Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wanting to ride in shade on the 4th so I went on this trail for the first time. I had to walk a few spots. Are most people able to ride over the roots and rocks? I'm trying to get a sense of the relative difficulty of this trail. My skills need improvement.
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Saratoga Gap between the parking lot and Highway 35 is an intermediate trail. Beyond that to Peter's Creek loop, it is a beginner trail.

On the intermediate section going away from the car, most intermediate riders can clear all root sections. Coming back to the car, I think most intermediate riders cannot clear all sections that I call the three technical climbs. Great trail!

fc
 

·
Older than I feel
Joined
·
1,915 Posts
I agree with Francois on the intermediate designation between the Saratoga Gap parking lot and the Skyline Blvd. crossing. I have never been able to clean the "root staircase" in the up direction. Going the other direction, I always clean the whole trail. Great fun and one of my favorite local trails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
This is one of the local trails that I still have yet to ride. Any pics of these technical sections? Maybe they can motivate me to go to the Gap. Problem is, I am equidistant between Skeggs and the Gap, so whenever I have the extra time to drive 35 minutes to a trailhead, I go to Skeggs.

francois said:
Saratoga Gap between the parking lot and Highway 35 is an intermediate trail. Beyond that to Peter's Creek loop, it is a beginner trail.

On the intermediate section going away from the car, most intermediate riders can clear all root sections. Coming back to the car, I think most intermediate riders cannot clear all sections that I call the three technical climbs. Great trail!

