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Updated: Water Dog (Suggestion 1)
January 24, 2019

Things have gotten pretty slow for me lately in terms of updating the website. This was mostly due to some travel, as it usually is, and there are still a few more slow weeks to come. But, in the meantime, I've been able to put together at least one minor update. I hope to get things slowly rolling again with this one, because I'm sitting on a sizeable pile of ride updates and new rides.

This one is a simple photo set update. The pictures for this ride were among some of the oldest on the website and some of the spots highlighted in these old photos had undergone significant change since they were taken. While that's not always enough to prompt me to take a new set of photos of a ride, this ride happens to be very conveniently located for me to do it as a pre-work morning ride, so it was easy for me to catch an opportunity to do so. The new GPS track recorded on this newer ride also resulted in a half-mile reduction in the listed length of the ride and a 300-foot reduction in total elevation gain. At least some of that must have been due to the fact that I took fewer wrong turns on the new ride (which I sometimes don't edit out of the GPS track) rather than simply being due to measurement fluctuation.

While some spots on the trails of Water Dog Lake Park have somewhat changed character over the years, much of that change has thankfully been only cosmetic. The trails in this little bundle of technical riding joy have been remarkably unchanging over more than a decade, in my experience. While this does mean that not a lot of new trails are getting added (with Water Dog Lake Loop Trail being the only exception), none of the existing gems have been lost or dumbed down either. I find this very refreshing. So, if you haven't yet tried this little jewel of the Peninsula, let this be an extra reminder for you to do so at the first opportunity.

Updated: Demo Forest (Braille Trail)
December 9, 2018

This ride has maintained the top position on this site in terms of popularity at various times in the past and is still one of the most visited pages here. The last time its content received a refresh was seven years ago. Today, it gets another one. The changes reflected in the brand new photo set may not be noticeable to all but the most careful observers, but at least many of the new images are of a higher quality than the ones they replaced.

The GPS track is also a new one. The route has no major changes, but a few smaller ones had accumulated over the years. These are not noticeable unless you put the old and the new tracks on top of each other to compare, but the connection to Hihn's Mill Road at the bottom of Braille Trail, a short section at the junction of Sulphur Springs Road and Ridge Trail, as well a spot where Ridge Trail used to have a short, steep stretch have all received minor re-routes. The new GPS track also shaved off half a mile from the ride's length (due to a small change that results in a rounding down instead of rounding up) and 150 feet off the total climb figure. But perhaps the most noticeable change to many viewers may be the fact that I shaved a point off the ride's technical difficulty rating. It simply doesn't warrant a 9 out of 10 score from my current perspective, so I turned it down to an 8.

Updated: Santa Teresa (Suggestion 2)
November 24, 2018

This update is straight-up a photo set replacement. The photos of this ride have essentially gone from "brown" to "green" with this refresh. Regular viewers of this site may be familiar with my fondness for the few months of the year when the grass is green in our area. The original photos for this ride were from the height of the dry season and the dominant color of the thumbnail page really was brown (with some help from the uncorrected underexposure in many shots). The new images look like they are from a different continent. This ride ranks very highly among my favorites in the South Bay, and it pleases me to think that the nicer new photos may raise the ride's appeal to a level closer to the attraction it holds for me.

Other than the images, the only thing that's different is a few minor tweaks to the basic stats of the ride, most notable of which is a 200-foot reduction in the total climb figure.

New ride: Tesla and Patterson Pass Roads
November 14, 2018

This new road ride that's been in the pipeline since last spring provides a nice sampling of peaceful backcountry roads east of the bay, including a climb of Patterson Pass that most local riders are likely to consider the "right direction" in which to climb it. The route is an easy one to recommend, especially in the cool air and the green grass of spring, though the ride is a little short of perfection. I describe in the text how one stretch of Tesla Road feels uncomfortable due to fast traffic and the few flat Central Valley roads the loop uses as a connection are, as you might expect, less than fun. Still, I believe that this is a ride that those who are looking to try something a little different won't regret.

Updated: Skeggs Point (Suggestion 3)
October 4, 2018

This is a photo set update. You might remember me writing that I can't promise to refresh the photo set of each ride whose photos got old. With Skeggs, though, it's a bit easier for me to make time for it because it's among my usual haunts, so it's not tricky to follow the route of one of my posted rides to take a new set of photos on one of my frequent rides there. Plus, in addition to being old (up to seven years), this ride's preceding photo set was cobbled together from multiple rides and some of the photos were of low quality (e.g., being blurry due to being taken while I was in motion, which is something I used to do but that I don't anymore).

