How do you rate Mt. Diablo trails (Walnut Creek CA)?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How do you rate Mt. Diablo trails (Walnut Creek CA)?

    Just wanna know how you rate it? I did the Devils Elbow, North Peak Trail, Prospectors Gap, Meridian Ridge, Deer Flats, Juniper Camp loop.

    Most of it was manageable, but some dh grades just were just insanely steep and long. My brakes just turned to mush. Also, some technical parts were nuts. Think steep rock garden, 5 foot drop, 4 yards, then switchback I was really unnerved by my inability to stop my momentum.

    So, if anyone here has done it, would like to know how it was for you in terms of difficulty, skill level. It was my first time, and I'm sure a second run will be better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bing!
    Just wanna know how you rate it? I did the Devils Elbow, North Peak Trail, Prospectors Gap, Meridian Ridge, Deer Flats, Juniper Camp loop.

    Most of it was manageable, but some dh grades just were just insanely steep and long. My brakes just turned to mush. Also, some technical parts were nuts. Think steep rock garden, 5 foot drop, 4 yards, then switchback I was really unnerved by my inability to stop my momentum.

    So, if anyone here has done it, would like to know how it was for you in terms of difficulty, skill level. It was my first time, and I'm sure a second run will be better.
    There are no 5 foot drops, the tech is fairly minimal, and the whole ride from Juniper back to Juniper should be under an hour. So I guess I would say it's not that difficult as long as you can hold a line on the steep part of Prospector. Get some better brakes.
    Romani ite domum

  3. #3
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    Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    Get some better brakes.
    ...learn to use the ones you got in a way that you don't smoke them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    There are no 5 foot drops, the tech is fairly minimal, and the whole ride from Juniper back to Juniper should be under an hour. So I guess I would say it's not that difficult as long as you can hold a line on the steep part of Prospector. Get some better brakes.
    Well, that says it all. It took us three hours. On our home trail, we do about 2 hours on an 8 mile trail. This loop was about 7 miles. A couple of those steep rock gardens are approached at significant speed. I jumped over one and it felt like a drop, my bad. You say less than an hour? Hmmm, we did get lost a bit. Initially went up to the summit, did a short tour, looked for the entrance to North Peak trail, had to walk down summit trail (no biking) following our map, found ourselves at Devils Elbow and finally found the entrance to Prospectors. Not to mention that I had to fix two flats and a collapsed shock for my son. I think I'll go do it again and see if it gets any easier with experience. It was unnerving to be carrying speed and not know what the trail turn brings next. I know, brake, but then some of that stuff just blew my Juicy 3s away Thanks.
    Last edited by bing!; 08-18-2010 at 03:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Elbow, Bald, Connector is the tech poach that you're looking for.

    Oops. Did I type that out loud?

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    Juniper to Juniper is doable in an hour. Up mitchell to deer flat and back to mitchell is not doable in under an hour. Its taken me over a year to ride devils without a foot dab. Prospectors is loose right now but they have cleaned it up this summer so it was much worse last year. Ride it a few times and you'll figure it out. My garmin on my last ride from juniper to juniper is right an 1hour. The crew I ride with is much faster than I am.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/37971158

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    The legal trails are ok...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmanuel09
    Prospectors is loose right now but they have cleaned it up this summer so it was much worse last year.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/37971158
    It was very loose. I puckered up real good coming down one of the two steep hills after the tech section. Loose sandy gravel. It gave way almost like beach sand. Any light braking made my tires start wandering side to side. I decided to just hold the line coming down and go banzai. It wasnt the ride down that was unnerving. It was the inability to brake effectively and the anticipation of what was next.

    I found the trail challenging. Its worth a trip back. Those long rolling trails lower on the mountain looked real good. Any resources for Mt. Diablo online that could be shared would be great. I live in LA.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  9. #9
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    Bald (Eagle)??? - Now that's tech...

  10. #10
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    ... and if we just ... Curious -- what tires were you riding?

