Cycling is a big sport anywhere you go. In one form or another, people love to ride. While different places are often best suited towards one form of riding or another, one thing is for sure: people don’t want to give up the pedal. Between mountain biking and road cycling; road reigns supreme - and studio cycling exists in abundance but the Peloton is gaining traction as more and more people realize that a dynamic workout can be had in their living room or garage.
Road Cycling Lamorinda
Road cycling is perhaps the kind of outdoor riding that the local topography supports the best - but, trails and dirt can be found with a bit of effort locally and with more success if you’ll throw the bike on a rack. A series of community (paved) trails are interconnected in Contra Costa County (and one originates in Lafayette) and the picturesque back roads of Orinda and Moraga are very popular places to get in long rides - if you’re not afraid to share the road with cars. The best resources for “all things bike” locally are Hank & Frank and Sharp Bicycle (both in Lafayette). The staff on hand is quick to point out gems like the “Lafayette Moraga Trail” and how it connects to larger veins like the “Iron Horse Trail”, both of which will let you ride in a vehicle free environment for as many miles as your legs can stand. For the days when you need to explore and feel like you’ve covered some ground, another great option is riding out Orinda: North will take you up San Pablo Dam Road with gorgeous views of the reservoir and south will take you into the Moraga / Canyon area where you’ll slowly see fewer and fewer cars and more trees and elevation. A car ride will offer a lot more - Diablo’s most popular go-to route runs Northgate to Summit or Southgate to Summit and the reward is the view.
Mountain Biking Lamorinda
It’s at this point that mountain bike exploring can begin - however, you better like it steep and you better enjoy a good climb to burn those calories and earn your beer (or abs!). Most of the topography of the East Bay is consistently steep - which can be a challenging work out but the flowy/fun trails are fewer and farther between. Mount Diablo is a backdrop for the entire county and all of the communities at its feet - but, often little explored gems that beckon to climbers with tough legs and tough lungs. Riding from Mitchell Canyon to the summit is a two hour + ride with nearly 4000 feet of climbing. Black Diamond Mine Trail is more appealing to cross-country riders but the climbs will not be avoided and you can catch some fun descents. Finally, there are some pockets of fun flow with a little less work. If you want to do a few laps and really enjoy yourself; Lime Ridge (start in Concord) is a local spot that you can ride without paying the price with the climb. Anywhere you go - you will have a lot of sun, little shade and hotter temps.
The More Serious Explorers
The more serious explorers will want to head up to the single track above Alamo (Las Trampas Wilderness) but, again, you will pay to play and you’ll need to be prepared to really ride to access the system of fun trails - pending you have the energy to do it once you find them! If you’re ready to put the bike on a rack and head out - Oakland Hills has a lot more single track, shaded routes, interesting topography with more technical and unique riding. Starting in Joaquin Miller Park and going south towards Lake Chabot - there are miles and miles of horse trails, single track, old, unimproved fire roads and riding. Most of it can be conveniently accessed by parking close to multiple trailhead access points and getting to and from your car is *a little* less work than other cycling spots. You’ll see road bikers out en masse here, too. But, that’s for another area’s moving guide!
If you like to spin in the comfort of four walls - you have many studio type classes to choose from. In Lamorinda proper there’s an OrangeTheory Fitness (downtown Lafayette), 24 Hour Fitness (Moraga) and Oakwood Athletic Club (Lafayette) but a quick search will show a plethora of options in Walnut Creek (from SoulCycle to CycleScape to FlyWheel and too many gym classes to name). And then, there’s the Peloton! If you own, or acquire one, please be sure to check out Lamorinda Peloton and request to Join to keep in touch, get motivated by and meet fellow owners!
East Bay Cycling Clubs
Bicycle Trails Council (Mountain Biking)
BARTable Bike Adventures from Lamorinda Area!
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