I've also replaced the GPS data along with the photos, though, because otherwise the image markers don't fit the plotted ride route perfectly on the geotagged photo map. This resulted in a couple of small tweaks to the ride stats. The length went up by half a mile and the total climb by 100 feet.

New ride: Calero County Park
September 3, 2018

One of the newest ride options made available in our area is a treat for inexperienced riders (or for seasoned riders looking for a light option). The route of this ride was opened to the public only in March 2018. Calero County Park, which originally had no trails on which bikes were allowed, had first dipped its foot into mountain biking by making a short stretch of Longwall Canyon Trail in the southern extreme of the park open to bikes fairly recently to serve as a useful connection option for riders using Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space. This year, the park has gone way beyond that by opening all the trail mileage of this new ride to bikes, along with another 3.5-mile stretch that I didn't include on this ride. And these aren't merely the result of new access rules on old trails. Almost all of these are newly built trails. At the moment, all of these trails have super smooth surfaces, which should make them that much more attractive to inexperienced riders, offering them a great and easy way to approximate mountain biking on a hillside singletrack. The fact that the land is beautiful and that nice views are available from many spots is a bonus.

New ride: Del Puerto Canyon Road
August 12, 2018

It's time to add a new entry to the Out-of-Area Rides list. Road rides are currently an under-represented subset among this group. This new ride is a new member of that small subset. The ride is a good example for me of the benefit of ride information available online. If I hadn't read about this ride on "Jay's Essential Bike Rides", I have no reason to doubt that I may have lived an entire lifetime in the Bay Area without ever knowing about this road as a ride route. I'm glad that hasn't happened, because this ride has exceeded even the expectations that Jay's great description had established. If you think this feels out-of-the-way, it's not as much as you'd expect. For many of us, it doesn't take any longer to get to Patterson than it might to other locations that one might consider more "local", such as Point Reyes or Monterey. So, for those who are already okay with the concept of driving to various Bay Area locations to try out ride routes, this one is a strong recommendation especially in the spring.

New ride: Pipeline Trail
July 18, 2018

It might come as a surprise that there's a substantial, bike-legal, technical, singletrack descent available at a Bay Area ride locale that not only had I not added to this site until now, but that I hadn't even tried myself until recently. I'm not proud of it. Pipeline Trail in Toro County Park near Salinas is that trail, and it's the last such example among currently available trails as far as I know. I have mostly excuses for not having tried this ride any sooner, but no reason that's really good: It's a bit of a drive to get there, which made it less suitable for most of my riding partners; it's a fairly short ride after that whole drive; I knew that the climbs would be a pain; and I wasn't even sure of the completion status of the trail over its first couple of years of existence. In the end, I would regret this more if the difficulty level of the trail weren't also a notch or two above my comfort limit. So, its enjoyment to the fullest extent possible may be a bit beyond me, but I appreciate it nonetheless. This one is for seasoned riders without a doubt.

New ride: Henry Coe (Domino Pond and Grapevine Trails)
July 5, 2018

Here's one more Henry Coe ride option, also following a route suggested to me by Paul Nam. This one is aimed mainly at sampling a number of singletrack trails in the park that are relatively less traveled, at least in my mind, though the partially grassy trail surfaces on some of these seemed to corroborate this at the time of my ride. These singletrack trails, chained together, constitute an unbroken five-mile segment of this ride, consisting mostly of descents. The ride also provides decent views from its higher elevations, including a sighting of Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton and distant view of the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada range. The down side to all this is the difficult and long climb you'll need to get out of the way to get there, in addition to some extra miles you'll need to "commute" from the Hunting Hollow parking lot that feel more like a chore.

Updated: Big Basin
May 24, 2018

I've refreshed another one of the rides on the site that had weak content until now. The Big Basin listing has been on the site since its first day, and it had been untouched for just as long. Admittedly, this is not a ride that holds a lot of appeal from a pure mountain biking standpoint. However, for anyone who thinks of biking partially as exploration and sightseeing, and who loves our majestic redwoods, this ride could still count as a real treat. The new content I've just made available should go a lot further toward reflecting what one might expect from this ride. The text has been greatly expanded and a full photo set has been added.

New ride: Patterson and Altamont Passes
April 29, 2018

A new road ride joins the listings on the site today. This is probably a ride that I should have tried and posted much earlier. I'm not sure if it's because its appeal is mostly for the locals that this ride hasn't entered my radar screen any sooner, but this is a wonderful route. Its use as the course of a regularly held road race could only be considered as further proof of this. You tackle one tough and locally well known climb along the way, and you traverse a landscape that can look almost idealized at the right time of the year. Depending on your perspective, you can say there are one or two other significant climbs along the way too. A little extra care in picking your ride time may be warranted for the sake of traffic safety and in picking your ride date for the sake of sane temperatures and of the optimum beauty of the scenery, but I would otherwise recommend this ride to any road rider who likes trying new routes.

