The Best Road Rides: A Fair & Balanced List

Here, some of the best road rides you can roll in the Redding area. Click on any of the maps below, then click again, to enlarge them:

Fair & Balanced

Fair and Balanced, a name given to a 38-mile Shasta Wheelmen bike ride, offers 17 miles of paved roadway and 21 miles of car-free paved trail.

The ride begins at the Sundial Bridge in Redding and heads west along the Sacramento River Trail and the new Middle Creek Trail. Highway 299, Granite Drive and Rock Creek Road take the biker through the historic old town of Shasta to the trail head of the Sacramento Rail Trail.

After a little more than 8 miles of easy riding trail along the river and through an old railroad tunnel, the work of climbing the paved road to Shasta Dam begins. The view of the dam, the lake, and the Sacramento River Canyon are worth the climb. A second climb up from the dam positions the rider for an exciting downhill run to Shasta Dam Boulevard while avoiding potholes on this neglected portion of Lake Boulevard. From here it’s all downhill, with a wide paved shoulder on Lake and a traffic-avoiding detour on Quartz Hill Road. After crossing Keswick Dam, it’s back on the River Trail to the finish at the Sundial Bridge.

Ride to Centerville & Back

Placer is fairly heavy with traffic but a shoulder gives a cyclist room to ride past the Centerville Feed Store and the Centerville Grange. Texas Springs Road and Branstetter Lane are less traveled and allow for views of dredger tailings along Tadpole Creek, which is dry in summer.

Start/Finish: The Holiday Market parking lot at Placer Street and Buenaventura Boulevard.

The Route: Follow Placer west for about 5.4 miles, then left on Texas Springs Road, which becomes Branstetter Lane. After traveling 12 miles, go left on Cedars Road, right on El Reno Lane and left on Westside Road to the stoplight at Buenaventura Boulevard. Left on Buenaventura to the start/finish.

Click to enlarge.

Jack’s Breakfast Ride

This is Jack Ennis’ breakfast ride to the Lion’s Club in Cottonwood. Presented the 2nd Sunday of each month, the breakfast comes with the opportunity to work it off with your choice of three rides of 10, 18 or 24 miles.

The Jamboree Half-Century Backwards

The Shasta Wheelmen, in 1970, organized a cycling event known as the Shasta Jamboree. The ride shown here is a half century version with 2,744 feet of climbing along a rural route that features ranches and streams. The great part of this ride is that the last half is all downhill.

Click to enlarge.

Jerry’s Excellent Birthday Ride

In 2007, Jerry Counts decided to ride his birthday in miles. Unfortunately, Jerry’s math skills were a little rusty. The ride turned out to be 71, a bonus of 5 miles to grow on. For a less challenging ride, from Balls Ferry Road take Ash Creek Road to Parkville Road and continue back along Dersch Road to the Start/Finish for a total of 35 miles.

Click to enlarge.

Earl Talken is an avid cyclist, past president of the Shasta Wheelmen, author of “Biking the Best: A Guide to 25 of the Best Paved Bicycle Routes in and Around Shasta County, California,” and a graphic designer.
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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