• NorCal Group Rides

    SF  | North BayPeninsula | East Bay | Sacramento | South Bay |Way North

    Disclaimer: We make no claim to the accuracy or completeness of this list we have dredged up. Actually it’s a work in progress and we need your input. Send us entries, corrections, complaints and reviews to norcal@love.com. Be aware of municipal and state laws regarding cycling before heading out on a NorCal group ride.

    Every ride has its own etiquette. Best to ask a regular what the tone and ride rules are. Ride safely.

    San Francisco

    Roasters Ride

    • When: Saturdays and Sundays  8 AM
    • Where: Golden Gate Bridge (south side/south parking lot)
    • Route: San Francisco – San Anselmo – Fairfax – Nicasio – Point Reyes Station – Olema – Samuel Taylor Park – Fairfax – San Francisco.

    The Lowdown: A very organic ride which has been going for a long time – people show up every sat at 8:00 unless its a hurricane – there are always riders there. A really competitive 45 mile ride with 17 miles of preamble and 17 of warm down riding out and back from the bridge – 80 miles in total.

    Scotty’s Ride

    • Where: Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion
    • When: Saturdays 8:30

    The Lowdown: Same loop as the 8 AM Roasters ride but a more social pace.  Good for base building.  This group stops at Pt. Reyes station to eat at a really good bakery called Bovine.  The ride then usually takes the coast back to SF.  It is a hillier route but more scenic than the Roasters ride

    Park Ride

    • Where: Golden Gare Park
    • When: Meets every Tuesday at 6pm between April and September

    The Lowdown: The Park Ride is a .4 mile circuit around Golden Gate Park with two sprints per lap for 7 laps.  Meets every Tuesday* at 6pm at Crossover Dr. & Transverse Dr. since at least 1983.. and maybe even earlier <queue mysterious music.>

    Headland Raiders

    • Where
      • 6:10am from 17th/Sanchez
      • 6:30am from Arguello Gate in the Presidio
    • When: Tuesday/Thursday
    • Route: Ride to top of Headlands across the bay.

    The Lowdown: “A bunch of type A’s trying to get their heart rate up before they go peddle sub prime mortgages and lose other people’s money in the financial district. ” ~ Anonymous Pro. While I don’t think that’s true, it was way too funny not to put in there. I’m sure one of the regulars can email us with some info on this ride’s character.

    BACK TO TOP

    North Bay

    Col du Pantoll

    • Where: Mikes Bikes of Sausalito
    • When: Wednesdays 5:45 – Spring to Fall
    • Route: Out to the Coast, Up Mt. Tam (Quickly…or so they say)

    The Lowdown: Cool name and lots of categories. A little more organized than your normal group ride. I’d say signing a waiver is very “un-group ride-ish” but on the last Wednesday of the month they have a CHP escort. That is very pro. Check the Mike’s Bikes website for details 

    Roasters Ride (Pick it up in San Anselmo)

    • When: Saturdays & Sundays  9am – ish.
    • Where: Coffee Roasters, San Anselmo.
    • The Low Down: See SF Roasters Entry

    Chicken Ride

    • When: Fridays, Departs at 7:15 AM
    • Where: End of Mill Valley bike path at Blithedale

    The Lowdown: Hard tempo around Paradise Loop in Tiburon, CA. The winner of the sprint at the end inherits a rubber chicken (wearing a vintage La Vie Claire jersey) for the week.

    BACK TO TOP

    Peninsula

    Spectrum Ride

    • When: Saturday mornings at 9am
    • Where: Starbucks on corner of Hollenbeck and Homestead, Sunnyvale
    • Route: Along Foothill, through Portola Valley, Canada Road to 92 and back
    • 6o miles, 2.5 hours

    The Lowdown: A ride open to anybody and everybody, just know that there’s no roll call, and don’t expect the bunch to wait. Join in wherever you want and hold on for as long as you can. If balls out isn’t your style, this ‘ride’ with multiple sprint points and no real rules may not be your cup of tea. (The official Facebook page states that ‘all riders are encouraged to respect all traffic rules’). If you’re a racer who doesn’t like paying race fees, this is the next best thing. Go hard or go home.

