Rides

Grizzly Peak

Difficulty:

Easy

Length (miles):

16

Standard go-to easy or recovery ride that ascends Tunnel and Grizzly. Beautiful views across the entire Bay, but there are some rough spots in the road with rocky grooves and crevices. Instead of Euclid, one can drop off Claremont or Centennial for more fun and dangerous descents.


Joaquin Miller

Difficulty:

Easy

Length (miles):

18

Easy ride that allows one to get a taste of Berkeley hills and the standard ascent up Tunnel. Descends Skyline before taking Joaquin Miller into Claremont neighborhood and shooting out near Lake Temescal. The route can be traffic-heavy and there's one stretch of road that feels like an asteroid field. Also, it's easy to get lost once you're in town so go with someone who knows it.

3 Bears TT Loop

Difficulty:

Moderate

Length (miles):

19

The loop we do our three bears time trials on. Note that the start/stop point is halfway up the reverse Papa Bear climb!

Bay Trail

Difficulty:

Easy

Length (miles):

20

As easy as it gets. Great for beginners because you can make it as long or short as you want, and it'll all be flat. Mostly on a bike trail with minimal traffic and gorgeous views across the Bay and of the Golden Gate. We've heard that it often turns into a Taco Party on Friday afternoon rides by making a pitstop at the Mexican foodcart on the way back...

Webmaster's Special

Difficulty:

Hard

Length (miles):

23

I set out to make a ridiculous ride leaving out of Berkeley and this is what I came up with. Try this route at your own risk.

Pinehurst-Moraga

Difficulty:

Medium

Length (miles):

29

This ride’s got a bit of everything packed into a swift 30 miles. Wildcat and Tunnel for the hills, and a long flat section through the towns of Moraga and Orinda for TT work. Note: the descent of Pinehurst is treacherous with several hairpin bends, and thus can be very fun… Route can also be done in reverse for some variety.

Redwood-Moraga

Difficulty:

Medium

Length (miles):

34

Extension of Pinehurst-Moraga that throws in an extra 5 miles of a more meandering descent through redwoods on (appropriately named) Redwood Rd, and some extra climbing through the California hillsides. Probably the most common route on the team, so learn to love it!

Three Bears

Difficulty:

Medium

Length (miles):

37

Another extremely common ride and a triathlete’s paradise. Flats, false flats, rolling terrain, hard hills, screaming descents and all conveniently circumnavigating two gorgeous reservoirs on nice, open roads. The 3 Bears themselves refer to 3 consecutive hills on Bear Creek Road (Miles 21-25) – Baby, Mama, and Papa which apparently increase in difficulty (though we swear there are about 5 Babies…) For the The Three Bears Time Trial, go past the light on San Pablo coming off Wildcat and go a mile up the road (about where Mile 27 is) to a parking lot overlooking the reservoir.

Happy Valley

Difficulty:

Medium

Length (miles):

41

They call it Happy Valley, but we can guarantee that you’ll be anything but that when climbing it. Just before finishing up a standard Moraga ride, take a detour on Miner Rd, which will eventually lead you to Happy Valley. After this “bump”, Happy will drop you off halfway up Bear Creek, home of the 3 Bears, and from there you can make your way back home as per normal.

Oakland Zoo

Difficulty:

Medium-Hard

Length (miles):

43

Aptly named for its traversal of the Oakland Zoo at around Mile 28. Starts as normal but takes a right and continues on Redwood instead of turning on Pinehurst like most rides. Winds through Lake Chabot Park and includes a long, challenging ascent of the bottom half of Skyline before the end of Joaquin Miller takes you home.

Pig Farm

Difficulty:

Medium-Hard

Length (miles):

48

Perhaps not-so-aptly named, as the pig farm at the top of Alhambra Valley Rd (thankfully) doesn’t exist anymore. Nevertheless, a tougher ride that touches Moraga and Walnut Creek before circumnavigating Briones Regional Park and finishing up on Bear Creek a-la-3 Bears.

House of Pain

Difficulty:

Hard

Length (miles):

50

NOTE: This route doesn’t leave from Berkeley! It leaves from the Peet’s Coffee in Danville at 9 AM every Saturday and usually brings out close to 50 local riders, including some ex-pro and pro cyclists and triathletes. Rated “Hard” not because of the route itself, but because you’ve got to be hardcore not to get dropped by the testosterone-fueled-cyclist-nuts-on-really-really-nice-bikes. Participating in this will make you feel like you’re participating in a great European stage race, complete with sprints, pelotons (big groups) and echelons (pacelines), and street-side cafes. Listed because some members of the team will head out every few Saturdays to throw some solid, challenging variance into the training routine and spread the Cal Tri name far and wide.

Tour de Peet's/Danville

Difficulty:

Hard

Length (miles):

57

Starts the same as Moraga and ends the same as Happy. Named because it travels past Domingo Peet’s on the way up Tunnel and turns around at the aforementioned Peet’s in Danville. Good place to stop and refuel if it’s been a rough day in the saddle so far. Not sure if two stops really qualifies this as a Tour, but this ride touches on two Peet’s coffee’s, which incidentally are WAY more “Euro” than Starbucks. (3′s a crowd, but you could hit Vine St Peet’s in Berkeley on the way back in, I suppose…)

Fruit Stand

Difficulty:

Hard

Length (miles):

61

 One of our longer rides, but fairly flat besides the way in and out of Berkeley. At the corner of San Ramon Valley and Crow Canyon, there’s a neat little fruit stand that should provide all your Bonk-free essentials mid-ride. Passes through the three municipalities of San Ramon, Danville, and Walnut Creek before coming back to Berkeley.

