BARC Monthly Ride - Marsh Creek Trail (Oakley-Brentwood)

The plan to do August's monthly ride in SF is in need of some more planning and judgment of suitability for our mixed group so we will not be going to SF for August's Monthly Ride. However....

Meet at 9:30 AM at the parking lot for the Big Break Regional Shoreline Visitor Center in Oakley (free parking) to do a flat ride of ~25 miles. This is a surprisingly enjoyable trail. Come on out and enjoy a relaxed pace, typically with bird, fish, and turtle sightings. Optional lunch at Black Bear diner afterward. There is also an mildly interesting relief map of the Bay Area made out of colored concrete (Mt. Diablo is about 18" high). 

See http://www.ebparks.org/parks/big_break#access_info for where to park or for a closer detail.

ROUTE: For the route we will take, refer to the route Ron has taken the initiative on and posted at: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/5609259  

If someone wants to meet at the Pittsburg BART to get in an extra 30-ish miles, let me know and I'll meet you there. Some steep rollies if we take the bike trail like we did the last time we rode from BART to the starting spot.

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  • Alice S.

    Hi, guys. Remember that awful noise coming from my axle? Well... it's getting new bearings, and I hope to get it back in time for the next ride. Hope to,see you then.

    September 3

  • John R.

    Does anyone have a GPS track of this route on Strava, etc.

    August 31

    • Russell

      John, I don't have any GPS track (gpx file) but I can create one in ridewithgps if you want. Just let me know where you want it to begin and end. If you're planning on riding this it is worth mentioning that the Delta DeAnza bike path heading east from the Pittsburg BART station has a lot of glass on it from the "local wildlife". The Marsh Creek and Big Break trails are much, much better in this regard. Also, the ride would be better taken after the temporary trail closure ends as it eliminates the necessity to ride on roads to detour past the closed section.

      September 2

    • John R.

      No the original link was what I was looking for. I just had not gone far enough into the description.

      September 3

  • Dick L.

    Years ago I rode the bike trail along the California aqueduct but it is not very trike friendly due to the gates at each road crossing which are OK for df bikes but will present problems for trikes. A photo of one of these gates was uploaded to the photo section of this page.

    September 2

    • Zach

      That gate doesn't look ADA compliant. Some people ride trikes because they have physical issues that would prevent them from carrying a trike over such a gate. Carrying a bolt cutter in a pannier would take care of these locks allowing opening the gate and rolling the trike through. While cutting locks is illegal, I think it is more illegal to deny people with disabilities access to a trail.

      September 2

  • Alice S.

    Would anyone be interested in a ride along the Ripon bike trail? Maybe in cooler weather? Not sure how long it is.

    August 31

    • Eric

      Which valley are you referring to?

      September 1

    • Ron N.

      San Joaquin. This is a follow up to Alice's suggestion of a ride in Ripon and Neal's response that the Ripon trail is only 2.5 miles long.

      September 1

  • Russell

    Bummer that there was something on the lens of the camera I was using... all the photos turned out foggy, so no pic from me... :-(

    August 31

  • Alice S.

    Wonderful. Tired but happy.

    August 30

  • Dick L.

    I thought it was an enjoyable outing within my current fitness level. My expectation for this trail was for a much more rural environment with very little shade and the reality was a pleasant surprise.

    August 30

  • Ron N.

    Thanks, again, Russell for organizing. Glad I was able to have lunch with everyone.

    August 30

  • Zach

    Is anyone interested in starting this ride at the Pittsburgh BART station like some of us did last time?

    August 23

    • Zach

      See you in the parking lot of Pittsburg BART. I'll be taking the train that is due to arrive at 7:52.

      August 24

    • Zach

      Turns out getting up at 6:00 wasn't early enough to get out on time to make the BART train that leaves Oakland at 7:10 so I won't be going on this ride.

      August 30

  • Alice S.

    If I start at black bear, can I avoid climbing the hill at the end?

