California often gets recognized for its natural beauty, making the state a great place to go on a bike trip. To see the best of what California has to offer, put on your helmet and start pedaling away on the following four scenic routes intended only for bicycles.
‘Bike the Bridge’ in San Francisco
Image via Flickr by Ian A Gratton
This journey starts at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and continues through Presidio National Park until you reach the Golden Gate Bridge. From this point, you’ll have panoramic views of the Bay Area, so be sure to bring a camera. Finally, you’ll continue pedaling until you get to the bayside towns of Sausalito and Tiburon, where you can turn around or catch a ferry to get back downtown.
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail in Los Angeles
Also known as The Strand, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail is a 22-mile path that stretches between Will Rogers State Beach and Torrance County Beach. The trail runs along the Pacific Ocean and passes through several beachfront towns, including Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Venice, Redondo, and Manhattan. When you need a break, stop at the piers at Redondo Beach or Santa Monica for a bite to eat and spectacular views of the sparkling water.
The American River Trail in Sacramento
Image via Flickr by ** RCB **
Since Sacramento is at the northern part of California’s Central Valley, the city has intriguing landmarks to discover. In particular, the 32-mile American River Trail takes you along flat terrain next to the American and Sacramento rivers. The trail itself is actually one of the longest multi-use trails in the country, meaning you can easily spend a full day exploring it. Start at Discovery Park and finish up at Folsom Lake, where you can add a 12-mile loop around Lake Natoma.
West County Regional Trail in Sebastopol
Image via Flickr by Egan Snow
If being surrounded by vineyards is more your style, then you’ll love this route that heads through the heart of California wine country. This 5.5-mile trail, an 11-mile loop, is an easy ride with flat terrain and paved roads, making the trail a great choice for less experienced riders.
The West County Regional Trail starts in Sebastopol on Mill Station Road and continues through several small villages along the way. Feel free to stop at the Willow Wood Market Cafe or the Hallberg Butterfly Gardens in Sebastopol. Forestville is the next stop and has equally captivating delights, such as the Tiny Town Cafe & Pastry and delicious cuisine at Twist Eatery.
Don’t let the excuse that you don’t own a bike stop you from taking one of these trips. Instead, use a bike-sharing service such as ofo, which lets you rent bikes on demand. You don’t need to schedule or reserve a bike ahead of time — simply head to the bike’s location, enter a passcode, and you’ll be able to set out for one of the above four California adventures by bike.