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  1. #1
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    Ride recommendation for non MTB'er

    I would like to introduce my girlfriend to the MTB scene in NoCal, however, as I just moved into the area myself, i'm fairly lost to where to take her. I already built her a SC Chameleon and I would like to take her some where "nice".

    I would prefer to take her somewhere where climbing is not too bad, scenic, not too technical, and "woody". She has never gone mountain biking before.

    Can anyone offer couple of suggestions? I live in the east bay, however, we are willing to drive to find that perfect spot. Possibly a weekend trip - camping and the whole works. I would greatly appreciate any response.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Ride recommendation for non MTB'er

    Coyote hills. Alameda trail

  3. #3
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    Pt. Pinole - flat, safe, wide trails, some with nice views of San Pablo Bay.

  4. #4
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    Arastradero in Palo Alto
    Diamondback Overdrive Sport
    Airborne Sabre

  5. #5
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    Ride recommendation for non MTB'er

    +1 on Arastradero. It's a really nice park, lots of wildlife (deer, rabbits, gophers, lizards), nice shady single track, and pretty easy climbs. Although there was recently a controlled burn there and a lot of the grassy fields are now charred and sad looking.

  6. #6
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    Make what is probably a longish drive over to the coast and check out Rancho Del Oso in Big Basin SP. It climbs probably 400 fti in 7 miles. There's a very cool waterfall (Berry Creek Falls) at the end that you have to hike to after locking your bikes up. Almost the entire ride is under the canopy and along Waddell Creek. This is the way most people should be introduced to mountain biking

  7. #7
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    Ride recommendation for non MTB'er

    Right in your backyard, Joaquin Miller, the Bayview-sequoia trail. About 5 miles out and back, virtually flat, technically very easy, in the trees, and some great views. Better to start her on too short and easy of a ride so she succeeds and feels confident than overwork her and/or have her crash.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  8. #8
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    Ride recommendation for non MTB'er

    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC View Post
    Right in your backyard, Joaquin Miller, the Bayview-sequoia trail. About 5 miles out and back, virtually flat, technically very easy, in the trees, and some great views. Better to start her on too short and easy of a ride so she succeeds and feels confident than overwork her and/or have her crash.
    Despite it's nontechnical nature (for the majority of us) a total newb would probably not agree. There can be lots of hikers, and there are some rocky areas and (tiny) creek crossings. This is not for a first timer.

  9. #9
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    Ride recommendation for non MTB'er

    Quote Originally Posted by plantdude View Post
    Despite it's nontechnical nature (for the majority of us) a total newb would probably not agree. There can be lots of hikers, and there are some rocky areas and (tiny) creek crossings. This is not for a first timer.
    Except my wife has ridden it without falling, and she falls everywhere.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  10. #10
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    This may seem out of left field to some, but after a couple of rides, shuttle the Flume from Spooner to Incline. My then GF, now wife, did it several years ago with me and her brother on a rental bike. Her only riding just prior to that was on her middle-school era rigid Trek (8800?) on our local paved "trail." She had no issues, and she's kind of a wuss in terms of her comfort zone.

    Your GF would probably walk the uphill fireroad section (1/2 mile at most?), but the rest of it is mellow and the views are world-class.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC View Post
    Right in your backyard, Joaquin Miller, the Bayview-sequoia trail. About 5 miles out and back, virtually flat, technically very easy, in the trees, and some great views.
    This was my go-to spot for taking newbies back in the day. They don't have to worry about shifting or riding anything steep/scary and can mostly enjoy the surroundings and view. If she's a total klutz, or hasn't ridden a bicycle in ages, ain't nothing wrong with getting her used to the bike, shifting, climbing and braking on the paved path around Lafayette Reservoir or elsewhere. Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    Make what is probably a longish drive over to the coast and check out Rancho Del Oso in Big Basin SP. It climbs probably 400 fti in 7 miles. There's a very cool waterfall (Berry Creek Falls) at the end that you have to hike to after locking your bikes up. Almost the entire ride is under the canopy and along Waddell Creek. This is the way most people should be introduced to mountain biking
    what he said
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  13. #13
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    Ohlone Bluff trail in Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz:

    Old Landing Cove Trail, Ohlone Bluff Trail Map

    Flat dirt road that winds around cliff edges with scenic ocean views and opportunities for small side hikes down to the beaches. The Fern Grotto in particular is a really nice place to have lunch. I've taken kids as young as 3 years old on this trail.

    As mentioned, Waddel Road in Big Basin is also a good beginner place to ride. Scenic redwoods but there is a slight climb. This more closely simulates the mountain biking experience for beginners than the Ohlone Bluff trail.

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