Within reach of the Sierra foothills, Sacramento’s levees and paved pathways are unique.
With a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community award and 240 miles of mostly-flat bike lanes and counting — plus relatively short and dry winters — Sacramento has laid the groundwork for becoming a celebrated cycling city. Partial credit has to go to the world-class, 30-mile-long American River Bike Trail, which extends from the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers to Beals Point on Folsom Lake (and sees over 5 million annual users).
For more mellow miles, add on smaller offshoots like the Two Rivers Trail and the Sacramento River Parkway — then head farther out for wide-open farmland, spectacular mountain views, and the rolling roads of the Sierra foothills.
Folsom Lake, just 30 minutes from town, has everything you need for a packed day of MTB: the sandy, cross-country terrain of Granite Bay, the rocky climbs and zooming descents of the Darrington Trail, or the steeps of Skunk Hollow. If you can organize a shuttle, the best downhill riding is in the Auburn State Recreation Area (think big berms, rock gardens, and tight turns).
For gravel, the possibilities are practically endless: start with the network of levee trails in West Sacramento, especially near the Tower Bridge, then follow country roads out toward Davis. Beeks Bight, at Folsom Lake, is a classic spot. Looking for 10k vert a day? Start in Auburn. Want to blow out your Strava mileage records? Explore the fire roads near Nevada City.
Bike events in Sactown are crazy diverse. Check out the Sacramento Century (road), the 8-part Sacramento Cyclocross series, the weekly Prairie City Race Series (MTB), and even regular crits.