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  1. #1
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    Bay area bike trailer-able rides

    Can anyone suggest local dirt rides that are suitable for draggin two kids in a bike trailer? Nothing too bone jarring as I don't want the few teeth the kids have to fall out prematurely. Bonus points for scenery.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    I took the kids up the fireroad from the Alvarado staging area at Wildcat Park once. We had a blast. It's a bit bumpy in spots, and some of those climbs are pretty leg busting with a trailer. We rode all the way out to the lake near Little Farm.





    Rest break...



    BTW, I keep my trailer tire pressure super low for more shock absorption. Makes more drag on pavement, but not enough to matter. I'm actually keeping my eyes open at swap meets for 20" BMX Freestyle tires in 2.0" or bigger. I think that will smooth out the bumps even more.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 04-19-2012 at 03:52 PM.

  3. #3
    ballbuster
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    Oh, and Point Pinole is nice.

  4. #4
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    Diablo Foothills. You could start at Castle Rock Staging area in Walnut Creek, it's fairly flat. Ride out to the start of BBQ Terrance Trail turn around (some creek crossings) or make a right on Shell Ridge Trail and loop out over to Borges Ranch, take a break, have the kids check out the old farm (i even think there might be livestock they can feed.) You can loop back on Shell Ridge Trail back to Castle Rock.

    Map: http://www.ebparks.org/files/Diablo_...Rock_map_0.pdf
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  5. #5
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    You mean like this?

    Peanut Big Trees.MPG - YouTube

    Big Tree loop on JMP (Big Tree down-Sequoia Bayview Up). 30 minute loop max.

  6. #6
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    Much of Redwood Regional loop would probably be ok.

  7. #7
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    I ride at Quicksilver, St Joes, Kennedy, Nisene from Aptos, and Waddell Creek with my 2 boys in a Chariot. I take snacks and stuff to drink for the kids. We stop and play in streams, etc. Fun and a good workout.

  8. #8
    ballbuster
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    We're talking two kids in a Burly trailer...

    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    You mean like this?

    Peanut Big Trees.MPG - YouTube

    Big Tree loop on JMP (Big Tree down-Sequoia Bayview Up). 30 minute loop max.
    ... or something similar. Big Trees in JMP would be pretty terrible for a two wheel trailer. Tight switchbacks around narrow turns on a narrow trail, and that super steep climb up.. Yikes! ...

    Sequoia Bayview in JMP as an out and back would be nice, tho. It's wide without much elevation gain. It crosses over small streams every half mile or so. Those are pretty big bonks, but shouldn't be too bad.

    Redwood loop would be okay, except for that steep long climb out of the valley to East Ridge. You could maybe do an out-and-back on East Ridge.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 04-19-2012 at 03:57 PM.

  9. #9
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    Pretty much any fireroad...

  10. #10
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    Coyote Hills Regional Park

  11. #11
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    I have had the same question - subscribed.

    Has anyone tried China Camp? i'd love to try an excursion there midweek. Parts of JMP are probably doable as well?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    I have had the same question - subscribed.

    Has anyone tried China Camp? i'd love to try an excursion there midweek. Parts of JMP are probably doable as well?
    I wouldn't do China Camp. I've taken my kids there with the wee-ride and trail-a-bike and my girl started pedaling there when she was 4, but trails are too narrow for a double burley. It might fit, but it will be too hard to pass.

    Nearby, go to Las Gallinas Wildlife ponds in San Rafael. Also Coast Camp or Arch Rock on Pt Reyes. The cross marin trail in Samuel Taylor is also good, places to stop and play in the creek. Loop around Lake Laguntas may work too although it's a little short.

    I think Burleys are really better for bike paths. Kids under 2 get really bounced around if a fire road gets rocky.

    -slide

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    Thanks, that's useful on the narrowness.

    My kids love the bouncy parts best so that's not really an issue, to a point of course. I'm rocking a double chariot and the suspension works great. Not sure how it compares to burley's, but at any rate they clamor for the bumps.


    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon View Post
    I wouldn't do China Camp. I've taken my kids there with the wee-ride and trail-a-bike and my girl started pedaling there when she was 4, but trails are too narrow for a double burley. It might fit, but it will be too hard to pass.

    Nearby, go to Las Gallinas Wildlife ponds in San Rafael. Also Coast Camp or Arch Rock on Pt Reyes. The cross marin trail in Samuel Taylor is also good, places to stop and play in the creek. Loop around Lake Laguntas may work too although it's a little short.

    I think Burleys are really better for bike paths. Kids under 2 get really bounced around if a fire road gets rocky.

    -slide

  14. #14
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    Some of the best south bay spots I've found will be getting too hot pretty soon - like today! Here's what I've found:

    Coyote Lake/Harvey Bear - park at the Mendoza trailhead, then take Coyote Ridge trail to the little Campground trail connecter to Valley Oak trail, then go back the same way (or continue on Calaveras trail, which last time I took it was rough from cow damage). Gaviota trail is fun but depending on cow damage and rocks it can be too rough (baseball-size rocks tend to accumulate on the trail), and it get steep down low (burly going back up) - best to turn around at Blue Oak trail. I've trailered other trails here but they are very bumpy and steep (for a trailer at least).

    Sunol - the main fire road up the canyon bottom only. Not too far (maybe 2 or 3 miles one way?), it has some very fun creek play areas once past the little Yosemite area.

