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mtb'er
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I joined a posse of 10 strong riders on Saturday, to do an all-day, point-to-point ride from Tahoe Donner to Nevada City... nearly all on dirt. It was freaking awesome!

Nobody was sure what direction to go upon leaving mbmattcor's pad on Northwoods Drive in Tahoe-Donner, where it was a relatively warm at 7:30am:


Matt lead us westbound up the powerline dirt in Tahoe-Donner... a solid 2.5 mile warm-up for what would turn out to be a 73 mile, 12.5 hour adventure:


Every burley ride has a burley singlespeeder, right? This was our guy and he wins the Burley-man contest. With a large gear (belt drive), a cotton t-shirt, no socks, and maybe 10 words spoken the entire day, Ralph simply put his head down and kept turning his cranks. Stud. Here he is with Donner Lake in the background as we get closer to the Donner Lake Rim Trail:


After about 6 miles of doubletrack and dirt road, we finally hit the first of many, many, many, many miles of singletrack:


Whit (Meriwether Bikes) enjoying the descent on the DLRT:


The climb up and out of ***** Canyon was nice:


Checking out Tinkers Knob?, Anderson Peak? and Mt. Judah?:

(photo by Whit)

Seoulriding leads the charge up to Summit Lake:


Just before Summit Lake, Rich notices that huge rock that people have build rock ramps up to. He gives it a go and nails it... but neither Whit or I got the exit, so he did it again:

Then it was off to the fun, chunky part of DLRT:


I'm happy to report that Hole-In-The-Ground is snow-free and open :thumbsup: The climb up was the easiest I ever remember it... thanks to the EXCELLENT trailwork Truckee Trails and their partners recently did. Thank you!!

(photo by Whit)

Obligatory group photo with Castle Peak behind us:

(photo by Whit)

Did I mention Matt did this ride on his fat bike?!? Here he is exiting HITG, as we hit the road for Signal Peak:


At a juncture, while waiting for our singlespeeder, the fat bike and oversized 29er bike were picking on my tiny 26" weel:

(photo by Whit)

The last couple miles going up to the top of Signal Peak/Red Mountain were slow going as it was pretty steep and somewhat loose in places... but the views were killer! Justin & Dan:

(photo by Whit)

Matt:


The crew on top:


After a quick break, it was time to put the big boy pants on, lower seats and drop about 2,500' in 3 or so sketchy miles! (On the right side of this photo is Spaulding Lake, which we'd be passing in a little while):


But wait... what's that? Shortly after cresting the hill, an odd looking building appears:

(photo by Whit)

Whit and I check it out. It's not your typical fire lookout, as there are only "windows" on one side:

(photo by Whit)

Oddly enough, while grabbing breakfast at the Summit Restaurant (Soda Springs) on Sunday morning, their menu had all sorts of stories about the railroad that passes over Donner Summit, and it included this snippet about this building. Pretty cool!


The descent started out chunky and loose, but no problem for Whit on his homemade Meriwhether:


Devil's Peak poking up there in the background while Whit bombs down:


Whit shreds it all, high above Cisco Grove and the aforementioned railroad:


We catch up to the crew after Rich flatted, but he was back and hauling ass again in no time:


The last 3rd of the descent is just a bunch of gnarly "teenager heads", with very few places to skirt them, like George is doing here:


We made it to Indian Springs in about 6.5 hours, where Dan G. thankfully left a water cache for us to fill up. From there, we rode the Eagle Lakes jeep road, heading to the Fordyce Bridge. Dan G. was ripping everything on his Ripley:


Rex crossing the Fordyce Bridge, which gets us on the Spaulding Lake Trail:


I just love all the granite on SLT:

(photo by Whit)

Whit wasn't stumped by this spot:


Thanks to all the logs Matt and I (and a couple other awesome BONC & YBONC peeps) cut and cleared a couple months back, SLT was smooth sailing... and it wasn't long until Rex was passing Spaulding Lake (Signal Peak in the background):


After crossing under the huge pipe, we enjoyed about 2.5 miles of mostly descending on the rad Upper Pioneer Trail:


Our only pavement section (besides the finish), was a short stretch from Laings Xing to Bear Valley on Bowman Lake Rd., which put us at Dan G's cache #2... with gatorade, pepsi, water, sandwiches and snicker bars waiting for us. Woo-hoo!
 