    The Noon Ride

    • When: Every weekday at noon
    • Where: the dead-end on Old Page Mill Road, Palo Alto
    • Route: Different each day of the week, but generally around Portola Valley, Canada Road areas
    • 24 to 32 miles, 1-2 hours

    The Lowdown:  Retired, unemployed, pro, or just have understanding co-workers who don’t mind you coming back all sweaty after an extended ‘lunch break’? Well this ride is for you. At the regimented time of 12 every day, but with plenty of ride variation, it’s a great way to get the heart racing and break up the day. Just like Spectrum though, there’s no waiting here, so if you can’t hack the pace, be prepared to have lunch on your own. *for more info join ‘The Noon Ride’ Facebook group, or simply rock up and see where the ride takes you

    Stahl Ride

    • When: Wednesday at 9am
    • Where: Peet’s Coffee, Los Altos
    • Route: Changes each week, but common routes include up Old La Honda, 84 to Pescadero or the coast. Up Highway 9, to the Basin and back.
    • 50 to 80 miles, 3 – 5 hours

    The Lowdown:  It’s starts at a coffee shop, and that sets the tone – to an extent. This is a nice controlled group ride for those of all abilities, who know how to ride 2 abreast and aren’t pressed for time. Ride the climbs at your own pace, and be prepared to wait for others. Food and drink breaks are commonplace. Pretty much the antithesis of Spectrum ride, but a good chance to get some long miles in the legs in an easy going environment. It is what you make it.

    The Morning Ride

    • When: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:15am
    • Where: Starbucks on University Ave, Palo Alto
    • Route: Sand Hill to ‘the loop’ (Mountain Home and Portola), Alpine Road, Los Altos Hills and back
    • 28 miles, 1- 1.5 hours

    The Lowdown: For those time strapped, hard ass cyclists who actually have a real job. If you can drag yourself out of bed before freezing over, it won’t be long till you’re nice and toasty – that is, if you can keep up.  What it lacks in length, is made up in intensity. A sure fire way to get you going for the day.

    The Valley Ride

    • When: Wednesday at 6pm during daylight savings
    • Where: Peet’s Coffee, Los Altos
    • Route: Arastradero, Portola Valley, Woodside, Huddart Park, Sandhill and back
    • 28 Miles, 1-1.5 hours

    The Lowdown: This mid week hit out is your ‘circuit race’ ride, with three sprint points and a KOM to boot. The ride regroups at the top of the KOM, but that’s all the leeway you’ll be given. The rest of the time it’s on the rivet race madness, minus the podium.

    Penn Velo Rides – Canada Road Series

    • Where: Intersection were Canada Road meets Rt 92.
    • When
      • Saturday 8:15 AM Regroup Ride
      • Sunday 8:00 AM No Wait Ride
      • Tue/Thu 6:00 PM No Wait Ride  (April-October)

    The Lowdown

    • Saturday Regroup Ride: This ride regroups at the Woodside Bakery after the warmup along Canada Road. After riding counter-clockwise around the Portola Valley loop, there’s a final regroup at the Chevron station on Woodside Road, immediately after turning off Whiskey Hill Road. Hope on this ride and catch The Spectrum going the other direction for a full morning of “racing.”
    • Sunday No Wait Ride: Fast ride, same route as the Saturday ride without any regroups.
    • Tue/Thu No Wait Ride: Race pace rideThese rides occur April through October, when daylight savings time is in effect.  These rides are fast paced with a aggressive riding. Great ride to catch afterwork if you are located in the Northern part of the Peninsula or coming down south on 280 or 101 from SF.

    Alto Velo A and B Ride

    • Where: Peet’s Coffee, State St Los Altos
    • When:
      • A-Ride: Sunday 9:10 Depart
      • B-Ride: Saturday 9:10 Depart

    The Lowdown: The A-Ride is one of the biggest climbing group rides in the area.  The AV juggernaut of riders go long over into the mountains unless it is raining in which case they will stay low.  Expect a 3-5 hour slug fest on some route to the coast as riders tend to go easy on the flats and hit it on the climbs. The B Rides leaves on Saturday and is shorter and maybe slower depending on the current crop of riders attending from Alto Velo.  The B-Ride usually does some climbing but expect a 2-3 hour ride at a more reasonable pace.  Routes change every week at the whim of the ride leaders so check the Alto Velo website or list serve for details.