Updated: Skeggs Point (Suggestion 2)
April 10, 2018

I've given this ride a photo-set refresh. The older photos of the ride weren't incomplete, but they were getting old and had more quality problems (like too many blurry shots) than my more recent sets. But what really prompted me to redo them was the work that Blue Blossom Trail underwent a year or two ago that significantly changed the character of parts of that trail. I'm not sure it's necessarily that obvious in the newer photos how the trail has been impacted by this work, but along with the aging photos, this was enough of an excuse for me for a refresh.

Updated: Rancho Cañada del Oro
March 26, 2018

Rancho Cañada is a ride locale that has seen some significant changes in the six years or so since I've first posted it on this website. The most significant change is the opening of a segment of Longwall Canyon Trail in the neighboring Calero County Park to bike access in early 2014, making it much easier to reach (or return from) the bulk of the trail mileage in Rancho Cañada. Another change that struck me on my last ride is how the two freshly built trails that I had originally described as "half fire roads" have since transformed into reasonable "wide singletrack" trails with use and growing vegetation. I've now updated this listing to use a route that utilizes the new trail connection on the way back, thereby resulting in a route that's 1 mile shorter and, more importantly, has 450 feet less total elevation gain. The proportion of the ride's mileage that I deem "singletrack" has gone from 0% to 37%. It also doesn't hurt that the new photo set for the updated ride reflects a spring season with prettier vegetation. While I'm at it, I've also included in the route a quick traversal of the short, paved loop by the parking lot.

I've retained the original version of the ride as an alternate route that's linked from the ride description page for those who'd like a stiffer workout, or for those who may like Mayfair Ranch Trail so much that they'd rather repeat it, or for those who'd like to see the older state of the park's trails in its photo set.

Overhaul of geotagged maps completed
March 15, 2018

Today, I've converted the last few remaining rides on the site that used an external link for geotagged maps into using my own geotagged maps. That means that the replacement of all geotagged maps on the site, which I started just under 10 months ago, is now completed. This completely eliminates my site's dependency on AllTrails.com (where my older geotagged maps used to be). I'm very satisfied by this, and glad that more of my free time will now be available for fulfilling some other needs of the website.

Updated: Stevens Canyon
March 8, 2018

One of the low-key favorites of the South Bay received a low-key update today. There wasn't much that was lacking in the content of this ride. The main thing that prompted me is that the photos were old (7+ years) and a little subpar. I've mentioned here before that I can't promise to refresh all photo sets on the site that get to be seven or eight years old. In this case, however, there were a couple more factors that played into it. Some of the older wooden bridges on Stevens Canyon Road that have since been replaced were still visible in the old photos. And a couple of spots in the trail portion of the ride had seen significant changes since my last update. One of these is where you ford Stevens Creek. This crossing went from being ridable without even slowing down too much, to being followed almost by a wall scramble that's difficult to even walk up.

A few of the figures I show for the ride were also tweaked a little as a result of the new GPS data. These include one point off the ride's technical difficulty rating and, perhaps most significantly, a 150-foot reduction in its total elevation gain statistic.

New ride: Bidwell Park
February 11, 2018

The last time I added an entry to the list of out-of-area rides on this site was in August. Here's another addition to that list in order to show that I'm not completely neglecting out-of-area content.

If you don't know about Upper Bidwell Park, let this be an opportunity to fix that. Bidwell is a listing I'm used to seeing in most mountain biking ride guides that cover the northern half of California. I've also read about at least one mountain bike race and some bike vendor demo days that are hosted here. That's all for a good reason. The trail network here is technical, challenging, and sizeable. Coupled with the interesting scenery, that makes this park a very good destination for a serious weekend ride. That is, as long as you can catch a day when the temperatures are below the boiling point.

New ride: Henry Coe (Willson Peak and Middle Steer Ridge Trails)
January 14, 2018

If Skeggs Point deserves representation on this site with 6 separate ride suggestions, then—based on size alone—the enormous Henry Coe State Park should probably have about 10 (even after taking into account the fact that a big chunk of it is a wilderness area that's closed to bikes). So, I had never meant the three ride options listed here for Henry Coe until today to be adequate coverage of this park. The only reason there aren't more Henry Coe rides on this site already is that I get a chance to ride at Coe relatively rarely, due to various factors (such as distance and the big part of the year that I stay away due to ticks).