    Quote Originally Posted by bing!
    It was very loose. I puckered up real good coming down one of the two steep hills after the tech section. Loose sandy gravel. It gave way almost like beach sand. Any light braking made my tires start wandering side to side...
    Hey, at least I didn't start a fresh thread to ask.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    Hey, at least I didn't start a fresh thread to ask.
    WTB Weirwolfs. I think I would have been better off with large knobbed tires at low speed. I noticed a bunch of tire tracks that had mongo knobs.

    When I had the WW rolling at speed, they did pretty good.

  12. #12
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    There are some loose and sketchy descents in that loop. Just the way it is. Either take it easy, or don't use brakes at all and you should be fine.

    Nothing overly technical on North Peak, especially since they sanitized the trail last year. Although there are a few difficult spots, so I'm impressed if you can do it with no dabs. The best riding up there is technically off limits to bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBrider
    There are some loose and sketchy descents in that loop. Just the way it is. Either take it easy, or don't use brakes at all and you should be fine.

    Nothing overly technical on North Peak, especially since they sanitized the trail last year. Although there are a few difficult spots, so I'm impressed if you can do it with no dabs. The best riding up there is technically off limits to bikes.
    No dabs going UP is impressive, going down not so much.
    Romani ite domum

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    I'm thinking, change to sintered pads (currently organic) and give it another go. Thanks for all the feedback.

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    There's another loop starting on the Clayton side of Mt. Diablo of Mitchell Canyon rd. It's about 13miles total. Most of it is pretty steep and sustained so it'll work you aerobically. There is a section of the ride on pavement from Camp Juniper to Devil's Elbow. Otherwise it's mostly off road. As for the downhill, you'll definitely want disc brakes as v-brakes will become useless halfway down.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by spec-r
    As for the downhill, you'll definitely want disc brakes as v-brakes will become useless halfway down.
    That's weird.

    I wonder how we were all able to ride the Elbow-Prospector's-Meridian-Donner descent for all of those years with cantis and vee brakes?

    I guess someone should have told us to wait a decade for disc brakes before riding down Diablo.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik
    That's weird.

    I wonder how we were all able to ride the Elbow-Prospector's-Meridian-Donner descent for all of those years with cantis and vee brakes?

    I guess someone should have told us to wait a decade for disc brakes before riding down Diablo.
    The horror of "useless" brakes.
    Don't harsh my mello

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    No dabs going UP is impressive, going down not so much.
    No dabs for the whole route - training at its best. Mt. D I consider a hidden gem for training.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik
    That's weird.

    I wonder how we were all able to ride the Elbow-Prospector's-Meridian-Donner descent for all of those years with cantis and vee brakes?

    I guess someone should have told us to wait a decade for disc brakes before riding down Diablo.
    Agree - I was on a 1995 ht klein last summer with canti's then v brakes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do you rate Mt. Diablo trails (Walnut Creek CA)?-2009_07_18_diablo_064.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmanuel09
    Agree - I was on a 1995 ht klein last summer with canti's then v brakes.
    All this talk - I want to ride right now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do you rate Mt. Diablo trails (Walnut Creek CA)?-img_0045-2.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    No dabs going UP is impressive, going down not so much.
    I still think its a small percentage that can clear that switchback, along with one or two other spots that are fairly difficult. Out of 1.5 miles, a couple spots doesn't make it a technical trail.

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    I agree.

  23. #23
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    Hey All

    I am thinking about heading up to Mt diablo during the day tomorrow (friday) or out to morgan territory, I am in danville and wondering if anyone wants to join in. I am kinda slow and i just got a heavier bike (iron horse 7point) so it will be at a relaxed pace. I am wanting to try something different - i am sick of the firetrails in las trampas and morgan territory.

  24. #24
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    What is a recommended loop to do If I want to try Devils Elbow? I usually ride up summit from Dan Cook but could head up Wall Point as well. What routes would I be looking for after Rock City?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipRoar
    What is a recommended loop to do If I want to try Devils Elbow? I usually ride up summit from Dan Cook but could head up Wall Point as well. What routes would I be looking for after Rock City?
    Either of those ways, just stay on Summit trail until it crosses the road towards the top and you can't go any farther on a bike. Hop on the road for a mile or two until you get to Devil's Elbow and North Peak Trail will be on your right.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBrider
    Either of those ways, just stay on Summit trail until it crosses the road towards the top and you can't go any farther on a bike. Hop on the road for a mile or two until you get to Devil's Elbow and North Peak Trail will be on your right.
    Ok, so to make it a loop, I am thinking.....

