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Sports Basement's Guide to Riding Public Transportation with Your Bike

Posted by Erendira Garcia on

While the Bay Area is one of the most bike friendly metropolitan areas in the US, unless you live within a 10 mile radius of where you work, it’s just a little too big for a door-to-door bike commute. That’s where our favorite public transportation systems come in. From BART to the VTA, here's how to travel with your bike so you can enjoy your commute and your ride.

Cue the 'oohs' and 'ahhs.'

BART

Even if you’ve never ridden BART (what?!) you at least know how widespread it is. With its furthest stops reaching Pittsburg, Fremont, and Millbrae, you can get almost anywhere in the East Bay and SF on it. If you've been lucky enough to ride on the new trains, there are 3 designated racks for your bike so you don't have to deal with a huge pile up! Here are a few tips for riding BART with your bike:

  • During commute hours (7am-9am & 6:30pm-6:30pm) you can’t board the first three cars with your bike and the train operator will call you out on it. The train operator sees all.
  • Remember that you’ll probably be carrying your bike up some stairs at some point or another so make sure it’s light and fuss free!

MUNI

If BART takes you into the city, MUNI helps you get around...kinda. While all MUNI buses have two or three bike racks on the front, you can’t take them onto the metro or cable cars/historic vehicles. Save the bus ride for cross-city commutes, or when you hit the bottom of Haight Street. Or do The Wiggle.

 

Hands down, the most Instagramable commute ever.

Bike the Golden Gate

Crossing the Golden Gate is not just a bucket list experience, it’s also a great way to commute! Just remember that the sidewalks on each side of the Golden Gate are open at different times. Here’s the schedule during Daylight Savings (March 11, 2018 to November 4, 2018) but you can see all the details on the Golden Gate website.

Weekdays:
5am - 3:30pm: Use the East sidewalk
3:30pm - 9pm: Use the West sidewalk
9pm - 5am: Use the East sidewalk by ringing the buzzer to get across

Weekends:
5am - 9pm: Use the West sidewalk
9pm - 5am: Use the East sidewalk by ringing the buzzer to get across

The east sidewalk faces the Bay and San Francisco while the west side faces the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to follow the rules of the bridge or you will be turned around by law enforcement! No one wants to walk the bridge in bike cleats.

Golden Gate Transit

Okay, so maybe you don’t wanna bike across the Golden Gate Bridge but you still want to bike to work. Just take Golden Gate Transit! All buses have front racks with three spaces for bikes and some of the large buses have two luggage bay bike racks underneath. Now you can answer some emails and get your morning cardio sesh in.

The Golden Gate Ferry / San Francisco Bay Ferry

Whether you use it to commute or as a means to get home from a day in the city, make sure you bring your trusty two-wheeled companion with you. It’s one of the most bike friendly forms of public transportation, featuring real bike racks to safely park your bike. The larger vessels on the Golden Gate Ferry can hold up to 100 bikes! It’s perfect for taking back home after a long ride in Marin or a fun day exploring the San Francisco or the East Bay on your bike. Or working. Whichever.

Bikes are a bus' favorite accesory.

AC Transit

If you live in the East Bay, you’ve seen these lovely green buses driving around town. The AC Transit system is pretty extensive and will take you pretty close to most places you’ll need to go on this side of the Bay and riding with your bike is easy peasy. Just park your bike on the front racks (up to 3 fit) and then hop on the bus. The racks are on a first come, first serve basis and you’ll have to wait for another bus should your be full so keep that in mind when timing your commute in the morning.

CalTrain

If you live on the Peninsula and work in the south Bay, CalTrain should be your best friend. It’s perfect for getting around the length of the Peninsula and San Jose and you can bring your bike to get to your final destination! Each train has at least two bike-designated cars containing bike racks (maximum 4 bikes to a rack). Don’t forget to add destination tags to your bike so fellow cyclists will see where you’re going. You don’t wanna get stuck under a bike bound to Santa Clara if you and your bike are only going to Menlo Park! P.S. Sports Basement Sunnyvale is only a 15 minute ride away from the CalTrain Sunnyvale station.

VTA Light Rail

South Bay folks that get around on the Light Rail know that you might need a little more help getting to your final destination. Good thing you’ll have your bike to take you the extra mile (get it?). The VTA Light Rail accepts bikes-- but only 6 are allowed in one car so make sure you do a quick handlebar count! If you get off at Downtown Campbell station, you’ll only be a few minutes from the Los Gatos Trail that has a paved bike path and only 6 minutes away from our Campbell store!

Photo, thanks to the SF Chronicle!

Amtrak

If your commute is on the Capitol Corridor, then you can bring your bike onto the train! There are 6 spots per train so now you don’t have to worry about making so many connections when you reach your destination. Just hop off the train, hop on your bike, and get to work! Literally.

Bay Bridge

Okay, so you can’t get all the way across this bridge on your bike (yet!) but you can definitely hop on it and head onto Treasure Island. There’s a an entire lane for bicyclists and pedestrians so you can ride easy. The Bay Bridge Trail is open 24 hours a day but check the Bay Bridge website to get updates on construction that will close sections of the trail this fall.


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1 comment


  • The Golden Gate Transit busses that don’t have front racks all have racks for 2 bikes underneath them, but they are a pain to use. Some busses even have two such racks, though the second luggage bay probably isn’t marked.

    The trick, after you manage to get your bike in there, is that when you close the luggage bay door, you have to hold the latch on the door open or the door won’t close. Don’t just try to slam the door shut like you would expect, or it’ll just pop back open.

    Clay on

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