Secret Squirrel Singletrack
By Jason Harrod
Have you even been treated to one of those special rides? You know, that one ride where you hesitate to take any one else on for fear of ruining the secret. The one where the trailhead might be just a touch obscured and you find yourself nervously checking over your shoulder before you punch through brush or branch and onto that sweet piece of awesomeness that you are sure only you, and the person who showed it to you, know about. I have. And I am not telling, telling where it is. But I will tell you about the ride.
This sweet section of West Marin singletrack is really not all that secret – it only feels that way. Why? Well, getting there is a good journey. And despite the fact that it really is not all that far ‘out there’, it is located in a, well, weird spot. But getting there is part of the fun. I love destination singletrack. It pleases me to rip dirt to rip dirt, if you catch my drift, and there is plenty of dirt on the way to this sweet piece of trail.
I was lucky enough to have a good friend and fairly frequent riding companion show me this trail. For him, there was no secrecy, no magic, just two dudes riding some wicked singletrack. I am not that gracious. Sure, I have shared it with the core group of cats I ride with, of course, but there is no way I will just show it to anyone. What I will do is describe the ride and let you try to figure it out.
I already told you it’s in West Marin. The route from my abode to the north takes me over hill and dale south by south west. I travel dirt through TL/Sleepy Hollow Divide, gravelly and steep little fire roads. Then into the sleepy town of Fairfax. From here I will get more vague, but suffice it to say the next piece of dirt has a sign that may be one of the coolest signs ever and reads “Bicycles Must Stay on Singletrack”. Cool, no? And from there we drop and then climb to another ridge where some seriously famous dudes ran some seriously famous rac. Then climb some more, just like in the picture above. And you are done. Time to start rock-hopping down the rock strewn fire road to the branch and make a right. The trail is there, on the left, off the main fire road and obscured by fern and bramble. It snakes around root and rock and quickly cuts back across the main road and back into the flora. This is where it gets real; real rocky, the stationary kind, and snakes and rolls and drops and flows for a good 2 miles. Two miles of some of the most challenging and thrilling singletrack I have ever ridden. Arms sore from pumping the bumps. Legs cut and scratched from the bush. Eyes watery with delight. Teeth full of bugs from smiling the entire way. Spider webs clinging to the body and kit because this is a road less traveled … and I would like to keep it that way.