Bike-BART adventures Essay

Why lug your car along on a bike ride? In the Bay Area, you
don’t need to. You can avoid the automobile with a combination of
old-fashioned pedal power and the computer-driven BART (Bay Area Rapid
Transit) system. BART stations bring you within a mile of some of the
area’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, each
primarily on paved pedestrian-bicycle trails. The Tunnel Road route is
a challenger, climbing steep hills on ordinary roads, but with a payoff
of spectacular views.

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Our maps don’t show every part of each route. Instead, they
lead 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 time
except the weekday commute hours of 6:30 to 9 A.M. and 3:30 to 6:30 P.M.
BART operates 6 A.M. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays, 9 A.M. to
midnight Sundays. On weekends, trains are much less crowded but still
run quite frequently: every 20 minutes for most of the day.

One time per year, you can get a free temporary bike permit that
allows you one round trip (fare is extra). It’s available at any
time from a station agent; just show a driver’s license and signto
a release. Or get a regular permit for $3, good for three years. For
an application, a map of the system, and a list of regulations for
bikers (BART takes these seriously, so review them well), call or write
the Office of Passenger Service, BART District, Box 12688, Oakland
94604; (415) 464-7133. Using BART with your bike for the first time can
be a bit confusing. Show the station agent your bike permit and feel
free 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 14
must 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 Regional
Park District (EBRPD) facilities, you might want to get all the
district’s brochures and maps. Send $1 to EBRPD, 11500 Skyline
Blvd., Oakland 94619, or call 531-9300.


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