Saturday, July 10, 2010

Top 5 Most Useful Websites for Planning a Mountain Bike Trip

Monarch Crest Trail on Singletracks.com
In preparation for my upcoming series, "How to be a Mountain Bike Bum for a Week (Or Longer)" which launches this Monday, I thought it would be appropriate to write up a short list of the top 5 most useful websites for planning a mountain biking road trip:

  1. Singletracks.com -- Find the trails you want to ride! Read trail descriptions, reviews, look at maps, pictures, and videos and decide which trails you want to hit!  Once you've settled on your top choices, be sure to print off the listing so you have directions to the trailhead in case you get lost, and directions while on the trail, in case you get lost again. Also, if you're looking for a nearby campground, Singletracks includes links from the trail pages to campground information on its sister site, TripleBlaze.com
  2. Maps.Google.com -- Figure out how to get to those trails.  Singletracks.com includes the location of the vast majority of trailheads in Google Maps, and allows you to get directions from your home to the trailhead! You can also use Google Maps to plan your epic mountain bike road trip  in detail, and then print it off to use on the road.
  3. Weather.com -- Check to see what the weather will be like during your trip.  If it is a longer trip, plan your rest or driving days accordingly.
  4. Amazon.com -- Nothing can beat a good local guidebook when you're on the trail. Having professionally written trail descriptions for an area bound into one handy volume is invaluable! Admittedly, Amazon.com will only have the larger, mass produced guidebooks which may tend to lose some of their local flavor.  Still, any guidebook is better than no guidebook!
  5. MTBR.com -- If you're like so many other people and are either too lazy to do your own research or simply want validation for the trails you've chosen, head over to the regional forums on MTBR.com and ask for advice on what trails to ride.
When this post goes live, I will be riding some trails that I've never ridden before over in Clayton, Georgia and camping out for the weekend.  I personally just went through this process, and accessed almost all of those same sites.  Be utilize these great websites when you plan your next mountain bike trip!

Your Turn:
Is there a website I've missed that you think should be on the list? Let me know below!  Do you have anymore tips on using the listed sites? I'd love to hear them! 

Also, remember that the more times you comment this week, the more chances you have to win this gear package!

3 comments:

eastwood July 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

Great list of sites for planning a biking road trip! One addition to the use of singletracks.com is the bike shop reviews.

Traveling down to Florida last Feb I wasn't able to bring my own ride so I had to look for options to rent, the bike shop review section def helped me find a place to rent from.

Knowing where the solid shops are nearby your ride destination is certainly helpful in case you need some repairs, parts, or just an insiders tip on trails to focus on during your ride.

Jeremy (GoldenGoose),  July 12, 2010 at 9:32 PM  

Clayton, GA? You have got to be riding Stonewall Falls and White Twister. Quality trails for sure. Hope you enjoy it. It may be too late, but if you get a chance do yourself a favor head to the Chattooga river as well and hit up a trip down the rapids. It's the same place they filmed "Deliverance" and some of the best rafting/kayaking in the US.

Greg July 13, 2010 at 5:17 PM  

@ eastwood, Very good call on the bike shop reviews, I haven't used those much. Thanks for adding great information!

@ Jeremy, Haha deliverance... saw that movie for the first time recently. Unfortunately didn't get to head to the river, but DID ride Stonewall Falls and White Twister... I wish Clayton was closer!

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com. He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

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