    Dan Cook > Summit Trail > Devils Elbow

    North Peak > Prospectors Gap (or alt route) > Meridian

    Meridian > Deer Flat > Burma > Mothers Tr > Angel Kerley > Burma

    Burma > Buckeye Tr > Stage Rd > Dusty > Wall Point -----------> Out


    or bypass Buckeye Tr for Diablo Ranch Rd > Stage Rd???

    The biggest climbs seem like Summit > Elbow & Deer Flat Rd


    shooty: what ride are you thinking of? I am riding tomorrow as well, hopefully leave sometime between 1 - 3
    Last edited by TraxFactory; 08-20-2010 at 12:00 AM.

  27. #27
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    What maps are you guys looking at?

    https://mappery.com/maps/Mt-Diablo-State-Park-Map.jpg

    is the best version I can find but it seems like the displayed park maps have more trails labeled. I would like to find out what trail/route it is that connects from Mt. Diablo State Park to Finley RD in morgan territory (EBRPD). It seems like a fun trail when I hiked it in the other direction - didn't see any no biking signs.

    RipRoar:
    Not sure what ride I want to do. The loop you mention looks appealing. I am not very familiar with Mt Diablo, but would like to do all my uphill at once,preferably at th beginning (it seems like your route does mostly that). I am planning on beating the heat and leaving around 6-7 am -- took the day off to bike!

  28. #28
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    summit trail from the top is off limits to bikes. I pushed my bike down the trail to find devils elbow. but then, I'm not local. just sayin.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipRoar
    Ok, so to make it a loop, I am thinking.....

    Dan Cook > Summit Trail > Devils Elbow

    North Peak > Prospectors Gap (or alt route) > Meridian

    Meridian > Deer Flat > Burma > Mothers Tr > Angel Kerley > Burma

    Burma > Buckeye Tr > Stage Rd > Dusty > Wall Point -----------> Out


    or bypass Buckeye Tr for Diablo Ranch Rd > Stage Rd???

    The biggest climbs seem like Summit > Elbow & Deer Flat Rd


    shooty: what ride are you thinking of? I am riding tomorrow as well, hopefully leave sometime between 1 - 3
    From Angel Kerley I would take Diablo Ranch Road. It's a pretty fun singletrack run that flows well. A small climb out to the road. Then you can do Buckeye to Stage road.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooty
    What maps are you guys looking at?

    https://mappery.com/maps/Mt-Diablo-State-Park-Map.jpg

    is the best version I can find but it seems like the displayed park maps have more trails labeled. I would like to find out what trail/route it is that connects from Mt. Diablo State Park to Finley RD in morgan territory (EBRPD). It seems like a fun trail when I hiked it in the other direction - didn't see any no biking signs.
    You are looking for the Oyster Point Trail.
    Curry Point/Blackhawk Ridge/Oyster Point is a great route.
    The climbing is brutal, but very much worth it.

    We did a fun ride early in the year.
    Juniper/Deer Flat/Burma/Mothers/Angel Kerley/Diablo Ranch Road/ back up the road past Junction to Sunrise Picnic Area/Summit Trail/Curry Point/Blackhawk Ridge/Oyster Point to Finley Road where we had my van parked.......= )
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    You are looking for the Oyster Point Trail.
    Curry Point/Blackhawk Ridge/Oyster Point is a great route.
    The climbing is brutal, but very much worth it.

