When I moved to California, I visited Kernville – once. My interest was piqued to know more about this sweet town: a very accessible Sierra Nevada getaway with a real river and epic riding. I never made it back there until now and I was pleasantly reminded of it’s epicness and radness by the locals that I was privileged to ride with.
I met the local trail builder Jeff who is an amazing dude – a REAL legit rider with great trail ethics and a kind heart. I hear he has some moto skills too. He showed us around on the Corral trails, a new little network north of town near the river. Oh, and the Kern river is HUGE right now and beautiful!
Allison and Dave Diller of Kern River Sierra have great passion for promoting the Kern River Valley. They have published a very detailed map, and provide so much trail and river beta on this amazing little mecca on their website. They are both great riders, climbers and paddlers and know a LOT about the area.
Their Kern River Sierra map is the newest addition to my map arsenal.
Rebecca Giddens is a former olympic paddler (talking, gold, silver and bronze!) and she and her husband, Eric (also an olympic paddler!) started the Kern River Brewing Company. This lady – the one with the nicest guns around – didn’t stop smiling. I kept wondering what she was up to! Rebecca’s sister Lindsay was also riding with us so you can imagine the chatter of all the ladies while flowing through fields of purple and orange flowers. I asked Lindsay and Rebecca if they did ladies’ rides often there and Lindsay told me:
The hardest part about getting together with the girls is deciding which sport to do!
These women were debating whether they should backcountry ski or mountain bike in the morning cause they were definitely kayaking the river in the afternoon!!
After riding big lines and swooping meadows with this crew, Rebecca and Lindsay cut out to meet up with the kids. Eric had been on dad duty at the campsite. Now it was time for the kids to ride. Rebecca and Eric have two little ones age 4 and 5 and Lindsay has a 3-yr old.
The kids took a run down “Mad Cow” which was a mellow trail, until you came up on 4ft drops, which the toddler bikes rode around. These kids inspired me. I was also coming down Mad Cow and debating a big drop and Allison and the guys were sessioning it. Then the kids rolled up and took their seats on adjacent big boulders to watch. Call it ego, mom guilt or inspiration from the kids, but after these tykes had ridden all the way out here, I couldn’t skip the drop with them spectating. This was a big mental hurdle for me and bigger than anything I’d done in years, but I HAD TO! I owned that drop and it felt GOOD. Luckily it was clean and I didn’t teach the tykes an unintended lesson about showing off! #biggestdropinyears
Thanks to Craig and the local Kernville crew for showing me around. I’ll be back for sure!