When I was much heavier, I bought a cyclocross bike to use as a road bike, because I wanted a steel-framed, bombproof ride. Now that I have dropped the pounds and picked up a real road bike, I'm switching the cyclocross bike back to knobby tires and want to give it's real purpose a try. So far, I'm just practicing basic "moves" in my driveway, but . . .

Can you recommend some San Diego area -- hopefully not too far from Carmel Valley area -- trails or rides that would be good for an introduction to the sport? All of the trails with which I am familiar (from casual mountain bike riding) are very rocky, rooty, and rutty, and can be tough to absorb even on a mountain bike with front shocks. I doubt that I could handle any steep-drop single-track through-the-trees stuff. I'm looking for trails that approximate what I see when I watch most amateur cyclocross races -- generally wide, flat, firm, and with room to screw up.

Thanks.