51 Mountain Bike Capitals of the US

The editors over at singletracks.com put together their list of the best destination for mountain biking in each state + a national capital that’s worth seeing as it will either a) give you motivation to make a trip or two with your beloved bike,  b) give you fodder for debate amongst your friends or perhaps both.

Before you fully engage the debate, however, it’s equally worthy to review their criteria:

The quality and quantity of mountain bike trails available in each specific area.

Current trail access issues and any recent hostility toward mountain biking.

The general popularity of a given destination with today’s mountain bikers.

Amenities and infrastructure to support mountain biking tourism, including bike shops, shuttle services, craft beer, restaurants, lodging, and more.

Living in the cradle of mountain biking here in Marin I was not necessarily surprised that it wasn’t the chosen capital of California but since they listed some of the contenders and it wasn’t listed there either (even if it as bundled under “many, many more”) I was a bit surprised but it highlights an omission of a criterion that would have potentially changed the outcome: climate, measured in solid riding days/year.  Of course despite that additional criterion I’m sorry to say it still wouldn’t have made the list at least in part due to the access issues and I’m certain this played a critical role in other selections too, cough-Idaho-cough,cough.

Personally, given those criteria and with the addition of # days of riding per year I would have chosen Santa Cruz. No offense to South Lake Tahoe, which is great and only getting better I might add, but Santa Cruz has way more of a mountain biking vibe,  hosts a premier manufacturer and has incredible trails that can be ridden 11 months of the year.

Not a surprise for those who know me but I would place zero value in the availability of shuttle services.

All that said perhaps another outcome of seeing this list, sort of in line with a) above, is counting the # of these destinations you’ve visited with your bike. I’m happy to report I’ve made it to 5 capitals: CA, IN, NV, WV, WY and after this year I may be able to add a couple more.

How many have you ridden? Does this influence your riding bucket list in anyway?

Short stretch of China Camp trail system closed from Friday, June 26 to Tuesday, June 30.

Trail work at China Camp will require a small closure this weekend. State Park VIPs and Champion volunteers will be working hard to complete the restoration of Shoreline Trail. There will be large equipment and many people working in this very small space. All access points to the work area will be closed. The work […]


Leadville Plan of Attack

More wisdom from Mr. Wiens in a post preceding the 2012 Leadville 100 MTB race that is still very relevant.  Just happened to stumble across that post as I was on the ergon-bike.com website researching some new grips.

At T-9 weeks and 5 days I’m starting to think through some of these planning details, especially some of the gear I’ll want since I’m going to the Camp of Champions in July and will want to have the right gear on hand for that.  And the family, aka my crew, has started asking where they should setup (Twin Lakes or Pipeline basically), what they’ll need, etc. Twin lakes seems like the obvious choice by the way as on all longer my prep rides this year I’ve ended up stopping to refill/refuel/eat etc at 40 miles.

Here’s an interesting planning tidbit from Dave: Continue reading Leadville Plan of Attack

Long live long rides!

Further clarification and some Leadville training guidance that I think makes a lot of sense in this article posted recently on the Leadville Race Series website by Dave Wiens but there’s no better way to put it than that, thank you IMBA!

Personally, I had set in my mind back in January that in addition to a 30+ mile ride per week I’d do one long training ride per month to test my endurance, get familiar riding on my mountain bike for 8+ hours and most important for me being new to this is dialing in the nutrition for such an effort. Let’s be honest here, this is also because I simply love to ride my bike!  I couldn’t agree more with what Dave wrote in that piece:

There’s nothing like the experience of laying down a long, epic training ride – planning it, doing it and basking in the glow afterwards

In fact this is the spirit of the “Day Trippin” tag I use on this site! Since all things are relative, here’s a quick summary of my long training rides each month: Continue reading Long live long rides!

Strava Flyby

Not quite sure how long this has been around but I just noticed this on my brother-in-law’s activity today. See the gray button circled in the activity page that has been highlighted:

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 3.35.11 PM

Meet someone on a ride and forget their name? Did someone pass you and you wonder to yourself, “How far did/will s/he ride?”. Now you can find out with Strava Flybys.  Learn more from their project page here.