Bike-BART adventures Essay

Why lug your car along on a bike ride? In the Bay Area, youdon’t need to. You can avoid the automobile with a combination ofold-fashioned pedal power and the computer-driven BART (Bay Area RapidTransit) system. BART stations bring you within a mile of some of thearea’s best bike trails, including the ones high-lighted here. We selected these five routes based on safety, interesting scenery,and a minimum of street riding. Four are easy, mostly flat trips, eachprimarily on paved pedestrian-bicycle trails. The Tunnel Road route isa challenger, climbing steep hills on ordinary roads, but with a payoffof spectacular views.

Our maps don’t show every part of each route. Instead, theylead you from station to trail, and through any hard-to-follow sections.Distances listed are from station to station. With a bike permit, you can take your bicycle on BART any timeexcept the weekday commute hours of 6:30 to 9 A.M. and 3:30 to 6:30 P.M.BART operates 6 A.

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M. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays, 9 A.M.

tomidnight Sundays. On weekends, trains are much less crowded but stillrun quite frequently: every 20 minutes for most of the day. One time per year, you can get a free temporary bike permit thatallows you one round trip (fare is extra). It’s available at anytime from a station agent; just show a driver’s license and signtoa release. Or get a regular permit for $3, good for three years. Foran application, a map of the system, and a list of regulations forbikers (BART takes these seriously, so review them well), call or writethe Office of Passenger Service, BART District, Box 12688, Oakland94604; (415) 464-7133. Using BART with your bike for the first time canbe a bit confusing. Show the station agent your bike permit and feelfree to ask for more help.

One-way fares range from 60 cents to $2.15;fare machines accept coins or crisp $1 or $5 bills. Bikers under 14must be with an adult. On the trail, be sure to watch carefully for pedestrians. Since three of these trips pass by or through East Bay RegionalPark District (EBRPD) facilities, you might want to get all thedistrict’s brochures and maps.

Send $1 to EBRPD, 11500 SkylineBlvd., Oakland 94619, or call 531-9300.

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