Urban Mountain Biking: A Guide

The world at your handlebars: Finding the sly singletrack of the city (Abrahm Lustgarten)
Urban Mountain-
Bike Chic
The notion of leaving work early, hitting the trails, and having a post-ride pint is intoxicatingly alluringÂ…save for entering a swank pub while ensconced in skin-tight cycling gear. Relax, we've got the secrets to keeping you outfitted in duds that excel in both fashion and function. Check out our gear guide to staying stylish on (and off) the singletrack.

Call it the working man's dilemma: A gorgeous early-spring day and a brisk ride into work. You reach your office and responsibilities force you off your saddle and into your desk chair, where the next hours evolve at a snail's pace. You watch that perfect day slide, banishing thoughts of shadow-lined singletrack, downhill bombs, and the satisfying uphill grind. You check your watch. You look at your calendar, hoping for a Tuesday afternoon wormhole that'll deposit you to Saturday and a trailhead, but it's still mid-week. You try to get back to work.
In accordance with your daydreams, we offer grist for a quiet revolution. How about an early Friday afternoon escape for a few hours on some urban singletrack before cycling over to your favorite watering hole for a few happy-hour rounds? This survey starts in the nation's capital and moves clockwise around the country, trumpeting the oft-decried world of urban mountain biking. The trails—some famous and some secret, some illegal and some open to all, some ancient and some not even built yet—are mere examples of five urban lands with singletrack within easy reach of pedal power or public transport. And if these five cities have 'em, chances are your own urban jungle has a few singletrack secrets all of its own.
Washington, D.C.: Fort Dupont Park
Austin, TX: The Barton Creek Greenbelt
San Francisco, CA: Golden Gate National Park
Seattle, WA: I-5 Open Space/Colonnade Park
New York City: Van Courtland Park
PLUS: Urban-conscious gear that doesn't sacrifice fashion for the sake of trail-worthy function.

Nathan Borchelt is the lead editor for Away.com

Published: 7 Sep 2004 | Last Updated: 5 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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