It may still look like winter in the High Sierra, but the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has summer on the mind and is counting down the days until the Downieville Classic and the Lost and Found Gravel Festival, presented by Cervélo, one of the nonprofit’s biggest fundraisers of the year. Lost and Found will still take place on June 3 in Portola, despite the exceptionally snowy winter and late arrival of spring in the Lost Sierra…
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
This news comes as a huge bummer but I guess it’s expected at this point. Read the Sierra Buttes‘ press release below…
After covering the Downieville Classic for three years now, I can honestly say if it’s the only MTB race I cover each year, then I’m a-ok with that! The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is the feature in Santa Cruz’s new video, featuring their eMTB the Heckler. If you want to race Downieville this year, I highly suggest it, just don’t miss race registration on MONDAY, February 17th at 8pm PST!
Wanna see our coverage? Hop on over to the archives…
Hardtails. Antiquated examples of mountain bike technology to some but to others, they’re liberated and simplified machines. Each year, I plan on riding a full suspension in Downieville, yet I always end up bringing my hardtail for one reason or another so this year, I took a look at just some of the bikes that were rolling around this Gold Rush town.
[WARNING – please read with enunciations of the Queen’s English spoken with a harsh American accent leached with dry monotone and finished with a slight southern drawl.]
[NOTE – All persons are mixed and mashed conglomerations of friends masked by pseudonyms as to respect their identities.]
[FICTION –It actually may be close enough to nonfiction. Every tale is drenched with truth, maybe not all the truths belong to me, I might not even be the eyes telling this tale.]
With another eight to nine-hour drive ahead of me, this time solo because the polluting toots of my automobile fill me with joy—just kidding, hell, felt like an asshole—I had to figure out a way to fuck with my perception of time in order to maintain some level of sanity. Although being a fellow cyclist, y’all get that the bar is set real low when it comes to sanity. So, to risk sounding like a surface-wannabe-cultured-erudite, I tried hooking myself onto classical music with this grandiose nisus of increasing my attention span. Hear me out: not only would being able to melt into a forty-five-minute score enable me to complete long intervals with ease but enduring an entire classical score would help me get through the long drives to get to the long and arduous races those said and absolutely supposed intervals would prepare one for. Leave it all on the trail and go baroque.
That’s right. It can be done and it’s a lot of fun. We’re heading to the Downieville Classic this weekend and while I’ll be out on the course shooting photos of the race, I’d love to feature a gallery of all the hardtails that are being ridden at the Classic. Each year, it’s the bike I bring with me and I am always amazed at how many people are there racing on their steel hardtails as well. So, if you’re at the Classic, make sure you flag me down with your bike because this should be a great gallery!
If you’ve ever been to Downieville, you know what a magical place it is. So magical that WTB teamed up with the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship to make a run of these commemorative Volt Pro saddles with a special Downieville graphic. On sale now for the holidays and a perfect fit for your trail bike! Head to SBTS’ webshop to scoop one up.
The Downieville Classic has been a work in progress since its inception in 1995, yet most recently the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship – the trail organization that throws the race and maintains hundreds of miles of trail in the Lost Sierra – made a massive leap in progress, but not without a lot of persistence, a little luck, and yes, tons of practice. Whatever mountain biking is to you, be it sport, hobby, lifestyle, or all of the above, it requires practice. The SBTS has logged over 25 years of practice working with various Forestry departments: learning the ins and outs of trail stewardship, including but not limited to the politics and practices of making and maintaining mountain bike trails.
We’re here in Downieville, awaiting the crowds to ascend upon this sleepy little mining town for the Downieville Classic. Expect reportage to follow but if you’re headed this way, make sure to say hello! What’s the Downieville Classic? Check out our Reportage from last year’s event!
11am. We had to be in Downieville by 11am for a special ride. A VIP ride if you will. Paul Components bought a morning shuttle to do the classic Downieville Downhill shuttle. There were 12 spots and Kyle and I had to boogie ASAP from Northstar. Luckily, long nights and early mornings were the norm on this trip, so we loaded up the ‘Cruiser and headed to Downieville.
Let me start by saying that if you haven’t been to Downieville, you’ve gotta go.
And if you haven’t raced the Downieville Classic, well then you’ve gotta do that too.
It’s one heckuva weekend.
