Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: stevey on December 27, 2019, 04:40:13 pm

 
Title: Western Express: Start from SF without ferry, via new Richmond Bridge bike lane
Post by: stevey on December 27, 2019, 04:40:13 pm
   Hi all,
   The protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge opened last month, just north of San Francisco. My wife and I tried it this last weekend on the tandem, and it's great!
   That means:
   -You can start an overland tour like the Western Express without riding a ferry or taking an out-of-the-way route.
   -You can do the fun 3-bridge-loop day we did (SF--Golden Gate Bridge--Richmond Bridge--Bay Bridge--Treasure Island), 50-60 miles if you use the nooks and crannies of the Bay Trail.
   Until now, the first leg on a tour eastward from San Francisco was hard to do purely overland. You either took a giant detour north or south, or took the Vallejo ferry, as the Western Express route has you doing (a lovely ferry ride, btw!).
   Now, you can start by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge northward, then Sausalito, Marin bike trail, bike lane along 101, Larkspur, ride around San Quentin prison, cross the Richmond Bridge.
   Then either: Head over the Carquinez bridge to Vallejo and pick up the Western Express route; or head from Richmond east over the hills to Antioch and across the Route 160 bridge to Brannan Island State Park, which has a bike-hike campground--that would be about 70 miles from the south end of GG bridge. From there, it's a lovely ride in the Delta atop dikes on the waterways to Sacramento to rejoin Western Express, or cut eastward across the valley and rejoin the Express in the Sierra foothills.
   Please use the Richmond Bridge bike lane early and often, as some pro-auto forces are lobbying to get it closed earlier than its scheduled 4-year test and turned into a third car lane!
Title: Re: Western Express: Start from SF without ferry, via new Richmond Bridge bike lane
Post by: jamawani on December 27, 2019, 06:59:31 pm
But riding from the Golden Gate Bridge to the ferry terminal is so nice.
And then the ferry ride simply can't be beat.
Not to mention the Carquinez Scenic Drive - which is bike/ped only in the middle section.
Title: Re: Western Express: Start from SF without ferry, via new Richmond Bridge bike lane
Post by: stevey on December 28, 2019, 09:34:15 pm
But riding from the Golden Gate Bridge to the ferry terminal is so nice.
And then the ferry ride simply can't be beat.
Not to mention the Carquinez Scenic Drive - which is bike/ped only in the middle section.
You can do 2 of those 3 things by starting the Western Express with this new option.
Start your trip at the Ferry Building, ride the Embarcadero->Fish Wharf->Crissy Field/Fort Point->GGB->Marin->Richmond Bridge->Carquinez Scenic->Martinez->160 Bridge->Brannan Island, etc.
(I do agree on the Ferry's being lovely--we very often take our tandem on the Vallejo ferry to start 3-day loops in wine country and other areas up there--but the point here is that a purist can now do Western Express all overland.)