Saturday, November 26, 2011

Trip Report: Paradise Royale

Recently, I had the privilege of riding Paradise Royale, a mountain bike-specific trail west of Garberville, CA (Humboldt County).

This trail was designed and built by IMBA Trail Solutions in cooperation with the BLM and volunteers. The trail showcases state-of-the-art building techniques pioneered by Joey Klein and other IMBA builders. These folks set the standard for trail design in California and elsewhere. I've seen their handiwork in several locations and in my opinion, no one approaches their skill and design abilities.

The trail traverses thick forests of Douglas Fir in the beautiful King Range, which towers over the Lost Coast. The trail is not particularly rocky; you could enjoy it on a hardtail or short travel bike. The features I appreciated most include:

SWITCHBACKS - Despite steep terrain, the uphill switchbacks are built with a more even grade than on many other trails. This requires significant hillside excavation and/or cribbing, but the result is switchbacks which are more sustainable and fun to ride.

GRADE - The builders were not afraid to create short steep sections, some of which are at 15%. This made for fun, challenging sections (both up and down) for mountain bikers. I wish local US Forest staff would accept such grades for short portions, as they make trails much more interesting. I've often found 5% grade trails to be monotonous.

MTB SPECIFIC FEATURES - The trail offers unpredictable twists and turns for riders. If you like to catch air, there are many lips and tabletops from which you can launch (these also serve as effective water diversions). There are alternate lines with rock drops, log skinnies and fun obstacles. And of course big burmed turns on the downhills.

TOLKEN TERRAIN PARK - This adjacent area includes a pump track, rollers, big gap jumps and more. This recent addition to the trail system is very cool in that it weaves through forest trees, as opposed to creating ugly dirt areas I see at other bike parks.

I would not say that Paradise Royale is quite worth the 5 hour drive from Nevada County, unless you include some of the excellent nearby attractions (Shelter Cove, redwoods, hiking, surfing, etc.) as part of your plans. The trail is currently only 12 miles long. However, soon IMBA will complete a nine mile extension, so your trip could include a 30 mile epic and a second day of shorter options. Someday, perhaps IMBA Trail Solutions can build a local trail or two in our backyard.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bullards Volunteer Event Postponed

This weekend's Bullards Bar volunteer event has been postponed due to weather. We will announce a new date ASAP.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Video: Gold Country Trails Council

An interesting video about our friends with the Gold Country Trails Council. Includes a nice mention of other local trail groups and how we do so well cooperating on multi-use trails:

We have a remarkable relationship between equestrians and cyclists in Nevada County.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Bullards Bar Volunteer Day - 11/19

NOTE- This event is postponed due to weather. We will announce a new date ASAP.

Recently, Moss and the Forest Service surveyed Bullards Bar trails in preparation for our 11/19 volunteer event. There is one section of the Bullard's Bar trail which will require a re-route; it is between Dark Day and 7-Ball Trail. It is currently dangerous to ride or walk. There are also some downed trees.

Join us as we re-build this blown out section of our singlespeed-singletrack paradise. Meet at 10AM on Saturday, 11/19 at the 7-Ball trailhead off Marysville Road (see map).

Note that the trail section is ~1.25 miles from where we will meet. If you bring your bike, we can access the site quicker.

Afterwards, we will ride and hang out. Free beer provided courtesy of BONC.  Please bring long sleeves, long pants, appropriate shoes, a snack and some water. Ride afterward, helmets and waiver signature required.

RECAP: Round Mountain Gala Ride

In spite of 37 degrees and overcast skies, we had a big turnout for yesterday's Gala Ride at Round Mountain. Many of the participants had never ridden RM trails, so it was fun sharing this local trail network with everyone. Jon Pritchett led the advanced group while I corralled the rest. Many cold beers and tall stories were shared after the ride. It was nice to have SERT and FATRAC members join us.

Join us for more upcoming BONC events:

Bullards Bar Volunteer Day -11/19
Gala Ride at Bullards Bar - 12/3
Round Mountain Volunteer Day - 12/17

See you on the trail!