Discover (and save!) Finally, if you’re having trouble finding spots elsewhere, Sierra and Chapman Creek campgrounds on Highway 49 are large and often have spots available, even if they aren’t particularly close to lakes or the race action. Sunday is the main event: the downhill race. Saturday is the cross-country race, required for all riders who wish to compete in the downhill the next day (and on the same bike!). downieville trails. We rode our bikes up Lavezzola Road to all three of these locations, half expecting to be turned away from getting too near the course, but were happily welcomed by the race volunteers at each spot. Stunningly scenic and rich in gold rush-era history, it somehow manages to avoid the hordes of summer tourists who descend on more popular areas like Tahoe. Downieville is a tiny gold rush town that today is a little slice of mountain-biking heaven.Arguably, this area's greatest claim to fame is its hosting of the Downieville Classic races. Later in the evening, dance to live music in the town streets. It’s Downieville Classic race weekend, and if you like mountains in the summer and have even a casual appreciation for bikes, it’s the perfect long weekend getaway. We have cut costs, are reallocating assets (e.g., turning shuttle vans into separate trail crew work vehicles) and will continue working hard to keep our core intact. Bike Magazine has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. 05-29-2012 #25. balldoc54. Dec 19, 2019 - This Pin was discovered by Tyler Zipperer. Tara is a writer and photographer from Vermont with a passion for outdoor adventures. The campgrounds up near Packer Saddle are also a good bet and sometimes a little less crowded. Ride at your own pace to the next Grinduro timed segment while marveling at the views. The date and schedule change a bit each year so be sure to check the event website for the latest. Fundamentally, SBTS annually offers three race events from which the net proceeds pay for essential operations of trail stewardship work. After the race Downieville transforms into a bike-themed party with a gear expo, river jump contest, log pull competition, and live music in the evening. It is difficult rated, flowing singletrack with fast, rocky, technical features, and impressive drops. Please check with each state/destination for its current COVID-19 guidelines before planning a visit. There are plenty of options depending on where you’re staying and what you prefer, but here’s an itinerary that we loved. By signing up you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. @2020 - Back Road Ramblers. Want to read more about back road adventures in California? It’s about the most fun you can pack into a weekend, on some of the best trails in California, if not the entire country. Check out these posts! We’ve reduced staff, cut all non-essential expenses and developed COVID-safe trail work procedures approved this week by US Forest Service and Plumas and Sierra County officials to get the SBTS professional trail crew working again in early May. Highlights include hiking to the Sierra Buttes lookout tower, biking on the area’s numerous trails, and enjoying the lakes along Gold Lake Highway. The festivities wrap up a bit earlier on Sunday with a kids river jump competition, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had down by the river in the afternoon as racers and spectators enjoy the end of the weekend events. Downieville and Sierra City both have a small selection of cabins and rustic resorts, but the numerous camping opportunities in the Lost Sierra are definitely one of the area’s charms. Browse water bottles, helmets, and accessories to complete your ride. Study: Mountain Bikes Disturb Wildlife on Par With ATVs, Forest Service Sets Stage for E-Bike Access on Non-Motorized Trails, Mark Wahlberg and Lifetogo Join Forces to Donate 1.3 Million Face Masks to Schools. The team includes motivated mission-focused individuals, equipment, a fleet of vehicles, occupancy leases and insurance. Seventeen years ago, the Board of our newly formed Stewardship committed to the work of hosting highly enjoyable bike races as a funding source for costs not covered in trail project grants. But if you have a bike and/or are willing to walk a few miles, you can get a front-row seat and watch skilled athletes doing what they do best: shredding dirt. We are offering Downieville Classic racers priority registration as we did for Lost and Found racers which includes the ability to register before the official registration opening date for this traditionally sold-out event, and receive a 25 percent discount on 2021 registration fees. Downieville lies along scenic Highway 49 as it winds through the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. As expected, the vibe – half race, half party – was a ton of fun. The Downieville Classic did not disappoint. These bikes skimp on nothing, are professionally maintained - ride like new, and are the right tool for the job in Downieville. Check out Yuba Expeditions