The 2016 Downieville Classic happened Aug 6-7, marking the 21st edition of this race. Most people are there for the Classic Cross Country race, but the lucky few who clicked “Register” faster than anybody else compete in the prestigious All Mountain event—it sells out in seconds. The AM racers not only do in Saturday’s XC race, but also the famous Downieville Downhill on Sunday. Here’s the catch: you have to use the exact same bike for each event—don’t even think about changing your tires because they’ll catch you at weigh-in. Choose your gear wisely.
‘Cross bikes, ‘cross bikes, ‘cross bikes…
Look. I love cyclocross bikes but I was beginning to get a little Grinduro’d out. After a weekend of shooting, talking, riding and basically living bikes at the event, I wanted a recovery day. Decompression. Detachment. Whatever you want to call it. I needed a vacation. Ok, not really. I just wanted to ride mountain bikes and be out of cell reception for 24 hours.
Luckily, we were already in the midst of some incredible mountains, so it was literally a no-brainer to hop on the road and book it up to Downieville. That place has always carried such a mystique for me. I’d never been before, for various reasons, but had ridden all over California so I was familiar with the terrain. But still. There’s something about that trail network that had been beckoning me for years.
It was my friend Andrea‘s birthday on Monday and she too wanted to ride there one last time before the season ended. She’s been numerous times, so it worked out perfectly. Sunday morning after Grindruo, we would leave Quincy, drive an hour or so, get to town, pass out, wake up for a morning shuttle, take it super chill, shoot photos, eat gummy worms, sip the flask and barrel along the downhill line, ending at the river…
There was one detail we were missing: bikes. ‘Drea and I were on Grinduro-ready rigs, not 6″ trail bikes.
Luckily Yuba Expeditions had rental bikes for around $100 a day. I scooped up a Ibis Mojo, Andrea got a Santa Cruz Nomad and we were good to go. Oh and tubes. Oh and I needed knee pads. Now we’re good to go.
$5 gets you a beer at your favorite bar, a cup of coffee and a scone, or a foot of trail in Downieville and a chance to win a MTB from Ibis. Here’s the scoop:
“This is a picture of Troy Morrisson, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Trail Crew Foreman and Super Star. Troy is building trails for your enjoyment. Troy wants your help. There’s an easy way and a hard way to help. The hard way is to head up to the high Sierra and help Troy move some big heavy rocks.
Then there’s the easy way; buy a foot of sweet Sierra trail for $5, and you won’t have to do what Troy is doing. As an added bonus, donate money to the Stewardship between now and August 21st 2013 and you have a chance to win ANY IBIS BIKE, properly decked out with parts from Shimano, Easton, Fox and WTB. Choose your model and your wheel size: 26″, 27.5″, 29″, Ripley, HDR, Mojo SL-R, whatever you want. Size and color is up to you.”
Check out all the information you need to know about this RAD giveaway at Ibis!
Photo by Robert Lowe
Speaking of Geekhouse, remember Josh? Well, he posted this photo on Facebook from the portfolio site of local photographer Robert Lowe and I had to put it up. Josh ripped apart the course from the 2012 Downieville Classic on his hard tail Geekhouse Wormtown. Josh, looking mighty fast and loose my friend!
After an almost-decade long run, the Lost & Found Gravel Festival continues to provide adventurous-minded riders with dynamic and challenging terrain in northern California’s Lost Sierra Mountains. Registration for any of the event’s 100-mile, 60-mile and 35-mile courses goes directly to supporting the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship‘s Lost Sierra Route, a route that seeks to connect 15 mountain communities and foster economic prosperity through recreation. Billy Sinkford joined in for the mixed terrain fun this year and shares moments from the race along with photos of the Builders’ Bazaar.
We’re running with an alternative format for this week’s classic bike feature from The Pro’s Closet vault! It’s one we hope you enjoy as it was penned by the original owner of this stunning singlespeed WTB Phoenix, Jacquie Phelan. Jacquie was an early MTB pioneer in the Marin constituency and along with her racing accolades is, perhaps, most known for starting the Women’s Mountain Bike & Tea Society (WOMBATS). In her own words, she hasn’t retired from racing and still loves to mix it up on two wheels. Read on for her retelling of how this bike faired at the 2008 Napa Single Speed World Championships (SSWC)…
The trails we ride often have stories that long pre-date mountain biking. On a road trip from Los Angeles, to Mammoth, and finally Downieville, Eric Arce takes time to understand some of the troubled history behind these popular riding destinations in the Sierra Nevada.