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  1. #1
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    Cyclocross rides/route in the Bay Area?

    What're your favorite 'cross/offroad rides (doable on a 'cross bike)? In the San Mateo-Palo Alto area, as well as in San Francisco!

  2. #2
    Two wheels is two wheels pelikan's Avatar
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    I saw lots of CX folk at Astradero last year

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    Starting at the corner of Alpine & Portola in Portola Valley, climb Alpine Road to Skyline (first few miles are paved, then Alpine is dirt for a few miles).
    Cross Skyline on Page Mill Road, then turn into Russian Ridge OSP. Follow main park trail over Borel Hill then back down to Skyline.
    Continue north on Skyline to Windy Hill OSP. Spring Ridge Road in Windy Hill is open to bicycles. This drops you back down to Portola Road, about a mile north of Alpine Road.

    There are lots of other easy dirt roads/trails near Page Mill & Skyline if you want a longer ride.

  4. #4
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    i have been hitting the trails at montebello open space in the mornings on my way into work. i climb montebello, keep going past the gate and go across the top to page mill, then drop down page mill into palo alto.

    it's funny, i hate mountain biking but i love doing dirt on my road bike. i guess it's because i get to ride to the dirt instead of putting the bike on the car and driving somewhere to go ride, which IMO is ridiculous. might as well take up jet-skiing or something.

    this morning's ride:



    The aftermath:

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  5. #5
    Senior Member silentben's Avatar
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    I can hardly wait to take a sip from that front water bottle I see a camelbak in your future.

  6. #6
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    It was delicious, I assure you. I squirted from 8 " away
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  7. #7
    Don we now our Bacana's Avatar
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    I've got to get off the road sometimes and try this. I have the bike for it, too. I just need to look harder for places to ride. I've heard that there are some trails around UCSF in San Francisco.
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  8. #8
    flaff. crbrown's Avatar
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    I regularly do the route ahpook posted, as well as a similar one: Canyon Trail, which starts in Upper Steven's Creek county park and continues through Montebello OSP to Page Mill. The Montebello Rd. route is more of a road ride and has a greater elevation gain, whereas the Canyon Trail route has all the climbing on fire road and singletrack and has ample opportunities for run ups when you're outgeared (and you will be outgeared).

    Arastradero is pretty small, but if you're crafty you can make some decent loops. There's a 'cross practice group that meets in the parking lot at 6:00pm on Thursdays and will continue until daylight savings kicks in. It is a low-key 'race' format, with one warm-up lap and 3 to 4 'race' laps. Each lap takes around 8 minutes to complete and includes one prescribed run-up, some sand, loose dirt, gravel patches, singletrack descents, tricky hairpin turns, and a good bit more elevation gain than your typical 'cross race.

  9. #9
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    crbrown yup, that gps trace is actually of the canyon trail. it is definitely more of an off-road challenge than MB road.

    Anyone looking for semi-hidden cross/road rides on the peninsula should check out skid's blog where he logs his 'epic commutes'

    http://epiccommute.blogspot.com/
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacana View Post
    I've got to get off the road sometimes and try this. I have the bike for it, too. I just need to look harder for places to ride. I've heard that there are some trails around UCSF in San Francisco.
    You can find information about San Francisco trails at SF Urban Riders and SF Mountain Biking. (Many of these are not legally accessible to bikes.)

    If you cross the GG bridge, most of the legal fire roads and trails in the Headlands and Mt. Tam can be done on cyclocross/road bikes. For a library of detailed cue sheets of mixed terrain rides (some off-road, some pavement), look here.

    The Marin Bike Coalition map also has also the legal fire roads/trails marked on it as well (it's much better than using GoogleMaps or Bikely.com.)

  11. #11
    Don we now our Bacana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstantRider View Post
    You can find information about San Francisco trails at SF Urban Riders and SF Mountain Biking. (Many of these are not legally accessible to bikes.)

    If you cross the GG bridge, most of the legal fire roads and trails in the Headlands and Mt. Tam can be done on cyclocross/road bikes. For a library of detailed cue sheets of mixed terrain rides (some off-road, some pavement), look here.