for a bike shuttle to the top of the mountain and be sure to reserve a spot in advance. The Downieville Classic has been named one of the top 10 best bike festivals from Outside Magazine. This is a good mountain bike ride with a variety of terrain. The renowned Downieville Downhill is Downieville’s most popular trail. These are farther from the race action, but nice if you plan to combine your visit to Downieville with fishing or hiking. The Best Things to do in Marietta, Ohio, The Most Breathtaking Hot Air Balloon Festivals in America: 2021 Edition, Where to Stay in Lake Havasu City, Arizona: Family-Friendly Airbnbs. Or just come to enjoy the bike festival for the weekend. We ate ice cream, swam in the river, and cheered for both the All-Mountain World Championships and the amusing log pull competition. Downieville Classic Mountain Bike Race and Festival. Visit our privacy policy to read more. We will continue our partnership with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to keep the Lost Sierra Trails Master Plan and Connected Communities planning project moving forward. Copyright © A360 Media LLC 2021. But the trails are only as good as they are due to decades of work and persistent by the Sierra Buttes, work that’s funded largely by registration fees from the Classic. Thank you for signing up. If you’re interested in watching some of the race action up close, you’ll need a basic understanding of the course. While most folks watched from the finish line in town, we sat directly beside a gnarly section of the course, cheering on racers and chatting with volunteers. The Downieville Classic Recap The High Sierra’s in California treat the world to some of the best biking, hiking, horse riding and outdoor experiences. 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RyeBokeh. Morning: trail-side seats to Downieville Downhill. Also, please note that this post may contain links from which we earn a small commission. Once the cross country race has wrapped up, grab a can or two of craft beer from the local grocery store and plant yourself at the river to watch the jump contest. Most people gather in Downieville on Sunday morning to watch the finish on Main Street. Since that time, the event changed names to the Downieville Classic and stands today as one of the most recognized events in the sport of mountain biking, from a Patagonia-produced feature film about the event called “Dirt Magic” to being named by Outside Magazine as one of the Top 10 Best Bike Festivals. We felt, dare I say it, like Downieville Classic groupies. Maintain our core infrastructure. For some magical reason, open container laws don’t exist in Downieville, and no one hesitates to take advantage of this. Enjoy the last few hours of race weekend festivities as riders and their families finally get the chance to relax post-race. Cross country and Downhill races, All Mountain World Championship, River Jump competition, Log Pull races, live music and general good times! She shares what she’s learned on her website, Exploring Wild, to help you explore your adventurous side in wild places. We can’t say it enough; SBTS would not exist without you. If you’re a mountain biker yourself and want to see what all the fuss is about, you can do shuttled rides on the downhill course on Thursday and Friday. My husband and I love the Lost Sierra region of California for its scenic trails and lakes, challenging outdoor recreation, and charming mountain towns. This is what SBTS is all about and will result in 300 miles of new trails connecting 15 mountain communities together – a truly world-class trail system expansion for all to enjoy. Without volunteer work days, we are drawing more from our general fund to meet grant match requirements by rehiring staff and recruiting new trail crew members to get the trail work done under safe trail work procedures. There has yet to be a rider that wants to miss out on the famous single track trails that offer speed and winding turns. Afternoon: festivities in downtown Downieville. The Downieville Classic has been named one of the top 10 best bike festivals. Little kids hop curbs on pint-size full-suspension rigs. In the meantime, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@sierratrails.org. Best Trails & Photos. Check out the Downieville Classic, a two-day race in the summer that drops 5,000 feet in 15 miles. The 2020 focus includes: The COVID-19 induced changes are major, but know that SBTS is taking the right steps to persevere through the pandemic and keep trails open. By the time we sipped our final local beer in the cool river on Sunday afternoon, we felt like part of the event. If spectators start getting in the way, I’m sure the race organizers will start closing off access. That year saw our first grant to buy a chainsaw to get the work done and remove those Trail Closed signs. Race registration fees are used across all months as an integral driver of the year-round operation necessary to make a comprehensive trail system possible. When the Downieville