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My gf is purchasing a Specialized Myka this weekend (as they finally built one in her color) and I'm looking for easy (flat fireroad) trails to start her on in the Penninsula. I live in SanJose.

  • I was thinking of the coastal trail out at Wilder (just past the demo farm).
  • there's some nice flat (5mi?) sections up in Point Reyes, however, I've never been up there and I'm not sure which ones to take.
  • Grant Ranch, not to ride up the hills, but to ride within the valley itself. From the small parking lot to the cow corral and back to the lake.

Any other ideas? She's pretty excited, but I don't want to put her in a position where she could become uncomfortable. In fact she was blown away by the fact that the LBS employees would take the time to make sure she was properly fit on the bike (arm/leg position and reach). We'll definitely make a 'date' out of it with the picnic lunch and such (not powerbars and goo).
 

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Wilders and Aptos Creek up to sand point. Just be patient and tell her that speed isn't needed and not to burn herself out trying to mash up the hill. .

Or just tell her it's flat-ish and go. When she gets mad, if she's competitive, she won't give up and that's where you can mash up the hill and drop back down for her. Then repeat. She'll be mad for a little until you turn around and go downhill and she'll understand that climbing leads to fun. That's my method.

Took my gf from downtown sj to the summit store on the skinny tired bikes and she hated my guts on the climb but when we bombed back down old santa cruz highway, she had a stupid smile on her face and now wants to do more long rides and understands that climbing leads to fun.

On the way down, I coasted behind her for a bit to make sure she wasn't doing anything weird, and distributing weight properly. Everything looked good and then I launched ahead, slowing every now and then to check to see if she was still there. No issues what so ever :thumbsup:
 

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i gotta say....taking a noob on an 8 mile climb (aptos creek fireroad) is prolly not a good idea....IMHO...

your GF will kill you.

I have always thought the Rancho Del Oso to Berry Creek Falls is an excellent place for a beginner....

very gentle clilmbs...mostly shaded....a tiny bit of singletrack. At the end of the bike route you can lock your bikes and hike a mile up to the falls...

then the spin back is almost all downhill...

love that place...i was married there :)
 

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Aptos Creek fire road is in aptos, which essentiallly the same distance from Santa Cruz as Wilder, just south.

It's a gradual climb and has a nice look out over aptos. All shade and nothing too crazy. Plenty of traction. There are a couple spots that may be hike a bike for her for a quick second, depending on strength/determination, but nothing too bad. The nice part is that it's really nice weather due to shade and proximity to coast.

Nisene Marks is the park. Aptos Creek trail is what you want. It really is a nice trail. Start from Epicenter Cycles and just take it easy. Nice and flat for a couple miles and then has some uphill. Lots of places to stop and eat a snack in the first 3 or 4 miles. Friendly trail users too.
 

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Where's this? Are these trails in Wilder or Point Reyes? I couldn't find them on the map.
For Point Reyes, Coastal Trail is probably the easiest trail there is: Google Maps

It starts from the hostel, heads to the beach, and then follows the shore for a bit until it hits the Coast Camp campsite (bathrooms, tables). It's short and flat, so think of it more as a picnic spot instead of a bike ride. You might want to check the weather since it might be foggy + windy this time of year.

There is also Estero trail at Point Reyes, but the last time I went it was pretty rutted and not "girlfriend friendly".

China Camp in San Rafael is also pretty easy, but I'm told that it can be crowded on the weekends. I usually ride in the afternoon and don't see much traffic then.
 

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i gotta say....taking a noob on an 8 mile climb (aptos creek fireroad) is prolly not a good idea....IMHO...

your GF will kill you.
That's where the competitive nature comes in. My gf is always trying to be better than I at something and willing to give trails a shot. Hell, if she doesn't like it or feels it's too much, just cruise back down to the bottom and go grab some delicious bbq at Aptos St BBQ.
:thumbsup:

That reminds me, I need to get her some cross tires for the road bike now that I am throwing a 12-32 fw and brifters on it :p

China Camp in San Rafael is also pretty easy, but I'm told that it can be crowded on the weekends. I usually ride in the afternoon and don't see much traffic then.
The lower trails would work.

Also, try out tilden, near vista point. I'll get the trail name in second.
 

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i gotta say....taking a noob on an 8 mile climb (aptos creek fireroad) is prolly not a good idea....IMHO...

your GF will kill you.

