Chill Ride for a Beginner 'Round St. George-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Chill Ride for a Beginner 'Round St. George

    I want to take the lady friend riding for the first time. She has zero experience. I just moved to the area recently and having been after the more technical stuff; haven't gotten around much.

    Can someone recommend me a good beginner ride near St. George? I was looking at the JEM trail, but there was a mention of sketchy switchback sections on the utahmountainbiking site that had me wondering.

    Any help would be rad.

  2. #2
    Brass Nipples!
    Reputation: Bob the Wheelbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    I like to take beginners to the Bloomington end of the Bear Claw Poppy Trail and go up as far as they want, then come back down. You get your climbing done first, so if they are tired, it's still fairly easy to come back. It's usually enough to go to the bottom of Clavicle Hill at first or even less far if they're feeling anxious about the descent. The big skill they need to have is to be able to stand on the pedals in a crouch (some call this the "ready position") and shift their weight for the little dips and descents. Even though this is a pretty easy trail, I've seen people crash when they stay planted in the saddle on the downhill.

    One problem is the trail may still be chewed up from being ridden when wet earlier this year. I haven't ridden it for several months.

    Once they have the first few miles down, you can go past the acid drops to the water tank and back down or go up to Stucki Springs.

    If that's too hard the dirt roads to the Little Black Mountain petroglyphs are easier and still pretty fun for a rank beginner.

    Church Rocks is a good step up from the Bear Claw Poppy Trail as is the JEM. Go easier than you think necessary at first and let your friend dictate the pace and choice of rest stops. Make sure you have plenty of water and some kind of snacks. If you make it about her you stand a good chance of getting a great riding partner over time. Be satisfied with going what will seem very slow to you at first.
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  3. #3
    I'd rather be biking...
    Reputation: shelbster15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Bear Claw poppy would be a good idea like bob said.It's a blast for beginners. It's pretty easy and only as hard as you want it to be. Plenty of easy stuff heading up and they can turn around at any time. It's still pretty bumpy so might make them think all trails are bumpy like this if it's her first time on a mtb trail.

    Other options.
    You can ride up the micro loop trail for bear claw poppy. Just hop over the fence off of navajo drive and stay on the left most trail that runs along the fence line near the beginning. It's still pretty smooth and is a more gradual climb to clavicle hill where she can turn around and head down bear claw if she doesn't feel like heading up clavical.

    Ride paradise canyon. Ride up turtle wall trail from the paradise canyon subdivision. except for one nasty climb near the beginning(she can just hike a bike) it's pretty laid back.

    Temple quarry trail behined the airport park near the "D" on the airport hill. Its very short and on a very slight incline that you wont notice till you have to ride back and you start picking up speed. which is very rewarding for a beginner.

    Tukupetsi trailhead (anazazi trail) You can ride around those trails, graveyard and temple po'op also look at the rock art.

    Don't know her endurance level yet and while jem is fun and smooth it is kinda outta the way and unless your shuttling might be too much work for a beginner(12 miles), but like I said I don't know her endurance level. I have taken a group of beginners out to jem for some of there first rides. Tho they did have good bike handling skills. They walked the switchback, it only took a minute. We shuttled it and every one was a happy camper.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Go to this site: and look at trails in the St. George area.
    Bearclaw starting at Navajo drive is th easiest and yes it will be a little chewed up(rough) on the rollercoaster. The Warner valley trails are also easy.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    If she's got zero experience make sure she knows how to shift her gears. I'm serious, see that she can pedal and shift and stand and brake and all the stuff we take for granted. Never underestimate the new riders possible lack of basic bike handling skilz. Being on the dirt is a whole 'nother matter, what with rocks in the way, "exposure", ups and downs. If she can at least handle her bike, getting acquainted with the skilz needed to negotiate dirt will be a little easier.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I ended up taking her to Bear Claw Poppy, and starting from the Bloomington side of things. Went great! Not a single spill the whole time.

    We got up to Clavicle, and then turned back. Short jaunt, but a satisfying one.

    Thanks guys.

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