Unlike much of the other material on the this web site, the main focus of this page is not racing, but, touring, although there are links to mtb racing lore in the left hand column of this page.

The Mountain Bike Page

I became aware of mountain bikes around 1980 when I learned that a U.C.Davis aquaintance, John Scott, had developed a "woodsie" bike and I was able to check it out. This set off a thread of thought where my world, that was accessible by pedal, greatly expanded. And, what with living in Northern California, it was a very large world! I finally acted in 1982 when Trek introduced their first mtb, the very handsome "850" which I ran down and purchased from Dave Peterson at Wheelworks. I started riding on local levee roads and up the canyons of the nearby Vaca Mountains. And soon it was Marin, Napa, Mendocino, Colusa and Lake Counties. And now I had the oaks, the redwoods, the chapparal, the rocks and creeks and fire trails, the bobcats and vultures in my personal world. It was a great time of discovery. (And sparsely populated at that time.) So, on this page, I have included some photos of some trips, where I had the good judgement to bring a camera, and can hopefully share some of the fun with you.

NOTE: Most of the rides described here were made in the 1980's, so, I can't vouch for accessability or road/trail conditions twenty-something years later. As far as maps are concerned, I mostly relied on the county series published by the CSAA. Unfortunately their California cartography unit was closed down and the current AAA maps are almost useless due to their scale. And I find online maps such as Google often confusing , incomplete, and unreliable. So far, I have yet to come up with a good substitute. (I have had some luck with the DeLorme California atlases.)

Do not ride bicycles in any designated wilderness areas. Do not harm any vegetation or animals. Respect property rights.

All photos are the property of Don Martinich unless otherwise attributed.

Click on any image for full size version plus more photos on a separate page.

Point Reyes- A much visited National Seashore in western Marin County with headlands, beaches, estuaries, grasslands, chaparral, and forests. Biking is now restricted to certain trails.

Bolinas Ridge- Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area located just across the San Andreas Rift Zone from Point Reyes. A long ridge top trail with great views.

Usal (Sinkyone Wilderness S.P.)- A State Park at the southern end of the Lost Coast with a beach, camp sites, and steep unpaved county roads.

Forest Hill Divide- Satisfying my curiosity about mountain biking in snow.

Oat Hill (Mine) Road- From the Napa Valley floor up to the Palisades and beyond. It gets pretty technical if you want to stay on the bike.

Western Mines-Ida Clayton Roads- A view of The Geysers geothermal field and one of the state's prettiest roads. More pavement than dirt on this route.

Rayhouse Road- A route south from Cache Creek behind Blue Ridge with options for the McLaughlin Reserve or the Cache Creek Natural Area.

Walker Ridge-Bear Valley- Inner Coast Range ridgetops and the Bear Creek drainage with views, Spring wild flowers, rare endemic plants and maybe even hot springs.