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mtb'er
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4,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Part 2:

At this point, I thought singlespeed Ralph would pull the plug and take Dan's vehicle to Nevada City. I thought wrong! He was in for the long haul! Unfortunately for him, the next section of Pioneer Trail had about 4 miles of climbing. I had never been on this portion, and it was very nice:


The dust on the descents was pretty brutal, but if we kept spaced out, it wasn't too bad:


Nearing 6pm, we were starting to lose daylight:


Our first casualty was George, who was fighting some bad cramps and feeling a little nauseous... he had his escape plan on Hwy 20 and the rest of the pack continued on:


Some guys brought lights, some guys didn't... so with the sun going down, suddenly our group ride turned into a "get done as fast as you can"... so the next 10 miles or so of the fantastic Pioneer Trail were a blur:


And fortunately, with fatigue setting in, most of it was nice and smooth and mostly downhill:


Being somewhat unfamiliar with the Pioneer Trail, once it was fairly dark, these markers had reflective properties and really helped me follow the trail (with my light), which was very helpful the last couple miles coming into 5 Mile House:


After 5 Mile House, I wasn't quite sure where to go and if there was a dirt way back to Nevada City proper, so I hopped on Willow Valley Rd. for the last 4 miles or so, to Northridge Restaurant, where the fast guys were filthy and already waiting:


Cold beer was in order... but first, let me take a dirty face group selfie:


IMG_1542_Medium.JPG

It figures the fat bike guy drinks beer out of a fat pitcher :)
IMG_1547_Medium.JPG

And sure enough, singlespeed Ralph rolled in. He did not have to spend any of his own money on beer:


TD 2 NC... that's a wrap!


Thank you Dan G. and mbmattcor for organizing!!!!
 

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Crazed Country Rebel
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6,345 Posts
Part 2:

At this point, I thought singlespeed Ralph would pull the plug and take Dan's vehicle to Nevada City. I thought wrong! He was in for the long haul! Unfortunately for him, the next section of Pioneer Trail had about 4 miles of climbing. I had never been on this portion, and it was very nice:


The dust on the descents was pretty brutal, but if we kept spaced out, it wasn't too bad:


Nearing 6pm, we were starting to lose daylight:


Our first casualty was George, who was fighting some bad cramps and feeling a little nauseous... he had his escape plan on Hwy 20 and the rest of the pack continued on:


Some guys brought lights, some guys didn't... so with the sun going down, suddenly our group ride turned into a "get done as fast as you can"... so the next 10 miles or so of the fantastic Pioneer Trail were a blur:


And fortunately, with fatigue setting in, most of it was nice and smooth and mostly downhill:


Being somewhat unfamiliar with the Pioneer Trail, once it was fairly dark, these markers had reflective properties and really helped me follow the trail (with my light), which was very helpful the last couple miles coming into 5 Mile House:


After 5 Mile House, I wasn't quite sure where to go and if there was a dirt way back to Nevada City proper, so I hopped on Willow Valley Rd. for the last 4 miles or so, to Northridge Restaurant, where the fast guys were filthy and already waiting:


Cold beer was in order... but first, let me take a dirty face group selfie:


View attachment 921843

It figures the fat bike guy drinks beer out of a fat pitcher :)
View attachment 921844

And sure enough, singlespeed Ralph rolled in. He did not have to spend any of his own money on beer:


TD 2 NC... that's a wrap!


Thank you Dan G. and mbmattcor for organizing!!!!
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Empty_Beer again.
 

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I'm a "she".
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Very nice report. Brought back fond memories. I like that route plus the ride around Scott's Lake. Add another 20 miles somewhere, and it could make a quality Tahoe Sierra 100. :)

I remember the waiter's horrified look when I walked into the nice restaurant downtown in Nevada City. He was very nice though. Only when I stepped into the bathroom did I realize how dirty I was. Way worse than Pig-Pen.:D

Long live long rides!
 

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Rad writeup and pics Empty_Beer!!
What a crazy sweet day in the saddle!
Great to meet and ride with you guys!
What's next...?

Nevada City to Truckee of course...Dan G. and I are already plotting...Great to finally ride and meet you Whit. You have mad skillz on and off the bike!

Here's my strava, we changed it up from first run in 2012, adding a new enduro DH scree run off Signal peak. Everybody was up for the challenge.

Mountain Bike Ride Profile | to Nevada City epic near Truckee | Times and Records | Strava
 

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Epic ride! Great write up and I can't believe the guy rode the whole thing on a Fat Bike! Wow!
 

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Wow, awesome ride and writeup! Thanks for posting

Gotta love being able to connect things together like that.
 

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YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Empty_Beer again.

You and your rides rok! :band:

All i did saturday was HITG. Boring....:yawn::yawn::yawn:
 

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mtb'er
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4,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Empty-Beer-J! Nice writeup - that is friggin awesum. i'm jealous...
Ha! G - It only took 6 years to get you to finally post! :cornut:

Mudworm - yeah, I was thinking with a couple additions and possible revisions, this could be a sweet "TS100-Lite" course that more people would find appealing. Hmmmm..... time to play with maps.

I'm glad people enjoyed reading this! I enjoy sharing the photos I take... as well as the one's Meriwether took ;-)

Now I want to finally figure out the best way to go from Echo Summit to Folsom.... there are still a few segments between PonyXP and Sly Park, and Sly Park to the El Dorado Trail that I need to check out.
 
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