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A New Way to the North Bay

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: October 28, 2019

Are You Ready to Bike Across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge? We Are!

A bicycle and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has been in the works for decades. Throughout this project, Bike East Bay pushed for more: we won an additional $500,000 for bike lane and trail improvements to connect Richmond neighborhoods to the bridge, the waterfront, ferry service, and each other.

The lane barrier was installed in October and the new path opened on November 16, 2019! With the help of our social media followers, we’ve schemed up some pretty excellent adventures by bike. Catch them all, and we’ll catch you on the bridge.

Day Trip: Fairfax/Museum Day (30 miles, no big hills)

Fuel up for the day at Red Bay Coffee Richmond, just a block from BART. Head to the Richmond Greenway, then onto the newly connected trails to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge! Ride about 15 miles to Fairfax and the Marin Museum of Bicycling (open 11am-5pm, $10). Featuring gorgeous old cycles and revolutionary thinking in mountain bike design, step through history and see how changing times have influenced the beautiful machine.

For lunch after the museum, Bike East Bay member Dylan McReynolds recommends Gestalt Haus for sausages and craft beer. When you’re sated, head back across the bridge to the Rosie the Riveter Museum to learn about the WWII Home Front along the water in Richmond, recommended by Jake Jenz (15 miles, museum open 10am-5pm, free).

Round out the day by relaxing on the sun-baked patio at Armistice Brewing and discussing what you’ve learned over one of their creative brews.

Day Trip: Two and a Half Bridges! (45 miles, some hills)

Gather your crew at Bicycle Coffee in Oakland, then take the ferry to San Francisco (bikes welcome, no extra charge).

Pick up local goodies at the Ferry Building or fresh delights from the farmers market (Sat. 8am-2pm). Ride along the waterfront, with views of Alcatraz and Angel Island, five miles to the Golden Gate Bridge. Take the iconic span, then continue for 16 miles skirting the Bay, pausing for lunch at Super Duper Burgers in Mill Valley: organic food and homemade pickles recommended by Andy Manuel.

Then, on to your second bridge of the day, the new path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge with even more epic views of the Bay. From there, cruise down the Bay Trail all the way to Emeryville (10 miles). Take the path out onto the East Span of the Bay Bridge. You can ride down to Treasure Island and sip a beer from Woods while you envision the future path on the West Span, or call it a day at 2½ bridges and ride home.

Overnight Trip: China Camp (15-20 miles one way, low rolling hills)

A great spot for mountain biking and a more accessible campsite for those newer to camping by bike, China Camp State Park in San Rafael has group sites, family sites, and hiker-biker sites for $5/night if you’re feeling impulsive and want to arrive under your own power.

Pack light with room for supplies and take the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, stopping for groceries at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods in San Rafael.

Set up camp among the oaks, and store your food so raccoons can’t get it! Then explore trails on foot or by mountain bike. Plus, you can wade or swim in one of the warmest parts of the Bay at the historic Chinese shrimp fishing village, or just relax around your campfire (wood available for purchase).

Two-Night Mini-Tour: China Camp & Samuel P. Taylor

Want to take your weekend even further? Make it a mini-tour! From China Camp, head to Samuel P. Taylor State Park for a second night of adventure.

On your way out of China Camp, stop by Sol Food in downtown San Rafael (recommended by DC Carr and Evan Tschuy) for Puerto Rican food that’s worth the wait. Camp in the redwoods at Samuel P. Taylor State Park (hiker-biker sites available), then tour local industry with a visit to the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company (recommended by Martin) and oysters on Tomales Bay.

Hiking, beaches, and quirky Marin secret spots abound if you don’t mind tackling some big hills — plan your own route and see what treasures you uncover. End your tour with a victory ride home across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

Let us know how you’ll use the bridge! Send us your stories at: [email protected]

This article is part of RideOn, Bike East Bay’s member magazine. Want to join the movement? Become a member or donate today!

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