can turn a lovely bike ride through Napa Valley into a maddening one. But take this route on the weekdays, and you’ll be king (or queen) of a road lined with lush wineries. Many people leave their cars at the Safeway parking lot on the southern end of the Trail and launch from there. You’ll want to bring a picnic along for this mostly flat ride that gives you time to re-set your palate as you travel between wineries.
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East Bay Bike Trail
Whether you start at Oakland’s Jack London Square or Richmond’s Rosie the Riveter museum, you can cruise along the car-free and flat San Francisco Bay Trail where sweeping views of the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline surround you at ever turn (fog-willing). Make a pit-stop at the Berkeley Marina to watch kite surfers glide through the air or enjoy a craft beer at Linden Street Brewery near Oakland’s Jack London Square.
Golden Gate Park
One of the most laid-back and easy rides, especially on weekend when the park closes to car traffic, start near the Haight-Ashbury and ride 4 miles until you reach Ocean Beach. The journey rather than the destination is emphasized in this bike route with plenty of pit stops from the de Young Musuem to Stow Lake where you can rent a row-boat by the hour. And nothing beats peeling socks off at the end to dip your feet in a brisk Pacific Ocean.
Cañada Road In Woodside
Incredible views of rolling hills and the Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir make this 14.6 mile round-trip ride a favorite for many cyclists in the area. The route starts at the southern end of Cañada Road and passes by Woodside’s Roberts Market, famous for its Tri-Tip sandwich with pepper-jack cheese.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Streets Flood in San Rafael, Mill Valley as Wild Storm Lashes Bay Area
Don’t forget, Bike To Work Day is coming up on Thursday, May 15.