For anyone who enjoys riding a bike, the East Bay has something for everyone. From the gentle, level streets and paved paths in Alameda to the steep challenging road rides available in Oakland and Berkeley, there is no shortage of places to ride. But I think one of the best things about living in the East Bay is the trail riding. Oakland has a huge variety of trails for mountain biking and gravel rides, some gentle and gently rolling and others for the hard-core cyclists. Most offer beautiful shady sections, some single-track mixed with fire roads, beautiful views in several directions, and lots of spots to stop and just enjoy your surroundings.
In Oakland alone, we have Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Joaquin Miller Park, Anthony Chabot Regional Park, and Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, plus smaller sections of trails scattered throughout town. There are literally hundreds of miles of trails to choose from, and you can usually pick up a map at the park entrances. However, if you are new to mountain biking, I would ask around for recommended trails—many of them are deceptively hilly and challenging! Local bike stores are also a great place to get advice on trail riding. There are also lots of great books and websites that offer suggestions, depending on your experience and preferred level of challenge.
My whole family has been riding the Oakland/East Bay trails for 15+ years and never get tired of it! You’ll see huge redwoods, babbling brooks (in Spring at least!), wildflowers, banana slugs, people walking their dogs or hiking, views of Mount Diablo or the Bay, and so much more. I always like to tell people I live in a very urban area but within 10 minutes, I can be in the forest, on beautiful, peaceful trails surrounded by huge Redwoods, fragrant Bay trees, intricate Live Oak trees and feel like I’ve really ‘gotten away’ from City life for a minute—without having to leave town. —Laura O’Hare