Our final installment in our journey around the bay area covers the “East Bay” area, with easy access from most cities east of the bay and north of the San Jose area. While stringing all of these into one day would be difficult, there are a few routes that make nice day trips on their own, offering several options if you’re looking for a shorter route to enjoy a beautiful afternoon.
A regular on my commute route, the east bay hills offer a variety of roads best taken on a weekday IMO. Weekends bring out a lot of tourists, riders, bicyclists and others into the hills, which makes the traffic and chaos a bit beyond my liking. The roads, however, are still worth the ride! One of my regular routes is to take Redwood Rd, right onto Pinehurst and then another right onto Canyon. Take a left onto Moraga Way, straight onto San Pablo Dam Rd, right onto Bear Creek, and a right or a left onto Alhambra Valley out towards the main roads in either direction. Another variation is to stay on Redwood past Pinehurst, make a right onto Skyline Blvd, follow that through the hills and residential areas until a right onto Grizzly Peak Blvd, with an eventual right onto Golf Course Rd, right onto Shasta and another right onto Wildcat Canyon Rd which eventually goes straight into Bear Creek. Of course, if you follow this second route, you can come across the infamous (previously) “Wall” which offers an amazing view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
South of 580, a few enjoyable roads are Palomares Rd, which takes you to a left onto 84 and a right onto Calaveras Rd which loops you south all the way to 680 in Milpitas. See the map here
If you head a little further in land, west of 680, we can find Mines Rd just outside of Livermore. Mines twists through the hills with an intersection at “The Junction” where some good eats and shade greet you. From there you can turn left onto Del Puerto Canyon Rd which will take you all the way east to Hwy 5. A bit goaty, but a worthy trip! If you were to continue south on Mines Rd, it eventually turns into San Antonio Valley Rd which will wind its way up over Mount Hamilton and eventually ended up in the San Jose area. Tight and twisty, not for the faint of heart or new riders, the route offers some absolutely stunning views! See the map here
Other noteworthy roads include Patterson Pass, Tesla Rd and Corral Hollow Rd, all east of Livermore and Marsh Creek Rd and Morgan Territory which wind their way around Mount Diablo east of Danville.
As for eating options, well, you’re never too far from a civilized hub, so there is sure to be something that catches your fancy wherever you choose to ride!