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Useful Links

Over time, I have found some links that are useful for mountain bikers.  These are not intended to be the complete list of resources, just things that I have found useful and think might be useful for others. Other than being happy user or customers, I don't have a commercial interest in any of these sites.

General mountain biking sites

There are lots of sites with some mountain biking information, but I have found these useful:

  • MTBR - Technically Moutain Bike Review, it is commonly refered to as MTBR.  I think the most useful sections are the forums (there is lots of local information on current trail conditions and ride ideas in the NorCal forum), product reviews, and trail reviews.  There are other sections too, but these are the areas I like.
  • Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides - has good size list of trails around the Bay Area.

Local bike shops

There are lots of LBS (local bike shop) choices in the Bay Area.  Some are too far, some are high priced, and some I just haven't been to.  Here are a few shops I can recommend:

  • Tread in Campbell.  I like the guys there.  They have done a good job servicing my bike and get it done quickly and right.
  • Trail Head in San Jose.  Specialty shop focused on mountain bikes and takes good care of their customers.  They have a big selection of parts and a busy service department, but this sometimes results in delays in getting my bike fixed. They are a supporter of local mountain biking activities including high school teams.
  • Passion Trail Bikes in Belmont.  Belmont is out of my normal range, so I am not technically a customer.  Close friends have taken their bikes there and been very happy with them, an opinion echoed by lots of people on the net.  I know that the owners are active in supporting trails and mountain bike activities, so they are good people.  If I were in the area, I would take my bike there.
  • Summit Bikes in Los Gatos or San Jose. I have worked with these shops on my road bike and found them to be friendly, efficient and willing to work a good deal.

On-line mountain bike stores

There are on-line stores everywhere.  The list is way too long to include all of them.  Here are a few I have used.  Compare prices because they can vary a lot, especially with each store running sales all the time.  Many on-line stores claim instant price matching (they don't seem to always match, but the price is usually reduced).  Also check that the items are in stock, the shipping charges and volume discounts.  I don't buy stuff on eBay because I don't have confidence about the sellers, but that is up to you.  There have been a few times I have had to return items (damaged in shipping, etc.) and not had a problem.

  • Jenson USA - good selection and prices
  • Universal Cycles - huge selection.  They offer volume discounts.
  • Competitive Cyclist - higher end stuff and a web site with other useful features.
  • Voler - Reasonable quality clothes at reasonable prices.  Good shorts!

Weather

Weather makes a huge difference on where you ride and what gear you take, so knowing the conditions make a big difference.  Here are a few suggestions that don't show up on the Yahoo home page. The NOAA sites have the estimated forecast but the Weather Underground sites have up-to-the-minute local measurements.

Advocacy

It would be better to just ride and know that the world will "do the right thing" and the trails will be there and available to us, but that isn't the way things work in the real world. Fortunately, there are some organizations that advocate for mountain biking. Here are some international and local organizations worth looking into and sending a donation to. If you can't get out and actually work on a trail, making a donation is the next best thing. You'll feel better doing it.

  • MBoSC - Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, the local advocacy group for Santa Cruz county. They coordinate with county parks, state parks and others in Santa Cruz county to make and keep trails open to mountain bikers. They organized the development of the Flow Trail in the Soquel Demo Forest and did a top notch job. They have been involved in trail additions, park improvements in several places, lead local efforts with park authorities and really make a difference. They are a very effective local group.
  • IMBA - The International Mountain Biking Association is the international and national advocacy group.  They handle working with Congress, the national parks, the Forest Service and others to open trails to mountain bikers.  They also have an extensive trail building program.
  • SVMTB - Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers (formerly ROMP - Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers) is the local advocacy group covering Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.  I have met representatives at several MROSD meetings and they do a good job.  ROMP also holds regular rides which is a good way for new riders to meet other local riders and learn the trails.

Videos

Here are a few on-line locations for mountain bike videos.  I am not talking about videos filmed by a big film crew with a cast and a director, not videos with people lip sync'ing to music with good looking girls writh about (if you have such a link, please send it), I am talking about a videos shot with cameras mount one someone's helmet, bike or chest where you get the real feel of the trail.

Miscellaneous

Here are some useful links that don't seem to fit into anything else:

  • MROSD Trail Conditions - MidPen trail conditions and closures (in the winter) for most of the local open space trails.
  • Sea Otter - Information on the biggest biking event in North America held annually in Monterey.  There are races, demonstrations and a huge vendor exhibit.  See the Ft. Ord description for a few details and pictures.  Whether you are a visitor or a racer, this is worth going to.
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