Mountain Biking in San Diego is something many of us take for granted as not only are we able to bike year round but we have so many choices at our disposal from trails closer to the ocean or more mountainous trails inland. I decided to take my adventure to Black Mountain Open Space Park and had my friend Tyler join me for this bumpy ride through this remote open space. http://goo.gl/maps/l3DaJ
Mountain Biking Trail Map – Black Mountain
Black Mountain Open Space Park is a designated area of endless trails for both hiking and mountain biking but the area extends into parts of Black Mountain Ranch as well adding to the 2,352 acres. The park includes the 1,558 foot Black Mountain and preserves coastal sage scrub and chaparral plant communities. Most of our mountain biking adventure was concentrated west of Camino Del Sur.
We got ourselves situated with the proper equipment, a full camelback and hit the trails riding. The trails offer some narrow and blind corners for mountain biking in some sections but for the most part the trails are fairly open. There weren’t too many other riders or hikers out either so we really felt like we had this wide-open space all to ourselves.
The trails have many great viewpoints at various areas as we stopped often to catch up on old times and quench our thirsts. As most trails can tend to zig zag, we found ourselves crossing over a few different bridges to cross Lusardi Creek which had a decent amount of water flowing in some sections and stagnant in others.
Black Mountain Park offers spectacular views while mountain biking through painted sage covered hills, ridges and canyons. It is not uncommon to see vineyard like ranches and large fenced in fields populated with horses along the far western side of the Park as well. The setting and weather couldn’t have been any better for a Saturday afternoon.
As we neared the end of our ride, we stopped at this section to take in the last gulp of open environment before heading back to the streets of San Diego County. We waited for a few minutes to see if anyone was going to come up the hill but then were convinced that we really had this whole section all to ourselves.
Mountain biking is a great activity for grabbing a friend or 2 and hitting the trails as a means to get outside and freeing your mind. This form of exercise builds tremendous strength throughout your body with obvious emphasis on the quads, hamstrings, butt and calves. If these muscle groups are not firing by days end then it’s time to step up your game to more challenging trails. Maintaining speed and balance is crucial, especially when charging down some rocky trails always trying to navigate futuristically where to steer the bike. This can also be said for going uphill as maintaining speed is a must. I would classify these trails as beginner-to-intermediate as there were not too many technical areas or tight uphill zig zags. I look forward to exploring more of this park and others in San Diego with my mountain bike as my vehicle.
Mountain biking does come with quite a bit of gear but once you’re all set, the playgrounds don’t cost a dime. There are many stores to choose from when shopping for mountain bikes in San Diego but two of my favorites are Black Mountain Bicycles and Hi-Tech Bikes. These stores offer a large selection of inventory for mountain bikes and other gear associated with biking. My biggest hurdle to overcome when biking is that really sore crotch or butt feeling; however, that feeling subsides over time or maybe you just find a way to mentally block it out of the picture. Therefore, I would highly recommend bike shorts (padded crotch), helmet, camelbak, sunglasses and even a jersey as fashion seems to roll into this industry with everyone making a statement someway or another. Unfortunately I forgot my bike shoes on this ride as being clipped in while mountain biking can make the ride a lot smoother as one is able to pull up on the peddle as well. Last but not least, it is important to lube your bike chain to prevent corrosion and protect your chain from the added elements encountered on all rides. I gravitate towards the Gnar Lube products as they seem to protect and wet my chain the best (and their products smell really nice).