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  1. #1
    jms
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    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs

    Northern and central California is littered with some of the best terrain and routes for mixed terrain riding, those neither completely dirt, pavement, fire road or singletrack rides. Neither "fish nor fowl" rides that aren't completely suited to a mountain bike, road bike, or sometimes, even a dedicated cyclocross bike. There's quite a bit of of this style of riding out there in northern California, if you have a favorite route, why not post it here and share with others.

    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs-img_1438.jpg

    And now that Salsa, Niner and numerous others, have gotten in to game of offering dedicated monster CX or"gravel" bikes with gearing options, disc brakes, and higher volume tires, more versatile bikes are being built and sold than the traditional cyclocross bike. If you have a rig, tips or tricks, you're proud of [or not] share those here too.

    Here's my Asylum Muese:

    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs-img_2417.jpg

    I built it up from a frameset using my old Industry 9/Arch 29er wheelset with my tires set up tubeless. A Shimano CX50 crankset [48/36] and Problem Solver eccentric PF30 BB allow it to be a singlespeed or geared bike. Stopping and shifting with Sram Rival shifters and TRP Sprye cable actuated disc brakes. Sala Cowbell 3 bars and a EIS 7 stem. About 19.5 lbs with pedals, bottle cages, pump clip, etc., etc.
    A really fun and versatile bike.

    And one more of the "Luftwaffle" in it's element:

    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs-img_2400.jpg
    Last edited by jms; 03-27-2014 at 03:09 PM.
    My Favorite Peeps:

  2. #2
    singletrack bound
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    mornin'
    Sorrel Seeker !!

  3. #3
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    My Niner RLT

    It certainly makes Santa Cruz back roads much ridable. I'll probably drag it out onto Kennedy/St. Joes some evenings after work. Nothing epic yet, as it's less than a week old.

    Weighs in around 20lb.

    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs-1383125_10152289016804254_505578469_n.jpg

  4. #4
    enjoying the scenery
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    Nice RLT GC!

    Good routes would be nice. Most of the Bay Area good stuff also involves a crampload of climbing. Lots to do in Marin. Most of the Easy Bay parks can be connected nicely. I am looking at a rides out of Auburn involving Yankee Jims road, and a ride out of Turlock involving Fields Rd. But need more ideas.
    My Curtlo handles fire roads with ease.

    I rode this on the Tainthammer near Gustine.

    My Salsa Podio has seen a bit of fun as well.

    But when I am doing a large amount of dirt, I prefer descending with flat bars:

    I am now building up a 29er version, a Marin Muirwoods 29er, as I love the cockpit of a 29er (feels like a road bike.) Soon this bike will be rolling on Smart Sams:
    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs-00c0c_bq24ibai5st_600x450.jpg
    2010 Niner EMD9
    2005 RM ETSX-50
    2002 Trek 8500
    1997 Marin Bear Valley
    1993 Miyata Elevation 2000

  5. #5
    jct
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    here's my Caletti CX race bike setup for some adventure riding. i fit in some Clement MSO 40s in there with no problem. hitting Dirty Kanza at the end of May.

    Wilder, Nisene Big Basine and all points in between...


    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs-caletticx.jpg

  6. #6
    Ariolimax columbianus
    Reputation: nativeson's Avatar
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    some of the best trails are mostly unmentionable. the beauty of a cx bike is lookin real out of place on certain trails......."uhhhhhh, sorry, where am I, took a wrong turn, lost?"

  7. #7
    Feral Roadie
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    650B Road tires can help a lot with these kinds of rides.

    All the legal stuff in Redwood is doable in dry conditions with this bike. Makes a nice change from climbing Pinehurst.



    Cutting through Briones also adds some variety to rides. I've yet to find anything in the East Bay that isn't ridable with this bike in dry conditions,
    Although the steeper parts of Briones off the main trail aren't much fun to descend. The great thing about this kind of bike is that if you see a little trail, you just go for it. Sometimes it's just a quarter mile of not much, but sometimes you can find some hidden gems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumblingcrustacean View Post
    It certainly makes Santa Cruz back roads much ridable. I'll probably drag it out onto Kennedy/St. Joes some evenings after work. Nothing epic yet, as it's less than a week old.

    Weighs in around 20lb.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You do that little drop on that thing?

  9. #9
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    Mostly ride Marin with my Ibis Hakkalugi disc (18 lbs with Ultegra build). Would like to know about epic rides that can be done not far from SF other than Marin.

  10. #10
    enjoying the scenery
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    Briones can get pretty chewed up by cows, as can Diablo Foothills. Makes riding on any bike a rugged affair.

    The great thing about this kind of bike is that if you see a little trail, you just go for it.
    Yes. I like my bikes to be able to go wherever I feel. Sometimes I have to walk up a hill, but I would rather be on a dirt road than pavement.
    2010 Niner EMD9
    2005 RM ETSX-50
    2002 Trek 8500
    1997 Marin Bear Valley
    1993 Miyata Elevation 2000

  11. #11
    enjoying the scenery
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    Would like to know about epic rides that can be done not far from SF other than Marin
    Look at the SF Spring Classic SF to Santa Cruz route. The web site Boys on the Hoods has another route from SF, over Sweeney into HMB. I have created but never ridden routes involving Gazos Creek, Old Haul Rd, China Grade.
    2010 Niner EMD9
    2005 RM ETSX-50
    2002 Trek 8500
    1997 Marin Bear Valley
    1993 Miyata Elevation 2000

  12. #12
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    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs

    I've gone a little different route recently. Have been riding a cyclocross bikes in various forms around the Santa Cruz mountains as well as the east bay since the 90's. Over the years I've slowly evolved from a drop bar racing rig, to a much more comfortable flat bar set up with v-brakes, to my current rendition: a rigid 29er Mtn rig.

