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The Pine Ridge Association at Henry W. Coe State Park

Surviving Your Mountain Bike Trip

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Be prepared


  • You should be in good shape. Very few roads and trails are suited for beginners, and even experienced bikers will find some areas too steep to ride up or down. Most trails and roads include some sections ranging from steep to very steep to ridiculously steep.
  • Your bike should also be in good operating condition. You should have the tools and know-how to repair a damaged tube and to fix other minor mechanical problems.

How to do Coe Park

Roy climbing Bear Mountain

and live to tell about it

Always carry plenty of water and food


  • Take more than you think you'll need.
  • The water in backcountry springs, ponds, and streams could be contaminated with giardia and bacteria, but you can purify it for drinking if you bring a water microfilter, iodine tablets, or other suitable purification system.  
  • The only treated water in the park is at the park headquarters.  
  • Take food, as well, if you're riding for more than a few hours.  An energy bar or a Gu pack can make all the difference on the last climb up to park HQ.

Watch out for exhaustion


  • Many bikers overdo it.  
  • Don't join the ranks of unhappy bikers who go out too far, who don't take enough water or food, or who have to push their bikes up Coe Park's steep hills because of mechanical failure.  
  • It's especially easy to overdo it during the hot days of summer.

Watch out for natural hazards


Bikers should also be prepared for such natural hazards as...

  • Rattlesnakes (they'll generally avoid you)
  • Poison-oak (recognize and avoid)
  • Ticks (they'll seek you out)
  • Hot weather - Check the weather forecast before you go. (Coe is often hotter than Gilroy or Morgan Hill). Avoid heat that you are not used to exercising in. The remote sections of Coe are not the places to test your heat acclimation.

Ask for a copy of the Henry W. Coe State Park mountain bike informational handout at park HQ.

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