    August 29

    • Ron N.

      Yes. The rail bridge is north of the Black Bear Diner between the Diner and Big Break Regional Shoreline.

      August 29

  • Scott

    I'm going to have to bow out as well. I'm getting over a cold and I remember how the last time I rode when that happened went. UGH, I want to try my new shoes!!!!

    August 29

  • Janusz

    Probably won't be able to make this ride after all. Am having some plumbing and other work being done on my property and may need to stay close to home on Saturday. Hope the ride comes off smoothly and is enjoyable for all attending.

    August 29

  • Alice S.

    Won't be meeting you at black bear. Will meet at the start point. Black bear is on a hill, and after the ride I'm not sure I could climb it.

    August 28

    • Ron N.

      My plan is, by starting at the Black Bear Diner, to end there as well. That is, ride from the Black Bear to the Big Break Regional Shoreline Center, and meet the complete group there and then do the ride ending at the Diner instead of going all the way back to Big Break. This puts all of the hill climbing (actually the rail bridge) at the beginning. If you start at Big Break and finish at Big Break you still cross the rail bridge, its just that the last time you cross it is at the end rather than the beginning. That seems the opposite of your desire.

      August 29

  • Dave

    I wanted to go from the BART station, but it is not to be... so sorry/

    August 29

  • Dick L.

    I am bringing my wife, she does not bike but plans to visit the discovery center and perhaps do some hiking.

    August 28

  • Kevin

    Sounds like fun...hope this works out well for y'all and becomes one that gets recycled from time to time.

    August 4

    • Russell

      Kevin. You know you could have it both ways if you bought her a trike... ;-p

      August 24

    • Kevin

      Yeah, that's on the long-term list. Her doctors have recommended recumbents over uprights due to various health problems. Right now...just need to find time for ANY cycling. :) Never fear, I will be back eventually, really missing it.

      August 24

  • Russell

    IMPORTANT: Ron Nelson has alerted me to a temporary trail closure on the Marsh Creek Trail that would require us to take a detour. He has also taken the initiative to propose an alternate route which I am going to take a look at soon and decide whether we stick to riding the Marsh Creek Trail with detour or move the ride to another trail. More information to come...

    Trail closure info copied from Parks Dept.:

    Beginning June 2, 2014 through October 1, 2014 (or until further notice) the Marsh Creek Trail will be closed, between Monet Dr. Oakley to the north bridge the east end of Big Break Trail due to Contra Costa Water District construction activities.

    August 11

    • Russell

      We will be doing this ride with the detour as suggested (and already ridden and tested) by Ron

      August 12

  • Scott

    I will make this ride! My shoes shipped out today and some medical issues I've been having our clear. Sorry I've been MIA, a lot of things going on.

    August 12

  • Alice S.

    Ron I like your idea of parking at the diner. Want some company?

    August 12

    • Ron N.

      Alice, sounds good. The Diner shares a parking lot with the Oakley City Hall that wraps around the front and each side of City Hall. I am thinking of parking on the East side of City Hall as that won't take up space of customers at the Diner. I will plan to be there about 8:45 to give me plenty of time to unload and set my trike and ride over to the parking lot for the Big Break Regional Shoreline Visitor Center in Oakley.

      August 12

  • Ron N.

    Count me in for the Black Bear Diner.

    August 6

    • Ron N.

      In fact I am thinking of parking at the Diner and riding over to Big Break from there (1.4 miles).

      August 7

  • John R.

    If you want to do a test ride with me, that can be arranged. Also, after Labor Day, there might be a slight decrease in the number of rental bikes (which is huge right now). Also the later you go, the better the chance of sun instead of fog, until the rain starts (and HOPEFULLY it WILL!)

    August 4

    • Russell

      John, that's some great info and details in your posts. I'll ping you in the next month or so and see if we can arrange a test ride. Guess I have to pick a different locale for this month's ride.

      1 · August 5

    • John R.

