Mountain Bike Fun Near Graeagle, CA
Photos courtesy Chalet View Lodge, provided by Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
On the edge of Plumas County, a tiny town marked with red buildings greets travelers from far and wide. Graeagle also welcomes plenty of mountain bikers. According to Max Shumpert, this quaint and tiny town is a perfect jumping off point for bicycle adventures in the northern Sierra, also known as the “Lost Sierra”. The area is gaining popularity by riders who enjoy the Lake Tahoe region. The “Lost Sierra” offers a more quiet and remote mountain getaway, known for world-class mountain biking, a variety of beautiful golf courses and more recently, craft beer. Bike trail maps are available in Graeagle’s downtown at the Howling Dog Bike & Ski shop. They offer bikes, equipment and any advice you may be looking for.
Chalet View Lodge in Graeagle serves as a hub for overnight guests who are interested in mountain biking. Trails connect to the property at Chalet View. This beautiful resort offers 50 guest rooms including suites and private cabins. With access to 1.2 million acres of Forest Service land right of the property, the lodge’s amenities also include a pump track designed by the legendary Mark Weir. Visitors enjoy a nine-hole golf course, bocce court, horseshoe pit, badminton, volleyball, a seasonal swimming pool and hot tub, plus a catch-and-release fishing pond and even a zip line. Rooms are very nicely decorated with an earthy, rustic charm and some have balconies. A Starbucks cafe in the lobby serves both locals and guests. Dinners are fabulous and a complimentary continental breakfast is included with your stay. A full cocktail bar and tasting room for Eureka Peak Brewing Company is on site. About five minutes dow the road, in Blairsden, The Brewing Lair also offers craft brews in an outdoor setting where guests can bring a picnic. Also in downtown Graeagle, Indian Peak Vineyards tasting room pours their famous wines. Often, they also host live music and special events.
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship:
SBTS is a nonprofit organization started by a group of dedicated mountain bikers with the goal of improving trails, and that they have done. The passionate group has grown into an effective organization that builds trails to be enjoyed by bikers, hikers, horses and other trail users. The Stewardship is well known for putting on the Downieville Classic, a long-time favorite bike ride, now in its 20th year. The Lost and Found Gravel Grinder (held in May) takes riders on 100, 60 or 30 mile rides on dirt, gravel and an historic railroad grade.
Grinduro – October 9 2015
The Grinduro, promoted by SBTS, is exactly what its name suggests: a gravel road race combined with a mountain-bike-style enduro. It all ads up to one long loop of pavement and dirt and finishing times are not based on the overall loop time, but on four timed segments, each roughly five to seven minutes.
• Segment One is a wide-open, practice-your-tuck, high-speed, non-technical affair.
• Segment Two is a flat-out, five kilometer time trial on flat-to-rolling blacktop.
• Segment Three is one mile of leg-searing, punchy climbing.
• Segment Four is a section of the twisty, singletrack descent back into Quincy.
The Grinduro is planned as a celebration of cycling with as much emphasis on the fun as the ride. Excellent food, art displays and a display of incredible handmade bikes will be complimented by live music, camping and a festival atmosphere. The fun starts at the Plumas Sierra County Fairground in Quincy. A $200 registration fee includes a gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday from celebrated chef Chris DiMinno. Two nights of tent camping is also included. RV camping is an extra $35.00 per night. Live music will set the stage on Saturday. Headlining the music is Mike Watt and the Missingmen with Ray Barbee taking stage for the opening act. DJ Coop will take the party into the late night.
Grinduro is capped at 450 riders and spots go fast. For registration information, visit http://www.sierratrails.org/events/grinduro-2015. For more information on riding in the “Lost Sierra”, visit http://www.sierratrails.org. Find Mountain Biking Tips for Beginners at https://www.foldingbikezone.com/mountain-bike-tips/.