The Mendocino Coast Cyclists have been working with CalFire, among other local organizations/institutions, in building a network of trails nearing 100 miles in and around the Jackson Demonstration State Forest, with some trail segments that enter into local state park lands. There seems to be many moving parts. In sum, the way I see it, there are several spokes in the wheel that is Mendocino MTB. While it may be a long haul to get there for many of us, I can attest that once there the effort to arrive and ride the trails is worth every minute of the road trip.
On a beautiful, cool, marine layer morning, I set out with a local member of the MCC on the high school race loop. Riding under the tree canopy, redwoods passing by in the periphery, was a wholeheartedly welcomed change from the dry trails of southern California. Being able to smell moist dirt was like going home when home is where the heart is. Add in ferns, and I was completely content.
I don’t really have any idea of the route/trail names that we rode, but for two hours of what felt possibly like a sport race pace/cadence, we rolled on xc trails, swooped on some purpose-built rollers, descended down one of the most perfect bench cut trails I have ever ridden. Eventually we came to the “WalMart” trails where Jake flew away like a homing pigeon while I dipped and carved more cautiously but smiling the entire time. There was long climb back out at one point, but as someone who loves long, gradual climbs, it was enjoyable to find my groove and pedal on.
Trail traffic? I remember that we encountered one other rider while on the trail. Near the finishing up point in the morning, we stopped and talked with another rider. This is to say, mountain biking trail traffic is seemingly minimal in Mendocino’s coastal forest. At the end of the ride, I told myself that I will for sure be back to explore more, when I have more time and nothing to do but ride, eat, have a beer or three by the coast and then wake up and do it all over again the next day and for days on end.
(Scan the interwebs and you’ll find the trails.)
Mendocino Coast Cyclists: https://mendocc.org/
Jackson Demonstration State Forest: https://www.fire.ca.gov/what-we-do/natural-resource-management/demonstration-state-forests/jackson-demonstration-state-forest
Mendocino Breweries Guide coming up next.