Bicycling Magazine Oakland, CA: East Bay Loops 

This 69-mile pair of loops takes in the golden hills of the east Bay Area, the blue waters of Carquinez Strait, and solid climbs up Cummings Skyway and “Three Bears.”

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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 27 Jan 2009 6:53:08 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: California (CA)
Distance: 69.78 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 6102 ft
Total Loss: 6092 ft
Net Change: 10 ft
Difficulty: 7 / 10
Tags: California, Martinez, Oakland, San Francisco
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

This 69-miler begins in the shadow of Mount Diablo at the North Concord Bart Station. The postcard moments begin at the Martinez Regional Shoreline Park (and continue throughout the ride) with the Amtrak trains running on the cliffs below the park and Carquinez Scenic Drive. 

Overlooking the conspicuous blue waters of Carquinez Strait, the jaunt along the scenic drive mixes switchbacks and hills with panoramic views of Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties. On the climb up to Cummings Skyway (one of the tougher ones of the ride), you’ll enjoy views of the Carquinez Bridge. On top, catch tailwinds and pick up speed as you coast down Frankin Canyon Road. If one loop is all you want, head back to the Bart station now.

Otherwise, head south, passing the John Muir National Historic Site. The second loop heads west and meets its first short, steep climb at Pig Hill Farm. It’s easy to hit 50+ on the descent to Briones Regional Park where the Three Bear climbs await. Finish off the loop taking in the rolling green vistas as the route cruises by Lafayette Reservoir and the Diablo Foothills.

-Mapped by Pete Ferguson


TO TRAILHEAD: This ride departs from the North Concord BART station.

Position Format: Datum:

East Bay Loops

Distance: 69.78 mi Points: 1423
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 1.07 mi Bear Right - Port Chicago Hwy Then go 0.49 mi
2 1.56 mi Turn Right - Almond Ave. Then go 0.12 mi
3 1.68 mi Turn right at East St Then go 0.22 mi
4 1.90 mi Continue on Grant St Then go 0.52 mi
5 2.41 mi Continue on Solano Way Then go 0.70 mi
6 3.11 mi Turn Left - Into Park Then go 0.02 mi
7 3.14 mi Turn Right - Iron Horse Trail Then go 0.39 mi
8 3.52 mi Turn Left - Marsh Dr. Then go 1.32 mi
9 4.84 mi Slight right at Center Ave Then go 3.41 mi
10 8.26 mi Turn left at Muir Station Rd Then go 0.44 mi
11 8.70 mi Turn left at Alhambra Way Then go 0.35 mi
12 9.04 mi Turn right at Alhambra Ave Then go 2.34 mi
13 11.38 mi Turn left on Marina Vista Ave. Then go 0.14 mi
14 11.52 mi Turn right at Talbart St Then go 0.09 mi
15 11.61 mi Slight left at Carquinez Scenic Dr Then go 6.97 mi
16 18.58 mi Turn right at Pomona St Then go 0.08 mi
17 18.66 mi Turn left at Pomona Ave. Then go 0.65 mi
18 19.31 mi Turn left at Crockett Blvd Then go 1.94 mi
19 21.26 mi Bear Left - Cummings Skyway Then go 2.21 mi
20 23.47 mi Turn left at Franklin Canyon Rd Then go 4.35 mi
21 27.82 mi Turn right at Alhambra Ave Then go 0.44 mi
22 28.26 mi Turn right at Alhambra Valley Rd Then go 1.25 mi
23 29.51 mi Turn right to stay on Alhambra Valley Rd Then go 4.85 mi
24 34.35 mi Turn left at Bear Creek Rd Then go 8.38 mi
25 42.73 mi Turn left at Camino Pablo Then go 2.37 mi
26 45.09 mi Slight right at Moraga Way Then go 1.31 mi
27 46.40 mi Turn left at Casa Vieja/Glorietta Blvd Continue to follow Glorietta Blv Then go 1.59 mi
28 47.99 mi Turn left at Acalanes Rd Then go 0.73 mi
29 48.72 mi Turn right at Mt Diablo Blvd Then go 2.04 mi
30 50.77 mi Slight right at Golden Gate Way Then go 0.12 mi
31 50.89 mi Turn right at 1st St Then go 0.08 mi
32 50.97 mi Turn left at Moraga Blvd Then go 0.78 mi
33 51.75 mi Turn right at Hawthorne Dr Then go 0.05 mi
34 51.80 mi Turn left on bike path Then go 0.37 mi
35 52.17 mi Straight - Continue on Olympic Blvd. Then go 1.09 mi
36 53.26 mi Slight left to stay on Olympic Blvd Then go 0.04 mi
37 53.30 mi Turn right on Tice Valley Blvd. Then go 0.65 mi
38 53.95 mi Slight left to stay on Tice Valley Blvd Then go 1.23 mi
39 55.18 mi Turn left at Crest Ave Then go 0.47 mi
40 55.65 mi Turn right at Danville Blvd Then go 0.16 mi
41 55.80 mi Turn left at Rudgear Rd Then go 1.17 mi
42 56.98 mi Turn left at Palmer Rd Then go 0.56 mi
43 57.54 mi Turn right at Mountain View Blvd/Mt View Blvd Then go 0.46 mi
44 58.00 mi Turn left at Walnut Blvd Then go 2.90 mi
45 60.90 mi Slight left at Seven Hills Ranch Rd Then go 0.05 mi
46 60.95 mi Turn right at Cherry Ln Then go 0.36 mi
47 61.31 mi Turn Left - Costa Canal Trail Then go 0.12 mi
48 61.44 mi Turn Right - Iron Horse Trail Then go 5.29 mi
49 66.72 mi Bear Right - Then go 0.09 mi
50 66.82 mi Turn Left - Solano Way Then go 0.44 mi
51 67.25 mi Slight right Then go 0.07 mi
52 67.33 mi Turn right at Arnold Industrial Way Then go 1.82 mi
53 69.15 mi Turn right at Port Chicago Hwy Then go 0.48 mi
54 69.63 mi Bear Left - Then go 0.15 mi
55 69.78 mi Stop -

Points of Interest

North Concord Bart- Start/Finish here

Location: 38.002774, -122.024868
Head down the bike path for a warm-up.

Carquinez Scenic Drive

Location: 38.020509, -122.151146
There are some amazing vistas, but also some rough spots on the road. Be attentive. © Pete Ferguson

Sculpture Farm

Location: 38.035788, -122.180500
© Pete Ferguson

Crockett Lunch Stop

Location: 38.052383, -122.224274
Valona Deli and Market has delicious daily sandwich specials and friendly owners. © Pete Ferguson

Skyway View

Location: 38.035248, -122.208910
Atop the Cummings Skyway climb you can see Carquinez Strait and the Golden Gate Bridge. © Pete Ferguson

Around the Three Bears

Location: 37.897614, -122.193375
Scenic vistas around Briones Regional Park. © Pete Ferguson

Pig Farm Hill

Location: 37.968831, -122.176509
An exposed, half-mile climb.

Three Bears Climbs

Location: 37.947074, -122.185521
The first two climbs, mama and papa bear, are long, gradual hills with fun descents. The last climb is baby bear, which is just right.


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