Bicycle To The Village Instead

Maybe it’s time to think about your bicycle as a practical means of transportation.  One way to stop worrying about Village parking is to bike there, if you can handle the hills near your home.

Oakland has long supported efforts to bicycle within city limits, and passed a new planning ordinance last summer regarding short-term and long-term parking – see bicycle parking requirements.

Even valet bike parking is part of the act, for major civic events with more than 5,000 people.  I remember grinning about this service at last fall’s Jazz & Wine Festival, and it’s proudly promoted again.

Valet Bike Parking

On a more regular basis, Oakland Police have been spotted with Cannondales in Montclair Village.  While cars are used to patrol the hills for would-be burglars, it’s nice to see these trusty steeds appear in town.  (There’s also an Oakland Bike Patrol, which accepts volunteers to help monitor the park trails.)

Oakland Police Bikes

From a commuting perspective, around 18% of 94611 residents say they live under 15 minutes from work – but only two percent bicycle to their workplaces.  Maybe the increased focus on bike parking plus shower facilities (in large buildings) will begin to change behaviors.

Many pieces are in place to support increased bicycle use.  Walk Oakland Bike Oakland keeps tabs on all the local news, and generally encourages us to hop on our two-wheelers throughout the city.  There’s also a local shop, Wheels of Justice, which provides the equipment and moral support.

Where are the riders?  We are creatures of habit, but should get off our collective duffs when going to the Village or other nearby spots.  I’m willing to give it a spin, next weekend.

2 thoughts on “Bicycle To The Village Instead

  1. The thing that keeps a lot of people from biking to work from 94611 is the elevation change. Going to work in the morning is easy — mostly downhill. Getting home in the evening requires a lot more work. But with some creativity, and adding a bit of distance, you can find less steep ways to make it easier.

    Coming from the north, for example, instead of trying to ride up Broadway Terrace, you can ride past Lake Temescal. Once you’re in the area of the village, going up the hill is another daunting challenge. I’ve seen people huffing and puffing their way up Snake and even Colton once or twice, which are not only steep, but winding and have heavy traffic. A much better alternative is to follow the path behind the village, which then follows an actual bike path along side Shepherd Canyon. At some point you need to switch back to the street depending on how high up the hill you’re going, but it’s a lot easier (and safer) than Snake or Colton.

    Planning such routes is a lot easier now, since Google Maps has terrain information. Besides the built-in terrain map, there’s also an add-on that shows contour lines.

  2. will give you the actual % grade on your route.

    The easiest way to get to the top of the hills around here is Tunnel Road. It is a lot longer, but very doable. My 9 year old son can do it with ease. We took a ride Sunday down to the village, past Lake Temescal, up Broadway, across 24, then Tunnel Road to Skyline, back down to home. Took about 90 minutes with a few breaks. 8 miles total.

    Having a well tuned bike is necessary too. My son used to not like to ride down to the village at all because of the ride up. A new bike with more gears has changed that.

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