The new Henry Coe ride I've added today not only goes one step further toward giving Henry Coe the coverage it deserves on this site, but this particular route happens to be a suggestion coming straight from a person who easily qualifies as an expert in mountain biking at Henry Coe. The climbs on this ride aren't exactly easy, the descents aren't exactly mellow, and the overall ride is definitely not forgettable. I think this is a good ride to try as one's first sampling of Henry Coe. And, although it's still a challenging ride, you can do it without completely torturing yourself.

Updated: Russian Ridge
December 18, 2017

The Russian Ridge ride has just had a major refresh. I can't exactly say that this ride was slim in the content department until now. However, there were several factors that spelled a need for a refresh. First and foremost among these was the fact that ride route shown until now has not been my preferred way of traversing these trails in recent years. The new content reflects a rerouting of the ride to represent my current favorite route in this park. The photo set was also due for an update because it was a bit outdated (from 2010) and showed the straw-colored summer landscape of the park. The photo set of the updated ride is of the pretty spring greenery, which makes the park's many nice views pop that much more. Even the better quality of the camera I've used to take the newer images makes a significant difference to my eyes. The description text is also more fleshed out now. But, perhaps some riders may find the fact that the new routing takes the singletrack percentage of the ride's mileage from 50 to 68 the most worthy update of them all.

Updated: Tilden Park (into Wildcat Canyon Park)
November 26, 2017

This ride was easily one of the most neglected rides on this website until now. It's one of the listings that date back to the site's original launch and it's among the very few that had received no updates since that day. At the moment, I can find only four or five remaining ride listings that are more or less in the same boat, but only two of those have absolutely no photos and have not had even minor updates. Well, today this diminishing group of neglected rides loses one more of its members, since I've given this original Tilden Park ride a major overhaul. Like most other listings on the site, this ride features a full photo set now (in beautiful spring scenery, no less) as well as a full-blown description. The route itself, while looking the same on the map, has been reversed too.

Updated: Skeggs Point (Suggestion 1)
November 12, 2017

A major ride listing on this site has received a minor update today. I've replaced the GPS track for this ride with a new one that's slightly less glitchy, though the difference is mostly negligible. The bigger change in the ride's content is in its text. I've taken out a couple of potentially misleading passages and added considerably more detail about the character of some of the trails traversed on the ride. Along the way, perhaps more importantly for some viewers, this new GPS recording prompted me to adjust the length and total elevation gain figures for the ride slightly downward. Meanwhile, the photo set of the ride remains virtually untouched, which is somewhat unusual for most ride update entries I list on this page.

Updated: Morgan Territory (western trails)
November 2, 2017

After a brief pause in my stream of updates to the website due to some pressure on my schedule from my job, here's the next update that's been waiting in the pipeline since last spring. This route in the western half of Morgan Territory Regional Preserve would be listed by no mountain bikers among their favorite rides. It's hard to get to, has very tough climbs, and offers nothing very special to bikers. Still, I had been bummed since the beginning that the day on which I first tried this ride had foggy weather that completely obscured all the views from the higher elevations. This update fixes that. This is really just a photo set replacement. The ride's route, text, and stats remain essentially unchanged. But, I still find this a very worthwhile—even crucial—update, because the expansive views along this route are among the defining features of this ride. Check out the new photo set and I'm sure you'll agree.

New ride: Mount Umumhum
September 24, 2017

This is a rare case. I typically don't act this quickly to post on this site a newly opened trail. (Crockett Hills is the only other example I can think of that comes close.) The peak of Mount Umunhum was officially opened to public access only last Monday. Having done a ride there yesterday, here I am posting it on my site on the very first weekend that it's open to the public. I was motivated to do this partly because this was such a long-awaited opening, and partly because there is also a brand-new, 3.5-mile singletrack trail (okay, "multi-use" trail) in the mix that I couldn't wait to try. You can read the rest in my description of the ride. Suffice it to say that this one is virtually guaranteed to become one of the classics among South Bay mountain bike rides.

Updated: Almaden Quicksilver Park
September 21, 2017

Almaden is not exactly one of the most enticing biking destinations in our area. Still, it fills a niche in being one of the few rides listed on this site that allow you to see numerous historic remains along the way. Although the Almaden ride listing on the site wasn't exactly slim on content until now, I decided it was due for a refresh. The main thing that prompted me was the fact that the ride's photo set was a bit out of date (2010) and was of the area's less attractive season, featuring the straw-colored grass of the summer. The most recent ride I've done here was in the greenery of last spring, and the new photo set is therefore much prettier, in my opinion. I've also included more visits to mining relics, which makes better sense to me at a location like Almaden Quicksilver, so the photos now show more of the remains you'll find in the park. I've also beefed up the ride's text. And the additional side trips have also changed the ride's stats incrementally.

