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  1. #1
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    New question here. Most California Forested Single Track?

    I am considering moving from Colorado to California to be able to ride more. We can ride about 9 months out of the year here near Denver. Of that 9 months I can mountain bike for 6. Granted the mountain biking here is amazing! Do you feel there is any location there in California that offers rideable forested single track that can be ridden for more than 6 months a year? Also, in that are there decent roads to ride the skinny road machine?

    Thanks more than I can Express!

  2. #2
    Hοmo Velo
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    SF Peninsula / Santa Cruz Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by a73comoon
    Do you feel there is any location there in California that offers rideable forested single track that can be ridden for more than 6 months a year? Also, in that are there decent roads to ride the skinny road machine?
    Forested and ridable 12 months a year:


    As for skinny wheel fodder, the selection is really world class. These pics are taken in January BTW.


    If you don't like climbing, then my rides are three times more fun than yours.

  3. #3
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    Wow! I am drooling! Recommendations for a few cities to live in near there?

  4. #4
    Hοmo Velo
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    Quote Originally Posted by a73comoon
    Wow! I am drooling! Recommendations for a few cities to live in near there?
    Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, Woodside to name a few...
    If you don't like climbing, then my rides are three times more fun than yours.

  5. #5
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    umm. there are a few good trails on the peninsula, but by and large it is way overcrowded and way overpriced, plus all too much of it is only legal at night (and even then only if you're careful at the trailhead or on trails that are visible from roads where rangers can see). i personally would not move back to the bay area for any reason i can think of.

    i'm sure i won't be the first person to suggest this to you, but you might consider developing some cold-weather interests to get you through the winters. then you'll start each mtb season mentally fresher. when i was living in germany, i got pretty annoyed by winter until i learned to xc ski. the trails here are just opening up now. we had about 2 really annoying weeks when neither skiing nor mtn biking was very reasonable, so i went to st george for the weekend.

    if you're dead set on structuring your whole life around 1 activity, and living in california, i would lean towards the sierra foothills rather than the bay area. it's a little warmer in the summer, but the mtn biking dogs up the bay area, in quantity and quality. non-millionaires can still buy houses in the sacramento area too.

    of course, if you're national-class racer, you might want to consider moving. in that case i'd move almost anywhere besides the bay area.
    -mark
    mark weaver
    kuna, id

  6. #6
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
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    Move to FL we can ride everyday of the year and then some

  7. #7
    Hοmo Velo
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    Quote Originally Posted by velosapiens
    plus all too much of it is only legal at night (and even then only if you're careful at the trailhead or on trails that are visible from roads where rangers can see).
    Where did you get that idea?

    Yes - the Bay Area is pricey but the trails aren't crowded at all unless you insist on getting your beauty sleep before you ride. My point is it meets the criteria in the original post, which did not mention any non-riding related requirements.
    If you don't like climbing, then my rides are three times more fun than yours.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biking Viking
    Where did you get that idea?
    umm, from the "no bikes" signs posted essentially everywhere in san mateo, at most of the really cool stuff in nisene marks, at pretty much every good trail in marin. etc... etc...

    my idea of crowded is seeing other people on the trail, ever.
    mw
    mark weaver
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  9. #9
    cask conditioned
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    Quote Originally Posted by a73comoon
    I am considering moving from Colorado to California to be able to ride more. We can ride about 9 months out of the year here near Denver. Of that 9 months I can mountain bike for 6. Granted the mountain biking here is amazing! Do you feel there is any location there in California that offers rideable forested single track that can be ridden for more than 6 months a year? Also, in that are there decent roads to ride the skinny road machine?

    Thanks more than I can Express!
    Besides all the downsides that people can dredge up, Los Angeles has amazing foresty s.t. that you can ride for 12 months a year. The snow melts quickly most years. There are also nice road rides in the Santa Monicas (crisscrossing all the s.t. there too).

    Now that I think about it, we don't need anymore people moving here, so nevermind.

  10. #10
    Hοmo Velo
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    Quote Originally Posted by velosapiens
    umm, from the "no bikes" signs posted essentially everywhere in san mateo, at most of the really cool stuff in nisene marks, at pretty much every good trail in marin. etc... etc...

    my idea of crowded is seeing other people on the trail, ever.
    mw
    I had no idea anything at Nisene Marks or San Mateo is open at night - everything I know of closes at sunset. Where is it?

    Care to share with us where you ride in the Sierra Foothills without "seeing other people on the trail, ever".

