I am going on a trip to San Jose California this coming New Year’s Eve and I would like to have some recommendations on what would be the best trail to ride.
I normally ride intermediate to advance parks in South Florida with some minor elevation changes such as: Oleta State Park, Markham Park, Virginia Key Park and Amelia Earhart Park. I would like to ride a trail that combines a little bit of everything except very steep and technical climbs as i am not used to them and would like to have a flowy-ride experience.
The amount information i found is so overwhelming that i decided to write here to get some advice.
I also wanted to know where i could rent a nice full suspension bike (maybe a Santa Cruz Demo?). An also if a guide would be necessary.
There are over 500 trails in the San Jose area. And I doubt any of them are as flat as the places you listed. Before you go, you might want to hit Santos, Graham Swamp, or Mount Dora, still less hilly than San Jose but some practice climbing, especially Mount Dora, the access trail from parking to the loop is all downhill. So you get a good workout, after you have ridden the loop a couple times, trying to get back to the parking lot.
Obviously I am not expecting flat trails in California. I have heard that Soquel Demo Trail would be a great spot to try there. Would you recommend a guide? How long would it take to finish the trail? I have already reserved a Demo with ABS rental. They also told me that if it rains, they don’t rent bikes for two days. Is the weather rainy at the beggining of January?
Weather is unpredictable in January in Santa Cruz. Demo Flow is a big climb in and a big climb out, about 2500 ft climb over 14 miles. Another trail you may want to consider instead is the Emma McCrary trail and connect to Wilder Ranch trails. Much less climbing than Demo, and designed/built by the same people that built Demo Flow.
I just got back from a trip to Santa Cruz over Thanksgiving. I rode both the Emma McCrary trail and the Flow Trail in the Soquel Demo Forest. Both are excellent, but if I had to choose one right now, I would definitely say go for the Flow Trail. It’s 4 miles of the absolute best riding I’ve ever done. It does have a lot of climbing, but since I live in Southern CA, I’m pretty used to it.
Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed! Santa Cruz has some amazing trails to explore