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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to slowly introduce my girlfriend to mountain biking. She's a terrific climber but the downhills and rocks of Anadel simply make her too nervous to enjoy herself offroad. Does anyone know if there are any flatter trails or fireroads in Sonoma County that she could enjoy as her MTB confidence improves?

Thanks!

Jack
 

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there aren't really any flatter trails that aren't paved and offer any kind of mileage. there is foothill and shiloh parks in windsor but I haven't ridden there. There are less technical trails at annadel, mostly the fireroads; canyon, richardson etc. However, there is a decent selection of tight meandering singletrack in Howarth and Spring Lake parks no big elevation gain but really fun. park at the howarth park lot and do a canyon-ilsanjo-richardson ride and hit the howarth singletrack on your way out and back. good luck
 

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Once you get up to the lake in annadel you can ride around it and it's fairly flat. Like g-funk said, there are lots of short trails around Howarth park that are fun.

Boggs Mountain up in Lake county has some trails that aren't too steep or rocky (it also has plenty of steep ones too)

Canyon-Lake-Richardson-Channel drive is a good beginner loop. That's how I started.
 

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GuruAtma said:
Once you get up to the lake in annadel you can ride around it and it's fairly flat. Like g-funk said, there are lots of short trails around Howarth park that are fun.
x3 Take her up Canyon Tr to the lake, Richardson to S. Burma, Rough-go to Orchard loop, down Rough-go to Cobblestone. Make sure she has FS...
 

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I saw a guy and girl riding at Annadel yesterday. Clearly the guy was taking the girl on a trail that was too hard for her. He was on a nice FS bike while she was on a hard tail. I think that was probably her last ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That wasn't me...

That wasn't me... I was creeping up Spring Creek yesterday and about two thirds of the way up I hit a pocket in a rise that stopped me cold while turning left. That sent me down the ravine until I got stopped by a tree about 20' down. Bloodied, but with nothing broken, managed to drag myself and the bike back up to the trail. This guy came around the corner and saw me standing there covered in mud and a good deal of blood and the first thing he said was, "Is the bike OK?"

I LOVE this sport!! :)

Jack
 

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You're welcome to join us Saturday at Annadel. We're not fast but we ride 20+ miles, with people peeling off as the day wears on. If you climb up Spring Creek you can do any trail in the park.

Here's the Saturday ride thread.

We meet at the lot on Channel Drive by Cobblestone.
 

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China Camp is a great place to take first-timers. My girlfriend (not a novice anymore, but not advanced) still loves to go to China Camp. I know it's a bit of a drive from Sonoma, but it's probably your best bet.

-Brad
 

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I agree with g-funk, if you're going to go over annadel way, take her around howarth park/spring lake until she's ready for a little more adventurous trails. There's a little bumpy single track around the south spring lake dam, and some more around the boat ramp.

For beginners, I highly recommend Foothills Regional Park in Windsor. It's where my then gf, now wife, learned to ride. They have a very nice selection of trails for most all skill levels in a very compact area. Don't expect any epic rides there, but the trails range from REALLY smooth fire roads to pretty techy and steep single track. It's sweet because after you've been around it once, and that doesn't take long, you can say, "OK, you go that way, and I'll meet you down there". Then she can ride a nice, smooth trail, while you go get a quick, super intense hill climb, followed by a quick, but very exciting downhill; and then the trails merge again. I used to live right down the street, and I'd grab a ride before and after work almost every day in the summer.
It's on Hembree Ln, north of Old Redwood HWY, before Hembree turns into Arata.
Here's a link:
http://www.sonoma-county.org/parks/pdf/park_maps/FoothillMap.pdf
Alta Vista and Ravine are where the funk is at.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Spring Creek

GuruAtma said:
You're welcome to join us Saturday at Annadel. We're not fast but we ride 20+ miles, with people peeling off as the day wears on. If you climb up Spring Creek you can do any trail in the park.

Here's the Saturday ride thread.

We meet at the lot on Channel Drive by Cobblestone.
Thanks Guru. What I've proven is that I can fall off Spring Creek. I think I'm going to mend this weekend by sticking to the trails in Howarth. ~ Jack
 

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Thanks for posting this

I love Annadel (used to walk my dogs and hike there all the time before I moved to SF) but have heard that it would kill me to ride there as a beginner. I was going to to do a short ride in marin this weekend, but thanks to your post I now that I know that I can ride a few trails in Annadel and I'm going to give it a shot. :thumbsup:

Thank you and I hope that you and your girlfriend have a fantastic time!

Alisa
 

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GuruAtma said:
Once you get up to the lake in annadel you can ride around it and it's fairly flat. Like g-funk said, there are lots of short trails around Howarth park that are fun.

Boggs Mountain up in Lake county has some trails that aren't too steep or rocky (it also has plenty of steep ones too)

Canyon-Lake-Richardson-Channel drive is a good beginner loop. That's how I started.
Just curious - how difficult is Canyon for a newer rider?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fun in Annadel

alisacherie said:
I love Annadel (used to walk my dogs and hike there all the time before I moved to SF) but have heard that it would kill me to ride there as a beginner. I was going to to do a short ride in marin this weekend, but thanks to your post I now that I know that I can ride a few trails in Annadel and I'm going to give it a shot. :thumbsup:

Thank you and I hope that you and your girlfriend have a fantastic time!

Alisa
Hope we see you on the trail one day!

~ Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Canyon for Novices?

MrCrash said:
Just curious - how difficult is Canyon for a newer rider?
I think Canyon is reasonable for the novice rider... there are some rocky patches but nothing "technical." The road is wide fire road which helps while you are building your skills and confidence. A couple of lines bring you close to the edge but if it makes you nervous don't hesitate to hug the hillside. It's also a trail that "rewards you" with beautiful Lake Ilsanjo at the end. From there you can do lots of exploring. I usually go up Canyon and then down Richardson. You'll have fun and you wont get bored.

~ Jack
 

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My girlfriends favorite place right now is Foothill in Windsor (she is still more on the novice level)
The trails there are great for beginners; nothing too scary.
Bit boring though if you're not a beginner and really short, prepare to make many circuits of the park to get any workout
 
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