      OK

      August 6

  • Russell

    I've come up with a first draft of a route, can any one with more local knowledge than I comment? See: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/5527224

    August 3

    • John R.

      My advice: Stay off Market, and you are running the loop the wrong way. You want to be northbound, if you are on the Embarcadero. As you can see in my links, I'd go with Civic Center and Polk. I am so keen to stay off Market, that if I want to do a bigger loop and go up (northbound, NEVER southbound) on the Embacadero, the route looks like this. As you can see, I haven't done it recently.

      http://www.strava.com...­

      August 4

  • John R.

    Marina is flat, Great Highway is flat, Valencia is flat, but you have to climb hills to connect them. I say embrace the hills. That is where the views are. This is one variation of a ride I do regularly when I am in the city.

    http://www.strava.com/activities/133527044

    This sticks with the scenic bits, and avoids the most congested bits. If you were trying to work from BART, it might look more like this.

    http://www.strava.com/activities/131290335

    Polk St. is fairly busy, but slow. It is a neighborhood street, and a designated bike route. These routes show a climb up Russian Hill, but that is just because that is where our place is. I don't have a trike, so I can't speak to that. But given low enough gears, I should think it would be _better_ than me wobbling up at 4 mph on a Stratus XP. ;-)

    August 4

  • Scott

    Working in the city and walking to the office and seeing how reckless both cyclists and drivers are, I think I'll have to give this one a miss. Also, I don't know how trike friendly the cycle lanes and trails would be.

    August 4

    • Russell

      I was worried mostly about stairs and/or escalators at the BART stations we would use to get here and whether they would be difficult for some with trike in tow. Market St. has a very wide bike lane painted in green when I looked at it with Google Maps Street View and all of the other street viewing I did did not raise too much concern for me... also, IMO trikes are even better than bikes at handling slow-paced bike paths with lots of pedestrians (e.g. our Monterey ride). Perhaps I need to do a test ride and judge this route's suitability for our monthly ride on a weekend before setting one up. Let's plan a different route for this month and reconsider a SF ride another time??? Comments anyone?

      August 4

    • Scott

      Actually, those green lanes aren't that wide. They look wide, but they're probably about as wide as a trike. I'd say they're about 3' wide. I ride the ferry with a MTA engineer that designed the lanes, I'll ask him exactly how wide they are.

      August 4

  • Magnus

    I wish I was going to be in town for this! Hopefully not the last event here in SF.

    I don't know what level of comfort everyone will have with traffic, but there are still some gaps in the SF bike network. I don't think it's a big deal, but I'm used to it and know people differ in comfort level...

    BART or a ferry are great ways to get here (I'm carless and would say that, but note that parking is a pain!) One option would be to meet at the Embarcadero BART station (or the ferry building), then ride west on Market St. Take the "Wiggle" bike route to the Panhandle (linear park with a nice trail). The panhandle connects to Golden Gate Park, which is mostly closed to traffic at the weekend. From there it's about 4 miles to the ocean for a total of about 7 miles (so about 14 miles return). I'm running out of space, so will write a reply with options to extend the ride..

    August 3

    • Magnus

      If you want to extend the ride, here are some options. 1) There's a bike path along the Great Highway that extends 2.5 miles down to the zoo. 2) If people want a slightly more challenging return route, turn north and follow the Bay back to the Ferry Building via The Legion of Honor, Golden Gate Bridge, Chrissy Field, Fishermans' Wharf - note this is quite hilly in parts, though I think the views make up for it!

      August 3

    • Russell

      Magnus, thanks a lot for the insight. I'm going to do some research and try to plan a route with ridewithgps that keeps as much as possible to paved bike paths and cycling-friendly roads. I think most can handle a little bit of climbing, especially if we have some nice views as a reward... definitely will plan a BART-Embarcadero start and finish.

      August 3

  • Eric

    Sorry I will be out of town. I would have liked to do this ride

    August 3

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