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Hello from Boston! I'd like some local advice on mtb'ing in SoCal.

I'm going to be at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard for a conference. I have Saturday (Feb 4) to myself, before flying back to Boston the next morning. So I want to spend the day hiking or biking, to get a taste of California wilderness. I've done some google research and am considering the following options:

1) Visit Joshua Tree NP. Bring a tent and camp. Rent a bike and ride Thermal Canyon. Hike if there is time.

2) Stick closer to Oxnard. Explore one of the following by mtb: Point Mugu SP, Santa Monica Mtns NRA, Malibu Creek SP, or Topanga SP.

Which do you suggest?
Where can I rent a bike, get a trail map, advice on trails?
Can you recommend a campground?

I'm a strong biker. I ride 4000-5000 miles per year on the road and used to race mtb sport class. I've browsed your forum and found it very helpful. The photos from Cheseboro looked pretty interesting.

Thanks for any help you care to offer.
 

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We were at Point Mugu a couple weeks ago and hiked Sycamore Canyon. It looks like it has some good biking available. What I saw was fire road type riding, not sure what else is there. If you go there, get some info from Mr Ranger before you hit the trail. Some trails are hiking only, even though they look tempting for biking. There is a nice bike-able trail that runs from Sycamore Canyon to La Jolla Canyon (up, across, then down) and gives a great panorama of the beach below and ocean, etc and looked like a great workout. And you can cheat and take PCH back to the car from La Jolla if you don't mind risking your life next to 55+ mph traffic in a bike lane :eek:
 

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Point Mugu has a wide variety of scenery and trails. Some dirt roads and some singletrack. There is a campground there also. There is another CG a little farther south called Leo Carillo, but no biking trails. There are some beginer type trails at Malibu Creek SP and a tough climb called Bulldog. The best trail in the Santa Monica Mtns is probably Backbone tr form Corral to Kanan(third tunnel). You can actually take it farther west to Zuma ridge. A little farther north of Oxnard are some good trails in Ojai. Gridley trail is the only one I can remember. All of these trails are listed in the MTBR trail reviews if you need directions. I have no idea where to rent a bike in Ventura county.
 

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Sad to say, I think you should forget about Joshua Tree. The desert is really interesting, but California is big, and you'll spend your one day driving there and back. I'd check out the Santa Monica Mountains, or look into the mountain area behind Ventura and Santa Barbara. And both those towns are pretty nice beach towns if the weather god smiles on you in February.

I stumbled across a web site recently with Ventura County bike trails, including a clickable map with ride details. I'm sorry I don't recall the URL, but I bet a search would turn it up.

If you ride road, the area around Solvang used to be where Lance and the Postal team did their winter training. Solvang is a tourist trap, but the countryside around it is beautiful.
 

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Since you are staying in Oxnard, I would recommend something close by.

Ojai is pretty close by. Climb Gridley to the Mulholland Ridge. Head East on the ridge past the Sisar junction to White Ledge. Descend White Ledge to where it hits Sisar (about six miles lower).

If you're knackered by this point, you can keep going down Sisar to Hwy 150 and head back down to Ojai where you can choke down a burrito at Mike & Rob's. If you still have some gas in the tank, you can climb Sisar back up to the ridge and go back down Gridley the same way you came up. The good news is that either way, you can still grub down at Mike & Rob's :).

For some reason, mexican food seems fitting after a ride like that.

Regards,
Jeff
 

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Pt Mugu offers plenty of mountain biking

Check out this web site:

http://www.nrmbc.org/index.html

Click on the Trail maps button and then click on Pt Mugu. As you can see there is a wide variety of trails to sample. If you are coming from Oxnard I would approach the park from the beach side. You can probably be there in 15 - 20 minutes. From this starting point a good selection of trails would be the Overlook up > backbone down > Quadalasca up then back down -> over to Sage, pick up Si Nombre and back to the beach. Something like 22 mi and 3500 ft of climbing. As far as picking up a loaner you might try the following shops. MIchaels or Newbury Park Cycles or your best bet could be to keep hitting this board and maybe a local will trade some spare wheels for a day for a six pack.

hope that helps
 

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That is going to be a good day to ride - as it is Super Bowl - the trails will be empty.

I live right at the top of Sycamore Canyon - and would normally be happy to show you around - and find a bike for you - but I will be in Mammoth that weekend - sorry.

I would agree with il2mb on where to ride - that will be quite fun ride - and it is very close to where you are staying - so you do not have to camp -and can go back to the hotel.

Feb in So Cal is hit or miss in terms of weather - it could be sunny and 75 (like last weekend) or it could be raining - that is typically our rainy time - but I am sure it will be warm for a Boston guy.

Have fun.
 
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