Mount Diablo

Difficulty:

Diab(l)olical

Length (miles):

74

There are three major peaks and climbs in the area – Diablo to the East (3848 ft), Hamilton to the South (4360 ft) and Tam to the West (2572 ft) Diablo is the closest to Berkeley and also happens to have the most rewarding views. In fact, legend holds that the amount of land mass visible from it’s summit is 2nd in the world only to Mount Kilimanjaro, which is almost 16000 feet higher. We’ll take Cal Cycling’s word for it – that one can see Half Dome in Yosemite, the Farallon Islands 35 miles past the Golden Gate, and Mt. Lassen all from the top. This climb is so historic that the Pro Cycling Amgen Tour of California climbed it in 2012 (aside: Cal Triathlon was there to witness it LINK). As for the climb itself, be prepared for a difficult day, especially once you pass the Ranger Station and the grade steepens. Still, this ride is a classic in the region, and much like a quinceanera, completion marks the transition from childhood to (wo)manhood.

Runs

Tilden Park

Difficulty:

Variable

Length:

Tilden Park is a runner's mecca, with numerous routes that vary in length, difficulty, and destination. It is possible to run to and into Tilden from either Grizzly Peak or the Fire Trail, though driving there to get the most of the trails is the best way to enjoy a solid run there. There are endless routes, many that culminate at the majestic Inspiration Point which overlooks the eastern Berkeley Hills and beyond. Tilden also features the trail to Vollmer Peak, which is the highest point in the nearby ridge.

Indian Rock

Difficulty:

Easy

Length:

5

Great for an evening run as it features a great rock from which you can look out at the entire Bay as it lights up. Return from the rock features a jaunt through Berkeley's Northside Gourmet Ghetto where we guarantee your stomach will crave for a mid-run pitstop, especially as you pass world-famous Cheeseboard and Chez Panisse.

Lake Temescal

Difficulty:

Moderate

Length:

6

Temescal is a pretty neat lake over the Hayward Fault that happens to play host to Golden Bearathlon in the Fall. The mapped route incorporates one loop around the Lake, though this is a great place to do repeats, tempo work, or however much mileage you want. The route back on College Avenue can be frustrating due to traffic, stoplights, and pedestrians everywhere, so just enjoy it for what it is, which is the permeating wafts of good food.

Nimitz/Inspiration Point

Difficulty:

Moderate

Length:

8

Technically this is still Tilden, but instead of starting from the ridge floor, you can park at Inspiration Point (top of the attached map) and run from the top. Mentioned earlier, Inspiration Point sits at the top of Wildcat Canyon Rd, one of the most common ways back into Berkeley for most rides. From here, you can either do downhill first and uphill later (as opposed to starting from the bottom) or Nimitz Way provides a relatively flat paved and dirt trail that serves well for tempo work.

Selby Trail

Difficulty:

Hard

Length:

8

A great run to experience the beauty of Tilden Park without running an insane number of miles. If you're feeling extra ambitious, cross over Grizzly Peak and finish up on the fire trails for an extra long run!

Strawberry Canyon Fire Trail

Difficulty:

Hard

Length:

9

One of the most beautiful runs in the Bay, hands down. The run starts by heading up Centennial Way behind historic and just-renovated California Memorial Stadium, home of the Cal Golden Bears Football Team. The trail itself begins about a mile from campus. The first almost-two miles are mostly uphill, and include an quad-crushing, heart-pumping .2 miles deemed the Connector that link the Lower and Upper Fire Trail. With each turn, the trail opens up a greater view of the entire Bay, and when the uphill finally ends at the Bench, one gets a gorgeous view (LINK) (especially sunrise or sunset) of the entire Bay, the Campanile, and the Golden Gate. From there, the next ~2 miles are flat and follow the ridge, ending at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab at the top of Centennial. There are some gorgeous lookout viewpoints from here as well, especially from Lawrence Hall of Science. From there, just take the trail back down the way you came for a 10 mile run or head down through beautiful north Berkeley for a 7 mile run. There are also many offshoot trails, including the Spiral Rocks, Panoramic Way (which leads into the backside of the Clark Kerr track), or for a truly epic run, a path straight into the Tilden Park trails once you cross Grizzly peak. We shall leave you to explore these.

Ohlone Greenway

Difficulty:

Easy

Length:

10

Once you're on the Ohlone Path, you can literally run for miles and miles and miles. You'll probably get bored a couple miles in though, as the only view (and sound) you get is of the Bart running periodically over your head.

Berkeley Marina

Difficulty:

Easy

Length:

10

The Marina just out about 1/2 mile into the Bay and is a truly unique place to run. It almost feels as if you can run all the way across the water into SF, and it seems that at some point in the past you could. Nevertheless, on a nice day you get some truly spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate in addition to an easy, base-mile building run.

Lake Merritt

Difficulty:

Moderate

Length:

12

A great way to explore the far reaches of College Avenue and come to a little oasis of a lake in the middle of Oakland. The loop around the lake itself is about 3 miles and populated with hordes of people, some in the water on boats but many just on a stroll or jog.

Vollmer Peak

Difficulty:

Hard

Length:

12

A challenging route that will take you through Tilden and give you great views from the top of Vollmer Peak

Wildcat Peak

Difficulty:

Hard

Length:

13

This run will show you alot of the best that Berkeley has to offer, especially Wildcat Peak, which has a 360 degree view of everything from the rolling green hills of the east to the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco to the west.

Copyright © 2020 California Triathlon Team