I have always thought the Rancho Del Oso to Berry Creek Falls is an excellent place for a beginner....

very gentle clilmbs...mostly shaded....a tiny bit of singletrack. At the end of the bike route you can lock your bikes and hike a mile up to the falls...

then the spin back is almost all downhill...

love that place...i was married there :)
I second the berry creek falls, she will have to walk some of it but its not bad.

The coast trail at wilder is good too just remember that the wind picks up later in the day

sand point is not a good idea for a beginner, the first mile and a half of the climb is an average of 9% grade with spots up to 15%
 

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Arastradero Open Preserve has some good trails that are good for someone who isn't super technical, and just easing in. If you want to look for really flat, fire road trails, you can try the baylands in Mountain View & Palo Alto. Big wide fire road riding, with some really simple singletrack along some of it, nothing that would really be considered a hill anywhere
 

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Wilders and Aptos Creek up to sand point. Just be patient and tell her that speed isn't needed and not to burn herself out trying to mash up the hill. .
If she can do longer rides and can climb, that.
If not, mellower places first... Almaden quicksilver is nice, but getting that inital hill is a bit tricky until fitness catches up.

With my wife we did lots of Los Gatos creek trail rides and St Joes till she could climb a bit.
 

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If she can do longer rides and can climb, that.
If not, mellower places first... Almaden quicksilver is nice, but getting that inital hill is a bit tricky until fitness catches up.

With my wife we did lots of Los Gatos creek trail rides and St Joes till she could climb a bit.
Whoa whoa. Someone agrees with me? Dayuuuuuuuum :eekster:
 

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i gotta say....taking a noob on an 8 mile climb (aptos creek fireroad) is prolly not a good idea....IMHO...

your GF will kill you.

I have always thought the Rancho Del Oso to Berry Creek Falls is an excellent place for a beginner....

very gentle clilmbs...mostly shaded....a tiny bit of singletrack. At the end of the bike route you can lock your bikes and hike a mile up to the falls...

then the spin back is almost all downhill...

love that place...i was married there :)
X2

Has everything you're looking for.
 

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flat and close

From the Alviso Marina or the Don Edwards SF Bay Preserve there's a 9 mile ride around the salt evaporation ponds. It's peaceful with lots of birds.

Also Sunnyvale Baylands to Shoreline and back.
 

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Arastradero Open Preserve has some good trails that are good for someone who isn't super technical, and just easing in.
^^^+1 Arastradero is perfect for many reasons:
-it's right off of 280 so it's really easy to get to from your neck of the woods
-It's got a great mix of easy fire road and fun, quality singletrack to get her excited about riding singletrack over riding roads
-multiple combinations of loops to make the ride as long or as short as you want while keeping you always within a mile of your car
-it has "the bowl" at the top -an old gravel pit with little jumps, berms and short, smooth 15' high steeps- which is a fun place to teach some skills, build confidence and have some fun practice time with the bike, and some fun for you after putzing around at beginner speeds
-Very few serious or expert riders ride there so there will be few issues with her being startled by DH riders or being in the way of climbers
-There are a couple of great places right next door to grab a beer, shake or burger after your ride

The only drawbacks are that it gets crowded with hikers, runners, dogs and horses, (although these give you a chance to teach her trail etiquette), the main parking lot has limited parking space (you can park on Alpine or Page Mill Roads and ride in or try the north lot past gate B) and it's a muddy mess with some trail closures after it rains.

Here''s a link to the map: http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=6049
 

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Last year I got my wife a bike and get her on some trails. We rode Arastradero a lot - she got very comfortable there and it has a few good features to let beginners learn the basics (some mild climbs, a few switchbacks, etc) without hair-raising consequences.

We also rode China Camp, which she loved.

For a zero-elevation gain ride that is fun, do the Half Moon Bay bluffs (eg Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Bluffs near Half Moon Bay | Times and Records | Strava) - dead flat, but lots of fun trails to tool around (much of it is paved, though, as you go north).

I haven't done the Berry Falls ride yet, but it's next on my list for her. Russian Ridge after that.

I once took her to do the Peter's Creek loop in Skyline OSP but she had a fall on a mildly technical switchback and never forgave me for taking her somewhere so hard. .oops :eek:
 
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