“You’ll want to stay on the designated paths,” said Chris. And there are plenty of them. East County offers numerous venues for every type of cyclist.
The Marsh Creek and de Anza trails provide paved riding for pleasure riders, while Round Valley, Contra Loma and Black Diamond Mines are popular with mountain bikers. (Remember to review bike regulations before riding.)
Serious road bikers can make use of the extensive bike lanes provided on local streets, and BMX trick riders can show off their moves at the Antioch skate park.
Brentwood also allows BMX riders to use its skate park, alternating days with skateboarders. The city’s effort to accommodate bikes has kept it on the League of American Bicyclists list of Bicycle Friendly Cities since 2006.
If all this sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry. Chris and Bobbi also simplify the major differences between types of bicycles. Mountain bikes are designed for riding on dirt, while beach cruisers, hybrids and pleasure bikes are for those who ride on trails and paved areas. Road bikes are geared to serious cyclists with a passion for fitness or racing.
For all bikers, only a few basics are required to get started, including a helmet. Though helmets are legally required for bikers under the age of 18, Chris and Bobbi strongly recommend them for all riders.
“You have only one head, and you want that head to be safe,” said Bobbi. New riders should also purchase a water bottle and attachment in order to stay hydrated. Those who ride at night are legally required to use a light on the front of their bicycles and a red flasher on the back.
Additional accessories and apparel can enhance the biking experience. Padded bike shorts and gloves give added protection, and specially-designed comfort seats make long rides more enjoyable. “The bikes nowadays are much more comfortable,” said Chris.
Bobbi agreed, “The components have improved vastly.” BMX riders can purchase a wide selection of accessories, and riders of all persuasions can purchase features such as under-seat pouches and speedometers.
Flat tires and other maintenance challenges are familiar to Chris and Bobbi. In addition to selling merchandise, they offer a full-service repair shop – a big draw to bike buyers. The Michalskis’ experience helps them determine the correct size and style for a new bike, and customers know that their cycles have been assembled by an expert. Prices are kept reasonable, and Chris and Bobbi hope to see the community’s interest in cycling continue to rise.
Brentwood Bike Co., located at 7750 Brentwood Blvd., Suite C, is open Mondays from noon to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 925-634-5000 or visit www.brentwoodbikeco.com.