Bike community abounds and thrives here in Oakland and Berkeley, in part because there is such a diverse range of entry points for anyone looking to be a part of a bike-centric community.
Are you a bike newbie looking to learn how to change a flat tire? The East Bay has more friendly DIY bike kitchens than you can shake a wrench at.
In need of some friends who like to throw good parties on two wheels? Then don’t forget your thematic costume when you roll out to join any number of monthly bike parties that mob around town.
Itching to advocate for a safe bike lane on the major street that you and your family use every day? There’s a bike advocacy nonprofit that probably already has the issue on their radar.
Longing for Spanish-speaking bike community or bike groups for people of color? You’ve come to the right place.
We should note that the East Bay also has a wealth of locally-owned bike shops and bike-friendly businesses that can suit your needs when it comes to finding the perfect bike, parts, and apparel. What follows here is less a list of bike shops and more a directory of groups, meetups, nonprofits, events, and businesses that specifically help to promote community-building among cyclists. Whether it’s a leisurely weekend bike ride or a bilingual community bike shop you’re looking for, we wish you luck in finding your bike community.
This Meetup group – 3,157 members strong and counting – is for people looking to meet other local cyclists for rides all around the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Rides are tiered by difficulty, from beginner to advanced.
Berkeley Bicycle Club
Billing itself as the “premiere amateur racing team in Northern California,” the Berkeley Bicycle Club puts on at least two notable bike racing events annually – the Berkeley Hills Road Race and BBC/Albany Criterium – and averages about 30 active racers each season.
ADDRESS: Berkeley Bicycle Club, PO Box 165, Berkeley, CA 94701
According to BicyCAL, it is “a student-founded and cooperatively-run organization at UC Berkeley whose mission is to empower UCB students, faculty and staff to successfully integrate the bicycle into their daily lives. We offer peer-to-peer bicycle repair and maintenance education in a radically positive environment.”
ADDRESS: Located in a shipping container on the steps of the MLK Student Union on UC Berkeley’s Upper Sproul Plaza
Bicycle Music Festival
The beloved Bicycle Music Festival is a 100 percent pedal-powered music festival that bike-parades its 14,000-watt PA system, live music stages, food bikes, art bikes and sound bikes through the streets before ending with an all-night party. This year, after a successful eight years running in San Francisco, BMF (in partnership with Life Is Living) is coming to Oakland for the first time on October 11.
ADDRESS: 451 Hayes St., 2nd floor, c/o SF Parks Alliance, San Francisco, CA 94102
Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay
The BTCEB is a membership-based mountain biking nonprofit group that advocates for fair access to parks and trails of the East Bay, and hosts fun group rides, parties, and social events.
ADDRESS: P. O. Box 9583, Berkeley, CA 94709
PHONE: (510) 761-6825
Bike the Bay Cycling Meetup group
This very active Meetup group is for anyone who wants to meet new people through cycling. Their road rides range from flat, social, brunch or happy hour rides to moderately difficult, mid- to long-distance, 20-100 mile rides with 1,000-5,000-foot climbs. An example of a recent social ride: a flat Saturday morning 20-miler ending up at the Chevy’s in Emeryville for Cinco de Mayo lunch and margaritas.
Bike East Bay (formerly the East Bay Bicycle Coalition)
Founded in 1972 as the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, or the EBBC, the newly-christened Bike East Bay has a long history of advocating for the interests of cyclists in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Their advocacy accomplishments include founding the now nationally-celebrated Bike to Work Day in 1994; and expanding commuters’ safe bike access to public transportation, roads, and parking all across the East Bay.
ADDRESS: 495 Embarcadero W, Oakland, CA 94607
PHONE: (510) 845-7433
Bike to Work Day
Bike to Work Day is an annual day that promotes safe, fun bicycling by encouraging people to bike to and from work en masse. Founded in 1994 by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, May 8, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Bike to Work Day. Energizer Stations, after-work bike parties, and more help to ease thousands of bike commuting newbies and veterans alike into the ride to and from work.
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 1121, Oakland, CA 94604
PHONE: (415) 787-2893
The Bikery is a community bike shop and collective run by the Oakland-based nonprofit Cycles of Change. It offers affordable used bikes for sale, bike repairs, classes, community events, a DIY bike repair space, and youth leadership programs featuring a Youth Earn-a-Bike program.
