Last weekend we headed out to Fresno to take a better look at the Woodward MTB Park. Last fall I had the chance to ride it briefly while heading down to SoCal, but due to the intense summer heat, the session was limited to a few runs. We hooked up with local riders Oswaldo and Matt for a session at the park and the tour of one of their local shuttle friendly DH trails.
Fresno is a solid drive from the heart of the Bay Area, but sometimes you need to get out of town for a fresh perspective. We’ve also been curious about how their relatively new bike park was holding up. Especially since Hilride, the Bike Park Design Group that created the MTB section of the park is also currently working on two bike parks closer to home: the Stafford Lake Bike Park, and the Lafayette Bike Park.
We met local rider Oswaldo Angel earlier this year at Sea Otter, and he invited us out to ride with him on his local turf. Never one to say no, we took him up on his offer and met up at the MTB Park. After sessioning for a while, we got the scoop on the park.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a maintenance plan in place, and many of the bike park features are in sore need of upkeep. Oswaldo has personally put over 376 volunteer hours into the creation of the park, and is one of a small group of riders that want to help make the improvements needed. Unfortunately, getting permission to do it appears to present a challenge, as Fresno riders don’t have a MOU in place. The closest advocacy club, the Central California Off-Road Cyclists (CCORC) has its work cut out for them.
Since it was windy, we elected to head out of town to sample one of the local shuttle friendly trails, the 007 Trail near Bass Lake. We were glad we did; riding it was the highlight of the day.
The trail features terrain similar to one of my favorites in Ashland, Oregon, (BTI) with the addition some a few rock gardens and a wood feature or two. Originally a motorcycle trail, the trail is accessible top and bottom via a fire road, making it possible to shuttle to the trail head. Since it was our first time here, we elected to push bikes up in order to get ourselves familiar with the terrain. Bass Lake is not far from Yosemite, and as you would expect, there are some great vistas to be found. It is at a significantly higher elevation than Fresno, and while it was dry in Fresno, we ended up getting rained on a bit. Fortunately, it was only on and off, and the sun poked through the clouds several times.
At this point, I was kicking myself for not bringing the new Nomad along for the day. It is super dialed for exactly this type of trail in its current configuration. Thanks to Oswaldo, who was nice enough to let me ride his Giant Glory and get it all muddy, while he rode his hardtail down.
I left the GoPro in the car, but here’s a nice edit found on Pink Bike shows the trail well:
Both of these reviews list the trail as having jumps. I would argue their use of the term jumps is fairly loose here. At speed you can definitely launch sections of trail. There is a cool wood feature though which Matt styled out a few times.
The trail has an enormous amount of potential as a DH trail. With a minimal amount of digging the trail could be enhanced with subtle features while remaining ridable to other skills levels. A few more berms and the fun level would be rocking off the charts. Since it started as a motorcycle trail, it is fairly wide and offers a number of line choices. You can definitely haul ass on this trail. There are rock gardens and plenty of technical challenge to be had.
There is a good amount of erosion on the trail as well as puddles that a dedicated trail crew could fix in a matter of days. If this trail was my local trail I would be totally stoked- this is exactly the kind of project I’d love to take on.
After our ride, we headed over to Bass Lake to chill out with some grub before heading back to the MTB park for a few more runs.
More info and local resources: