In Calgary, we are lucky to have a path system that, regardless of the direction you go in, will eventually lead you to dirt trails.
A spot that I like to frequent is COP. It's not the mountains, but it's only a quick ride to get there.
Leaving the core and heading west on 17th Ave SW.
Leaving the core means either going up the hill, against the wind or both. But not always. At least the wind part, if we're lucky.
The view gets better as I head west and gain elevation.
The bike path takes you directly ...
...to the spot where you drop in.
The ski jump at COP.
The view of the west edge of the city.
Back at the top.
The bike path home.