San Francisco families are no strangers to the bike life—the city frequently tops the list of most bike-friendly areas in the U.S. Between its Vision Zero policy, tons of new bike corridors and a popular bike-sharing initiative, it’s no surprise to see San Francisco rank so high.
But, that said, it’s also a huge win that, increasingly, the Bay Area suburbs are following suit, creating bike-friendly environments for commuters, competitive cyclists and, even, the training-wheel set. Live in Marin County and it could feel like everyone is peddling across the Golden Gate Bridge every morning and night…and you wouldn’t be that far off.
If you’re looking to keep on biking in suburbia, consider these communities…
#1. Palo Alto
Palo Alto recently earned a gold rating from the League of American Bicyclists—and with good cause. The city offers green bike lanes, contraflow bike lanes and very clear, very clean roads and trails for bikers, marked with signs to help cyclists spot shortcuts.
Because of its prime location, expect to see cyclists coming to and from Stanford University, kids biking to the local middle and high school, and plenty heading to work within Palo Alto and, even, beyond.
#2. Mountain View
Home to Google—and a pack of very colorful Google bikes—Mountain View is ideal for cyclists. Googlers often hop on bikes to go between buildings, head downtown for a bite or pedal to and from meetings and events. Seeing these pops of color everywhere seems to have inspired local residences to start pedaling—the League of American Bicyclists gave Mountain View a silver-level ranking, up from a bronze pre-2012.
Like any college town, bikes abound—Berkeley is no exception. What’s more, though, you’ll be able to jump on the Eastshore State Park Beach Trail, a five-mile round trip trail that’s fully paved (read: perfect for all skill levels) and more or less flat from start to finish. The trail winds along the San Francisco Bay, from Emery Point to the Berkeley Marina, with beautiful bay views throughout the ride.
There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.