    The Marin Bike Coalition map also has also the legal fire roads/trails marked on it as well (it's much better than using GoogleMaps or Bikely.com.)
    Those links look great. Thank you! I'll definitely try one of those in the next few months.
    < ? 180 ---*----- 200 --------- 210 --------- 220 --------- < ... (no comment)

  12. #12
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    I must say, I wish I knew about cyclocross bikes earlier! I bought one in October last year and things haven't been the same since. It is so much fun to go out on a ride, get a long road ride in, singletrack, dirt road, or whatever type of road I find, and not worry about it. Mine gives me so much more FREEDOM!

  13. #13
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    I've got some trail rides here in Pacifica if anyone is interested. Up on Sweeney Ridge and on Montara Mountain...

    Andreas, who you can meet at the Arastradero Reserve practice sessions (i hope to make it there sometime soon) has some maps and whatnot of various off-road rides suitable for cross bikes on his great website here: http://home.pacbell.net/hillmann/CyclingCalifornia/

  14. #14
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    I don't know if they're still doing it, but I used to see some actual CX barricades in Laurelwood Park, off De Anza, in San Mateo, so some folks were pretty serious about practicing there.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahpook View Post
    it's funny, i hate mountain biking but i love doing dirt on my road bike. i guess it's because i get to ride to the dirt instead of putting the bike on the car and driving somewhere to go ride, which IMO is ridiculous. might as well take up jet-skiing or something.
    I never put my bike in my truck unless I'm riding Santa Cruz (I'm in San Jose). I have the most fun jumping curbs and stairs, doing rolling stoppies and bunnyhopping stuff. Hey, I'm an old-school BMX'er... whatcha gonna do? This is part of the reason why I got rid of my downhill bike... it just sucked not being able to ride to where you'd be riding.

    I ride my local area, which is Santa Teresa County park and, of course, I ride Santa Cruz all the time. I have never seen a CX bike in Santa Teresa County park, but the very serious rock gardens probably dissuades people from venturing off on the skinny tires. There are some great fire roads and good climbing that would fair great on a CX bike.

    A little south of what you were looking for. I see teams of folks on Rock Lobsters all the time, including my brother and his buddies who will be racing CX this year (on Rock Lobsters) in my hometown - tons of people on those frames. I have a fondess for that company because Paul would weld our BMX bikes for pocket money when I was growing up - right across the street from McDonalds on Mission St. and Dufour St. in Santa Cruz. I remember asking my mom for $10/$20 bucks to get "my bike fixed" and I'd come back with a fat weld at the head tube from riding off house roofs to flat ground.

  16. #16
    Freewheel Burning GaryNoTrashCoug's Avatar
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    Some folks claim to ride Russian Ridge on a CX bike, good luck with the sand. It's probably better tackled in early spring or late fall. The Old Haul Road in Loma Mar is probably doable on a CX bike, and definitely a more enjoyable ride.
    No Parole From Rock & Roll

  17. #17
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryNoTrashCoug View Post
    Some folks claim to ride Russian Ridge on a CX bike, good luck with the sand. It's probably better tackled in early spring or late fall. The Old Haul Road in Loma Mar is probably doable on a CX bike, and definitely a more enjoyable ride.
    I've done both on my Birdy (obviously not a CX bike, it has little fat slick tires, a suspension, and low clearance). I think Old Haul Road is very doable if it's not muddy; there were a few spots on Russian Ridge I had to walk but it was mostly doable.
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  18. #18
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    There are a lot of different trails in Russian Ridge. I've done the upper couple of levels with my regular road bike with no trouble. The lower levels are somewhat rougher (looser, rockier, steeper), though.

  19. #19
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
    There are a lot of different trails in Russian Ridge. I've done the upper couple of levels with my regular road bike with no trouble. The lower levels are somewhat rougher (looser, rockier, steeper), though.
    Yeah, those are where I had to "portage".
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  20. #20
    Freewheel Burning GaryNoTrashCoug's Avatar
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    Hopefully last night's rain will have put the damper (no pun intended) on some of the looser, sandier stuff.
    No Parole From Rock & Roll

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