Placer, El Dorado Counties and Folsom Ideal for Bikers of All Abilities
● By Kristen Castillo
PERFECT PLACE TO RIDEOur own backyard and the surrounding region—from Placer County and Folsom to El Dorado County—is two-wheel friendly, year-round. “Our climate is ideally suited for bike riding,” says Michael Dour, alternative transportation analyst for the City of Roseville, noting winters and springs in places like the East Coast and in the Rockies are snowy and cold, “...while we enjoy 70-degree temps and sunshine!”
Another plus for cycling? Our communities are bike approachable. In Roseville, for example, the terrain is relatively flat, which works for beginning cyclists. The area has 32 miles of paved off-street paths and over 90 miles of on-street bike lanes. Advanced cyclists can find challenging routes in nearby foothills communities. In El Dorado Hills, there are cycling spots for beginner, intermediate and advanced cyclists. “Our local cycling trails are ideal for connecting with nature,” says Judy Klein with the El Dorado Hills Community Services District Parks and Recreation Department. She recommends beginners try the American River Bike Trail (Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail), a 32-mile path that’s good for leisure bike rides. Intermediate riders will like Salmon Falls/Sweetwater Trail—a seven-mile route with great views near El Dorado Hills. Klein recommends advanced riders check out Clementine Loop near Auburn, saying the 11-mile route...offers lots and lots of climbing. Be in shape because it’s definitely a physical challenge.”
GETTING STARTEDWhether you’re a novice or a pro, cycling is all about getting on the bike. Start slow and work your way up to more advanced trails. “My advice is to first determine what your ultimate goal is,” says Klein. “Do you want to be a leisure cyclist or an expert? Once you decide, set your fitness and training goals accordingly.” If you don’t have a bike, visit a local bike shop to get one that’s right for your cycling goals. “Educate yourself on biking in traffic and know the rules [of the road],” Klein says. Once you have your bike and helmet, your cycling adventure can begin!
CYCLE STYLESWhen it comes to biking, the styles of riding are as plentiful as the trails. Here we introduce you to five local riders who each embrace different styles of cycling. Read on as they share what motivates them to ride, their biggest safety tip and favorite gear.
Safeguard Your Ride: Preventing Bike Theft
Over 1.5 million bikes are stolen across the country every year. So how can you protect your ride?
Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) recommends U-locks and heavy-duty chain locks, both of which are tough to cut, which may deter thieves. They warn that cable locks aren’t very effective, since they’re easy to cut with concealed tools.
- Make sure you lock the bike frame to a bike rack or post. Looping the lock through one or both wheels is added security. Avoid bike racks that can be easily cut or broken, such as a chain link fence.
- SABA’s picks for the best bike racks? Inverted U, A, Post and Loop, and the Stanford Rack, all of which offer frame stability. They don’t recommend locking your bike on wave, comb or toast racks, which aren’t stable.
- They also recommend registering your bike with Sacramento’s Ride On! program, a free online bike registry. Another security measure? Write down (and take photos of) your bike’s serial number so if it’s stolen, you can track it with the police if they recover stolen bikes. Keep copies of receipts for the bike too, which can help you with insurance claims if needed.
HAVE A BIKE YOU’RE NOT USING ANYMORE?
DON’T JUST LEAVE IT IN YOUR GARAGE. DONATE IT TO CYCLES 4 HOPE, A LOCAL ORGANIZATION THAT WILL GIFT IT TO SOMEONE IN THE HOMELESS POPULATION—HELPING THEM GAIN INDEPENDENCE AND OPPORTUNITY.