Best Bay Area Bike Rides for Kids
Bicycle Garage owner Fred Cheng and CentriPEDAL Bikes owner James Rardin both recommend the Alameda Creek Trail in Fremont for families. “It’s 13 miles each way with no traffic and no stop signs,” says Cheng. “It’s very scenic and goes right to the wildlife center and toward the water.”
“Around here, it’s really the best place to ride for families,” adds Rardin, who especially likes this trail for the destination as well as the ride. “At the bay, the trail connects into Coyote Hills Regional Park, which is a great destination for picnicking, hiking and bird-watching.“
Gene Oh, owner of Alameda Bicycle, recommends the area’s segments of the San Francisco Bay Trail for family rides. “It goes around the perimeter of Alameda, and it’s super fun because you get a ton of beachside riding and go through bird sanctuaries,” says Oh. “There are even cool things like a wooden bumpy bridge and big bike bridge. It’s a lot of fun.”
“My favorite is to ride through Golden Gate Park to the Presidio and over the (Golden Gate) Bridge to Sausalito,” says Moshe Patil, owner of Everybody Bikes in San Francisco. The 8.3-mile ride meanders through San Francisco’s beautiful park space with plenty of places to stop along the way for a break or a bite. “It spans most of the city’s scenic natural resources and gives you great views over the bridge,” says Patil.
“Leaving from downtown Palo Alto, a great family-friendly option is a tour of Stanford,” recommends Jeff Selzer, owner of Palo Alto Bicycles. “They’ve got really good cycling infrastructure on Stanford’s campus, and there are museums and a musical center that you can visit. It’s different and unique. You can ride however much of the campus you want, and in total it’s about a 6- to 7-mile loop, so for a family, it’s a reasonable outing for a weekend.”
Another local favorite is Cañada Road Sundays. Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., four miles of Cañada Road are closed to car traffic and bikes rule. “It’s a place you can go with your family to bike that is safe and totally isolated from cars,” says Selzer. “It’s rolling but relatively flat, and you can ride right down the middle of the street.”
Prepare yourself by checking off each item on the “Family Biking Checklist” to make sure you’re equipped for each family member with:
•Correct size bike (See sidebar.)
•Bike tires inflated
•Correct size helmet
•1 or 2 water bottles filled with fresh water
Now that you’ve got your gear in order, download the free San Francisco Bikes, East Bay Bikes or Silicon Valley Bikes app, available for iOs and Android phones, to get the details on family-friendly trails. Don’t forget to snap a photo of your two-wheeled summer riding adventures. Submit it, along with a short description, your name and your email address, to email@example.com to be added to My City Bikes’ Summer Cycle Photo Album for a chance to win new helmets for the whole family.
Tina Schmidt is a communications assistant with My City Bikes, a national public health campaign for beginner cyclists to benefit communities across the United States by providing a simple mobile resource to inspire and facilitate cycling. Whether for fun, fitness or transportation, My City Bikes – along with its network of beginner-friendly bike shops and local municipal governments – is a definitive guide to cycling opportunities in communities nationwide. Visit www.mycitybikes.org.