Classic (one of the most famous mountain bike events amongst the circuit) is taking place, nearly all lodging and accommodation is full. Morning: Cheer on the cross-country racers. Her goal is to help people connect with the world and each other by stepping out of their front doors and embarking on journeys big and small. Downieville Classic 2019 August 07 — 2019 | Downieville, CA The race dispatch from Santa Cruz’s own world-traveling lens-slinger, Gary Perkin who was on the ground and in the mix last weekend at the 2019 Downieville Classic. It starts in Sierra City, climbs 4500 feet into the mountains, and spits exhausted riders out a few hours later in downtown Downieville. Race registration fees enable SBTS to keep building new trails and make sure existing trails in the Tahoe and Plumas National Forests stay open. This year was to be the race’s 25th anniversary, but organizers, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, announced on Thursday that the potential risk of bringing in thousands of out-of-towners to the small community that hosts the race was too great. 0.75 miles, where First Divide Trail spits out at Lavezzola Road 2. We’re sad we can’t currently provide the gatherings for trail work, trail usage and races SBTS supporters enjoy. Virtual Tour of Downieville Classic. In the evening hours, grab a bite to eat at a restaurant or food truck and gather to watch the log pull contest. Alissa loves wide open spaces, thoughtful travel, and human-powered adventure in the great outdoors. Subscribe to our free newsletter and stay up-to-date with the latest from 3.3 miles, where First Divide Trail merges into Lavezzola Road. The Downieville Classic has been named one of the top 10 best bike festivals by Outside Magazine. Free shipping on orders $35+ & free returns plus same-day pick-up in store. Environmental impact studies, trail projects pre-research, coalition building, grant applications, office space, communications, vehicles, equipment, multiple insurance policies and more – these costs are spent during the on-average five years of professional behind-the-scenes work before dirt is even moved on a project. For the past 24 years, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has been giving bike riders across the world a race-paced tour around the town of Downieville, California. Bar ends, V-brakes, three front chainrings and sub-par suspension with 80 millimeters of rubber elastomer travel; this was the mountain bike technology of the day when the first annual Coyote Classic was held in Downieville in 1995. Here’s a map for the cross country race and here’s one for the Downvielle Downhill race; both can be downloaded in the Trailforks app. mtbr member Reputation: Join Date Sep 2010 Posts 467. this works really well there! The latest event to fall victim to COVID-19 is one of the best on the calendar: The Downieville Classic. Get the app Downieville Classic RECOMMENDED ROUTE ... tight switchback descending turns, and perhaps a few hike-a-bike sections, depending on your skills. After the race Downieville transforms into a bike-themed party with a gear expo, river jump contest, log pull competition, and live music in the evening. Please don't travel until it's safe to do so! The most popular rides at Downieville are one-way shuttle rides, involving getting on a shuttle from the town center, being driven to a trailhead, and doing a ride that ends right back … If you are coming to Downieville from a long distance, you deserve to enjoy the amazing high Sierra terrain with a Santa Cruz bike that that maximizes your fun and does not hold you back. Although closer to Bend, this 26-mile trail is also convenient for people on the west side of the Cascades, especially… Despite its legendary status, the Downieville Classic has a festive old-school vibe that outdoorsy folks will appreciate from either side of the finish line. You can watch the cross country start in Sierra City, or the finish in Downieville (between roughly 2 – 5 hours after the start). Site designed by PenciDesign. What Is The Downieville Classic 2019. The 26.5-mile course follows a rugged "Gold Rush" era route from the mountain town of Sierra City (elevation 4,100'), to the crest of the Sierra Nevada (elevation 7,100'), and down 5,200 vertical feet into downtown Downieville. Beyond all that, we were delighted to find that a little extra effort scored us front-row seats to race action that most spectators miss. Federal and state trails grants require ‘grantees’ to match government payments which we do primarily with volunteer work hours. We’ve actually ridden the Downieville Downhill course outside of the race, just for fun, and marveled at how the racers can turn in finish times 3-4x faster than ours. Just after the final descent, you'll cross a bridge over a creek and begin a doubletrack climb. The Downieville Classic Cross Country race is one of the last remaining point-to-point bicycle races in the United States. So this past summer we thought it would be fun to take another