It doesn’t feel like there is a lot of new single track trail action going on here in the Bay Area, so in moving back here I haven’t had my hopes up. With that said, you can imagine that when I met up with the local homies at their spot in we now refer to as the Mid-Penn, and sessioned a whole new line, I was pretty damn stoked. Even better, the entire route up on the self shuttle is an easy pedal. Nor-Cal isn’t known for having very many shuttle friendly DH/FR spots, so the fact this loop can be pedaled on a DH bike with a 9-speed drivetrain is good stuff. A lot of gravity riding here feels like there is a lot of off the bike pushing, and nothing ruins the flow of a day more than getting off and pushing up the hill. Sometimes you just want to ride, even if its a slow grind up to the top.
The boys have been pretty busy digging for the last season; I had been hearing a bit about the progress, but haven’t had much opportunity to get out and check it out yet. Fortunately we’ve had a string of dry days, and the dirt there becomes ridable quickly. The new trail is steep with some fun jumps, but I think I’m stoked more that you can rock it on either a DH/FR bike or a solid all mountain steed. The new line is a fun addition to the existing trails in the area too.
The guys were already on the trail, so after I managed to find the trail head, (it wasn’t very hard, its well marked) I rolled down until I caught up with them at the beginning of the jump line, which is everyone’s favorite section. They have a drop into a ravine that pops you into a step up that leads into a set of three doubles. Knowing that other riders would likely find out about the trail, they made the jumps rollable, as a go-around line wasn’t an option there.
The step up is fun- more lines need step ups; they’re wicked fun. After the step up you need to crank the pedals a few times to make the first set. However, it is pretty mellow, and once you’ve cleared it, the next two flow really well.
After playing on the jump line for a bit, we headed down and I got to check out the other new line the guys have been working on. The first few sets were almost rideable, so we got the shovels out and got them working. Then it was time to test them out.
The entire time I was out there, I was thinking about what bikes in the quiver need to get swapped out to optimize them for the typical stuff here in Nor-Cal. For the riding we did here, the DH bike was a bit over kill. Most the guys are rolling on 7″ travel freeride/ mini-DH setups with jump friendly 7″ travel single crown forks. This is a tough one- I love my DH bike.
The guys asked to keep the names of the trails on the down low, but local riders should recognize the surroundings. The digging continues, here’s too a good 2011 riding season. Now I just need to figure out how to get my seat high enough for the regular self shuttle sessions that makes up the local DH/ FR action here, or get a DH/ play bike setup that is pedal friendly.