Going Places: Ashland, Oregon
By: Andrea Napoli
The Local Go-To’s:
Going to a new area to ride without any solid trail recommendations, I’ve found that the best way to find what I’m looking for is to hit up a local bike shop and ask, “if you could only do one ride on your home trails, what would that be?” Although I have gambled and lost with this technique (not everyone has the same tastes in trails), overall I’d say it works really well. Same goes for other important parts of a day of riding: coffee, food, and post-ride drinks. If you find out the local go-to’s, you’re dialed. To keep my good karma in check, it’s my turn to share my go-to’s. What I’d call: A Day in the Life of an Ashland Mountain Biker…
Go-To Coffee: NOBLE
Are you a coffee snob? I am. Noble has amazing coffee, period. So good in fact, some items aren’t allowed to be taken take to-go because that might, ahem, “compromise the integrity” of the coffee. Over the top and weird, you say? Welcome to Ashland.
Go-To Breakfast: Ruby’s
The place to grab a delicious RBG Breakfast Burrito or perhaps a Little Devil to fuel you up. Meat or veggie, spicy or mild, either one of these tasty numbers will set you straight before getting your shred on.
Go-To Ride: Ashland Mountain Adventures Shuttle and Eastside Trails (see trail map below)
Any pedaling in Ashland starts in town, which is awesome. However, the Siskiyou Mountains are steep and all trails are accessed by climbing up fire roads; meaning one big climb for one big decent, always. With that in mind, the AMA Shuttle is definitely a go-to as opposed to grinding up a dirt road. The shuttle gives you 5,000 feet of descending for a 25-minute van shuttle to Mt. Ashland Ski Area, with a few different options to rip back down to town. But, since the topic is “go-to” material, only – the trail combo winner is: Timewarp to Lower Links to Catwalk to Lizard to Jabberwocky
Timewarp: This is our main “DH” trail. I wouldn’t call it technical but it’s mind-blowing fast with a series of small drops and some teeth-rattling chunder. Basically, you are absolutely ripping down 2,500 vertical feet… Your back leg WILL burn.
Lower Links: A local favorite, this trail is just so dang playful. Small jumps, rail-able berms, jedi-style maneuvers; Lower Links is short but awesome and will leave a smile on your dirty face.
Catwalk: The classic Ashland trail. Hit 40mph on the “freeway” and grab a whole lotta brake for a sharp left berm. You’ll then be sling-shot into tighter single track that twists and ducks through a madrone forest. Smooth and fast with cement-like dirt, this trail has tons of pumping-for-speed opportunities.
Lizard: Our new trail-bike friendly jumpy trail. Jumps, berms, and speed – ‘nuff said.
Jabberwocky: Sadly, soon to be replaced. But until then Jabberwocky is a mostly narrow trail on a steep side hill with all sorts of interesting features in the mix. Jab is definitely unique, so ride it while you still can.
Go-To After Ride Refreshments: Gil’s
Hands down, Gil’s is THE local mountain biker hang out spot. With more than 20 taps of rotating craft beers, Pac NW ciders, food, and an outdoor patio – Gil’s is like an after-ride magnet. Sometimes your roll-in arrival is met with a mix of cheering and heckling from your ‘couple-deep shuttle mates – it’s that kind of place.
Trail Map: Ashland Oregon Mountain Biking
Ashland on Trailforks.com
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About the Writer: Andrea Napoli is a Juliana Ambassador in Ashland, Oregon. She loves riding, racing, and most of all, exploring new places on her bike. Andrea is a huge advocate of women in the sport of mountain biking and is the founder of Siskiyou Sisterhood – where she coordinates events and has created a forum to build a tighter local network of girls that just wanna ride bikes.
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