This ride may not deserve to be on the favorites list of most riders, but I hope the refreshed content will help convince anyone who hasn't yet tried this ride to do it at least once in order to take in the sights.

Updated: Mount Diablo (Walnut Creek to South Gate Road)
September 6, 2017

I'm labeling this entry as an "updated" ride, though, in one sense, this change is a bit like a "new ride" addition as well, because what I've added to the "Mount Diablo (Walnut Creek to South Gate Road)" ride today is a standalone page for the shortened version of that ride. I'm not considering it truly a new ride since it's not listed on its own and is linked only from the page of the longer ride instead, and since it doesn't feature a full text description. However, it does have its own GPS data, maps, stats, and photo set.

The reason I found this worthwhile is not only the fact that I think this shorter version of the ride is good enough to deserve stronger representation, but also the fact that the most recent time I was able to do this ride was in the extra-lush conditions of the early spring that followed the super rainy winter of 2016-2017. While the full ride's photo set was also shot during the green-grass season, that was in a drought year and the greenery was, therefore, not at its best. So, I took the opportunity of my recent ride to shoot a full photo set of this variant of the ride. I feel this additional photo set of the ride's shortened variant will serve to demonstrate the full extent of how pretty this landscape can get at the right time. On the flip side, I did this new ride right on the heels of the worst of the winter's cow damage inflicted on at least one trail segment and when that stretch of trail hadn't had enough weeks to dry out after the most recent rains. For that reason, part of the Briones to Mount Diablo Regional Trail looks like a quagmire in this new photo set. Just know that the trail surface there rarely gets as bad as some of these photos show.

New ride: Lake Clementine Loop
August 21, 2017

The ride I've added to the Out-of-Area Rides section of the website today is one whose name should be familiar to any Bay Area riders who spend any time also riding outside of our area. Lake Clementine Loop is among the routes you're likely to hear being discussed the most often when talking about rides in the vicinity of Auburn or Sacramento. This was my first time doing this ride and I liked it too. In fact, I liked it considerably more than its direct neighbor (and directly connecting extension) Foresthill Divide Loop. I feel that Lake Clementine Loop holds a bit more technical riding interest and involves a whole lot more scenery. To me, it feels like Lake Clementine Loop should be considered the main attraction at this location and Foresthill Divide Loop should be treated as a potential extension to it, in case the need arises. This is somewhat at odds with the greater mindshare that Foresthill Divide Loop seems to enjoy, at least in my perception. While I'd think twice about taking a long day trip all the way from the Bay Area just to do the Foresthill Divide Loop, I feel like Lake Clementine Loop would be more easily worth that trouble.

New ride: Healdsburg to Geyserville
August 1, 2017

It's been a while since I added a new Bay Area road ride to the site. (Not counting The Geysers ride for a moment, since that's in the out-of-area ride list.) The wine country is an area rich in excellent road ride options. My coverage here of those rides has been weak so far. I aim to remedy this and this new ride should be of help in that regard. This is a ride that would be my top recommendation so far to anyone who's primarily after a ride through vineyards. I expect this ride to be a fairly popular option because it fulfills this requirement while requiring fairly low physical effort and relatively little interaction with busy traffic.

New ride: McLaren Park and San Bruno Mountain
June 25, 2017

This is a ride I've been meaning to add to the site for years. Knowing that an unexpectedly decent trail ride could be done on the trails in McLaren Park, I've been bugged for quite a while by the fact that I couldn't create an opportunity to try it out for so long. Frankly, I also procrastinated quite a bit and didn't prioritize it highly enough until recently. In any case, this shortcoming of the website is remedied today. This is quite a valuable ride, in my opinion, being one of the very few reasonable mountain bike rides that residents of San Francisco may be able to do without having to drive or take public transportation.

The ride is an easy recommendation to make to all locals. For riders who live outside the city, the ride could hold an attraction only if you're curious to see what kind of a mountain bike ride can be possible within a dense urban center; that is, assuming you haven't already tried the San Francisco Peaks route that has also been listed here for quite a few years.

