Going to be in Corning for 3 weeks in Feb. I'm planning to ship a bike out. Gotta have something to ride! Totally unfamilar with cali wx /riding opportunities in this area. Which should it be road or mtb.
TG from NC
California is a big state and the weather, geology and other factors vary greatly between areas. There's lots of mountain biking near Chico and depending on if you have a car or not, there's lots of mountain biking a little farter away.
Originally Posted by Terry G
** edit - didn't read title carefully. Had to look on a map to find Corning.
If you can, bring both a road and mountain bike. West of Corning there is some nice road riding with killer scenery, good roads and not much traffic.
For MTB check out Chico and Oroville. You can find trails under the trail review section of this site.
There was a thread here not too long ago about mtn biking in the National forest to the west of Corning. February is the dead of winter, though, even in California, and it could be pretty wet up around Corning. That's a very large area with not too many people, and the thread eventually moved off on twin tangents of backcountry skiing, and whether some of the trails up there were in a new wilderness area.
There's also a venerable bike club in Chico, Chico Velo, and they sponsor a series of very well run rides every year. http://www.chicovelo.org/
They've got lots of local info on their web site.
If you want to ride without driving 30+ minutes bring your road bike. Corning is flat/rolling farm country in the middle of the Sacramento Valley. Good road riding is plentiful on the rural roads in the area, Chico Velo has a couple fun, free unsupported centuries in the area if you're into that sort of thing. Search the net for the Chico Wildflower Century and you'll find the ride info. As far as dirt, closest is probably upper Bidwell Park near Chico, 30-40 min drive from Corning. There is also Whiskeytown NRA, which is 50 - 60 mins away with much better riding than Bidwell.
I don't know if you are interested in birds - waterfowl in particular - but that area has astounding quantities of ducks and geese in the winter. There are numerous wildlife refuges, and if you hit it right, you can witness thousands of birds flying in or out. It's pretty spectacular.
I'd second the suggestion on the road bike for the reason given about driving. Just stay off the main 2 lane routes. The whole valley is criss-crossed with farm roads, typically on a mile square grid. Usually the road that is the shortest line between 2 places will carry most of the traffic, and if you go one road to either side, traffic will be much lighter
As far as riding gear, it can get pretty gray and foggy up in the Sacramento valley. Its usually not bitter cold, but can be very damp and chilly