This long medium route covers the majority of the San Francisco Bay’s eastern shore, taking you through industry, ecological reserves, suburban sprawl, and across the Dumbarton Bridge to Stanford University. Being mostly flat, this route is perfect for riders who want to go far and see much without having to tackle too many hills.
A few notes to help you prepare: Approximately 5 miles of dirt and gravel road are on the Hayward Shoreline of this ride. You may venture inland to avoid them, but you will miss an incredibly scenic tour of wetlands, migratory birds, and crashing waves. I was fine on 700×23 tires, but it doesn’t hurt to use fatter ones.
Also, since you will be tucked away from shops for a while, make sure you pack enough water and snacks! A charming picnic can be made at Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline and Hayward Regional Shoreline.
You have your pick of restaurants once you reach University Ave in Palo Alto. I was craving spice and carbohydrates, so I opted for Darbar (129 Lytton Ave). The service was classy, the flavor profiles robust. Naan and rice come with your entrees. There is a very non-traditional beef samosa on the menu, which I didn’t try. Conveniently, the restaurant is located one block from the Caltrain station.
START at West Oakland BART, exit SOUTH on Mandela Pkwy. In 0.2 miles, Mandela Pkwy becomes 3rd St.