Biking Berkeley: An Amateur’s Guide

Classes moving online held some major setbacks for me, but also provided some really great opportunities! Think about it: with asynchronous classes, you can have more time to enjoy the day outside and be active! While I completely understand the last thing you feel motivated to do during the pandemic is be active, I want to stress the importance of pushing yourself to do so!

Prior to the lockdowns, I didn’t think about my level of physical activity– this was because I walked to class every day, was going on adventures with friends, and was able to head to the gym whenever. Like many people, during the first few weeks of the pandemic, I was met with an overload of fatigue. Even when I identified that it was basic physics (a body in motion, stays in motion), I still didn’t know how to motivate myself to be active!

I tried running, but couldn’t commit to it. Swimming? Didn’t really like getting wet every day. Hiking? No car to get to the cool spots! That’s when I discovered biking! The perfect sport. Low impact on your joints, easy adrenaline boost, and something I have yet to get bored of. The feeling when you finish a long bike ride is much more rewarding since it’s easier to go more miles than on your feet. Not to mention the convenience of having a mode of transportation– I ride to get groceries, run errands, and see the beauties Berkeley offers! 


If you are interested in picking up biking, let me give you a few tips!

    1. Start out with a cheap bike. Bikes can get really expensive, so I wouldn’t recommend investing in a good road bike until you know you’ll continue doing it. For me, I picked up a hybrid bike on Craigslist. 
    2. Take baby steps. Biking is not like running or even hiking. I didn’t have any of the muscles it takes to pedal up a hill before I started. In fact, when I started I had to walk my bike up most hills because it was too hard to ride
    3. Get a biking buddy! If you can, find a friend to pick up biking with you! It’s the perfect way to bond and see new places together!

So now you’re ready to go on your first bike ride! Where do you go? Really anywhere you want. I start by picking a location I want to see/visit and find the Berkeley designated bike routes on the way. If that didn’t feel like long enough work out, I take a longer way to get home. Overall setting goals for yourself really is the key here– whether it’s a loop, well-trafficked trail, or a destination ride! 

Good luck and I hope to see you pedaling around the bay! Below are some easy bike rides to get you started:

  • UC Berkeley to Indian Rock Park (~6-mile loop) 
  • UC Berkeley to Berkeley Marina to Albany Bulb (~10-mile loop)
  • UC Berkeley to Lake Merit, Oakland (~10-mile loop)

Author: Allie Dunham

Hi I'm Allie! I'm a 3rd year studying Anthropology and double minoring in Public Policy and Global Studies. Though I'm originally from a small town in Northern California (Coffee Creek), I now live in Berkeley. On campus, I'm involved in a professional cinematic arts fraternity (DKA), I'm an undergraduate student researcher at UCSF, teach a DeCal, and am in the Anthropology Undergraduate Association (AUA).