    Given the amount of dirt that can be found around these parts and the cow hoof trodden trails/fire roads that are so common, my current set up is a rigid salsa el mariachi (2x10) with big rubber and a Jones Loop bar. Less efficient for long road miles or steep road descents, but it sure does make the trails more fun. The jones bar allows for a really aero tuck position when so desired on the road.

    The bike (bars are currently wrapped with handlebar tape)


    One of my multi-park tour routes (JMP, redwood, Chabot, Pleasanton Ridge - out and back):


  13. #13
    more skier than biker
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    Have any of you ever ridden a route that included Usal Road? Starts just north of Fort Bragg, then continues up through the Lost Coast.

    Usal Road images:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=usal...w=1366&bih=667

  14. #14
    enjoying the scenery
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    VeloDirt
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Have any of you ever ridden a route that included Usal Road? Starts just north of Fort Bragg, then continues up through the Lost Coast.

    Usal Road images:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=usal...w=1366&bih=667
    That looks like an adventure. And as you move up into Oregon the fun increases. Look at the VeloDirt web site.
    2010 Niner EMD9
    2005 RM ETSX-50
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    1997 Marin Bear Valley
    1993 Miyata Elevation 2000

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Have any of you ever ridden a route that included Usal Road? Starts just north of Fort Bragg, then continues up through the Lost Coast.

    Usal Road images:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=usal...w=1366&bih=667
    I've heard of people riding it. Seems like an awesome adventure.

  16. #16
    menace to myself & others
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    This guy included Usal in what looks like a tremendous trip

  17. #17
    enjoying the scenery
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    Quote Originally Posted by sashax View Post
    This guy included Usal in what looks like a tremendous trip
    Tremendous, indeed. A cameo by the Mendocino Bike Sprites as well.

    All of my Mixed Terrain adventures have me riding out the front door to Redwood or Wildcat, maybe a Chabot. Big wow. Damn, doing that solo is impressive. Rep given!
    2010 Niner EMD9
    2005 RM ETSX-50
    2002 Trek 8500
    1997 Marin Bear Valley
    1993 Miyata Elevation 2000

  18. #18
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    Northern Callifornia Mixed Terrain Rides And Rigs

    Never ridden Usal, but have driven it. It does see some car and motorcycle traffic, and I've heard it got graded last year which might draw even more motos so be on the lookout if you're out there riding.

    One time when I drove it in the spring many years ago after a wet winter, it took 3+ hrs just to drive it!

    Have always wanted to put together an epic ride up there, including Usal Rd and a few others for a point to point or a massive So Hum loop.

    BTW the hiking trail along the coast that parallels Usal rd ( lost coast trail) is absolutely stunning. LOTS of ticks though...



    Sent from a tiny keyboard

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by danec99 View Post
    Look at the SF Spring Classic SF to Santa Cruz route. The web site Boys on the Hoods has another route from SF, over Sweeney into HMB. I have created but never ridden routes involving Gazos Creek, Old Haul Rd, China Grade.
    I didn't go to deep but I wasn't able to find much on the Boyz on the Hoods site as far as actual mapped routes or directions. Awesome ride reports with fantastic pictures tho!
    I'd love to do that Sweeney Ridge ride to HMB from Marin, as much as I love planning a fun new route, it's always great to have all the major route details already worked out. Any info/directions/strava on that route?

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    The San Francisco Randonneurs put on some mixed terrain rides.

    San Francisco Randonneurs : Home
    I think the shortest is 200 K, though.
    Tequila is a pallid flame that passes through walls and soars over tile roofs to allay despair. A. Mutis

  22. #22
    tjp
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    I've always looked at a Arcata-Orleans-Forks of Salmon/Salmon river road-Etna-Callahan-Weavervill-Hayfork-USFS Route 1-Arcata tour. Ideally with a follow vehicle carrying camping gear and beer, but even inside that loop there are a million options. Draw a shape with the Oregon border at the top (or ignore the border and keep going north), 101 as the west, Hwy 20 as the south, I5 as the east. You could spend a lifetime exploring mixed terrain rides that area.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sashax View Post
    This guy included Usal in what looks like a tremendous trip
    Holy S. That is so bad ass. I lived in Humboldt for nearly 5 years and didn't see half the stuff he saw in a week. He's a damn good mountain biker as well.

  24. #24
    Paper or plastic?
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    Nice bike JMS. How does it ride on the road? Compared to say a Roubaix? Does it take a regular 50x34 compact crank?
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  25. #25
    dude with orange car
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    Most of my riding has been on my Salsa Vaya the past few years. Take a kid to school, commute, general east bay road/dirt riding. It is excellent.



    Commute bike (everyone should put a sofa next to their drill press, just in case a comfy spot for a break is needed):


    Hwakeen Miller:


    Bolinas Ridge:
    This is no time for levity. - Oliver Hardy

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