    Alviso Ride (Formerly the Great America Ride)

    • Where: The park on Sunrise Dr, and Gold St.
    • When: 12 PM Tuesday/Thursday

    The Lowdown: This used to be a fast training ride that ran through the parking lot of Great America.  Kinda like going to a track without any banking which is filled with crit monkeys that just want to smash your head in for a bunch of laps. Then the 49ers blew up Candlestick and moved to Santa Clara and their stadium sits in our parking lot. Jerks.  Now it is just the Alviso Ride complete with The Alviso Ride Facebook Page.

    Additional Resources

    BACK TO TOP

    East Bay

    POO Ride – Port of Oakland Ride

    • Where: Port of Oakland (Maritime, Middle Harbor, and 7th in the Port of Oakland, ~2.5mi loop.)
    • When:
      • Tuesday 6:30 year round
      • Wednesday 6:30 POO-Lite, year round
      • Winter hours: Ride founder Jimbei Suzuki emailed us in February about winter hours, “As the founder of the Poo ride ( Port Of Oakland ) I thought I’d give you guys a heads up that the ride has been starting around 5:30 these days so get there at 5 or be warmed up when you arrive .”

    The Lowdown: This is one of the classic Bay Area group rides. Lots of big hitters show up here, and who doesn’t feel tougher after riding around the docks of Oakland.  This is one reason great sprinters and crit riders come out of the East Bay.

    House of Pain (HOP)

    • Where: Peet’s Coffee Danville
    • When: Saturday Mornings
    • 8:45 HOP Line
    • 9:00 HOP Media
    • 9:15 HOP The Original HOP

    The Lowdown: There are three versions of the House of Pain (HOP) ride.  HOP, HOP Medium, and HOP Lite.  All three of them leave Peet’s in Danville on Saturday morning.  HOP – full on race ride, no waiting for the weak or people with flats.  No regroups. HOP Lite – steady pace.  No attacking and there are a couple of regroups. HOP Medium – In between HOP and HOP Medium.

    Bakery Ride

    • Where: Peet’s Coffee Danville
    • When: Wednesdays 9 AM
    • The Lowdown: No details

    Berkeley Hills Group Ride

    • Where: Mikes Bikes Parking Lot Berkeley (confirm location)
    • When: Sundays 10 AM

    The Lowdown: “Join us for a no-drop, fun and laid-back group ride into the beautiful Berkeley hills; no egos, just good times! Meet in the Mike’s Bikes parking lot at 9:45, roll out at 10. The route will take us up Spruce and part of Grizzly Peak, then back down again. Other route suggestions are always welcome. Speeds will be between 12 and 16mph average depending on the group. Shifting and climbing fundamentals as well as proper road etiquette will be reviewed for anyone interested. ”

    Domingo Peets Ride

    • Where: Peets Coffee in Domingo (confirm location)
    • When: 7:10 AM depart

    The Lowdown
    It goes every Weds unless it rains or is Christmas Day. It’s been going year around for approximately the last 20 years and does approximately a 30-35 mile loop in the East Bay Hills with a fair amount of climbing at a moderate pace. There is one sprint and 2 KOM’s and basically follows the same route each week. Great for working slobs that want a midweek training ride and need to be at work by 10-10:30 AM. The course allows you to drop off the hills or extend at any point depending on the time you have available. Show up any Weds AM prior to 7 AM for coffee.

    Calaveras Noon Ride

    • Where: Foothill & Bernal
    • When: Tue/Thu 12:05 PM Depart

    The Lowdown: Noon ride for the fit and nearly fit.  Tuesday is Calaveras put and back up 3 miles to the first top. Two sprint points coming back, it’s fast, bring good pack skills. Thursday is the Palomares Loop, less competitive, but with more climbing.

    Quest for the Golden Pine Cone (AKA: Junction Hammerfest).

    • When: Every Thursday following Daylight Savings Time through early October.
    • Where: Meet at Peet’s in Danville, 6PM departure, or meet at the South Gate boundary at 6:17.

    Lowdown: A solid effort from the boundary at South Gate to the Junction Ranger Station (Mount Diablo State Park). A great climb.

