Many of the trails that meander through the foothills and canyons of Santa Barbara and snake their way up and down Santa Ynez Mountain range and the Los Padres National Forest beyond are all open to mountain bike riders. Ranging from wide and easy to narrow and hair-raising, the network of trails around the region is seemingly endless. Just make sure you remember your trail bell, as much of the dirt in the region is of the mixed-use variety with hikers, bikers, and even horseback riders all sharing space.
If mellow is what you are after, then a spin in Elings Park or around Lake Los Carneros will treat you right with rides suitable for beginners but with enough eye candy and a few technical route options to keep the more experienced rider satisfied. If you want to up the difficulty and adrenaline factor, head to the hills and places like the Jesusita Trail and East Camino Cielo Road to find what you are looking for.
Groups: Santa Barbara Mountain Bike VolunteersSanta Ynez Valley Dirt Club
Races: Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Endurance RaceSoCal Cross
Retailers: Cranky BikesVelo Pro Cyclery