Warm up your body with a hot cup of coffee and then head for the hills. You’ll immediately begin climbing steadily on the pavement up into the Berkeley hills. The climb up Spruce St. is a good benchmark climb for riding uphill in the East Bay - this will give you a solid idea of what it’s like to ride up to the trails. You’ll definitely want to make sure your bike’s climbing gears are in working order for this ride.
After what may seem like an eternity, you’ll reach the top! Catch your breath and then drop down a steep paved descent down toward Tilden Park, where you’ll hit the dirt.
The fire roads in Tilden start out smooth, and gentle, passing through a combination of eucalyptus and oak forest. As you head out further on Wildcat Creek Trail, the dirt gets a bit rougher and bumpier, and can be especially sticky in the wintertime! You might want to let air out of your tires if the washboard trail feels too rough. However, you’ll enjoy the hilly scenery and gorgeous views on both sides of the trail!
After miles of dirt, you’ll reach Alvarado Park in Richmond, which has some interesting historic monuments. If you head up Belgum trail (just a bit off of Wildcat Creek) there are even ruins of an old Sanitarium - pretty spooky for sure. That explains all the palm trees. From here on out it’s all pavement.
You’ll follow the I-80 Bikeway which parallels the freeway for a bit until you rejoin the Ohlone Greenway south, back towards Berkeley and your well-deserved post-ride beverage!