    We did a fun ride early in the year.
    Juniper/Deer Flat/Burma/Mothers/Angel Kerley/Diablo Ranch Road/ back up the road past Junction to Sunrise Picnic Area/Summit Trail/Curry Point/Blackhawk Ridge/Oyster Point to Finley Road where we had my van parked.......= )
    Beware...the last mile or so of Oyster Point trail right now is a big mass of Star Thistle. Your arms and legs will look like pin cushions after riding. Stay away!
    Romani ite domum

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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    Beware...the last mile or so of Oyster Point trail right now is a big mass of Star Thistle. Your arms and legs will look like pin cushions after riding. Stay away!
    I should have taken pictures last week. My legs were covered in blood by the end. Hope it gets better this fall.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooty
    What maps are you guys looking at?
    A new updated map came out a few years ago...Titled "Mount Diablo - Los Vaqueros & Surrounding Parks Featuring the Diablo Trail" put out by Save Mt Diablo, great map.

    I think it was $15 but well worth it. It is very detail as well as water/tear proof...picked mine up at Forward Motion. I think it is also available at REI & Danville Bike....

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    Beware...the last mile or so of Oyster Point trail right now is a big mass of Star Thistle. Your arms and legs will look like pin cushions after riding. Stay away!
    Yeah, like body armor worthy star thistle.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing!
    summit trail from the top is off limits to bikes. I pushed my bike down the trail to find devils elbow. but then, I'm not local. just sayin.
    You don't need to go that high on Summit Trail to get to Devil's Elbow. Once Summit hits the pavement, you just ride the pavement to Devil's Elbow, so you are not taking the section of Summit Trail that is not open to bikes. A usual ride from that side would be to take BBQ Terrace Trail to the road, then up Summit Trail to the road all the way to the Mt. Diablo summit and then back down the road to Devil's Elbow and around the mountain back to Deer Flat> Burma and then there are a few options to get back to the Walnut Creek area.
    "Time won't leave me as I am "

  36. #36
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    So I ended up doing....

    Dan Cook, Summit, Juniper, Deer Flat, Burma, Mothers, Angel, Diablo Ranch, BBQ, Stage, Dusty, Wall Point & out.

    Fun ride, however nothing too technical. When I came out of Diablo Ranch I was not sure where to go. It appeared that you drop in to the ranch on the pavement, however I heeded the private property sign. I went through the gate to the left of the entrance and followed a trail that put me out on BBQ just about Secret Trail.

    How are you guys getting onto Stage directly? Through gate and go right? I was running late at that point and just had to make a call which ended out working ok.

    This is what I ended up doing...
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  37. #37
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    You can ride down the road a ways, and get in the Buckeye Trail. That will lead you back down to Stage, a bit above Dusty Road.
    Sounds like you did a fun ride, although nothing really technical........what did you think about Diablo Ranch Road? I haven't been on it in a couple months.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    Beware...the last mile or so of Oyster Point trail right now is a big mass of Star Thistle. Your arms and legs will look like pin cushions after riding. Stay away!
    So that's what they call those bastards. I did a quick loop around the neighborhood in the Clayton/concord hills and ended up with both tires flat. Tubes have enough holes that it may not be worth patching.

    I'd like to try going up Mitchell canyon again tomorrow. Any of the trails mentioned above classified as legal single tracks? I can't afford a ticket right now :-)

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipRoar
    So I ended up doing....

    Dan Cook, Summit, Juniper, Deer Flat, Burma, Mothers, Angel, Diablo Ranch, BBQ, Stage, Dusty, Wall Point & out.
    .
    Sweet. On the drive up to Juniper from the North Gate, I saw a lot of great single track. I'm going back in the fall and do more exploration. Thanks for the report.

  40. #40
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    Anyone up for a fall epic ride?

    I have a loop that gets all the single track in, probably about 11 miles of single track of a 50ish ride. Thinking of late October, maybe the star thistle will be done by then and a rain or two to keep the dust down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBrider
    Anyone up for a fall epic ride?

    I have a loop that gets all the single track in, probably about 11 miles of single track of a 50ish ride. Thinking of late October, maybe the star thistle will be done by then and a rain or two to keep the dust down.
    You're crazy. How many feet is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    You're crazy. How many feet is that?