fc
 

·
~~~
Joined
·
2,036 Posts
Dopaminer_09 said:
This is one of the local trails that I still have yet to ride. Any pics of these technical sections? Maybe they can motivate me to go to the Gap. Problem is, I am equidistant between Skeggs and the Gap, so whenever I have the extra time to drive 35 minutes to a trailhead, I go to Skeggs.
Here's bailout at the rocky switchback. Photo credit goes to wingnacio.


Here's me attempting the roots. And another angle of the rocky switchback with The Law clearing it.
 

Attachments

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Dopaminer_09 said:
This is one of the local trails that I still have yet to ride. Any pics of these technical sections? Maybe they can motivate me to go to the Gap. Problem is, I am equidistant between Skeggs and the Gap, so whenever I have the extra time to drive 35 minutes to a trailhead, I go to Skeggs.
Ahem... how long you been riding?

'Missing out' is a gross understatement. ;)

fc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
tburger: Thanks for the pictures. I am feeling more lured to this trail. I don't see myself climbing those rocks cleanly.

fc: The Saratoga Gap trail is only 1.7 miles. What else is there that I am missing out on, which trails should I not miss in Long Ridge?

I just Google mapped it, and the Gap parking lot is 44 min from my home. A long way to drive, when Alpine Rd is 15 min away (or 30 min by bike), Skeggs is 30 min away, and Demo is 62 minutes.

But if you guys say it is definitely worth the travel time, I will have to check it out. I was planning to make one of my rare trips to Skeggs next Monday morning, but perhaps I'll drive to Longridge or Skyline OSPs and ride down to Highway 9 and back...

francois said:
Ahem... how long you been riding?
answer: Well, for the first 10 years of my biking life, I rode mostly whatever fireroads were close by: Tilden, St. Joe's, Windy Hill. Now that I got a nice bike last summer, and found guidance on mtbr, I have ridden Skeggs, Demo, Waterdog, Montebello, Russian Ridge, Coal Creek, and some of Skyline Ridge. With a nicer bike and nicer trails, my monthly mileage on the bike has gone up 5x-10x.

fc[/QUOTE]
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
The Saratoga Gap trail is about a 12 mile ride when done with Peter's Creek Loop. That is the money trail.

But it is connected to Grizzly Flat, Stevens Canyon, Charcoal road, for a bigger ride.

Then it is connected to Christmas Tree Farm, Horshoe Lake, White Oak, Indian Creek Montebello Preserve all the way past Page Mill Rd.

So it is the biggest network of trails in the area and the views are unequaled. There is a bunch of singletrack too.

You can park in Page Mill and 35 too and ride towards Highway 9.

44,15, 62 minute drive.... it really doesn't matter. Everyone needs to try these trails, not once, but several times, then decide if it's worthwhile for them. Despite Midpen's best efforts, this is where I and many others first fell in love with mountain biking.

fc

Dopaminer_09 said:
tburger: Thanks for the pictures. I am feeling more lured to this trail. I don't see myself climbing those rocks cleanly.

fc: The Saratoga Gap trail is only 1.7 miles. What else is there that I am missing out on, which trails should I not miss in Long Ridge?

I just Google mapped it, and the Gap parking lot is 44 min from my home. A long way to drive, when Alpine Rd is 15 min away (or 30 min by bike), Skeggs is 30 min away, and Demo is 62 minutes.

But if you guys say it is definitely worth the travel time, I will have to check it out. I was planning to make one of my rare trips to Skeggs next Monday morning, but perhaps I'll drive to Longridge or Skyline OSPs and ride down to Highway 9 and back...
 

·
mind taking
Joined
·
370 Posts
Hear hear Francis.

This area is so underrated its not even funny. Stevens Canyon is where I fell in love with riding and connecting it up Table Mountain to Gap is still one of my favorite rides ever.

Stevens Canyon -> Table Mountain -> Charcoal Rd -> Gap -> Christmas Trees -> cross Skyline into Montebello -> up Black Mountain -> down down down down to Stevens Canyon busting jumps and waterbars all the way back to the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
MichiganMat said:
Hear hear Francis.

This area is so underrated its not even funny. Stevens Canyon is where I fell in love with riding and connecting it up Table Mountain to Gap is still one of my favorite rides ever.

Stevens Canyon -> Table Mountain -> Charcoal Rd -> Gap -> Christmas Trees -> cross Skyline into Montebello -> up Black Mountain -> down down down down to Stevens Canyon busting jumps and waterbars all the way back to the car.
That's a good loop!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lots of good info thanks. I have been working on climbing and overall fitness. I need to get some skills. Those rocks look easy in the photos, but I left a little blood up there. And trying to avoid all the poison oak was a pain.

I took my 26er, I'm going to take the 29er next time to see if that makes it easier to roll over the rocks/roots. We'll see. But then I struggle with the switchbacks on the 29er.

Once I got over to the long ridge side I rode out to a bench with a great view. Then I didn't know where to go so I headed back the same way. That part was fun too even though it wasn't technically challenging. I think I could see all the way to the ocean.
 

·
bike buster
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
jmelani said:
Lots of good info thanks. I have been working on climbing and overall fitness. I need to get some skills. Those rocks look easy in the photos, but I left a little blood up there. And trying to avoid all the poison oak was a pain.

I took my 26er, I'm going to take the 29er next time to see if that makes it easier to roll over the rocks/roots. We'll see. But then I struggle with the switchbacks on the 29er.

Once I got over to the long ridge side I rode out to a bench with a great view. Then I didn't know where to go so I headed back the same way. That part was fun too even though it wasn't technically challenging. I think I could see all the way to the ocean.
When you get to the first bench, continue along the singletrack. Make the left onto the fire road. Take that to the second bench. On your right, there's a singletrack -- that's the start of the Peter's Creek loop. When you complete the loop, you will be back on the fire road where you make a left back to the first bench.

Good job attempting the technical bits there. I can clear all of them 99% of the time, but every now and then they still get me. I've found the trick to clearing the three root sections is using a harder gear than you think you need.

Have you seen the Thursday Night Gap Ride (TNGR) threads? Always a good time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
Sounds like you come up 84 to Skyline. I have the same dilemma, so tend to alternate between Skeggs and the Gap area. Agree with Francois... you can park at 35 and Page Mill lot and save about 10 minutes of driving... if you are doing a longer ride. Or park at Grizzly flats lot, but that's getting closer to the Hwy 9 lot. I've also parked at Skyline Ridge lot.

You can put together some awesome loops. From the Page Mill lot, I sometimes head north thru Russian Ridge first, over Borel Hill, then hit up Alpine Rd, over to Stevens Canyon/Black Mtn. and all those trails, Grizzly or Table Mtn, Gap, Long Ridge, then back thru Skyline Ridge. Great variety of trails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
jdubsl2 said:
Have you seen the Thursday Night Gap Ride (TNGR) threads? Always a good time.
Yes. Those threads got me interested in the Gap in the first place. I thought I'd try it myself a time or two before I went for a group ride. I don't want to get in over my head. Looking at the pictures of riders, I think I'd be toward the back of the pack.
My biggest problem with obstacles is mental. I can do more, but I always hold myself back. I recently went for a ride at Wilder Ranch where I really set out to get past my overally cautious self. 10 minutes into the ride a guy right in front of me crashes and snaps his collar bone. Most cautious ride I've ever had.
 

·
aka dan51
Joined
·
6,021 Posts
Come out to TNGR. Riders of all paces are out there. Some people even do solo rides, so there is no pressure to keep up with a group.

The roots and rocks can be tricky. 6 years ago I never thought they were possible, these days I look forward to them. After lots of practicing, it's rare they I don't make them on the first shot. And if I don't I always go back and try again. I think most riders would like to try a few times, but get it in their head that they are holding up the group so they fail and walk on.:( I'm always impressed by people that try and try. Even if you don't make it, you're still learning and will apply that the next time you go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Thanks guys! I definitely have some ride ideas now. One is to drive to the parking lot near Grizzly Flat and then ride erginguney's posted usual ride route down to the Gap and back.

Another is to ride from my home near downtown Menlo Park up Alpine Rd, to Montebello, down White Oak and Stevens Canyon, up Table Mountain and up Charcoal, to Saratoga Gap Trail, then down Highway 9, to my in-laws home in Los Gatos.

The first idea might happen next week. The second one will have to wait for the right day when all the stars align (one alignment being a shuttle ride home).
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top