    Additional Resources

     

    BACK TO TOP

    South Bay (including Santa Cruz)

    Specialized Lunch Ride - facebook fan page

    • Where: Morgan Hill Specialized HQ Parking Lot
    • When: Lunchtime
    • Route: Distance and route varies

    The Lowdown: A world renown hammerfest. Generally a hard ride, with the occasional celebrity showing up to mix it up with the Specialized employees who are working off their “Stress-ialized” aggression. It’s not easy working at one of the top bike manufacturers, that energy has to go someplace!

    Harbor Ride/Saturday World Championships

    • Where: Santa Cruz Harbor/Crow’s Nest
    • When: Saturdays 8 AM

    The Lowdown: There are 30, 60, and 100 mile options when the group splits in Watsonville.

    Tuesday Giro Ride

    • Where:
      • Giro facility in Harvey West Park (11:30)
      • Bus Stop at the intersection of Grandview St and Mission. (11:45)
    • When: Tuesday 11:30

    The Lowdown: Fast Tuesday ride that goes up Hwy 1 and climbs Bonney Doon. Brings out the local pros.

    Santa Cruz Wednesday Ride

    • Where: Santa Cruz - End of 41st Ave. @ the Hook
    • When: Wednesdays 9 AM

    The Lowdown: Does 4 or so hours. Good for pros, aspiring pros, and the nearly employed and unemployed.

    Additional Resources

     

    BACK TO TOP

    Sacramento and Central Valley

    The River Ride - http://sacramentoriverride.blogspot.com/

    • Ride times: “A” Group
    • Monday 5:30 pm parking lot behind 2525 Natomas Park Dr.
    • Tuesday 6:00 pm across from the Bicycle Business 3077 Freeport Blvd.
    • Wednesday 5:30 Folsom Race Ride at 7610 Folsom-Auburn Rd, Folsom, CA
    • Thursday 5:30 pm Guy West Bridge across from CSUS 6000 J St.
    • Saturday 10:00 am behind City Bicycle Works 2419 K St.
    • Ride times: “B” Group
    • Monday 5:30 pm parking lot behind 2525 Natomas Park Dr.
    • Tuesday 5:45 pm Vics Parking Lot 5820 South Land Park Dr.
    • Wednesday 5:30 pm parking lot behind 2525 Natomas Park Dr.
    • Thursday 5:45 pm Vics Parking Lot 5820 South Land Park Dr.
    • Saturday 9:45 am behind City Bicycle Works 2419 K St.
    • Description
    • “A” Group = Fast group bicycle training rides along the Sacramento River.
    • “B” Group = A little bit slower than the “A” Group.

    The Lowdown: This ride is a historic legacy going back to the dawn of man (1976.) Always fast, always sunny, this is the place to be if you are from SacTown. This institution even has it’s own Facebook page if you want to check for the latest details.

    Aggie Race Ride

    • Where: Davis
    • When: Fall to Spring – 3:00pm on Tuesday
    • Route: Sprint points – 1st at the end of Wolfskill Rd beneath the 505 overpass, 2nd at the end of Putah Creek Rd before the T intersection with Stephenson Bridge Rd.

    The Lowdown: Drop ride.  Ride used to be ruled by Paul Mach, Phil Mooney, Ryan Parnes, Jesse Moore, and other former Aggie greats. Bring your horns.  You will need them.

    The Jesse Ride

    • Where: Folsom Bike – Folsom, CA
    • When: 10am on Saturday – Fall to Spring
    • Route: Historically, the ride traverses the remote roads of the Sierra foothills, covering dirt and gravel portions too.

    The Lowdown Begun by Jesse Moore in accordance with his offseason training staple: several hours at 250 watts, and 300 watts on the climbs..Drop ride.  The ride increases in length by 30 minutes every week.  The ride has a new leader for 2013-2014, Byron Anson.  The ride typically runs from November until road season starts in the late winter/early spring – check around to see if it’s rolling.  Frequented by many of the local racers.

    Additional Resources

     

    BACK TO TOP

    Way North – Chico and Up Yonder

    R.A.C.E Chico - http://racechico.com

    The Lowdown: Training race series that runs from Spring till Fall.  Check the website for updated race listings

    Additional Resources

     

    BACK TO TOP

     

    Thanks to the following contributors: Bec Werner, Chris Harland Dunaway, Andrew Juiliano, Dan Smith, Michael Hernandez, Beth Newell, Aaron Hunter, Paul Chuck, Kevin Metcalfe, Daniel Vigil, scobie.com, Carl Neilson, Keith Jordan.