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  1. #1
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    Socal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?

    In early April, the wife and I will be spending a week road riding around Solvang. After that, we'll be making our way North with our mountain bikes and would like to do some riding either in the SLO or Santa Barbara area. We're not familiar with the riding offered near either place so am looking for recommendations from anyone who knows these areas. We ride XC and my wife likes to keep her wheels on the ground, so no hucking, jumping or shuttles. Our local riding is in Auburn and we can ride anything there and most stuff in Tahoe.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnutty View Post
    In early April, the wife and I will be spending a week road riding around Solvang. After that, we'll be making our way North with our mountain bikes and would like to do some riding either in the SLO or Santa Barbara area. We're not familiar with the riding offered near either place so am looking for recommendations from anyone who knows these areas. We ride XC and my wife likes to keep her wheels on the ground, so no hucking, jumping or shuttles. Our local riding is in Auburn and we can ride anything there and most stuff in Tahoe.
    I'd go with SLO, specifically Montana de Oro State Park.

  3. #3
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    Santa Barbara is actually South of Solvang. SLO has some great riding and I agree that MdO is a great place to start.
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  4. #4
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    +3 on MDO, Madonna Mountain. There is a trail above Cal Poly that is fun also. I would ask a local shop like Wallys on Higuera near Madonna Mountain.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the MDO recommendation. After a bit of research, it looks like a cool place, but seems a bit mellow. Back to my original question though, in a general sense, would you prefer to ride the SLO or Santa Barbara area if you could only do one? This would be for XC riding, (lots of climbing is OK) anywhere from 15-35 miles.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnutty View Post
    Thanks for the MDO recommendation. After a bit of research, it looks like a cool place, but seems a bit mellow. Back to my original question though, in a general sense, would you prefer to ride the SLO or Santa Barbara area if you could only do one? This would be for XC riding, (lots of climbing is OK) anywhere from 15-35 miles.
    Most of the SB trails are steep and somewhat technical. Lots of rocks and chunk. The climbs are largely fire road grinds of between 2-7 miles. Great stuff in my opinion, but not for everyone.

    R

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info EM. Fire road grinds and bombing downhills are not for the wife. I enjoy them though. I'm leaning toward SLO. The images around MDO look fantastic albiet mellower than I would prefer. I'm guessing that SLO would be a bit less populous than SB, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by EMrider View Post
    Most of the SB trails are steep and somewhat technical. Lots of rocks and chunk. The climbs are largely fire road grinds of between 2-7 miles. Great stuff in my opinion, but not for everyone.

    R

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info EM. Fire road grinds and bombing downhills are not for the wife. I enjoy them though. I'm leaning toward SLO. The images around MDO look fantastic albeit mellower than I would prefer. I'm guessing that SLO would be a bit less populous than SB, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by EMrider View Post
    Most of the SB trails are steep and somewhat technical. Lots of rocks and chunk. The climbs are largely fire road grinds of between 2-7 miles. Great stuff in my opinion, but not for everyone.

    R

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnutty View Post
    Thanks for the info EM. Fire road grinds and bombing downhills are not for the wife. I enjoy them though. I'm leaning toward SLO. The images around MDO look fantastic albiet mellower than I would prefer. I'm guessing that SLO would be a bit less populous than SB, no?

    Don't let the pictures fool you - MdO is really good and is a lot of fun for even advanced riders. If you are looking for something more challenging, then try some of the trails on West Cuesta Ridge (go up Shooters, and down Morning Glory, Pick and Shovel, or What Trail...), or go up Madonna Mountain and down Rock Garden.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnutty View Post
    Thanks for the info EM. Fire road grinds and bombing downhills are not for the wife. I enjoy them though. I'm leaning toward SLO. The images around MDO look fantastic albeit mellower than I would prefer. I'm guessing that SLO would be a bit less populous than SB, no?
    MDO is a great place to ride both for beginners to expert riders, imo. You want aggressive? pin it down hazard and you will be grinning, so will your wife, so much flow. SB is hard to beat, romero canyon loop is one of my favorite AM style rides in SoCal. So many good trails in both places, you really can't go wrong in either place.
    nothing witty here...

  11. #11
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    Socal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?-478.jpgSocal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?-483.jpgSocal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?-484.jpg

    Here are a few pics of MDO taken last summer. I did the East Boundry,Hazard Peak to Bluff trail back To Sylvesters Hamburger stand as my loop. Really can't beat it. I do this ride a few times a year.

    The top photo is coming into the park looking north at Morro Bay and Morro Rock. and the second photo is the trailhead at bluff trail. The third photo is the table out on the bluff trail.

  12. #12
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    MDO is pretty mellow on the south end. Futher to the north though there are some cool MTB specific trails with some berms and stuff that are fun. Up on the top of the hill it gets a bit technical as well. If you want an adventure ride early in the morning when the fog is thick. Not being able to see 3 feet in front of your face adds a nice element of suprise. The back side of Madonna has some nice flowy singletrack.
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  13. #13
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    Wow, lots of good info here. I like the fact that MDO has the goods for both me AND Mrs. Nutty! Unless someone can talk me out of it, I think we'll head to SLO from Solvang. No dis to SB, just thinking Solvang - SLO - Santa Cruz - Bay Area make better travel sense.

  14. #14
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    Re: Socal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?

    A lot of us in slo are typically more than happy to give a heads up on the trails out here. MdO is a lot of fun. I'm out there three or more times a week. It isn't the only thing in slo, but I live in los osos so it is convenient for me.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

  15. #15
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    Make sure you eat at Sylvesters after your ride. I eat there everytime I am in the area.

  16. #16
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    It's ok here.













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  17. #17
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    great pics Slocaus.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoeyeti View Post
    great pics Slocaus.
    Thanks. We are adding more that will be open to bikes in a year.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Socal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?-dsc00216-large-.jpg  

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  19. #19
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    Terrific!!! That's way better than "OK". Where is that?

  20. #20
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    MDO. If you're worried about not technical enough, remember that MDO is on the mellow side of the spectrum. Most SLO riding is technical rocky terrain. It's there if you want it.

  21. #21
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    Duly noted!

    Quote Originally Posted by danmtchl View Post
    Make sure you eat at Sylvesters after your ride. I eat there everytime I am in the area.

  22. #22
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    here's a couple recent pics from Little Pine and Romero. Since you're staying in Solvang i say ditch the road bikes and ride littlepine and camuesa ... then head up to SLO!!! everything is so good right now!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Socal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?-img_0193.jpg  

    Socal Visit - Santa Barbara vs. SLO Riding?-photo.jpg  


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnutty View Post
    Terrific!!! That's way better than "OK". Where is that?
    That is MdO, all taken somewhere on the Hazard Peak Trail. I am the crew leader that for CCCMB, so I spend many hours, riding and working on trails. We started brushing for the phase 3 build of Oates Peak reroute today. Chainsaws in poison oak during the rain. Serious fun.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarp43 View Post
    here's a couple recent pics from Little Pine and Romero. Since you're staying in Solvang i say ditch the road bikes and ride littlepine and camuesa ... then head up to SLO!!! everything is so good right now!!!
    Dang I wanted to get down and help you guys on Little Pine, love that trail, first rode it in 1984 when I lived in Santa Barbara. I owe Chris some help, and a beer I think.
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  25. #25
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    sounds like you've got plenty going on up north slocaus!!! can't wait to get up there and check out the work you guys have been doing! we ended up with 30 volunteers that day and the trail is looking great. most of the work was on the meadow from the pic above... had to go back on pres day to 'survey' the work ;-)

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