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  1. #1
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    SLO Bike Rental and Trails for Me and My 13 yr old?

    This may be a tall order, but does anyone have any thoughts on a bike rental shop and nearby trails that I can take my son to next week? We'll be in SLO for my daughter's orientation and he and I need to find something to do while the wife does the parental duty. I don't have a rack on the vehicle we'll be driving so any thoughts on how to handle that would be great too.

    My son is 13 and not an experienced trail rider, so something in the beginner category would be great. It doesn't have to be flat and boring, he actually likes a little adventure, I just don't want him in over his head and end up hating it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    jms
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    I think you can rent a bike @ Cambria Bicycle Outfitters and this would probably fill the bill for a trail ride:

    City of San Luis Obispo - Johnson Ranch
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  3. #3
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    I recently saw a mother & son at Art's Cyclery in SLO and the son was renting an MtB. Not sure what their inventory is but it might be worth a call to Art's for more info.

    Johnson Ranch is a newer trail just a bit south of SLO. I ride it several times a week for a quick ride. Johnson Ranch proper is a 3.5 mile loop with a short-cut cutting in half. It is a new rider friendly course with a few little technical areas that you're out of as fast as you get into them. You'll encounter hikers/joggers on the trail, too. You can pick up the Froom Ranch trail from the north section if you want to stretch your ride out. It will lead you to more elevation gain and eventually a very technical area if you go far enough to Irish Hills. The maps are easy to follow.

  4. #4
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    If you can transport the bikes 15 minutes away check out the bluffs trail at Montana de Oro, it's a beautiful ride along the cliffs by the ocean, you can also ride the Islay Creek fireroad there, the other trails are more fun but require climbing. Poly Canyon is a nice loop behind the campus. Check out cccmb.org for maps.

  5. #5
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    Poly canyon is beginner friendly and in town

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone! After considering your replies and doing some more research I decided to put a hitch on our Ford Edge, borrow a bike rack from a friend, and take my own bikes. I think we'll hit Montana de Oro for sure...maybe another location too.

    Thanks a bunch!

  7. #7
    Now, THAT'S gonna hurt!
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    Definitely the way to go!

    Much better than the constraints of expensive bike rental and still needing to get them where you want to ride. MdO is a great spot. The bluff trail mentioned above will be good for less experienced riders but still fun. MdO has a lot of elevation gain so it could be a real workout and pretty technical for a less experienced rider.

    There's another property you can hit that isn't brutal in the same general area. I forget what it's called but if your heading from Los Osos (MdO) to Morro Bay State Park it's on South Bay Blvd, on the right, just passed Turri Rd. We've always called it Turri Rd but I believe there's an official name.

    Have fun and enjoy our trails!

  8. #8
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    The area off South Bay Blvd is part of Morro Bay State Park, known as Cabrillo Peaks or Cerro Cabrillo; many know it as the old Bautista property, who donated it to State Parks. We may expand the trails there, at State Parks suggestion.

    Map links in my sig, and we have the Irish Hills / Froome Ranch to Johnson Ranch updated map there as well.
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  9. #9
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    I'm also headed to the area and hope to bring our family's bikes. We're camping in the Cerro Alto Campground in Los Padres. How challenging and forgiving are the trails out of that campground for young riders? I have a an extremely novice 7 year old and an advanced beginner 11 year old.

    Any recommendations on which parts of the trail system there to seek out or avoid? How about if I'm sneaking in a solo ride?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tubored View Post
    I'm also headed to the area and hope to bring our family's bikes. We're camping in the Cerro Alto Campground in Los Padres. How challenging and forgiving are the trails out of that campground for young riders? I have a an extremely novice 7 year old and an advanced beginner 11 year old.

    Any recommendations on which parts of the trail system there to seek out or avoid? How about if I'm sneaking in a solo ride?
    The Cerro Alto trail system is small, and the climbs are old mining roads that represent the steepest toughest trails in SLO county. It is hard packed with pebbly loose BB gravel, so climbing and descending are challenging unless you are super fit.

    Drive down to Morro Bay and ride at Cerro Cabrillo off South Bay Blvd as suggested above.
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  11. #11
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    Good information, thank you. We'll see if we can get down to Cerro Cabrillo.

    I found the great maps at cccmb.org! Is there anywhere that has some descriptions of the various trails on the map?

  12. #12
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    Re: SLO Bike Rental and Trails for Me and My 13 yr old?

    Quote Originally Posted by tubored View Post
    Good information, thank you. We'll see if we can get down to Cerro Cabrillo.

    I found the great maps at cccmb.org! Is there anywhere that has some descriptions of the various trails on the map?
    The other side of the map has some description. Bring skeeter repellent for Cerro Cabrillo. I'm a CCCMB builder / maintainer, glad to help.

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