Featured in Foothill Magazine

Mountain bike riding

The unconventional way to deal with stress
By: Carrie Salmeron
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Where can you go?

Hidden Falls Regional Park

Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Where: North Auburn

To park at the site on weekends or holidays purchase a parking pass ahead of time at

Olmstead loop

  • Level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Where: Cool

Darington and Sweetwater Trails

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Where: north of El Dorado Hills

Lake Clementine

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Where: east of Auburn

Lower Pioneer Trail

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Where: east of Nevada City

Upper Pioneer Trail

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Where: east of Nevada City

Upper South Yuba Trail

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Where: north of Nevada City

Tahoe Rim Trail

  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Where: west of Lake Tahoe

How many of us are looking for ways to deal with stress? Any parents out there that are so sick of having the conversation with our kids, “turn off your electronics and go do something outside”? When we were young, we would come home from school and had to play outside, which would consist of riding our bikes. What happened to the good old days? Mountain bike riding doesn’t have to be a memory of the past. Did you know that mountain bike riding is a fit for practically everyone? You might have the talent to keep up speed and go straight down those hills, feeling the adrenaline with every corner. You might love the scenery and the jumps yet cautious with speed. Better yet you might be able to balance on a bike just enough to take deep breaths of the mountain air and see the wildlife surround you all the while enjoying a waterfall. If you are at any of those bike riding levels, northern California foothills is a wonderful place to live in.

If you are a beginner, where do you start? The first place would be to walk into a local bike shop. There are quite a few amazing sources of information in the Auburn area. Victory Velo has a great crew that offers information specific to beginners. It is immediately apparent of their love for this activity. 

“It is so easily accessible,” said Isaac Chilton of Victory Velo. “You have Hidden Falls here in Auburn, the Olmstead Loop in Cool, even The Tahoe Rim Trail. Where after a day of work day or on the weekend, in just a short time, I can be out there ridding.”

What if you don’t have your own bike? Personally owning a bicycle does not limit enjoyment of the trails. Victory Velo and other local shops allow test rides before committing to an investment and offer rental service. This is an ideal option, especially for beginners. Victory Velo even has options to transport riders where their next adventure awaits.

Hesitant to bike alone? This is awesome — you don’t have to. Many shops encourage riding as a group. There are pre-arranged meet-up times to join and not feel alone. Victory Velo and Bicycle Emporium offers a schedule for the public to join them.  Bicycle Emporium also offers Mountain Bike Night Rides for fun adventure. The Placer Foothills MTB Club encourages riders of all ages and levels to join them. Options are to ride individually, as a family, and even ride for competition. Contact them for ride schedules.

Just thinking about being outside and using a mountain bike for an adventure, the benefits to the body systems are phenomenal. Simply put, how many just feel better when we are in nature and take a deep breath of fresh pine air and feel at peace?

So are you looking for a way to destress and improve your health? Looking for ways to bring value to your family’s life by thinking of something new to do to get them away from their electronics, building new memories? There are options open right in your own backyard. Why not commit to giving it a try this spring? Guaranteed, kids won’t remember the video games they played this spring, but they will remember the moments you took time to take them mountain bike riding.