ADDRESS: 1246 23rd Ave., Oakland, CA 94606
PHONE: (510) 536-6732
Bikes 4 Life
A project of One Fam, Bikes 4 Life is a nonprofit community bike shop and social justice organization in West Oakland, with a mission to support the surrounding community and offer healthy, sustainable life opportunities to young people. They sell affordable bikes, offer repairs, organize group rides, and build leadership through internships.
ADDRESS: 1600 7th St., Oakland, CA 94607
PHONE: (510) 452-2453
Biketopia Community Workshop
BCW is a bike shop and community-building nonprofit that provides bicycle education and repair services to the Southwest Berkeley community and beyond. They’re open Mondays through Fridays 4pm – 8pm, and also offer mechanics classes on weekends depending on demand.
ADDRESS: 1752 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley, CA 94703
Critical Mass is a monthly mass bicycle ride that takes place in some form, on some Friday evening, in cities all across the world. In Berkeley, Critical Mass happens on the second Friday of each month, starting at 6pm at the Ashby BART station. Oakland’s newer Critical Mass happens on first Fridays at 8pm, departing from 14th and Broadway in Downtown Oakland, and usually ends in the vicinity of First Friday/Art Murmur.
The Crucible’s bike program
According to The Crucible, nearly 6,000 youth have participated in its youth bike program since its inception in 2005, through field trips, classes, workshops, Bike Fix-a-Thons, and Earn-a-Bike classes. The Crucible now also offers, due to popular demand, a frame alteration workshop, in which any youth aged 12 and up “who wants to get down with torch and grinder” can customize their own bike frame – in other words, incorporating some of what The Crucible does best. There are other bike-centric classes, too, for youth and adults alike, including bike mechanic workshops and Playa Bike: Desert Readiness 101.
ADDRESS: 1260 7th St., Oakland, CA 94607
PHONE: (510) 444-0919
Cycles of Change
Cycles of Change works to improve the health and sustainability of Oakland’s neighborhoods by increasing the use of bicycles as transportation, connecting youth with the living systems of the local area, and building a diverse community of young leaders. The broad range of Cycles of Change programs include after-school bike clubs; the Bike-Go-Round, which gives refurbished used bikes and bike safety training to low-income Oakland adult residents, free of cost; a traveling Bikemobile that offers bike fix-a-thons and repairs around town; and Safe Routes to School, a chaperoned bike safety training for elementary school kids.
ADDRESS: 1246 23rd Ave., Oakland, CA 94606
PHONE: (510) 842-1006
East Bay Bike Party
The East Bay Bike Party is a monthly mobile party for “riders of all ages, experience levels, and types to meet, ride, and play together in the streets.” Ride routes and party stops are planned and led each month by volunteers, and each month’s party boasts a different theme (this month’s theme: Candy Land). Rides depart from a designated meeting point (announced each month when determined) at 8pm every second Friday of the month.
East Bay Midnight Moonlight Bike Romp
A monthly bike party that begins at midnight and, true to its name, romps through the streets of the East Bay accompanied by music, booze, and snacks before ending with an after-party.
PHONE: (616) 560-6107
El ColectíVelo is a Spanish bilingual community bike shop founded in 2008 by two volunteers from the Oakland Catholic Worker and Street Level Health Project, respectively, who recognized a need for low-cost, Spanish-language bike repair in the Fruitvale District. The shop is now operated by a mix of community members ranging from native Oaklanders to Central and South Americans, with varying degrees of expertise on bike repair and language fluency. Open Saturdays 1pm – 5pm.
ADDRESS: 4848 International Blvd. at 50th Ave., Oakland, CA 94601
PHONE: (510) 456-5233
Grizzly Peak Cyclists
Grizzly Peak Cyclists is a Berkeley-based bike club that welcomes anyone and everyone on a variety of organized bike rides ranging from novice-level to competitive. The club hosts rides every weekend throughout the year, and many weekday rides as well.
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 11034, Oakland, CA 94611
This locally-based bike shop chain has a simple mission: Get more people on bikes. To that end, Mike’s Bikes sells high-quality bikes and accessories, offers professional repairs, and leads group bike rides all over the Bay Area.
ADDRESS: Berkeley location: 2161 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704
PHONE: (510) 845-2453
Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative
Missing Link is a worker-owned bike cooperative in Berkeley that was founded by a group of UC Berkeley students in 1971 in the basement of the university’s Student Union building. Today, Missing Link sells bikes and accessories, does repairs and bike fittings, offers classes and loaner tools, and continues to be worker-owned some 40 years later.
