Mellow Bay Area trails- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mellow Bay Area trails

    I was just asked a question that I'm not sure how to answer...

    Where are the mellow "beginner" trails in the East Bay, Or the Bay Area in general.
    By mellow I mean not Briones steep climbing and not much more technical than say Cinderella in JMP.

    The first thing that comes to mind is China Camp of course (front side), but I can't think of anything else like that. I'm not real familiar with South Bay, South East Bay offerings there are.

  2. #2
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    Arastero in Palo Alto and Fremont Older in Cupertino are probably the mellow ones in South Bay.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    I was just asked a question that I'm not sure how to answer...

    Where are the mellow "beginner" trails in the East Bay, Or the Bay Area in general.
    By mellow I mean not Briones steep climbing and not much more technical than say Cinderella in JMP.

    The first thing that comes to mind is China Camp of course (front side), but I can't think of anything else like that. I'm not real familiar with South Bay, South East Bay offerings there are.

    The true beginner trails in the south bay area are:

    Shoreline trails in mountain view
    Los Gatos creek trail from San Jose to Los Gatos
    Arastadero Preserve in Palo Alto.

    Arastadero Preserve is the gem in this pool. It is a real mountain bike trail and is easy enough for a first timer.

    Fremont Older and Saratoga gap despite being easy trails are not really apropriate for beginners. Fremont Older has difficult climbs on both entrances. Saratoga gap has a singletrack that is very intimidating for first timers.

    francois

  4. #4
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    Sunol Regional park out east of Fremont has some beginner trails without too much climbing. You will have to avoid a lot of cows/excrement though. Coyote Hills in Fremont/Newark/UC is another beginner friendly place. While not really in the bay area, a really good mellow trail is Rancho Del Oso in Big Basin St. Park. The trailhead is on Highway 1 about 15 minutes north of Santa Cruz. This is where you take a first-timer. Beautiful scenery, cool shaded trail that follows Berry creek, a very mellow climb and at the end of the trail is about a 50 ft. tall waterfall. It's one of those places that is enjoyable no matter your skill level. Granted the technicality is totally non-existant but it's still nice.

  5. #5
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    wildcat canyon..

    From the alvarado gate off mcbryde in richmond.

  6. #6
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    Long Ridge has some nice trails. Go north on Skyline blvd from the intersection with 9 at Saratoga Gap. There are some hills, but nothing really lengthy, some mildly techy parts, and some really great views.

    If you can drive further, try the Gazos Creek Fire Road at Big Basin. Or do the coastal bluffs trail at Wilder Ranch.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    I was just asked a question that I'm not sure how to answer...

    Where are the mellow "beginner" trails in the East Bay, Or the Bay Area in general.
    By mellow I mean not Briones steep climbing and not much more technical than say Cinderella in JMP.

    The first thing that comes to mind is China Camp of course (front side), but I can't think of anything else like that. I'm not real familiar with South Bay, South East Bay offerings there are.
    Point Pinole, Richmond
    Lake Chabot Bike Loop
    Iron Horse Trail
    Contra Costa Canal Trail
    Briones to Mt. Diablo Trail
    Paso Nogal, Martinez
    Martinez Shoreline

    I'm sure there are lots of city and town parks that aren't on that list
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  8. #8
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    There is a mellow (but fun) trail in a surprising place: Coe. Start from the Hunting Hollow parking lot, and ride out to the end of the road, and back. It's completely flat, but scenic, with several creek crossings (that you can walk or ride through, depending on your preference).

    Of course, venture anywhere else in Coe, and you'll be doing lots of climbing.

    Ross.

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    the coastal trail at wilder ranch is flat, goes for a few miles along the coast, and is pretty scenic...

  10. #10
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    Using the old Higgins road in Pacifica between Linda Mar and Montara comes to mind, mostly fireroad type stuff with a mild grade with a few spots to challenge beginners, beautiful views.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  11. #11
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    You can make the long trek down to Fort Ord and ride the West side.
    You can easily do 5-10 miles and only climb 200-500 feet. Plus they are just friggin awesome.
    It will get them a taste of PO too

    I'll have to agree that the Gap can be intimidating for beginners. Starting from the parking lot you have a rocky semi-difficult climb, followed by a bumpy downhill with a rocky, rooty, tight switchback at the bottom. But when you get back................. HOTDOGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If you start further down hwy 9, you get started going up and down steep, boring fire roads.

    Another great place for beginners is the Alamitos Creek trail
    http://www.bahiker.com/southbayhikes/alamitoscreek.html
    You can ride paved trail until you get to the bridge, where you will also find an entry for some dirt single track. I rode it with my friends 6 year old girl last week. It goes for quite a ways, and there are a lot of bailouts to get back to pavement.

    -Dan

  12. #12
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    All great suggestions. Thanks. I should amend that the cyclist for which I ask is not necesarily beginner, but getting back into it and would like to be eased into the pool rather than diving head first.

    Last time I took a beginner out, I took her to Skyline Park in Napa... my easy trail radar was askew. I think I lost a potential mountain biker that day.
    Last edited by velocipus; 05-08-2006 at 10:02 PM.

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