Updated: Saratoga Gap and Long Ridge
June 19, 2017

I've given the Saratoga Gap ride a thorough refresh. The photos of this ride used to date from 2010, around the time when I first launched this site. I can't promise to refresh the photos of each ride on this site that gets to be seven years old. However, Saratoga Gap Trail has also undergone some sanitizing trail work late last year that completely changed the nature of the trail for most riders. Keeping the old photos up after that would have been a bit misleading, even if it might have carried a whiff of sweet nostalgia. The ride's overall popularity added to that recent significant change to prompt me to make this update.

The ride has a brand new photo set now. I've also taken this opportunity to expand the text of the ride and bring it up to the standards of the more recent additions to the site, rather than remaining the kind of brief, cursory description that some of the oldest entries on this site still carry. Fans of the ride might also be interested to notice that the total climb figure for the ride has been adjusted down by 150 feet now. This is how it came out on my latest ride, and I trust my current GPS much more than I used to trust the GPS receiver I had when I originally posted this ride.

New ride: Monterey Bay Coastal Trail
June 8, 2017

I'm adding a new casual ride to the site today and I expect it to become one of the most popular ones of its kind that are listed here. This long, paved trail spans quite a wide spectrum of settings. You encounter an urban path congested with strolling tourists on one extreme, and deserted miles traversing a treeless coastal flatland on the other. Views of the pretty Monterey Bay coast accompany some (though not most) of the route. You can look forward to catching some wildlife sightings as well as a few historic highlights. Those who will get the most out of this ride will probably be those who are willing to make this ride the basis of a lazy weekend outing with plenty of stops. Any such people will be able to stop at the Fisherman's Wharf, the historic Custom House (or the rest of the Monterey State Historic Park), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, loop through Cannery Row, or use any number of excuses to stop for a meal or some treats. Meanwhile, the sightseeing aspect of the ride should make this trail worth a try even for any experienced riders who haven't tried it before.

New geotagged photo maps
May 22, 2017

I have a piece of news that, to me, is one of the most exciting updates I've ever shared on this page: I've completed the implementation of and started using a brand new geotagged photo map feature! The need for this has been one of the most nagging shortcomings of the website for me for about three years. This new geotagged map gives me a clear path to leave that problem behind permanently.

Just a little bit of back story on this: Mere months after launching this site, I had started to use an external website, EveryTrail.com, to show the locations of each ride photo on this site. This site's geotagged photo map feature was not exactly lightweight or compatible with all device types (being based on Adobe Flash) but it was very slick and had excellent usability design. Unfortunately, this site started to become frequently unavailable some time in 2014 and, despite recovering some functionality later on, it never again worked as well as it originally did. More recently, EveryTrail.com got absorbed into AllTrails.com. My geotagged maps were retained and even the original links continued to work fine, but AllTrails.com never replicated all of the capabilities that EveryTrail originally had. Finally, some time around September 2016, even saving new geotagged photo maps on AllTrails.com stopped being practical and any rides I added or updated since then went without any geotagged photo map at all. That development ramped up the sense of urgency for me of coming up with a new and more reliable geotagged mapping solution.

What I've started using on the website today is this new geotagged map solution, which is one I've cobbled together myself. This time, the feature is not dependent on any external websites or hosted services other than Google Maps. My expectation is that this will keep it working for many years to come without any further need for major change. As a bonus, the map also happens to use responsive design, making it usable on mobile devices. On phone browsers, its usability is a little hampered due to the restricted screen space, though it's still usable with a little pain. It's certainly better than what AllTrails.com does on phone browsers with its geotagged maps right now, which is to show no map at all and to merely list thumbnails of the photos.

Converting all rides on the site to use this new type of geotagged map will take some time, because a large part of the process will be a manual one. We're easily looking at several months, at least. I expect it to take a little less than the (nearly) one year that my recently completed photo set overhaul took, but it might be close to it. To start with, I added this new geotagged photo map to most of the new and newly updated rides that are dated later than the Summit Road ride I had posted last September, which was the last ride that got an EveryTrail/AllTrails geotagged map. If you'd like to see these, go back on this page to the entry dated September 21st, 2016 and look through all the new and updated rides that are listed after that one. You'll see the geotagged map when you follow the "View on a map" link on the thumbnail page of the ride's photo set.

One important note: As you're giving the new geotagged maps a try, please let me know if you encounter any bugs, incompatibilities, or scaling issues. It would be best to catch these as early as possible, so that I don't have to go back and redo too many entries. Just use the "Contact" link and shoot me a quick email if you see any problems.