    Thanks,
    Geir
    If you don't like climbing, then my rides are three times more fun than yours.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biking Viking
    I had no idea anything at Nisene Marks or San Mateo is open at night - everything I know of closes at sunset. Where is it?
    nisene is also open on rainy fall days, or sometimes during the week in the winter. alot of time in the winter the lower gate is closed, so the rangers aren't planning on driving up there, so everything becomes open. heh heh. seriously, by "legal" i mean "you can do it without getting busted", which is good enough for me since these closures are illegitimate and unreasonable in most cases.

    in the sierra foothills, the upper western states (esp during the week) has very little traffic except in the few weeks leading up to the western states 100, and it is killer riding. loop 6 which crosses the western states is not ridden much by scooters, and is excellent riding. rock creek/mace mill is good. the non-shuttle runs at downieville pretty much only get ridden by motorcycles since modern mtb-ers are such pansies. the hunter's trail from hellhole reservoir is nice and i've never seen anyone on it. maybe it's just because i was riding so much during the week in those days (since i worked at a bike shop). come to think of it, i never see anyone on west ridge at nisene marks either, but that's cuz it's either dark or raining when i ride there.
    mw
    mark weaver
    kuna, id

  12. #12
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    I'm with the velo sapien. Go buy some alpine or xc skis or snowshoes and stay in Colorado.
    Cross training good, millions of people in every direction but due west is not that good. If you can possibly be as core as biking viking and ride at sunrise every day have at it, I suppose.
    I kind of liked Cali, and met a bunch of good people, but good lord, there are a lot of people that just get in the way.
    There are places where the roads aren't totally cluster focked, but it might be tough to find a job.
    Take the worst traffic you've ever encountered in the Front Range, multiply it by two, add a bunch of water, bridges and geographic limitations and you've got a start to the Bay Area, IMHO.
    I know this opinion is grossly generalized, and there are myriad positive qualities but to move away from Colorado to ride more seems kind of silly to me. I just felt like I could never get away from people, and if I did..I had to sit in traffic with them for a few hours on the way out and back, however I was living in the center of it in SF.
    I really identify with you...SO MUCH.

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  13. #13
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    Boy do I ever feel fortunate. Is all that really going on on the other side of my hill?

    Sabine

  14. #14
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    Oh yes. Theres reasons why you don't go over the hill unless you need to jump on an airplane right?
    You are very fortunate Suhbeanuh.
    I really identify with you...SO MUCH.

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  15. #15
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    It is bad in the front range.

    Quote Originally Posted by shabadu
    Take the worst traffic you've ever encountered in the Front Range, multiply it by two, add a bunch of water, bridges and geographic limitations and you've got a start to the Bay Area..
    I-25 through COS is a choke point for front range traffic and surface streets are traffic light hell. While there I figured I would not get much biking in if I lived there. The "front" of the front range is bumper to bumper with traffic, I couldn't wait to leave.

    So Cal has the greatest variety of trails and for me they are in all directions. You want pine-needled trails - got 'em. Dirt, sand, shale, volcanic rock, granite, mud, and burned over too. Sea breezes, desert breezes. Large freeways that are great if you avoid commuter hours.

    Not that I have to use the roads, by sheer luck my house is on a cul-de-sac with a trailhead that leads to 16 miles of singletrack and doubletrack down to the beach. The route crosses only one road, not counting PCH itself.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biking Viking
    Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, Woodside to name a few...
    LOL... I hope you make atleast 6 figures a year if you live in any of these cities...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by velosapiens
    nisene is also open on rainy fall days, or sometimes during the week in the winter. alot of time in the winter the lower gate is closed, so the rangers aren't planning on driving up there, so everything becomes open. heh heh. seriously, by "legal" i mean "you can do it without getting busted", which is good enough for me since these closures are illegitimate and unreasonable in most cases.

    in the sierra foothills, the upper western states (esp during the week) has very little traffic except in the few weeks leading up to the western states 100, and it is killer riding. loop 6 which crosses the western states is not ridden much by scooters, and is excellent riding. rock creek/mace mill is good. the non-shuttle runs at downieville pretty much only get ridden by motorcycles since modern mtb-ers are such pansies. the hunter's trail from hellhole reservoir is nice and i've never seen anyone on it. maybe it's just because i was riding so much during the week in those days (since i worked at a bike shop). come to think of it, i never see anyone on west ridge at nisene marks either, but that's cuz it's either dark or raining when i ride there.
    mw
    Sounds to me like you carry a little grudge about bay area riding... Maybe I'm wrong, but barring a major storm 1 to 2 times a year, I can ride Wilder Ranch, Demo Forest, Fort Ord (even better when it's rained), lower Nisene linked to Upper Cabrillo College, and Delaveaga, each area w/i 20 minutes at most from mi casa in SCrewz... When it's 190 degrees in the valley, it's a balmy 70 degrees w/ afternoon fog to keep me cool... I wouldn't trade this area for anywhere... What about legal riding at Waterdog Lake in Belmont. 10 minutes from Mateo... That's some of the more challenging singletrack in all the bay area (inho)

  18. #18
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    Boy is that a name from the past!

    Hey Mr. Weaver! Freaky, I thought I had a Dan Garcia sighting on my commute on the AR bike trail yesterday, and than I come in this morning and I see a Velosapien post. Good to see you're all still around, last I'd heard from Dan S. was that you were a full time motorscooter jockey now, and Dan G wasn't riding anymore. Good to see you're still alive, miss the Velosapien website and your rants.

