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  1. #1
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    East Bay Recommendations for New-ish Rider?

    I've been riding MTB in the Bay Area fairly regularly for the past couple of years. My main haunts are Skeggs and Water Dog, both of which feel comfortable terrain-wise at my level. Enough challenge to stay interesting but not too many "oh shit" moments.

    I'm looking to venture out into the East Bay to mix things up. I like techy climbing and am not opposed to a grind here or there. Not really a bomber but still have fun on the downs. My bike is a short-travel 29er.

    I've seen mentions of Joaquin Milller and Crockett. Will either of these be trouble for a new-ish rider? Any others worth checking out?

  2. #2
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    Nope, if you climb out of the bottom of Skegg's ,you can handle Crockett climbs. Neither has the amount of single track as Skegg's. Never ridden Water Dog ,so can't comment there.If you techy climbs head to Rockville ,Skyline or Oathill.

  3. #3
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    I live in the East Bay and think you'll have more fun going to Tamarancho. Easy to navigate and sans the annoying dogs and packs of hikers you'll find at JMP.

  4. #4
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    Rockville in Fairfield has a nice variety--there is some tough stuff but most is intermediate.

    Crockett is fun-----yes you will climb there

    Another place close to crockett is fernandez ranch--not as much climbing and new single track loops---worth a trip--just off hiway 4

    Get condition reports for the ebay as it can get very muddy and sticky---and if the cows find the single track that is about it for the season-----crockett---del valle---pleasanton ridge---diablo----all can have cow issues

  5. #5
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    agree with all of the above. Joaquin Miller can be crowded on weekends - I try to be off trail by 9 am. Rockville is great, very techy. Haven't been to Oathill or Skyline but they are supposed to be good. Check out Angwin in the Napa Valley - do a search on here - new trails being built there.

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    Thanks everyone for the info!

  7. #7
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    JMP is very good for its size and location in Oakland city limits, but the advice to go early on weekends or on a weekday is sound.

    Rockville is great, but definitely hit up the forum for a route and then do your best to follow. There are definitely intermediate level trails, but there are also a lot of trails that get scary technical on the downs if thatís not your thing (but if you go there a few times it will become your thing).

    Napa Skyline is fantastic. Again, if youíre going Iíd ask for a route (happy to advise on that), but itís easy to navigate and super fun.

    This is a great resource: https://bayarearides.com/


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  8. #8
    J-Flo
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    The above posts note all of the good East Bay spots. None of the ones that are close-in (Alameda or CoCo counties) are as good as Waterdog or Skeggs though. Better riding is found down in Santa Cruz, in Marin, or out in Fairfield (Rockville is excellent, like Waterdog but bigger and with some more challenges) or Sonoma or Napa.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
    The above posts note all of the good East Bay spots. None of the ones that are close-in (Alameda or CoCo counties) are as good as Waterdog or Skeggs though. Better riding is found down in Santa Cruz, in Marin, or out in Fairfield (Rockville is excellent, like Waterdog but bigger and with some more challenges) or Sonoma or Napa.


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    This is true. While JMP is fun, itís greatness is due in large part to its location. Now, if EBPRD ever pulled their heads out of their asses and opened up some of their beautiful and under used singletrack to mountain bikes, the Oakland and Berkeley hills would be a legit destination for Bay Area mountain bikers. Oh well, you ride what you got!


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  10. #10
    jrm
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    There also Wildcat Canyon. Theres some nice tecky climbs as well as fireroad grinders. Fun ST as well and nice views. Same goes for Briones.

  11. #11
    J-Flo
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    Quote Originally Posted by inonjoey View Post
    Now, if EBPRD ever pulled their heads out of their asses and opened up some of their beautiful and under used singletrack to mountain bikes, the Oakland and Berkeley hills would be a legit destination for Bay Area mountain bikers. Oh well, you ride what you got!
    Change is a-comin, but itís slow. Many key people in EBRPD management are our friends and sympathetic to our issues. In some parks, they are in charge of things. Several of the Board members also support MTB concerns. Eventually this will get us more singletrack and some new trails, but the official progress is only slightly better than glacial. For the short term, it gets us things like unofficial tolerance of select, low key social trail singletrack.

    If you like night riding, EBRPD parks are actually pretty good at night. Hardly anyone around except the critters. And itís a lot easier to miss the ďno bikesĒ signs on certain trails at night.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
    Change is a-comin, but itís slow. Many key people in EBRPD management are our friends and sympathetic to our issues. In some parks, they are in charge of things. Several of the Board members also support MTB concerns. Eventually this will get us more singletrack and some new trails, but the official progress is only slightly better than glacial. For the short term, it gets us things like unofficial tolerance of select, low key social trail singletrack.

    If you like night riding, EBRPD parks are actually pretty good at night. Hardly anyone around except the critters. And itís a lot easier to miss the ďno bikesĒ signs on certain trails at night.
    Are you working with BTCEB at all? Are they still the only game in town? Trying to get more involved with regards to advocacy and trail work this year (having a couple kids and thinking about their future in the East Bay puts things in perspective)...


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  13. #13
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    Venture south before you venture east. Better ROI.

  14. #14
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    If Skeggs is your main ride, pretty much everything in the east bay aside from JMP will be a letdown.
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by king_dave72 View Post
    agree with all of the above. Joaquin Miller can be crowded on weekends - I try to be off trail by 9 am.
    I find late in the afternoon at Joaquin Miller is pretty good... but even through JMP is only 2 miles from my house, I'd rather drive to Marin to ride.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  16. #16
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    Thanks again everyone for the input. Marin is on my hit list as well as East Bay. Rockville sounds interesting as well.

    To the south: I've done Wilder Ranch in SC, which was fun, but didn't have the backbone to try Demo solo. One day.

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