Established in 1986, the Oakland Yellowjackets Bicycle Club (OYJ) is a social, multi-cultural bicycling group for men and women of all ages and skill levels. We are not a racing team. Our "no-drop" policy ensures that even the slowest cyclists will always ride accompanied. For us, rides are social events not races, so we make every attempt to ride as a group for safety and camaraderie. Our members ride all sorts of bicycles: road bikes, tandems, mountain bikes and hybrids.
We have four riding groups on all our scheduled rides to accommodate riders of various skill levels, climbing abilities and pace:
- LIGHT RIDERS: Slowest and easiest category - shorter routes, leisurely pace, mostly-flat terrain, plenty of rest stops. Mix of road bikes, touring bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes, and other bicycles. No-drop policy applies.
- HUMANE INTERMEDIATE RIDERS: Medium pace, moderate difficulty, occasional shorter routes, fitness pace, some hills, frequent rest stops. Mix of road bikes, tandems, hybrids, and mountain bikes. No-drop policy applies.
- ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE RIDERS: Brisk pace, hill climbs, fewer rest stops. Mostly road bikes, tandems and fast hybrids.
- ADVANCED RIDERS: Fast pace, challenging hill/mountain climbs, few rest stops. Mostly road bikes.
The OYJ regular ride season starts in mid-April with the annual Kick-Off Ride and concludes in late-September or early October with our annual Monterey weekend ride. OYJ rides are typically 35-80 to miles in length with higher mileage rides occurring in the later part of the ride season. Light and Humane Intermediate groups often ride a route with reduced mileage and easier terrain.
Ride origins are classified as follows:
- LAKE: Rides which start from Lake Merritt
- BART: Rides which start from a location accessible by BART
- AWAY: Rides which require a car trip to the start point
BART and AWAY rides during the ride season usually depart from Lake Merritt at 7:00-7:30 AM, depending on time of travel to the start location. Away rides typically originate from the Peninsula, North Bay or South Bay and carpools are frequently available.
Off-season rides (October through April) are what we like to call "Decide-and-Ride" days. These rides range from 30-40 miles in distance with some hilly terrain, depending on the skill level of participating riders. Riders meet the Children's Fairyland parking lot at Lake Merritt in Oakland on Saturday morning, decide on a ride route, then depart at 9:00 AM. Rides may be canceled due to inclement weather.
Like the off-season rides, holiday rides (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day) are "Decide-and-Ride" days.