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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saturday 9/1. Ended up hooking up with some cool folks from BONC for an all day chunk fest at Grouse Ridge. We left vehicles at Discovery Trail parking and shuttled to Loney Meadows. New trail!!! from Loney Meadows to the ridge over looking Bowman Lake and an incredible view of Sierra Buttes to the North. Eventually the trail drops down to Rock Lake over some extremely chunky fun descent. The entire time there is this 14 year old kid in front of me just hammering it! I can't catch him now so I will wait for him to poop out. It will be a long day...this is grouse ridge....eventually he will submit!

From Rock lake we take the Crooked Lake trail. I am amazed with the attitude of all 13 riders in our group....attacking every short climb before the inevitible dismount and short HAB. From the top of the HAB sections of Crooked Lakes Trail there is one of my favorite sections....down the super chunk and then some fun rolling techy stuff coming up to Island Lake. There was a long regroup wait at Island Lakes and here we lost four riders that bailed towards Carr / Feeley and down the pavement.

Continuing on towards the Grouse Ridge lookout...the long wait took it's toll on my legs. 14 year old kid still crushing it and I am starting to lose my patience with him. As the trail climbed steeper...suddenly the remaining 9 started to pass me. I did some deliberate HAB and then found a second wind. From this point on we will be riding some of the funnest, most technical, chunky trails in California.

I make my move and cut in front of the kid when we regroup at the start of the steep down on GR Trail. No way you can keep up with me now kid! Your in my house! And....within minutes I hear him right behind me. We are both just crushing it! I digger my front wheel on a tight right hander and do a running dismount into the woods. I hear "nice dismount" as the kid rolls by!:madman:

We regroup near the petraglyphs above Spaulding Lake and Fordyce Creek then hammer on towards the "big gnarly" descent to Fordyce Creek. Here is where I make my move! I finally make a pass at a section of chunk where the trail just seems to dissapear, I know this line well and roll on through leaving the kid and another rider scratching their heads. I did not look back once for the rest of the way to Spaulding Lake trail. As I came to a stop at the intersection and clip out...the kid comes down the staircase and calmly pedals by. WOW!

The kid and I waited for the other riders at the falls on Fordyce creek for a good 15 minutes. I gave him his props. Turns out he is a super nice kid attending a prep High School in GV.

And....we finally have some Grouse Ridge carnage as a Dieter rolls up with a broken rear derthingy cable. But, George....an experienced Grouse Ridge rider just happens to carry a spare cable with him:thumbsup: At this point I am no longer able to wait around...my legs are getting stiff so I head out slowly along Spaulding Lake trail just soaking up the beauty and ruggedness of this incredible place. We regroup one last time as I fix a flat and then descend upper Pioneer down to Langs crossing which is a really fun way to finish. A quick shot up the road and cold beer in hand:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Stats? Ha! Normal perceptions of time and distance do not apply here. Just under 25 miles...Seems like nearly 50. 7 hours from start to finish but actual ride time was more like 5:15. Not sure on the climb and descent but I think it was something like 3400 / 5400. Total all day chunk fest and the best ride you have never done:p
 

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A group of us have done a huge shuttle and rode from Meadow Lake-->Emerald Pools on the Beyers Lake Trail-->Grouse Ridge Trail-->Fordyce Creek Trail-->Upper Pioneer.
I know some of that route you're talking about, that section you describe as "big gnarly" is as rough a section as I've ever tried to ride.
A question for you:
We did this earlier this summer and were talking about the prospect of taking it all the way to Nevada City, do you know where the Pioneer Trail continues once we hit Bowman Lake Rd?
Thanks
 

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Big Boulder, you were the animal on the trip being that you were SANS suspension! Everybody else had 5" at least. Liam is the 14 year old kid you speak of. Here's his account of the trip. He pastes my 43 yr old body everytime we ride as a group. "Old age and treachery will some day outdo youth and vigor"
Glad you could hook up with our ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is a trail that drops down into bear valley from pioneer

but I have yet to ride it. I will bet you could find that info on BONC web site.

A group of us have done a huge shuttle and rode from Meadow Lake-->Emerald Pools on the Beyers Lake Trail-->Grouse Ridge Trail-->Fordyce Creek Trail-->Upper Pioneer.
I know some of that route you're talking about, that section you describe as "big gnarly" is as rough a section as I've ever tried to ride.
A question for you:
We did this earlier this summer and were talking about the prospect of taking it all the way to Nevada City, do you know where the Pioneer Trail continues once we hit Bowman Lake Rd?
Thanks
 

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A group of us have done a huge shuttle and rode from Meadow Lake-->Emerald Pools on the Beyers Lake Trail-->Grouse Ridge Trail-->Fordyce Creek Trail-->Upper Pioneer.
I know some of that route you're talking about, that section you describe as "big gnarly" is as rough a section as I've ever tried to ride.
A question for you:
We did this earlier this summer and were talking about the prospect of taking it all the way to Nevada City, do you know where the Pioneer Trail continues once we hit Bowman Lake Rd?
Thanks
Check out this ride for details...Jason is a pro rider so times may vary.

Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Grouse Ridge To Nevada City near Donner | Times and Records | Strava

Caveat: Reports are that horse damage is pretty bad from Bear Valley Climb to Lowell Hill and on to Skillman Camp. Best time to do this part is after first big rain or prior to summer horse traffic

Except for his first few miles the route should be the same.
On Bowman Road from Langs Crossing, just ride up the road for -+1.5 miles, after you past the PG & E Bear Valley Group Camp, you will see one of the flexible trail markers on the right side...that's it...easy to miss though...head due west across Bear Valley over pioneer trail memorial bridge. After the bridge, you contour around valley. After a mile or so, look for the flexible trail marker this time on your left...overgrown...it will take you to the hwy 20 crossing. After crossing hwy 20, continue up dirt road for a while. It's the 2nd or 3rd dirt road leading to the right that you take. Look for the big tree with the trail marker quite a ways up, then you know you are in the right place. Climb up the double track under and around the pipe...good climb, after 1.5 miles-ish...look for flexible trail marker on your left. This singletrack is also easy to miss since it's in the shade. This is the relo that was done a few years ago.

Hope this helps.
 

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You can pick up Pioneer again just across the bridge from Lang's Crossing where Upper Upper Pioneer dumps you out. It follows the river downstream maybe 20 yards then gradually curves back toward Bowman Lake Rd. Lightly used and quickly overgrown after pruning but very pretty. It then crosses Bowman Lake Rd. to the south side until you get near the next bridge where it crosses briefly to the north side then back again to the south on the other side of the bridge. It parallels Bowman Lake Rd. until you cross it back to the north side again to ride through the valley and over to 20. Cross 20 and take the old then the new way up and you probably know the rest. =D
 
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