Updated: Carquinez Scenic Drive
May 16, 2017

When I first posted the Carquinez Scenic Drive ride on this site, the portion of Carquinez Scenic Drive closed to traffic was just that—a portion of a road on either side of a major slide that was closed to motor-vehicle traffic and left open to cyclists and pedestrians. Since then, this closed segment of the road has been turned into a freshly paved trail and christened "George Miller Trail". At the very least, this made part of my photo set for this ride obsolete. So, this update is more a photo set refresh than anything else. The new photo set reflects the current state of this paved trail, and the ride description is also slightly updated to explain this stretch of the ride correctly. While I'm at it, I did the ride on a road bike this time, which is the more sensible option now that there's no expectation at all of having to tread dirt. (The first time I tried the ride, I had done it on my mountain bike, since I wasn't sure of what to expect for the short trail connection that I would need to traverse at the spot of the slide that originally caused the closure.)

Updated: Whittemore Gulch
May 11, 2017

This update to the site is actually a bit of a removal more than anything else. Or at least a "demotion". Until today, the two versions of the Whittemore Gulch ride route I represent here were reflected as two separate ride listings, although the two differ from each other only in a small portion of their mileage. While that used to be enough to deserve separate listing status in the early years of the site, more recently I've been showing such small variations of any ride route as merely an "alternate version" linked only from the ride description of the main ride. So, I've fixed this inconsistency now and changed what used to be titled the "Whittemore Gulch (with Grabtown Gulch)" ride into an alternate version of the shorter Whittemore Gulch ride listing, and removed it from the listing pages and ride maps.

It's not like this is such a noteworthy change to the site, but it is the first time the number of rides reflected on the listing pages on the site has actually decreased. I just thought I'd mention it in an entry here so that I'll at least have a record of when it happened.

New ride: The Geysers
May 2, 2017

Today, the Out-of-Area Rides section of the website gets a new ride again. This is a bit of a novelty in that section, since it's a pure road ride. (Technically, there is one other ride in that section that's shown on the map by a "blue marker", but more than half of that ride is effectively a fire road.) This won't be the last road ride in the Out-of-Area Rides listing. There are a few more road rides in other parts of the state that I find desirable enough to travel for. I'll be adding those too as soon as I get a chance. But, overall, I expect road rides to make up only a small fraction of the listings in this section of the site in the long run. Traveling longer distances for a great trail ride simply seems more worthwhile to me.

As for this particular ride, it comes highly recommended and it appears to be a ride route that's well represented online and in print, as I explain in my description in detail. That's how I came to know about it too. Having tried the ride, I can see its appeal very easily. It's a fairly challenging one, though. If I get a chance to repeat it, I hope I can do it at a time when I'm in better shape.

Overhaul of photo sets completed
April 12, 2017

Looking at the date of my announcement on this same page, it was just under a year ago that I started revamping the photo sets used on this site to make them more helpful (with a title on the thumbnail page and a link back to the ride page), mobile-friendly, keyboard-friendly, and simply nicer looking. Earlier this evening, I replaced the last photo set still using the old format with its newer version, completing this overhaul. These kinds of site-wide changes are a mostly manual affair for me, and I'm frankly a bit pleased with myself that it didn't take even longer than this to finish this piece of work (given the number of other things also vying for my free time and the exceptionally busy travel season I had last year). I just thought this little milestone is worth a bit of recognition here. (Yay!)

I have a couple more site-wide revamp efforts still in the works. The foremost of these aims to address what is possibly the site's longest-standing pain point: the geotagged photo maps. I now have a home-grown solution completed for this that does virtually everything I want it to do. What remains to be done on this is the mostly manual process of replacing each existing geotagged map with a new one that uses this new solution, which I expect to be another slow and incremental process that's likely to take an amount time of similar to how much the photo set overhaul took. The other big rework effort that's also on my plate is a redesign of the site's main content pages to adopt a responsive design (and, thus, make them mobile-friendly as well). I expect this one to involve more design work than manual overhaul, so it will hopefully be completed in a more wholesale fashion and it's likely to be finished before the geotagged photo map work is. So, stay tuned for those updates before too long.

Updated: Mount Tam (Deer Park Road and Coast View Trail)
April 6, 2017

This is a pretty minor update, though I think it's still well deserved. It's just a "photo set patch" really. I had actually updated this ride fairly recently and given it a full photo set and had fleshed out the rest of its content. However, the ride on which I had taken the photos that I added in that 2015 update had, unfortunately, been done in foggy conditions along the Pacific coast, in addition to coinciding with a temporary closure of the Muir Beach Overlook. Considering the fact that the great views from Coast View Trail are the bigger part of the motivation for this ride, this was a significant shortcoming. This update serves to fix that. The new photos with which I've now replaced part of the latest photo set were taken on a beautiful day with not a single cloud in the sky. They're easily worth a peek by anyone who hasn't done this ride before.

