Almost a week in Northern California

8.4. - 14.4. 2003

I was to attend a friend's wedding on Sun Apr 13th, so, I figured it would be worth it to spend some time in the area checking out the local biking trails. The original plan to go to wedding and then ride the following week had to be altered due to unfavorable weather forecast. I biked three days before the weekend, it rained during the weekend, and then did one more ride on Monday on the way back.
In order to get the best out of the stay in NorCal, I spent quite some time on the web to compile the singletrack rides on the area I was passing through. I have found, that the guide books available on the area don't differentiate between singletrack and dirt roads, and in general are pretty useless. I believe that the file which is available here for download (PDF 1.7 MB) lists most of the singletrack trails in Sacramento, East and North Bay areas. The document contains ride descriptions with maps,..., and when applicable, references to the web links I go the info from.

I left SLC Tue afternoon and spent uneventful 7 hours driving to Reno, where I stayed over at friend's house.

On Wednesday, I left Reno quite early and by 10am started a ride in Auburn, about 30 miles NE of Sacramento. It was nicely warm, and the subtropical vegetation also added to pleasant mood. A great ride felt even better when I burned in smoke a shaver-legged guy in the last Stagecoach climb, with almost 50 km and 1400 m vertical in my legs. This was for sure the best ride of the trip.
Maps and pictures from are here.
Then I drove to Folsom SRA, Peninsula campground, where I spent quite lonesome but very enjoyable evening.

On Thursday morning, I drove for 2 hours towards the Bay Area and in the morning rode in Rockville Hills, about 10 miles NE of Vallejo. The hills are covered with sparse oak trees and some areas with manzanita,... bushes, which looks quite exotic to me. There is quite a network of trails in relatively small area, so I for sure did not do the loops that I wanted, but, it was fun nevertheless. The southern part of the area is a bit more technical (rocky and steeper), although there were some tough sections in the NE part as well. The only drawback was relatively cold wind and cows, which excrements occasionally dotted the trails, I managed to ride into one of them with the front wheel, and I was amazed how long it sticks on the tire.
After lunch, I drove to Napa county, to Skyline Wilderness Park at the outskirts of the town of Napa. The weather looked ominous, it was quite cool, cloudy and windy, but, I decided to ride. Had to fork $6 for entrance to the park (rip-off), the campground was closed, which sealed the decision to motel. Quite a good area to ride, though the entrance fee is a deterrent.
Here is Rockville Hills and here Skyline Wilderness map and fotos.
Then I drove for a while getting lost in the Napa hills, finally arriving to Motel 6 in Petaluma quite exhausted.

After a long refreshing sleep I figured, that I am still able to do one more ride in the morning before I head to Stinson Beach to meet Mark and friends. So, I rode China Hills SP, in the eastern Marin County, on the Bay side.
Map and fotos are here.
Then I ate lunch and drove to Stinson Beach to meet the families of the friends to be wedded, having a lovely barbecue at the park near the beach.

It rained whole Saturday, but, we did drive to Point Reyes, and walked to the lighthouse in a drizzle. Then stopped in a Czech restaurant in Inverness, Ca. for a late lunch and enjoyable conversation with elderly owner, Vladimir.
Here are some fotos from the day.

On Sunday, I drove out of Stinson Beach to San Francisco to buy some food in the russian stores on Geary St., and then drove to motel to get ready for the wedding, and then attended the wedding.
Here are some fotos from the day.

On Monday, it was partly cloudy and the forecast was promising thunderstorms by the afternoon, so I quickly packed up and drove to Folsom to ride Salmon Falls Trail in Folsom SRA. The trail turned out to be quite enjoyable and relatively dry despite the weekend rains. Still, I got both myself and the bike quite muddy from occasional puddles and creek crossings.
Map and fotos are here.
As the forecast for the rest of the week looked bleak, and the trails were quite muddy already, I decided to bail out and go home. Leaving the trailhead at 3pm MST, with an hour stop in Reno at Trader Joe's, I arrived to Salt Lake at 1am, just catching up with the storm that rocked the Bay area over the weekend.

U of U / CHPC / Cuma / Travel / English / NoCal 03