How do you double your biking pleasure on a 10-mile (round-trip) out-and-back bike ride starting in Berkeley’s Gilman District? First, you pick a paved, car-free trail with exceptional bay views. Then, you add beer! This scenic and easygoing ride goes out to Richmond’s Marina Bay and conveniently ends at the doorstep of Gilman Brewing Co.—named the California Saison Brewery of the Year.
Park your car in one of the neighborhoods near Gilman Brewing Co. and take 8th Street past University Village to pick up the Ocean View Bikeway along Buchanan Street, heading towards the bay. After crossing under the freeway, take a right on the San Francisco Bay Trail, a completed section of the planned 500-mile walking and cycling path encompassing the bay and going through all nine Bay Area counties, 47 cities, and across the seven toll bridges. Pedaling this bay-hugging section, keep an eye out for pelicans fishing in the shallow waters off Albany Bulb.
About 2.5 miles in, you’ll be at Point Isabel, where you can stop for a breather on a park bench tinged by the salty air. Enjoy views of San Francisco’s skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands. Continue through Point Isabel Dog Park and cross a small bridge that leads to a flat expanse with the bay on your left and a marshy wetland on your right. Take a left at your next junction and pedal in front of some bayside homes to the mouth of the marina next to Shimada Friendship Park. This is a good turnaround point since the good views end about here and aren’t picked up again for about another 20 miles.
Head back the way you came, and park your bikes at Gilman Brewing. Friendly staff and an innovative selection of craft brews make the tasting room an adventure. Seating is indoor/outdoor, with a loft and a section by the brewing kettles. If you’re hungry, grab a bite to eat at one of the rotating food trucks parked out front every Friday through Sunday, or grab a pizza prepared by your bartender. Wash it all down with a refreshing Champ Rochaux or a classic saison: Maison de Campagne. Oh you bon vivant, you!
Parking along 8th street south of Gilman Street allows for free parking and an easy access to the bike route. If parking here, take 8th Street north to University Village. Turn right at the T intersection and take that to Buchanan Street. Take a left onto the bike path, which will cross Buchanan Street and travel over the train tracks. After passing under I-80, turn right to head north on the bike path to your turn-around point. Once you have returned from biking, it is best to bring your bikes into the brewery for storage instead of leaving them on a bike rack. Dog-friendly!