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Bay Area Group Rides: The Port of Oakland “POO” Ride

By Eric Davis | In Bay Area Group Rides, General | on April 20, 2015

Bay Area Group Rides:

The POO Ride

Intro: As part of our look at Group Rides in the Bay Area, this week we look at an East Bay Classic, The Port Ride, affectionately referred to as the “POO” ride by diehards.

A 2.4 mile loop on the Oakland Waterfront, under the watchful eyes of the cranes which may or may not have been the inspiration for the At – At Walkers of STAR WARS fame, the POO ride is not one to be missed.

Although not technically a race; lacking as it does a proper start or finish, this is one of the best rides out there. Think of it as an hour – long hot lap with a dozen of your closest friends. Or an exercise in controlled chaos – as riders dive into corners and lapped riders drop off and jump back in.

The Route: A clockwise 2.4 mile loop on good to poor city streets on the Oakland Waterfront with two hard right hand turns (one just before the last straight which is fairly easy to negotiate, the other located at the other end, which are notorious for causing flats and broken bones if not navigated correctly).

The after hours start time means that these wide-open roads are nearly empty of traffic (car, truck or otherwise), but make no mistake – this is not a closed course.

(For more, see Coach Dana’s “Inside Dope” comments below).

Why You Should Do This Ride: Looking for a little mid-week crit practice? This is your best bet. That, and an excuse to pun with the word “poo” after uploading your ride to Strava.

The Inside Dope (Dana Williams): Think of this ride as a freeform crit. Best to stay at the front as the group can tend to yo – yo, and you don’t want to get caught behind less experienced riders if you want to stay upright.

Speaking of which, accidents do happen here and many are the stories of broken wheels and broken bikes. But that’s not to say that its any more dangerous than any other group ride. But the smarter you ride, the less likely you are to crash.

Check your tire pressure – Best to ride 25s at 100psi, which seem to absorb the shock tracks better than 23s at 130 (although the jury’s still out on that one..), and you don’t have to be too concerned about getting a pinch flat.

Some facts: 

Ride Distance: 2.4 mile loop

Occurs: Every Tuesday (Year round, rain or shine)

Start time/place: Port of Oakland – Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.

5:30 warm-up. Expect to be rolling by 6. Ride usually winds down at sunset.

Group Size: Varies.

Strava Route Info: 

KOM: Scott Witthoff (4:47)

QOM: Kim F (4:48)

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGhYp1g05qc

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