Visiting USA - anyone keen to show us around- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Visiting USA - anyone keen to show us around

    Hi All

    My name is Marcus - I live in New Zealand which is an MTB paradise here in the South Pacific. I'm a pretty keen MTB rider - been riding for about 15 years. Done a bit of XC racing in the past but now I've past 30 (just) I'm more into trail and semi epic riding with my buddies - although we do the odd team or adventure/enduro type race event every now and then.

    Anyway me and a riding buddy of mine, Myles, are coming to the USA to check out some of your legendary riding. We arrive in San Francisco on 1 October and have three weeks in the USA.

    We already have some contacts in Colorado so we've arranged to hire a vehicle when we arrive in SF and will be working out that way for a bit of riding. Myles has also lived in Colorado for a bit so hes pretty up with the play out there.

    I'm looking for a bit of advice about good trail riding in the area around SF, and also good stuff between there and Vegas. We're both on Hardtails and as we'll be riding every day we're interested in rides up to 20 miles and although we don't mind hills we'd prefer not to climb 6000 ft every day. Prefer singletrack - and with only one vehicle loops are best.

    One of our Colorado friends is in the bike industry so we will be visiting InterBike 2004 on about the 6th October. This gives us five days to make it from SF to Vegas. We'll probably spend the first two days in SF getting our bearings and checking out some riding there.

    After Interbike we'll be heading to SE Colorado (our friends are based near Cortez) checking out Durango, Fruita, Grand Junction etc and depending on the weather that late in autumn maybe some of the higher riding in Telleride and Crested Butte. We're also of course going to pay homage at Moab and possibly even be part of a team in the 24hrs of Moab event on 16/17 Oct.

    Our last week is a bit up in the air and we'll see how things go - we may continue riding in SE Colorado (there seems to be masses to do) before blazing back to SF or we may take in some riding on the long way back to SF over the course of a week or so.

    Anyway if you are from SF and have some ideas I'd be keen to hear them. Both for riding around SF and en route to Vegas and also for good ways to get from Moab back to SF via some good rides.

    Also open to the idea of an exchange arrangement. We'll be arriving in SF on a Friday afternoon so being able to hang out and stay with a local for the weekend while we get our bearings would be great - also helps to have someone show you the best trails to ride, places to eat, beers to try We're keen to find out about the real american people and not get sucked into the tourist traps - that said as an engineer I'm keen to see the Golden Gate bridge...

    Obviously this would be a two way arrangement and I'd be happy to provide a place to stay and act as guide in my town on a New Zealand visit. Thats how I meet my friends in Colorado... FYI - I live in a town called Wellington at the base of the north island of New Zealand. Its got heaps of mtbing, is the capital, has great nightlife and food plus its where the ferry leaves for the south island. Flights from San Fran fly here to New Zealand return 3 times a week. You could easily spend 4 weeks mtbing in NZ and still not ride all the best tracks by a long way.

    Anyway feel free to leave your thoughts or email me direct.

    Cheers

    Marcus

  2. #2
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    Cannell Trail/Plunge

    Lots of people rode this amazing epic ride last weekend so there are lots of photos, videos and ride reports posted here. Do a search or just scroll down the pages of the Passion forum. It's about 28 miles and perhaps a bit over 2,000 ft of climbing, but with about 7,000 ft. of descending, and nearly all singletrack. It's east of Bakersfield and on the way to Vegas. There is a shuttle company that will take you to the top. See my site for links, and also: http://trogspace.com/images/plunge/index.html and
    http://ogrehut.net/trails.php/KernCo...?os=&tv=2&re=1

  3. #3

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    Cannell Trail looks good

    Thanks man - that looks like a great ride - definitely on the list

  4. #4
    Hella Olde
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    Cool thing about the GG bridge is that you can ride across it, stop on it, ponder it and then ride through the Marin Headlands and up to the top of Mt Tam and back to S.F.. It's less than 50 miles and perfect for a hardtail. I've done it on my 42lb Bullit, but there is nothing technical, just a bit grueling with one chaInring. I would reccomend riding up the mountain from the San Anselmo side at Pheonix lake - quicker although steeper - (Eldridge Grade) not as boring as Railroad Grade. This is a good tourist ride on a clear day, lots of Bay Area views and a cruise up to the 'Birthplace' of the sport ....(whatever ) If you are spending a day in S.F. consider it. I could put together a route from inside S.F. if you want although I'm sure this ride is well documented.

    If I were you, I would consider this following this general route from S.F. to Vegas:.East on 80 to 49 to the Downieville area - a must-do multi-epics doable with or without shuttles see http:www.yubaexpeditions.com/ for info. Continue up to Tahoe, many options here too..from lift-assisTed DH/FR/XC at the Northstar ski resort,http://www.skinorthstar.com/summer/mtn-biking.html to many famous rides well documented elsewhere- Mr Toad's, Flume Trail, etc.. If you are heading towards Vegas, you should take Highway 395 along the Eastern Seirra Nevada to Mono Lake http://totalescape.com/destin/all_towns/leevining.html and you could zip up Tioga pass on a sidetrip (in your car) to get a glimpse of Yosemite and then proceed south on 395 for a stop at Mammoth Mountain for some killer riding and camping if you are doing that (plenty of hotels, too). You can ride up above 11,000 feet and see a lot of crazy geology as well. http://www.mammothmountain.com/bike_...ark/trail_map/

    Since you are from one of the most beautiful places on the earth already, I would not bother with the normal California tourist sights, they are not really worth the hassle.
    I recommend 395 http://totalescape.com/tripez/trips/395.html because the Eastern slope is different than most of the state - high peaks, high desert, weird stuff. There is no traffic on 395 either....from Mammoth there are many interesting routes to Vegas -it might be too hot for Death Valley, but what the hell? people do it..Ghost towns, Joshua Trees, The Mojave.(there's Bootleg Canyon MTB park http://www.bootlegcanyon.com/for more technical desert mtn stuff- but it's probably too hot there too..that';s why Mammoth is good- cool at those altitudes)...anyway keep it in mind and stay off Interstate 5 and the Central Valley!!!! The Western and Eastern edges of the state are far more interesting. Have fun!
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    Last edited by DH40; 06-18-2004 at 11:14 AM.

