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  1. #1
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    Beginner - Intermediate Riding

    Hello all,

    I'm fairly new to all of this and was wondering of any good mountain biking trails around Irvine for beginner to intermediate riding. I'm hoping for some downhill but nothing too steep with not too much cross country. I saw that wagon wheel park / peters canyon / santiago oaks might be good places? Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonboi
    Hello all,

    I'm fairly new to all of this and was wondering of any good mountain biking trails around Irvine for beginner to intermediate riding. I'm hoping for some downhill but nothing too steep with not too much cross country. I saw that wagon wheel park / peters canyon / santiago oaks might be good places? Any suggestions?
    I started riding in Peters Canyon...its a good place for beginners. Santiago Oaks is not really a good place for beginners. Once I built up my fitness and skills a little bit, I started riding at Aliso Woods and then Santiago Oaks.

  3. #3
    Just Grin and HUCK it...
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    Whiting Ranch is a good spot for beginners to ride. You'll get a taste of some climbing and descending without the super technical stuff. Unfortunately, Cactus is still closed, so it's about 80% fire road / 20% single-track right now.

    Aliso & Woods Canyons is another good spot. Lots of stuff for all riding levels, many different trails to explore. Some good climbing and somewhat technical descents, but nothing too hairy. There are also some trails there that the downhillers ride that are definitely not for beginners.

    My $0.02...

  4. #4
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    Aliso Woods

    I have to second the Aliso Woods recommendation. Wide variety of trails but it can get a little crowded on the weekends. You can park at Top of the World and shuttle to avoid the climbs but then you're missing out on half the fun.

  5. #5
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    great thanks guys. i will probably check out aliso & woods canyon or maybe peters canyon.

  6. #6
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    Whiting Ranch is changed

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonboi
    great thanks guys. i will probably check out aliso & woods canyon or maybe peters canyon.
    Afetr the rain, Whiting Ranch bacame more technical with lots of loose rock and v-ditches water crossing, maybe beginner should wait another few months till the water recessed. Peter's Canyon and Aliso are great, don't miss the Coyote Run at Aliso, the best single track for Beg./Int. rider.

  7. #7
    John Galt
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    Good job! Wier Canyon!

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonboi
    great thanks guys. i will probably check out aliso & woods canyon or maybe peters canyon.
    Nobody mentioned Wier Canyon and that probably has something to do with the fact that it seems like there's rarely anyone there. Wier alone is a short loop (4.x miles), but can be done more than once and is worth it - just watch for ruts in a few areas (I haven't been since the last storms). Wier is almost all singletrack with lots of ups and downs, but basically nothing so long and steep as to require walking. Peters Canyon has 1-2 hills where you'll definitely walk up and Peters seems to go by more quickly despite longer actual mileage than Wier. Still, both are great starter places and I recommend variety!

    Once you're at a more advanced (not much more, as I can do it) level, Wier is great when used as part of a longer ride using neighboring Santiago Oaks and Irvine Park, but the "Chutes" trail and the trail that links Santiago to Wier require some technical skills.

    Remember that you can always walk the bike up or down the nastier stuff - you just need to be able to stop yourself before you get there. This just means you get off the saddle and get your weight back on downhills so you can brake without skidding your rear tire.

    If you don't already have Mountain Biking Orange County California by Randy Vogel and Larry Kuechlin...

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

    ...you should get it. This is a great book and usually pretty much spot-on (allowing some lenience for the subjective nature of trail ratings). Note that you'll probably want to do the beginner's shortcut back to your car at Wier the first couple of times rather than doing the final 0.5 miles or so, which includes one long, moderately steep descent on smooth rock.

    Have fun!
    Cegrover

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