Shredding the Peninsula

July 23, 2009

For people that live/work in the San Francisco bay area, specifically the peninsula between San Carlos and San Mateo, the options for mountain biking/dirt jumping are really damn good considering the proximity of the various spots within this small area. I am able to access each of these 3 amazingly awesome spots within 5-10 mins of where I sit and for this I am very grateful. There are actually several more than these, but I am focusing on the ones I can literally ride to on a lunch break.

Spot one: Shells

This place has been around forever and is a long standing part of the Foster City community. It lives on private property with mysterious owners that don’t seem to mind that kids of all ages are building an alien landscape out of the shoreline for their thrills and desires.

It used to be easy and fun, good for any kid with a BMX bike, but over the years its progressed along with the sport of dirt jumping, and now the place is pretty damn extreme. I would say 90% of the jumps there now have serious consequences upon failure and are for experts only. That said, the other 10% that remains is still fun and worth going out there for. I have taken my 5 and 8 year old kids out there and they are able to keep themselves entertained for hours rolling through the berms and hitting the smaller rollers. I go there just about everyday since its a 5 min ride from where I sit. The fresh air and the shell beach alone is a great reason to check out this spot.

Spot two: DMC aka Carlmont

Another classic spot, 20 min ride from where I sit, Carlmont, like shells had humble beginnings and now has grown with the sport to become a gnarley jumping/downhill spot. This is also private property that has been manipulated by the hard work of mtn bikers over the years. Rumors about the actual owners and how they let this go on are plentiful and varied.

Also like shells there are about 2 or 3 out of the dozens of jumps available that I will even attempt. BMXers wont touch this place. You will see big suspension bikes doing ridiculous shit that seems impossible until you see some fool fly over a 30 foot gap with ease. There is an awesome jump here that is so much fun even for mortals like me and keeps me coming back again and again. You drop down a steep trail that is about 20 feet and then you immediately are shot up a steep kicker of a jump. The great thing about it is that there is no gap to clear, meaning no major consequences if you mess up. Another great spot even if just for the nature, which brings me to the 3rd spot I want to talk about that is just right up over the next canyon from Carlmont, Waterdog lake.

Spot three: Waterdog Lake

Waterdog is actually trail system in a nature preserve maintained by the city of Belmont. There are miles of cross country single track and it’s amazingly fun and vast for a park seemingly tucked in the middle of suburbia.

A group of mountain bikers got together years ago and got permission from the city to improve and build trails in this park, so when you come across hikers and joggers I notice a different level of respect instead of the ’slow down’ or looks of disdain you get at other parks. I am proud of the fact that I am able to park my car, jam to the top, and fly down getting in a good amount of fun fast downhill in about 30 mins. Makes it a perfect before or after work destination.

If you are ever in the mood for a lunch time ride, let me know.

Comments (2)

  1. YOUR BROTHERSeptember 2, 2009

    when i come back….we gotta go shred it up!

  2. Willy PFebruary 25, 2010

    Dude, I am sad to report that I do not work close to these awesome spots anymore. I knew the day would come. I was very grateful, and now, I am very sad that I dont get to hit these up during lunch. Such is life.

Add a Comment