    Anyway, couldn't agree with you more, rather be in the Sierra Foothills, less troubles riding road and mtn, not that it's perfect by any means, as you know. Did do a road ride up in those Sierra's (Mosquito Ridge/French Meadow area) on Sunday and only saw 3 cars the whole day, and two of them were Forest service. Ahhhhh......

    Take care, good riding to ya.

    Roger

  19. #19
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    Bay Area VS Foothills

    I moved to the foothills formthe bay area 9 years ago and the there are a lot of pro's con's to both places. The biggest thing is the price of a home is half price up here. There is great riding in both places, but the trails are a lot less crowded in the foothils and in the summer you are only 1 hour away from : Tahoe, Downieville & Grouse Ridge.
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  20. #20
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    What do you want?

    There are a lot of options for year-round riding in Northern California. I've lived on the SF Peninsula, but now reside in the Sierra Foothills (Grass Valley). Both offer year round singletrack.

    SF Peninsula: insanely expensive housing, easier to find work, crowded, great weather, smooth singletrack but a lots of closed trails too, fantastic road riding

    My Area of the Foothills: less expensive (but still expensive) housing, hard to find well-paying work, way fewer people, OK weather (colder in winter, very hot in summer), endless open singletrack from buff to super technical, fantastic road riding

    I miss the weather in the Bay Area, but that is about it. These are all personal preferences though. Some folks would never want to live in a rural area like mine.

    Some pictures of my area:

    NORCAL: River Riding

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by shabadu
    Oh yes. Theres reasons why you don't go over the hill unless you need to jump on an airplane right?
    You are very fortunate Suhbeanuh.
    Actually, if I can, I jump on an airplane in Watsonville if its work related, and in Monterey if its personal. Leaving even fewer reasons to go over the hill.

    I will ride my bike up to the top of Summit rd, peer over the edge, but then head back down on the western side before the vortex grabs me.

    Sabine

  22. #22
    Hοmo Velo
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    Quote Originally Posted by shabadu
    If you can possibly be as core as biking viking and ride at sunrise every day have at it, I suppose.
    So I left the Bay Area for a number of reasons, some of which have already been mentioned, although traffic never was an issue in my case. Then there were other reasons that are irrelevant in this discussion. I never had a problem with the trails being crowded, though. Not even on the not-so-early days - unless you count the dictatorship of MROSD, which is a direct consequence of a high number of people having access to the trails.

    I could go ride Skeggs on a Sunday afternoon and spend hours while meeting only a handful riders.

    Saturday I rode the Stevens Canyon area with some friends. We spent a good three hours out on the trails, starting at around 9:45am. We met three deer and three hikers alltogether. That's pretty amazing considering the fact that several million people live within an hour drive from the trailhead. However, if "seeing other riders on the trail, ever" ruins the experience for velosapiens, then maybe his problem is rooted in some more serious issues.

    I don't know, but I don't feel special because I can tackle seeing ten other riders during a three-hour ride. Even in the Bay Area, that can be acheived whithout getting out at an ungodly hour.
    If you don't like climbing, then my rides are three times more fun than yours.

  23. #23
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    Rural?

    Rural is obviously relative. I've never lived in such a densely populated area as the greater Grass Valley area in my entire life! How anyone could live in the Bay Area is beyond comprehension to me.

    A few years back we considered a move to the general area around Ft. Collins, CO but found the housing prices and traffic to be just awful compared to here. I had a great job opportunity, but owning acreage (say 5+) was just out of the question anywhere within about 30 minutes drive from the Boulder area (where most of the jobs were). I'm sure things have leveled out some in that respect with the recent increase in prices around here.

    I do wish the summers were cooler with more clouds and even a few showers so we didn't have to always drive up to the Tahoe area to escape the heat. Have to admit that this area is tough to beat for year-round mountain biking though. Too bad there are so few trails at the lower elevations for winter riding around GV.

  24. #24
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    Too bad there are so few trails at the lower elevations for winter riding around GV.
    Yeah, I lived in the foothills too. It's rediculous (based on the terrain) that there are not more trails around.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by a73comoon
    I am considering moving from Colorado to California to be able to ride more. We can ride about 9 months out of the year here near Denver. Of that 9 months I can mountain bike for 6. Granted the mountain biking here is amazing! Do you feel there is any location there in California that offers rideable forested single track that can be ridden for more than 6 months a year? Also, in that are there decent roads to ride the skinny road machine?

    Thanks more than I can Express!
    I ride road and mountain 12 months a year in Western Oregon. The National Forest/hiking trails are usually too wet to use for 4-5 months so we head for the old overgrown doubletracks and singletrack on timber lands in the coast range for the winter. The routes can disappear in a year if they don't get used. Much more "forested" than anything in Colorado. You will get wet.

    You can almost anywhere you want, 24 hrs a day and rarely see another soul.
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