trip to Downieville specifically for race weekend and soak up as much of the dirty, gritty, outdoorsy MTB goodness as possible. The comment period is open until October 26. The town of Downieville is ADA accessible. This makes a weekend of riding equally fun for beginners and experts. It gave us a chance to watch both races up close, get in a few trail miles ourselves, and still have plenty of time to enjoy the festivities in town. We really enjoyed watching the riders come through, cheering them on and chatting with the volunteers. nolevers: Downieville-Classic in: XC Riding 187 views. Downieville is a great destination and friendly town well worth the drive. A weekend of racing and partying in the Sierras where riders have to pick one tool for two disciplines: a 26.5-mile cross country race, and a 15-mile downhill with 5000 vertical drop. The region, which also includes Sierra City and Graeagle and vast stretches of rugged mountains in between, is evocatively known as the Lost Sierra. document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "abe9767b03721dbf979c293000c48906" );document.getElementById("fda1d2dd79").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. We help people connect with the world and each other by embarking on journeys big and small. The event technically begins on Thursday with some sponsored events like meals, merch booths, and maybe a film screening. The New Santa Cruz Hightower. Expert riders in race jerseys make hurried mechanical adjustments. Dropping 5,000 vertical feet in 15 miles, it hosts the longest and most demanding mountain bike race in the country – the Downieville Classic. More maneuverable than its longer-travel sibling, the Megatower, and more at home in the steep-and-chunky than its snappy cousin Tallboy, Hightower excels when the route covers ‘all points in between,’ and descents come courtesy of some big-ass climbs. The 25th Annual Downieville Classic Registration Opens February, 17 at 8PM PST. Amateurs and professionals alike come from near and far to show their grit during two grueling bike races, while families and spectators come out to eat ice cream in the sunshine and cheer them on. No one knows what public safety restrictions will be on future bike race events, but you have our commitment to making the next Downieville Classic the greatest 25th Anniversary celebration and party on two wheels. On our way back we spent time cheering up a forlorn racer, his tire irreparably flat, as he wheeled his bike down a side road into town. This announcement follows the cancelation of our 2020 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder, based in Portola. The festival usually runs from Thursday through Sunday at the beginning of August, with the main action centered around the races on Saturday and Sunday. 05-30-2012 #27. Dropping 5,000 vertical feet in 15 miles, it hosts the longest and most demanding mountain bike race in the country – the Downieville Classic. Our travel posts are great for making future plans or dreaming about your next escape. THE LOCATION. Be sure to stay out of the racers’ way, and respect whatever the race volunteers may tell you about whether this is ok. The front of the pack comes through around half an hour after the start, and the back of the pack will make appearances until around 2.5 hours post-start. Farther north up Gold Lake Highway, you’ll find plenty of lakeside camping such as Goose Lake, Gold Lake, and Snag Lake campgrounds. Wisely put 05-29-2012 #26. Just hold on. If the volunteers allow it, you can carefully walk down the trail a bit and watch riders navigating a tricky section. your own Pins on Pinterest Back Road Ramblers shares travel tips, road-trip destinations, and outdoor adventures for the wanderer in everyone. Get in gear with Target to shop men's women's and kids' bikes. Sierra County, home of Downieville, is currently one of a handful of towns in California without any reported cases of COVID-19. The Hightower has been a does-it-all-well trail bike since its inception. 2.2 miles, where First Divide Trail intersects Lavezzola Road 3. Spectators in swimsuits sip beer in the river while daredevils hurl themselves off bike jumps into the crisp cool water. Bike Magazine. It’s all about the speed, tight turns, creek crossings, and rock gardens. There’s also music, food, an expo and the famous river jump on Sunday. Every August the streets of small-town Downieville, California fill, even more than usual, with mountain bikes. It is a sweet story of how the race transitioned to give all the proceeds to benefit the development of trail systems for recreation in the surrounding mountains. As you head further from town, there are three good spots to watch racers come through (mile counts are rough distances from downtown): 1. Your information has been successfully processed! In his letter announcing the cancellation, Greg Williams, executive director of SBTS, explained the decision to retain entry fees, and why Downieville continues to be closed to visitors: SBTS and its