This is what I love about living in California. While everyone else is complaining of negative temperatures, we’re riding our bikes in the sun. Yesterday I met my buddy Adam from MTBR down in Belmont to ride DMC. Also known as Carlmont, (the common spot to park is at the end of Carlmont Street) this secret spot is home to some of the biggest stunts, gaps, dirt jumps, and drops in the Bay Area. There is even a pro-level MTX/ DH line hidden away on the hill. (it was puddled up, and unridable unfortunately) As it has been starting to get cold, I threw some jeans on, and wore a base layer, a long sleeve moto jersey, and a vest. Turns out with the sun shining on the exposed hillside, the vest was more than I needed, making for a great day of riding. The sun was shining, my bike was dialed, and the light was great. The only thing I was missing was my lovely photography assistant.
One thing about riding at Carlmont is that the dirt is very unforgiving. In the summer, everything dries up, and the loose dust and gravel over the hardpack and rock gets really slippery. Laying your bike down on this stuff leaves behind heinous scars, and it seems everyone I know has a Carlmont crash story. They often end with, “and that is why I don’t ride there much anymore.” However, in the off season, (like now, and spring) after its rained, the locals come out with their shovels and are able to move the dirt around as it finally becomes manageable. This is also when it is the best time to ride there. Tires begin really hook up, and that slip and slide feel isn’t there anymore. The local kids are always at work, and new hits and lines appear everywhere.
The name of this fun riding spot has always been in question. I’ve heard to it referred to DMZ, DMC, and Carlmont on the local forums. Last night while discussing the dirt there with John V of X-fusion, I got the actual scoop on the original name. You see, the film Dangerous Minds was filmed at the Belmont High School. The school is actually visable from the course on the hill side, there by earning its original moniker: Dangerous Minds Course. (AKA, DMC) I was actually fairly stoked to find that out, as it has been debated for some time.
Our last post on Carlmont was some time ago in February of 2007. Not too much has changed there, fortunately. Every once in a while we hear about a kid that wrecked himself pretty good on one of the drops, but thankfully the jumps still exist, possibly for the same reason the land was never developed. Because the riding area consists of a canyon, housing developments have yet to make their way down.