    Nisene Marks - the main fireroad up (which eventually connects to Demo) is nice, shady, and has at least one great creek play area halfway along (under the bridge just before you start up the hill). Once at the railroad grade it's time to ride up for a workout for as long as you think the kiddies can stand it (plus the time to get back down, takes a lot longer with a trailer than by yourself!).

    others that I've had recommended but haven't tried: the Waddell Creek road in Big Basin (starts near the coast), and Old Haul road in Pescadero. Both of those are probably good for hotter weather.

    and some more opinions:

    Wilder - the bluff trail which seems like it would be perfect is actually too side-hilled with tons of little water drain channels in the dirt, it's really rough for the trailer. If your kids like the bouncing then you're fine, and you get a beach after a couple miles.

    Grant ranch - I found most of the flatter roads there are a too rutted/grassy/bouncy, but if your kids like that then there are many options.

    Henry Coe - Hunting Hollow fire road - while this is a flat and long and scenic road, it's very rough at the many creek crossings (which can be deep as well). You would definitely want to check water levels before planning on this.

  15. #15
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    Down in the south bay, the Bay Trail segments are pretty nice:
    - San Francisco Baytrail

    You can ride from the Dumbarton Bridge on the west down past Alviso and the levee loops out from there and all the way up to Dixon Landing Road and much of that is on dirt and gravel right next to the bay. History buffs can get really close to the old ghost town of Drawbridge on on the Mallard Slough loop north of Alviso.
    - Drawbridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I made a loop around those trails last summer on my touring bike:
    - DumbartonLoop by 4crawler at Garmin Connect - Details

  16. #16
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    I'm liking these suggestions since I'm workin' towards getting my almost 2-year old in a trailer...

    Silly question...but trailers like the double wide Burley...how are you getting it through the gates? Seems too wide to get in to some place like St. Joes.


    Seems like Fremont Older would work as well.
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  17. #17
    ballbuster
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    very carefully

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    I'm liking these suggestions since I'm workin' towards getting my almost 2-year old in a trailer...

    Silly question...but trailers like the double wide Burley...how are you getting it through the gates? Seems too wide to get in to some place like St. Joes.


    Seems like Fremont Older would work as well.
    Nah, they fit. Just don't fly through them at 10+ mph in case the trailer hits. Maybe the narrower gates where it won't fit, your kids have to get out, de-couple the trailer and throw it over the fence. I had to do that at Bolinas Ridge.

    No way to get through this gate, even just the bike. I had to throw both over the fence.



    But, glad I did because Diego and I went here (picwhore excuse):





    I love this trailer. Best $50 craigslist find ever.

  18. #18
    ballbuster
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    Wow!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    Down in the south bay, the Bay Trail segments are pretty nice:
    - San Francisco Baytrail

    You can ride from the Dumbarton Bridge on the west down past Alviso and the levee loops out from there and all the way up to Dixon Landing Road and much of that is on dirt and gravel right next to the bay. History buffs can get really close to the old ghost town of Drawbridge on on the Mallard Slough loop north of Alviso.
    - Drawbridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I made a loop around those trails last summer on my touring bike:
    - DumbartonLoop by 4crawler at Garmin Connect - Details
    I'm saving that Dumbo loop! I might have to spend the day with the kids doing that one.

  19. #19
    Axe
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    Old Haul Road was good - with a WeeHoo trailer. But we had to stop near every banana slug. If you pull with a single speed, that is a bit of workout as well.

    I often do loops in Arastradero with Weehoo, but not sure about the double wide trailer. I did rides there with an iBert seat + a trailer with two kids.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I'm saving that Dumbo loop! I might have to spend the day with the kids doing that one.
    North of the Dumbarton, there's a levee loop that's about 2-3 miles. Ends up on the Alameda creek trail that you could take all the way back to Niles Canyon, although more realistically, you could go around the fire roads in Coyote Hills and look at the birdies. It's all mostly flat and would be easier with a Burley.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    BTW, I keep my trailer tire pressure super low for more shock absorption. Makes more drag on pavement, but not enough to matter. I'm actually keeping my eyes open at swap meets for 20" BMX Freestyle tires in 2.0" or bigger. I think that will smooth out the bumps even more.
    Fat tires at low pressure makes a big difference, I switched to fat ones a while back. Here is 1.75 vs 2.35:


  22. #22
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    Wow, great suggestions—thanks!

  23. #23
    ballbuster
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    Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    Fat tires at low pressure makes a big difference, I switched to fat ones a while back. Here is 1.75 vs 2.35:

    Yeah, those skinny slicks are what I have now. They work.

    Do those 2.35s fit a Burly DeLite? They look big enough to rub the canvas 'fender' area where it bugles out.

    I've been trying to find a pair like that at swap meets. I don't wanna buy new. They want like $20 each for those things, and I just can't see spending that kinda money on a trailer that sees 20-30 miles a year tops.

  24. #24
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    From that photo upthread it looks like the 2.35s would probably hit the canvas side on the Burley.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    North of the Dumbarton, there's a levee loop that's about 2-3 miles. Ends up on the Alameda creek trail that you could take all the way back to Niles Canyon, although more realistically, you could go around the fire roads in Coyote Hills and look at the birdies. It's all mostly flat and would be easier with a Burley.
    Yes, Alameda Creek Trail and the connecting trails near the bay are good as well. North side of the creek is dirt/gravel, south side is paved. I rode that a wile back on my skateboard:
    - AlamedaCreekTrail by 4crawler at Garmin Connect - Details

    A bit over 11 miles on the pavement plus a few more unpaved as you note. You'll need to be on the paved (south) side to west of 880 to pick up the other unpaved trails.

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