bike shop Yuba Expeditions invest immeasurable love into Downieville, and we don’t want our operations or guests to be responsible for potentially introducing the virus. For registration and full details visit the Downieville Classic website. However, we found it very rewarding to instead drive up to Packer Saddle (as far as you can get before they close the road) and hike up to where the course intersects Butcher Ranch Road. A weekend of racing and partying in the Sierras where riders have to pick one tool for two disciplines: a 29-mile cross country race, and a 15-mile … The overall positive support from Lost and Found racers, partners, locals and volunteers upon receiving the bad news was humbling for our staff. $20 for the shuttle is good value and I recommend paying the $15 for a second run if you have the energy. Sunday is the main event: the downhill race. See for yourself, come out and join us for fun in the mountains! By road – which is pretty much the only way to get there – it’s about two hours northeast of Sacramento or 1.5 hours northwest of Tahoe. If you’re going to head all the way to Downieville, it’s definitely worth taking an extra day or two to explore the Lost Sierra region. If this sounds like fun to you, read on for an insider’s guide to getting the most out of the Downieville Classic mountain bike race and festival weekend. Attending the festival and watching the race are free and there are no tickets needed. It’s a steep but short hike, and you’ll be rewarded by a trail-side spot as riders huff and puff their way up the epic climb from Sierra City. Our shuttle vans are now in the service of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship … See trail conditions to know what is happening in the high country. Check out Packsaddle, Berger, and Diablo campgrounds in this area. Many of our race event partners are pivoting their financial support to help us put people back to work again. ADA Accessibility Notes. The Classic was scheduled for July 30 to August 2, a weekend of revelry and racing in the Lost Sierra, anchored by the popular All-Mountain World Championships, which entails completing the XC on Saturday and the downhill race on Sunday on the same bike. Since that time, the event changed names to the Downieville Classic and stands today as one of the most recognized events in the sport of mountain biking, from a Patagonia-produced feature film about the event called “Dirt Magic” to being named by Outside Magazine as one of the Top 10 best bike festivals. We are factory and field trained mechanics that can gracefully handle any repair quickly and efficiently, allowing you to keep riding and enjoying your time in Downieville. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Build and maintain trails under our current agreements. The Downieville Classic has been named one of the top 10 best bike festivals. The Downieville classic draws riders from all different corners of the sport. Quincy, California . We hope people will be equally understanding about cancelling the Downieville Classic. Once this storm passes, we are optimistic that we will all gather together next year to enjoy our events and the company of many who have supported them for years. All rights reserved. In addition to canceling the 2020 Downieville Classic, Yuba Expeditions in Downieville will be closed until further notice. The Downieville Classic has been named one of the top 10 best bike festivals. It’s still far from empty on sunny summer weekends, especially the Downieville Classic weekend, but the atmosphere remains appealingly relaxed. At this time, we urge you to please not visit Downieville or other Lost Sierra mountain communities until government officials say it is safe to do so. Yuba Expeditions Bike Shop Coronavirus safety rules for patrons: 6' distance, 2 people in store max, masks required, sanitation stations, email to order parts and schedule tuneups, outside merch cart for accessories. Either way, you win. This article was syndicated from our partner site, Men’s Journal. Finishing times range from an impressive two-ish hours to around five and a half. Continue building Connected Communities. Basically, the best bike for Downieville is someone else's. Or follow our Facebook or Instagram feeds to get trail conditions directly from us.. For local Coronavirus conditions see Plumas County Health Agency for Quincy and Sierra County Health and Human Services for Downieville. Bar ends, V-brakes, three front chainrings and sub-par suspension with 80 millimeters of rubber elastomer travel; this was the mountain bike technology of the day when the first annual Coyote Classic was held in Downieville in 1995. America’s Best also listed the Downieville Classic in the top 10 mountain bike races. If you missed the river jump on Saturday, or just can’t get enough sun by the river, check out the kids’ House of Big Air competition on Sunday afternoon. Out Yuba Expeditions for a bike shuttle to the top of the 10! 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