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A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle
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Trails Galore: Mountain Biking Culture Rising in Redding

By Dan Shepler | 05/23/2018 Biking, Fun and Free, Great Outdoors, Things to See and Do, Trails


Redding has been getting a lot of attention in the last few years as a mountain biking destination, being called the "Trails capital of California." Its intricate trail system opens up a lot of options that can be accessed right from town. There are more than 250 miles of trails for people of all ages and skill levels making it a great option for a family experience. (Click here to see a map of the Trailheads)

After hearing how good the biking was I wanted to get out and experience it for myself. I linked up with Jasper, owner of the Jefferson State Adventure Hub (JSAHub) for a morning ride. We met at the shop early one morning to gear up and head out. He was kind enough to set me up with the perfect bike for the local trails. Jasper already had our route all planned so we hopped on the bikes and rode to the trail. 

I was impressed with Jasper’s knowledge of the area and the sport. He told me that there is even a friendly mountain bike challenge in Redding to promote the sport and get people out riding, called the Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge. You ride routes based on skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and when you complete each ride within a skill level, you submit your passport to have a chance at winning some awesome prizes! (mayorsmtbchallenge.org). Although the Mayor's Challenge runs all spring (March 20-June 1), the trails are accessible year-round. If you're late to the party, it should be on your adventure list for 2019


As we made our way, he told me about what brought him to the area, the great routes on the Mayor’s MTB Challenge, and what the city has done to build and preserve the trail systems. I asked him about the area and he said, “The thing I love about Redding is you don’t have to jump in the car and drive to the trails, they are close enough to bike to! It is hard to find great access to trail systems like we have here.” I inquired further as to which was his favorite trail. “There are too many miles of trials to have to pick a favorite!” Fair enough.

We continued the biking commute until we reached the FB trail and it was game on. Once on the KB things changed instantly and we started climbing, zig-zagging, rock dodging, bombing downhill, and even hopped a flowing creek. All safely and with crash tested helmets. A few miles on the FB and Keswick Reservoir came into view. The beauty of this man-made body of water took me by surprise. It was so peaceful and relaxing. I could not believe that something so pretty was so close to town and I was totally unaware that it even existed. It was an unbelievable experience of beauty, adrenaline, sweat, dirt, and smiles as we followed the Sacramento River. We stopped at some of the best views to take a photo or two before continuing on. It was getting close to the time we had to head back to start the work day on time. 


After a burning a few more calories pedaling we found ourselves back at the store. Before we said our farewells I wanted to pick Jasper’s brain on gear and bikes as to what was best for the area. He said that he is very selective on which brands and models he sells. The company has to have the right quality, price point, and culture. Salsa Cycles is one of the brands that fit the bill and their slogan is “Adventure by Bike” which is exactly what JSAHub promotes. Salsa has a few models that perfect for the area, very reasonably priced, and are the exact one’s JSAHub carries. If you have any interest in getting into the sport, swing by the store, test out a bike and experience what all the rage is about.

About the Author/photographer: Dan Shepler is a local creative with a passion for the outdoors and the area. His work has taken him all over the world to see some incredible things through the eye of a lens. When not working, you can find him on the water somewhere with a fly rod in hand. To learn more about Dan or to see some of his work, visit Danielshepler.com. All photos belong to Dan Shepler in partnership with Visit Redding.

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