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Santa Cruz Bicycles Unlocks Downieville and Race Registration is Monday at 8pm PST!

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

Leave it All on the Trail and Go Baroque: the 2019 Downieville Classic

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Leave it All on the Trail and Go Baroque: the 2019 Downieville Classic

[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.

Are You Going to Be at the Downieville Classic?… with a Hardtail?

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Are You Going to Be at the Downieville Classic?… with a Hardtail?

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!

Practice Makes Perfection at the 2018 Downieville Classic

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Practice Makes Perfection at the 2018 Downieville Classic

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.

A Weekend and Then Some at the Downieville Classic

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A Weekend and Then Some at the Downieville Classic

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.

Giro Does the Downieville Classic – Amanda Schaper and Ian Stowe

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Giro Does the Downieville Classic – Amanda Schaper and Ian Stowe

Giro Does the Downieville Classic
Words by Amanda Schaper and photos by Ian Stowe

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.

24 Hours of Recovery in Downieville

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24 Hours of Recovery in Downieville

‘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.

A $5 Donation Buys a Foot of Trail in Downieville

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A $5 Donation Buys a Foot of Trail in Downieville

$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!

the 2021 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co and Paul Component Engineering Sierra Trail Chasers Benefit SBTS and SORBA

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the 2021 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co and Paul Component Engineering Sierra Trail Chasers Benefit SBTS and SORBA

It’s no secret that Pale Ale is Paul from Paul Component Engineering’s favorite beer, and this will be our 4th year collaborating on a custom bike for Sierra Nevada Brewery to show off at Sea Otter and give away to a lucky winner. This year we decided to raise the bar by building up TWO bikes, and using them to help out two of our favorite trail stewardship!

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s $5 a Foot Fundraiser is Back and Benefits Connected Communities

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The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s $5 a Foot Fundraiser is Back and Benefits Connected Communities

Do you like what you see here? Well, you could win this fully decked out, dream Hightower build from Santa Cruz Bicycles by partaking in the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s $5 a Foot fundraiser:

“Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s 5 Bucks a Foot fundraiser is back with a customized, Santa Cruz Hightower up for grabs! Sure, there’s a bike shortage, and yes, it’s nearly impossible just to get some bike parts these days. Yet, we got lucky enough to assemble this bling’ed masterpiece: a one-of-a-kind Hightower (size Large) decked out with parts you can’t even get your hands on these days. And if you want to come pick it up in-person*, you can receive complimentary lodging at The Lure Resort in Downieville, CA for the weekend. Come out and ride the Downieville Downhill on your brand-new bike!

We are building a legacy trail – the 300+ mile Lost Sierra Route – through our Connected Communities Project. The building and maintenance of “A Trail for Everyone” will employ local residents and help our small businesses thrive. For every $5 you donate to 5 Bucks a Foot between Tuesday, June 8 to Friday, July 9, 2021, you can directly contribute to this project and possibly win this sweet ride.”

Hop on over to Sierra Trails to enter to win and help out the Connected Communities initiative.

PAUL x Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Box Set Giveaway

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PAUL x Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Box Set Giveaway

Our friends at Paul Component are looking to help out the team at Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship through a wicked giveaway! Check out the press release below…

When we saw the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship announcement that all events for 2021 were canceled due to Covid, we were crushed. Anybody who’s been to the Downieville Classic, Mountains to Meadows, or Lost and Found knows we LOVE supporting these events with our aid stations, and partying with some of the best bike weirdos in the world, in one of the most beautiful areas in the world.

SBTS rely heavily on these events to help raise funds and awareness for all the amazing trails they build in the Lost Sierra, involving, employing, and assisting the local small communities in the process. It’s truly inspiring to behold the hard and meaningful work they put in, and a cause we will trumpet until we’re out of breath.

What can we do to help? Well, we’ve decided to offer up one of our few remaining Limited 30th Anniversary Box Sets as a prize to one lucky person, chosen at random, who donates to SBTS by March 14.

Consider donating the amount you would normally spend for entry fees and this will help keep the trails and community in good shape for 2022 when we’re all back out there shredding and partying together!

So how do you win?

-Head over to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship website and donate any amount you can afford.
-Forward the confirmation email you receive from SBTS to travis@paulcomp.com. That’s it! Paul will choose a winner at random after March 14th in some bizarre way, so stay tuned!

Want to see what the SBTS is all about? Check out our Reportage from over the years in the Related column below.

From Henceforth: November 2nd Shall Be International Singlespeed Day

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From Henceforth: November 2nd Shall Be International Singlespeed Day

Intro by California Travis:

Every Monday at 11 am, the entire PAUL Component shop staff has an “All-Hands” meeting to catch up on any changes or shop news or projects. For the last few months, this has been in the backyard with masks and everybody yelling across the yard to each other. It’s weird but no weirder than our usual shop vibes. Last Monday, Paul announced that November 2nd is International Singlespeed Day. We all looked at him like “Huh? Says who?” Then he said it was him and his friend Amanda’s birthday that day, and it was Amanda’s idea, and why the hell not?

Having never created an International Holiday before, I wasn’t quite sure what to do, so I got on the phone with a bunch of framebuilders and friends and said “Hey. It’s Paul’s birthday on November 2nd, and he wants everybody to ride singlespeeds. You down?” And of course, everybody said yes, I mean what the hell else are you going to do right now? So how do you join us? It’s pretty simple really, go for a ride on your singlespeed, wherever you live, post a photo on Instagram and hashtag it #InternationalSinglespeedDay, and wish Paul and Amanda a happy birthday if you want. Don’t have a singlespeed bike? Zip tie your shifters, or take the battery off your derailleur, maybe? Get creative, there are no rules!

Post your singlespeed bikes up in the comments too.

We asked Paul what the big deal is and this is what he wrote… Read on below!

A Look at Paul Component Engineering’s New Sprinter Van Wrap by Chris McNally

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A Look at Paul Component Engineering’s New Sprinter Van Wrap by Chris McNally

Paul Component Engineering has a lifelong legacy of making parts you can rely on, for just about any bike. This legacy is only possible due to the fact that the team at Paul live, eat, dream, drink, sleep, and travel for all things bike! Part of their tradeshow and bike race fleet is this Sprinter van, which recently got a facelift thanks to Chris McNally. Let’s take a look at this van’s new vinyl wrap in detail below.