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mtbr dismember
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not much of a downhiller, in either interest, nor skills. But once in a while I like to take a shuttle and give it a try. Yesterday Tahoetic and I did two shuttle runs from Packer Saddle at Downieville, California. My technical skills have been pretty much non-existent since my knee surgeries, I'm still terrified of falling, and I had not been to Downieville in nearly two years. So I was quite apprehensive. But Tahoetic is quite the downhiller, he had never been to Downieville, and I owe him for doing lots of XC with me. On the first run we did the new Sunrise Trail, Pauley Creek Jeep Trail, Pauley Creek Trail, 3rd and 1st Divides; and on the second run we did Butcher Ranch, 3rd and 1st Divides.

The new Sunrise Trail is quite nice, narrow, twisty and with a few ups and downs, it is a nice alternative to the former one mile of pavement/fireroad to the trailheads. To get in more pedaling I prefer to do Pauley Creek over the traditional Butcher Ranch. But to get to it you must do the infamous Jeep Trail which is full of baby heads and large loose rocks and boulders. The first time I encountered the Jeep Trail I had to walk much of it, but later on I began to really appreciate it. We were nearly to the end of it when I was thinking to myself "this isn't so bad and I'm doing quite well today". Almost immediately I had a really bad fall on some serious rocks and I landed first on one knee, then elbow, back and head. Despite wearing pretty good knee pads, it hurt so much I thought I had shattered my knee cap. After taking several minutes to compose myself we proceeded on. But a few miles later I did a pretty good endo on some rocks on the Pauley Creek Trail. After that second fall my confidence was shot and I had a pretty difficult time finishing the first run. My mind is still recovering from a fall down a steep bank at Auburn a few weeks ago and I'm still having trouble with exposure, which is what Downieville is all about anyway.

I wasn't too thrilled about shuttling back up for another run, but we had already paid, and Tahoetic, who was riding solo the next day, still hadn't seen some of the other trails. Fortunately, however, I perked up a bit on the ride back up to Packer Saddle. I had forgotten how very technical the Butcher Ranch Trail is, and toward the top I had a spectacular endo on a rocky section. My mind pretty much gave up after that, I could no longer control my bike, and I walked down a lot of stuff I've made many times before. The knees were already quite sore from overdoing it lately, and that walking downhill made them much worse. Tahoetic pretty much had to baby-sit me for the remainder of the ride, and for that I am very grateful! Below are a few photos, Tahoetic should have more in the next day or so.


Unloading the bikes


Scenery from Packer Saddle


New Sunrise Trail


Tahoetic on Pauley Creek Jeep Trail


I fell on this


Tahoetic above Pauley Creek


Tahoetic above Pauley Creek


Pauley Creek


Tahoetic on Pauley Creek Trail


Stranger on Pauley Creek Trail


Butcher Ranch Trail


Stranger on Butcher Ranch Trail


Tahoetic crossing Pauley Creek


More Pauley Creek


One of four bridges crossed


Tahoetic on Butcher Ranch


On Butcher Ranch


Tahoetic on Butcher Ranch


Tahoetic on Butcher Ranch


Tahoetic on Butcher Ranch


Tahoetic on Butcher Ranch


3rd Divide


Me on 1st Divide


From 1st Divide


From 1st Divide


From 1st Divide


Tahoetic on 1st Divide


On 1st Divide
 

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Thanks for the great Downieville stokage. Beautiful pics as usual. Sorry you had a rough day but way to go getting back up and finishing the ride. Glad you weren't seriously hurt.

I did a similar double shuttle day at Downieville about this time last year and I miss it. Time to go back.
 

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Slowest Rider
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5,237 Posts
Downievillle looks so nice. I soooo wish I could have joined you, as I've never been.

Sorry to hear about the falls. Good you had the armor for it. It seemed to me you were getting a lot better at the technical DH.
 

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amar la vida de dos niner
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2,682 Posts
Looks like some really tough stuff. I'd be nervous, too. But it sounds like you did pretty darned well, all in all.
 

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awesome looking stuff... Downieville has been on my short list of places to ride for the last year or so. Hopefully I'll be able to make it out there in the near future.
 

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Founder: Dirty3hirties
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Ahhhhh...Downieville. Love that place. Never did Sunrise/Pauley creek though.

Good to hear that you mustered up the will/courage to do the 2nd loop...but I feel you about losing your confidence. It's amazing how much confidence helps you and how bad it really affects your riding when you lose it....even things that you would normally do, you second guess. :(

Great pix.....been trying to arrange a weekend to ride up there but trying to match schedules with my friends has been a logistical nightmare this year.

Awesome pix btw.
 
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