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The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: Eastshore San Francisco Bay Trail

On the San Francisco Bay Trail looking west toward San Bruno Mtn. at Oyster Point.

Today's ultimate Sunday bike ride takes us on a meandering and scenic ten mile ride (twenty roundtrip) along the San Francisco Bay Trail. Our start point is the Park n’ Ride lot in Brisbane at the intersection of Tunnel Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard. This is not a ride for a large group or a fast paced pelotón, but rather one that promotes a leisurely pace with time for exploratory diversions.

We head out on Tunnel Avenue beginning with the biggest climb of the day (all of 30 feet over the Caltrain tracks) and then we turn right at the base of the bridge onto Lagoon Road for a nice leisurely amble on the wide shoulders of Sierra Point Parkway. The tranquility of the lagoon and looming San Bruno Mountains on your right contrast with the rush of cars and trucks on Highway 101 on your left. After passing under the freeway, make a right onto the sidewalk after negotiating the four-way stop intersection with Marina Boulevard. Then go left to enter the path around Sierra Point. We’ll go past the marina (restrooms here) and a long fishing jetty. At this point, you can continue your counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sierra Point on the path or take a brief detour to ride a lap of the Brisbane criterium course, where a very competitive road bike race is held every February (and by the way, the winners' lap times are under one minute). The dirt lot in the center is also the site of many cycle-cross races during the winter months. Either route will take us back onto Marina Boulevard as we head south (at lunch-time mid-week you may want to check out the offerings of the many food trucks that gather at in the XDJET building parking lot). Rejoin the path at the same point after the intersection and continue along to Oyster Point. The inlet opposite the Marriott Courtyard was the site for Liberty Ship construction in WW2.

Brisbane Criterium Racers

You'll pass many more opportunities to fish, picnic or just laze about in this stretch, with many inviting benches and tables along the shoreline of the office complexes. The path turns directly south at Oyster Point Park, where there's a volleyball area on the sandy beach and an opportunity for a swim. As the next marina nears, you’ll find restrooms available as well as access to weekday ferry service to Oakland and Alameda. Continuing around the southern part of Oyster Point you enter the biotech zone where looking East will give you sweeping views of the Bay, the East Hills and Mt. Diablo beyond. More picnic areas and another sandy beach abut Genentech’s sprawling campus. Proceed left on the bridge and go around the recycling facility and continue to meander along the marshes as you approach the north end of the airport. As the jets roar overhead you’ll cross one last bridge to the end of the trail end of Belle Aire Road.

There are a number of transit options for this ride to avoid a drive: From San Francisco or the South Bay you can take Caltrain to the Bayshore station, then ride south on Tunnel Avenue and join the ride at Lagoon Road. For those who wish to arrive by BART, take the train to the SFO Station and from there head North on North McDonnell Road. At San Bruno Avenue you may head a block to the West and join a short section of the SF Bay Trail or just continue straight on South Airport Boulevard. Either choice leads you to a right turn at Belle Aire Road (at the Costco). There is limited parking here for access by car.

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