Better for newer rider: Sullivan/Jedi singletrack or Westridge?
I'm a newer rider on a 29er hardtail working to improve my downhill skills. Coming from road, I have a lot of climbing stamina but my technical skills are in serious need of improvement.
I've been looking at videos to try and get a sense of the steepness of the Sullivan/Jedi singletrack and it doesn't seem too bad except for the end sections.
I've been on some of the Westridge singletrack but there the ridge is high enough where I'm not exactly sure whats up there.
I'm going to be riding tomorrow morning, doing a climb up Sullivan Canyon, hitting the Canyon singletrack, climbing out of the Canyon, and then hitting either of Sullivan or Westridge singletrack the whole way down. I'm going to be putting on some armor underneath and knee/elbow pads for some extra insurance (G-form stuff) and I'm not afraid to walk sections that are too gnarly.
Any specific recommendations for one versus the other and why?
Jedi has sections that are steeper and more technical than anything on the Westridge singletrack. Sounds like you're taking the right approach, so I think you can try either trail. Westridge is probably the better one to start out on, though.
As for Jedi, if you want to avoid the steep, loose, rutted off-ramp from the first section, you can peel off onto the fireroad right after the 2nd short roll-down. On the long middle section, the easier approach for the final, steep descent is to drop in to the right of the big tree. On the lowest section, there's no avoiding the last steep off-ramp down to the pavement, so if you have difficulty riding it without locking up your rear brake, then just get off and walk. Throughout, there are go-arounds for all the larger jumps and gaps. Start small as you get familiar with the flow of the trail and then work your way up.
You can easily get back to your starting point from either trail. From Westridge, it's self-explanatory. From Jedi, your best option is to descend the Sulli Ridge lower pavement a short distance and drop back into Sullivan Canyon via Squirrel Cage, a short trail that drops in on your left by one of the telephone poles. Squirrel Cage starts out with a short, steep loose section followed by some bermed out but rutty s-turns, and ends with a couple of relatively sharp switchbacks. My guess is you'll find it more challenging than Jedi, so once again, walk it if you find yourself locking up your rear brake.
Good luck honing your skills!
Thanks for the replay! I should have checked my phone when I got to the top of Sullivan Canyon.
I ended up doing Jedi and it was pretty fun for the most part, but very rocky and rutted. Interestingly it didn't seem as steep coming down a lot of the sections compared to how it looks when going up hill.
Don't get me wrong, I slow-speed crashed a few times and walked down a few sections but for the most part I enjoyed it. Definitely something to work up towards to get to the point where I can ride the whole trail without stopping.
I'm going to give the Westridge singletrack a go later in the week, and I'll keep your tips in mind for the next time I do Jedi.
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