ADDRESS: 1988 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
PHONE: (510) 843-7471
Oakland SPOKES is currently looking for a space to start a pop-up Oakland SPOKES Community Bike Lounge. Follow their Facebook page for updates.
PHONE: (510) 545-2203
The Pedaler: Biking the East Bay
Weekend bike rides are led by the staff of the Pedaler Bike Shop in El Sobrante. They currently meet each Saturday morning to ride the 3 Bears, one of the most popular road biking routes in the Bay Area; additional rides to varying locations may be added as the days get longer, including off-road riding.
ADDRESS: 3826 San Pablo Dam Rd., El Sobrante, CA 94803
PHONE: (510) 222-3420
P.O.K.E.R Bicycle Familia
P.O.K.E.R stands for People of Kolor Everyday Ridin’, People of Kolor Evening Rendezvous, or many other iterations, the salient part being “People of Kolor.” P.O.K.E.R was begun in 2008 to “create a space for people of color to ride, have fun, promote active health, and in the process, build community.” Though P.O.K.E.R rides have been scarce in the last couple of years, the Facebook group is a good space to check out posts and goings-ons from members of the P.O.K.E.R community.
Red Bike & Green
RBG is a national collective of Black urban bicyclists who work to improve the health, economy, and local environment by creating sustainable Black bike culture. Oakland’s thriving RBG contingent organizes fun rides on the streets of Oakland, supporting Black-owned local businesses and promoting healthy living along the way. Upcoming RBG Oakland events include an RBG Family Ride to the Malcolm X Jazz Festival on Saturday, May 17 at noon.
Rock the Bike
If you’ve ever seen a pedal-powered bike blender at a community event, chances are that it came courtesy of Rock the Bike, a Berkeley-based mad scientist’s laboratory founded by Paul Freedman, a.k.a., Fossil Fool the Bike Rapper. Along with inventing pedal-powered contraptions, Rock the Bike promotes pedal power by entertaining and educating at schools and parties, and throws events that help to “spread the spirit of the bike into broader culture.”
ADDRESS: 6323 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA 94608
PHONE: (510) 338-3326
Spokeland Bike Co-Op
Spokeland is a volunteer worker-owned nonprofit bicycle education resource founded in 2009. Currently housed at A PLACE for Sustainable Living in Oakland, Spokeland “provides a DIY/DIT (Do it Yourself/Do it Together) workshop with knowledge, tools, and parts for our community to access. We love bikes and want to share the love by making our passion affordable, accessible, and sustainable.”
ADDRESS: 1121 64th St., Oakland, CA 94608
PHONE: (510) 852-9253
Street Level Cycles
A full-service bike workshop housed within Waterside Workshops in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park, Street Level Cycles offers a DIY bike workshop and youth education programs. During public hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, staff and volunteers are available to help you learn to fix your own bike or to offer professional repairs. Work-trade is also available for folks in need to work for credits towards a bike or bike parts.
ADDRESS: 84 Bolivar Dr., Berkeley, CA 94710
PHONE: (510) 644-2577
Walk Oakland Bike Oakland
Walk Oakland Bike Oakland’s mission is to “to improve neighborhood livability, vitality and sustainability by making walking and biking safe, easy, accessible and fun.” To that end, WOBO has been advocating for improved infrastructure to support walking and biking in Oakland since 2007.
ADDRESS: 436 14th St., Oakland, CA 94612
Did we miss any community-building bike orgs or events that everyone should know about? Leave a comment below with details and a link, and we’ll keep updating this list.
ABOUT THE SERIES
Live Work Oakland’s bike series is brought to you by Hot Italian, the first LEED Certified pizza & panini bar and the first bicycle friendly restaurant in California, open daily 11:30 a until late night with weekend brunch, cocktails, wi-fi, curbside pick-up, and delivery by bike from Emeryville’s Public Market. HOT ITALIAN is a design-driven brand where modern Italy meets urban California and a 2014 East Bay Bike Bike-Friendly business winner.
VISIT HOT ITALIAN AT THE PUBLIC MARKET Open daily 11:30 am & weekend brunch 10:30 am-3:30 pm 5959 Shellmound Street, Emeryville, CA 94608 (510) 922-1369
Read more at this tag:http://liveworkoakland.com/?s=biking