Sacramento and cycling are entwined. From professional bike races like the Amgen Tour of California to the recreational riders and commuters who pedal daily along the 32-mile American River Bike Trail, the city and the sport help define the Sacramento community.
American River Bike Trail
This paved pathway extends 32 miles from the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers to Beals Point on Folsom Lake. Every mile is marked, and access points are plentiful along the way. The trail parallels the water, and only a few short inclines interrupt the flat route. Water stations, restrooms and emergency telephones are available every few miles. Cyclists share the multiuse pathway with runners, walkers and others.
Sacramento Northern Bike Trail
Beginning on C Street in downtown Sacramento and continuing to Elverta Road in Rio Linda, this ride of just under 10 miles runs along the former right of way of the Sacramento Northern Interurban Railway, which ceased operations in the 1940s. The route passes through rural areas and historic neighborhoods. It's a beginner-level trek with beautiful scenery and sections paralleling a stream.
Mike's Bikes Lunch Ride
Every Thursday beginning at 12:30 p.m., the downtown location of this Northern California chain retailer hosts a one-hour, easy-paced ride for cyclists of all abilities. The treks begin at the store, located at 1411 I St. Riding etiquette and training techniques are discussed.
Sacramento Bicycling Meetups
Many group bike rides in Sacramento are organized through Meetup.com, an online social organization that facilitates grassroots gatherings of people with shared interests. Two of the local cycling groups are Hammerin Wheels and Pedal Club Cyclists For Fun, Fitness and Fellowship. Meetup times and places vary. Most outings are casual ride-oriented, although a few tackle challenging routes out of town.
Visiting? Rent a Bike Here
Sacramento consistently makes the top 10 cities for cyclists when news organizations publish their lists, and if you're visiting, you'll want to experience it for yourself. Whether it's riding on one of the above rides or just quickly getting to downtown and Midtown locations on two wheels, renting a bicycle is always a great way to see the city.
Practical Cycle, located at 114 J St. in Old Sacramento, has a knowledgeable and helpful staff to get you in the saddle quickly and efficiently, and it's located right in the heart of the city.