New ride: Garin and Dry Creek
March 26, 2017

There are a couple of rides on this site that were originally brought to my attention by suggestions from viewers. However, I can confidently say that there is only one ride location about which I received suggestion emails from multiple unrelated people, and that's Garin and Dry Creek Pioneer parks. I wish I could say that this was because this trail network is such an attractive one, but I can't. It's fairly obvious that the actual reason was that, as the coverage of this site expanded to nearly all parks in our area with trail networks on which bikes are allowed, these neighboring parks were among the few that were conspicuous by their absence. The reason for that absence was my low expectations of the ride opportunities in these twin parks. They were on my radar, but never close to the top of my to-do list. I finally got around to trying out this trail network late last year. I can't exactly say that the ride blew away my low expectations, but this ride locale certainly has its place on the option list of at least the local riders of the nearby area.

Updated: Alpine Road to Windy Hill
March 2, 2017

This update is mainly a photo set update. The photos for this ride were a mixed set dating from 2008 and 2010, and they weren't doing justice to the great views that one can catch on this ride either. They have now been replaced with a single contiguous set I've shot in December. The older geotagged photo map of the ride was also fragmented, with one link pointing you to the geotagged photo map of the Russian Ridge ride for the portion of the ride that overlaps with that one, and another one pointing you to a plot of this ride showing photos taken over the rest of the route. That too has been replaced by a single unified map now. I had even referred viewers to the Russian Ridge ride description for the text coverage of the portion of this route that overlaps with that one, which is not something I do anymore even when there are such overlaps. This is changed too now, putting all the ride description in one place.

Perhaps more importantly, though, I've added a warning message to the ride description about the huge washout that's currently blocking Alpine Road. This is a development that materialized after I did my latest ride there but shortly before posting this update. For this reason, the ride can only be done with an additional detour at the moment, which I detail in the text.

Updated: Briones (Suggestion 1)
February 19, 2017

This first Briones ride listing on this site was yet another one of the "inaugural" entries dating back to the site's initial launch and that had been languishing here with slim content ever since. This step-child treatment was a little undeserved. This is a ride that can be simply gorgeous in the spring and is very scenic year-round, so it's a worthwhile option at least for those riders who can stomach some steep climbs. On top of that, it includes one of the two singletrack trail segments that I'm aware of in this park on which bikes are allowed. I'm happy to say that, with this update, the ride now finds the representation that I think it deserves here. It now features a full photo set that demonstrates the ride's great scenery in the area's pretty spring garb. I've also expanded the description of the ride to explain more of the experience you can expect across the different parts of the route. Perhaps more importantly, the direction of the loop is now reversed, to be counter-clockwise, so that the brief singletrack portion in the mix can be enjoyed in the fun, downhill direction.

New ride: Mount Diablo (North Gate Road climb)
January 26, 2017

Here's a second way of climbing to the peak of Mount Diablo on a road bike. Compared to the climb via South Gate Road, this one involves a few miles shorter distance and a few hundred feet less climbing. That's not enough to make it the choice of out-of-shape riders exactly. It's still a serious mountain climb. Just like the South Gate Road option, I would call this climb "tough but not cruel". North Gate Road presents a quieter and a little more rural option, in my opinion. You could argue that, along with the slightly lower stats, this should make it the preferable way to pedal to the peak. That would be a fair point, but it's also true that the pavement quality of North Gate Road is noticeably behind that of South Gate Road, at least as of the last time I saw them. I'd say make up your own mind between the two by trying both! They're both lovely rides.

Updated: Demo Forest (Corral Trail)
January 9, 2017

The Corral Trail ride has been in the position of a black sheep in the family of Demo Forest rides listed on this site since I first launched the website. Arguably this is justifiable. This version of a typical Demo Forest loop gives you the least amount of fun singletrack mileage while leaving much of the fire-road climbs intact. Still, if this ride deserves to be listed on the site (at least as a gentler "introduction to Demo" option), it also deserves a little better representation than what it had until now. This update is mainly to the photo set of the ride. Before this, the ride had photo coverage only through photos borrowed from other rides, which naturally showed only the extent of the ride that overlaps with those other rides. This update gives the ride a full photo set of its own. Along the way, I've also realized that I had miscalculated the percentage of singletrack mileage on this ride. I've now fixed that too, in addition to slightly expanding the wording in the ride description that explains Corral Trail itself.

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