  5. #5

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    sounds like you guys have a bunch of good spots lined up already.
    Durango is one of the sweetest places on Earth to ride .

    I would be happy to take you guys on an epic ride in Marin (across the Golden Gate Bridge) if you are into it.

    here is a discription of the pine mountain loop that is a nice loop of fire road with some hidden gems.
    http://www.marintrails.com/biking/bi...2_pine_mt.html
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  6. #6
    Hella Olde
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    Hmmm...I just realized most of the links in my post are to places that want your money...obviously you can do your own thing for free- just linked for an idea of the areas.

    I envy you guys....I live here and hardly get out enough at all!

  7. #7
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    Mammoth Mountain?

    I always thought Mammoth Mountain was just for downhilling. But it looks like they have some XC. Any idea how many miles of XC? I wouldn't want to go that far unless they had a good deal of it.

  8. #8
    Hella Olde
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf
    I always thought Mammoth Mountain was just for downhilling. But it looks like they have some XC. Any idea how many miles of XC? I wouldn't want to go that far unless they had a good deal of it.
    There are hundreds of miles of XC in the area....no need to stay in the 'Bike Park'

  9. #9

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    Thanks guys - will follow those links you provided and check it out. May take you up on that offer of a Marin area ride... Not too sure about a 50 mile epic tho - we'll probably be looking to take it a little easier for the first few days. We'll be coming from late winter/early spring off a 13 hour flight so won't super fit !!!!

  10. #10
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    Annadel

    I haven't ridden everywhere in the Bay area but I think Annadel might be the best XC ride in the area. Dozens of people on here ride it all the time so I'm sure you could hook up with someone. Many options and many trails for 5-40 miles. Maps and videos on my site.

  11. #11
    I am lost, I'm no guide
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40
    There are hundreds of miles of XC in the area....no need to stay in the 'Bike Park'
    I've spent a lot of time in Mammoth, and in my opinion, is the best place to spend a weekend riding. You can get plenty of xc in. There's only a handful of freeride/DH trails. In fact, Northstar is a better bet for you if you wanted to go that route. You don't need to pay full price to access the lifts to the higher elevations, and there are plenty of good routes to go. That being said, if you are going to access the mountain, and not utilize the gondola, plan on a lot of climbing at altitude.

    Lower Rock Creek, about 30 minutes away from Mammoth, is an amazing loop, however, your'e in for a killer climb, either back up the trail (which would make it an out and back), or on the road. Check the many reviews of this trail for details. I rode it last weekend for the first time, and I am just now starting to wipe the grin off my face.


    Mammoth and the surrounding areas have insane riding and the shops there are very friendly w/ advice and directions.

    PS. Mammoth may be the most beautiful slice of terrain the Sierra's can offer from a vehicle...
    Last edited by gobike; 06-20-2004 at 08:33 PM. Reason: words...
    There is no food served in Santa Cruz, the rangers just bulldozed it all. - jschwart73

  12. #12
    don't try this at home
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    for some great singletrack riding come on up to annadel. October is a great time to visit too. annadel is about an hour north of SF in Sonoma County the heart of the wine country. there's good local microbrewed beer here too. :-) and post-ride food - mexican. Lepe's is good and good looking but I could show you some of the best tacos around. i've had tacos around the bay, and these are probably the best.

    i'ld be happy to show you guys around on a 20-25 mile ride that is about 95% singletrack. no fully's required. could also show you some of the secret handshakes since you would be guests and all. ;-)

    let me know if sounds good.

  13. #13
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    Santa Cruz?

    One of my favorite places to ride is Santa Cruz. Located along the coast, south of San Francisco, the town is sort of free-spirited hippie hangout. I love the 'vibe' there.

    You can piece together a bit of an epic ride starting at Wilder Ranch right on the coastal cliffs. One of my favorite rides climbs up fire roads over golden grass slopes, through twisty wooded singletrack, up to Gray Whale and into the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). From there, you'll need a local guide to show you the ropes, piecing together UCSC and Pogonip. Then, it's down hill through more grass land and sweet swoopy singletrack back to the coast, beach, good eats, and cold beer. 20 to 40 miles can easily be arranged.

    Got time for two rides?
    Hit the Forest of Nissene Marks starting in Aptos. It's a big 13 mile fire road climb at railroad grade up through a second-growth redwood and fern forest. At the top you'll find the demonstration forest ('Demo'). Full of beautiful swoopy singletrack loops. Once you're finished at the Demo playground, it's 13 miles of downhill bliss, backtracking the fire road back down to Aptos. Pack a lunch -- this is 30+ miles depending on the # of demp loops.


    I guess that since you're surrounded by water in New Zealand, the beach/coast might not be such a thrill, But I really love Santa Cruz.

    When you know what your doing, post your schedule and we'll get some locals to show you the goods.

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