Come out and join us on one of our rides – everyone is welcome. You do not have to be a member to join us on one of our rides. We offer a range of rides – see our Meetup group or subscribe to our google group
If you are new to mountain biking, words like ‘social’ and ‘no drop’ indicate that the ride should be easier. Words like ‘long”, hilly’, ‘technical’, and ‘fast-paced’ suggest the ride will be more difficult. Mountain bike miles are at least twice as hard as road miles, so if you can do 25 miles on your road bike, consider a 10-mile mountain bike ride. Be prepared – check out our beginner’s guide for more information about what to wear, bring and expect, including layers, food, water, pump, inner tube, helmet and a whole lot of fun!
The terrain in the bay area tends to be very hilly, dry hard pack with few roots or rocks to speak of. Trails can have deep ruts, water damage, and may be gravelly. In the winter it varies from incredibly sticky, slippery mud to decomposing granite and sand that drains very well. The best places to ride in the winter are Montara Mountain in Pacifica, Henry Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, and Fort Ord near Salinas. We encourage people to stay off the trails at least 24 hours after a rain.
The Not-To-Miss places around here are
- Soquel Demonstration Forest [map] although the road may be closed due to mudslides. SDF has a pretty defined one way pattern. Most people ride up Highland Way, Buzzards Lagoon, Aptos Creek Fire Road and Down Braille, Tractor or Saw Pit, and up and out Hinh’s Mill. You may have heard of the new flow trail. Here is a map showing you how to get to the completed sections.
- El Corte De Madera Open Space Preserve. [map] ECDM is steep and has many trails that you would not want to climb. Favorite trails include Manzanita, North Leaf, Crossover, Giant Salamander, Resolution, Blue Blossom, South Leaf, and Virginia Mill. The best ups are El Corte De Madera Creek, Resolution, North Leaf, Tafoni and Gordon Mill. Some trails in ECDM are subject to seasonal closures, and temporary closures for envinronmental protection.
- Sanborn County Park map
A 10 – 15 mile ride at these locations will be 2500 – 3500 feet of climbing. It is worthwhile to have a guide for either area.
In the Bay area, trail conditions are basically muddy from December until April. The best conditions are just after the first rains in November and December, and in April in May before everything really dries out.
Due to the variety of land managers in the area there is no one resource for trail conditions. Here are some resources to find out what you need to know.
Santa Clara County Parks manages Harvey Bear in Morgan Hill, Santa Teresa and Almaden Quicksilver in San Jose, and lower Limekiln and Priest Rock in Los Gatos.
Midpeninsula Openspace District (MROSD) manages lands along Skyline Boulevard including Sierra Azul, Saratoga Gap, Long Ridge, Russian Ridge, El Corte de madera (Skeggs), and Purissima Open Space Preserves.
Soquel Demonstration Forest is managed by the California Department of Forestry, .
If you are interested in a particular area, you can also check Norcal forums.mtbr.com.