    Didja save me some ribs?
    This is the last time I did the ride, but skipped North Peak because I was already at my time and fourarm was kickking my ass. Add 500 vertical and maybe a mile. Its a fun ride and was my favorite training loop.
    Last edited by EBrider; 08-26-2010 at 08:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBrider
    Anyone up for a fall epic ride?

    I have a loop that gets all the single track in, probably about 11 miles of single track of a 50ish ride. Thinking of late October, maybe the star thistle will be done by then and a rain or two to keep the dust down.
    I'm in for a Fall Epic Ride. I'll do my best to take out some of the start thistle tomorrow morning.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBrider
    Anyone up for a fall epic ride?

    I have a loop that gets all the single track in, probably about 11 miles of single track of a 50ish ride. Thinking of late October, maybe the star thistle will be done by then and a rain or two to keep the dust down.
    Sounds fun yet painful......All looks great except that asphalt section between Finley and Dan Cook.

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    Hey Guys! You might already know this but just wanted to get a FYI out. We rode Prospectors and Meridian last sunday and our opinion was "Horrible". They graded a lot and the dirt was slippery loose. Just a heads up if you don't already know. Happy Riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmanuel09
    Hey Guys! You might already know this but just wanted to get a FYI out. We rode Prospectors and Meridian last sunday and our opinion was "Horrible". They graded a lot and the dirt was slippery loose. Just a heads up if you don't already know. Happy Riding.
    That's too bad, I was planning on riding out there Sat. I haven't ridden there in a month. Is it even worth it? Or am I better off doing North Peak as an out and back and going back down through Juniper? Maybe just Mother's and Diablo Ranch and then back over.

    Should be fast after it gets some rain.

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    Personally I don't think its worth it. I was on my brakes heavilly and was really sketchy at times. Leif's rear end on his ht niner was all over the place. We were happy to make it through without falling. First we climbed up to the summit and decended back down through Juniper and wall point, and then climbed back up barbeque to devils and down prospectors. That side is fine. I would stay on that side. Hope to ride with you soon.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmanuel09
    Personally I don't think its worth it. I was on my brakes heavilly and was really sketchy at times. Leif's rear end on his ht niner was all over the place. We were happy to make it through without falling. First we climbed up to the summit and decended back down through Juniper and wall point, and then climbed back up barbeque to devils and down prospectors. That side is fine. I would stay on that side. Hope to ride with you soon.
    Just got my bike back yesterday, so any time. Looks like a longer ride sometime Saturday, probably down Burma and the other side.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmanuel09
    First we climbed up to the summit and decended back down through Juniper and wall point, and then climbed back up barbeque to devils and down prospectors.
    You guys are animals!

    I keep hearing about the unbelievably steep section on Burma. Where is this? I cut through Mothers and it was kinda steep but nothing too crazy. What part of Burma is the super nar nar steep part people usually mention?

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    Its a steep section right before you hit/cross the main road.

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    Not positive without looking at my map, but I think it is near Buckeye singletrack where it hits Northgate Rd. I don't like to ride downhill on that section because it is so steep and loose that it is hard not to skid just to keep your speed under control. Went up it once to get up to Angel Kerley and over to Diablo Ranch singletrack, that was a hike a bike that sucked as well. 25-30% grade on loose rocky soil
    "Time won't leave me as I am "

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    Yep, right before you cross the road to pick up Buckeye. I think its either a free ride at 50mph or hike-a-bike, with not much in between.

  53. #53
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    Yup - I tried to ride up it once and that's all she wrote for me. Just walking up it is really hard.

  54. #54
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    Reputation: savagemann's Avatar
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    My introduction to MTBing involved me doing some long trail rides on my BMX bike with only a rear brake. Not too big of a deal really......but we did come down Burma one time. I swear I could smell my front tire melting......and my brake pads, they were pretty much gone half way down.
    I don't think I have ever been that scarred in my life before, or since then.
    I know we were topping over 50mph, and I was pretty sure I was gonna die.
    This was back in the day before anybody wore helmets too.

    Which reminds me, my first MTB ride involved BBQ terrace and Castle Rock valley on a 26" 10 speed with flipped bars, and a 20" BMX wheel for the front.
    Good Times, good times.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

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