Spring is the best time to enjoy riding in Southern
California. Spring technically arrives on March 20th,
but in practical terms, we are celebrating great spring
riding by the first week of February in Ventura.
That’s when the hills start turning green again, after
having been brown for the past nine months.
The trails of Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Ojai and
a little further north in Santa Barbara offer enough
riding opportunities for a 10-year visit. Grab the book
Where to Bike: Los Angeles Mountain Biking (don’t
worry, it covers Ventura County) for an in-depth
description of these trails.
Most mountain bikers would never think that there was great
riding in Alabama, but there is. The Birmingham area trails are
outstanding. There’s no better time to ride there than the springtime. Everything is turning green, wildflowers are popping up
everywhere, and the weather is perfect for riding. Birmingham’s
Oak Mountain State Park is a showcase of great trail design and
Alabama has actually been in the news because of its pro-mountain-biking stance. Officials in Calhoun County have even
proposed a plan to spend $2 million to improve the Coldwater
Mountain Bike Trail System along with the Chief Ladiga Trail in
the southeastern part of the state. Officials have recognized that
mountain bike trails attract visitors to the area, providing a
handy boost to the local economy. Why not prove them right by
riding there this spring?
Outside L.A.: Just north of
Los Angeles County there
are great trails in the rolling
hills of Ventura County.
Riding the Goose: Gooseberry Mesa has long been a favorite destination of
mountain bikers in the western United States. Brian Luger sure likes it. He leads
tours here. Photo: Rim Tours
Gooseberry Mesa, outside of Virgin,
Utah, is about two and a half hours away
from Bootleg Canyon, and it’s another
classic ride destination. The famous
plateau is heralded as much for its epic
desert views as it is for its trails. The
trails give visitors a taste of desert riding,
slickrock navigation and pump-track flow.
Rent a camper and spend a weekend on
the Goose. It is the best way to experience
the place. It is not close to town, and last
time we checked, there were no 7-Elevens
being built along the dirt road leading to
the Goose, so bring all the provisions you
need for the weekend.
If you’ve got the time, you might want
to visit Zion National Park while you’re
in the area. It’s only a few miles away. ;