Day 2 of ‘Taken By Two Wheels’: Trailblazers of the North

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Long before mountain biking became an Olympic sport, a small group of North State trailblazers experimented with what a bicycle could do on rough trails and old mining roads. In Day 2 of A News Cafe’s cycling series, “Taken By Two Wheels,” we share their history, their curious trail names, and the favorite rides of both on- and off-road bike enthusiasts.

Click on any of the headlines below to read the full stories, or click here for Day 1‘s features.

Blazing the Trail: North State Riders Played an Early Role in Mountain Biking

By Candace L. Brown

The relative newness of mountain biking as a sport might come as a surprise to some. Thirty-plus years ago, the concept of taking a knobby-tired bicycle on dirt trails was just starting to gain ground.

A lot of that ground was in Marin County, California, home to Mt. Tamalpais and other hilly terrain that attracted two-wheel enthusiasts from the Bay Area.

But the North State staked an early claim to the sport as well. In 1981, the Whiskeytown Downhill, a grueling 36-mile cross-country race … Read more here.

Trail Etymology 101: How Did ‘Couch’ & ‘Taco Stand’ Get Their Names, Anyway?

By Candace L. Brown

Before Whiskeytown National Recreation Area gave official names to all its trails, local mountain bikers coined descriptions for their favorite park rides.

These homegrown names – monikers such as the Gas Can, Couch, Recliner, Ice Box, and Satan’s Crack — stuck, making their way into regional biker lexicon and published mountain-biking guides. You won’t, however, find them on Park Service maps, a disconnect that sometimes confuses out-of-town bikers.

“People from the Bay Area used to comment, hey, the names on your map didn’t match the Park Service map,” said Ron Bresolin Jr., a longtime … Read more here.

Author Directs Mountain Bikers to the Best Dirt

Let Max Walter, author of “North State Singletrack – A Guide to the Best Mountain Bike Trails,” guide you on a tour through the Redding area’s vast and varied mountain biking country. Follow Walter’s line from the beginner’s first rides through Oak Bottom, down the more advanced biker’s “Chimney” and up the Westside Trail’s leg workout to the “Top of the World.”
Read more here.
 

The Best Road Rides: A Fair & Balanced List

Earl Talken, past president of the Shasta Wheelmen, shares the best road rides, whether you need to work off a Lion’s Club size breakfast or you’re riding your birthday in miles — with some to grow on.

With large, easy-to-follow maps and elevations marked, too. Read more here.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

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