KT and I ventured out to Martinez the other day to sample some of the trails at Briones Regional Park, an area of MTB-friendly trails I’d read about on a few online forums and blogs. Fun to try something new, although I don’t think either of us will ever get sick of Annadel or the trails around Tam. Briones has some gruellingly steep trails, as first-timers we weren’t too familiar with the park and attempted to ride up a few of the steper singletracks in the northern section of the park’s 6117 acres. Some of the trails were so steep that, coupled with the wet clay terrain, we had trouble even walking our bikes up, let alone riding them!
We explored the majority of the park in a half day, deciding that it’s definitely a summer spot given the tendency of the soil to hold a lot of water, which made it difficult to get the tires to bite down. The park’s a mix of singeltrack and fire roads, we both agred that the ideal route (for next time) would be to ride up Old Briones Road from Alhambra Valley Road and then east across the ridgeline along Briones Crest Trail. To finish up it’d be singletrack all the way down Spengler Trail and Alhambra Creek Trail: both contain some seriously technical sections with big root drops and near-vertical descents (hence the title of this post) as well as plenty of fast-flowing runs through dense woods. We’d stay away from the southern section of the park next time, it’s mostly fire roads and wide hiking trails that get ripped to shreds by the cattle that roam that area of the park.
Unfortunately no photos of our trip, we left the cameras in the car due to the dense fog at lower elevations which we assumed would persist throughout our ride. We’ll be sure to take them next time though: once we climbed through the clouds above 1200-or-so feet we were rewarded with views of Diable to our left, Mount Tamalpais to our right and the rest of the Bay Area shrouded in a thick blanket of fog. Awesome views…