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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm coming down for Sea Otter Classic from Idaho. The dates are perfect, they landed right in between my two semesters. I want to ride some trails up north near Downeyvile. I remember some folks here talking about some sweet trails up in that area, but I'm really open for any suggestions. My buddy and I are stopping in Reno on the way down and I thought the next day we can take it easy and ride some trails and finish the last 3-4 hours down to San Jose. Thanks in advance for any advice.

I have to say I miss Cali. I moved from San Jose up to Idaho last year to finish school and I'm over the long snow filled winters. Good news is I'm done in December, hopefully I can find work back home.

Thanks everyone :thumbsup:

Pete
 

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Sea Otter is in April? I doubt Downieville trails will be open by then. Most of the high country will still be snowed in or too wet to ride.

Driving from Reno to SJ, it sounds like Auburn would be a good option for you.
 

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Auburn definitely. People say what they will about it but if you get to the bottom of Culvert without a HUGE, $#!+ eating grin on your face, you need your head examined.
 

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Pipeline at Toro Park is definitely worth the shitty climb. And it's right next to Laguna Seca. Also, definitely stop in Auburn. The riding is awesome and good eats and beers afterwards. I'm partial though since I'm from Auburn but the riding is really good. Might as well stop if you're passing through.
 

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If you're stopping in Reno, you might consider riding Peavine. My in-laws are just outside Reno, and I (from the SF area) look forward to riding Peavine every chance I get. In my (XC-oriented) opinion, it ranks up there with Annadel and Skeggs, so long as you aren't trying to ride it in the middle of summer and you aren't bothered by folks enjoying their shotguns in some of the more remote areas. Check out http://www.greatbasinbicycles.com/sites/default/files/maps/Peavine-Mountain.pdf, Poedunk and Peavine Trails | The Bacon Strip for parking/trail map info. I can recommend some routes if you're interested.

Generally speaking, the lower-elevation stuff is fun, but you can ride most of it in about an hour and a half. If you push up to the higher stuff, you can add another 1-2 hours of singletrack sweetness without repeating sections.

If you are really into making it an epic, climb to the very top of Peavine Mountain, then head down the Verdi Downhill (aka Cow Canyon Downhill). It's a pretty easy side-road trip back from the bottom of this 3,000 foot downhill to the Keystone parking lots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It sounds like we might have to ride in Auburn and Reno. Thank for the feedback guys!
AKD I'll PM you on the details for your suggestion if that's cool?
 

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You're welcome to PM if you want to give me an idea of how long you want to ride (time or distance/elevation), or the style of ride you want.

Just in case I'm slow to respond, here are some general points of advice.

Peavine is mostly unsigned. What few signs there are do not correlate with the Poedunk, Bacon Strip, or bike shop maps. There are BLM markers in places that mostly exist to get shot by ATV-mounted shotgun enthusiasts, but they don't tell you where you are, or where you are going. Thus, if you have a Garmin or some other GPS app and can follow someone else's track, this is a great place to use it. I had to do three trial-and-error trips to put together my favorite loop. That said, I don't regret any of my "oops, wrong way" trips - as long as you stay on single track, you won't get too far lost (and it's downhill back to the parking lot).

My favorite loop is best explained by this map: http://thebaconstrip.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/peavine_map.pdf.

From the East Keystone trailhead (off North McCarran, just above the water tank), head north up Keystone Canyon. This is a somewhat-rocky but mellow gentle uphill grade. After about 15-20 minutes, you'll come out of the canyon and to a clearing, with radio towers straight ahead. The single track will dump you onto a fire road, where you turn left. After a short time (3 min pedaling easy), you'll pick the single track up on your right. Take it - it winds up another mellow incline. When you get to a 3-way junction (where "rabbitman blast"and "tad dunbar can't see his feet" meet the single track from the radio tower th), take the right-hand junction onto Tad Dunbar. Follow this up (it gets a little steep) until you cross a fire road and come to a snowboard bench (this is "Goddess of Peavine Point"). Follow the single track across the fire road to "valle de los escorpiones" - this will be a brief downhill, then back uphill. You'll come to a three-way intersection, where you should bear right. This winds uphill through some banked, sandy S-turns, eventually dropping you onto a fire road. Note -don't take the single track that branches off to your right - it's a super fun downhill, but takes you back to the snowboard bench.

Follow the fire road up about 150 yards (it's the little green stretch) to a single track that branches off to your right. This is the beginning of "the bong trail." Follow this the brief but super steep uphill to another snowboard bench. Turn left at the bench, cross the fire road, and hit the single track that picks up immediately in front of you. This is "the bacon strip." From here, as far as I know, all single track leads back on a super fun downhill to the trailhead. There are a couple weird intersections, but follow the bike tire tread and you'll have a super fun 30 minute downhill back to your car.

This loop takes about 2.5 hours for a reasonably fit rider to finish. It's mostly smooth, sandy single track, with some amazing views of the backside of Mt. Rose (and Reno, and Sparks…). There aren't any drops or jumps or other features, but there's always the fun of guessing whether the berm will support a fast turn, or whether it's going to give way.

If you want a more "enduro" style course, do some searches for "Peavine Enduro" - there's a legit rock drop and some other features on the "entrail" trail, but I have only gone that way a few times.

One last note - I always wear bright colors when I ride Peavine, as you never know when you'll come across someone shooting a shotgun (or larger caliber weapon) up some obscure canyon. That said, everyone's super friendly - this is much more of a mountain crowd than a city crowd. Everyone I have encountered is happy to give directions, and a couple of the gun folk have offered me a beer when I rode by.

Good times! Let me know when you're coming through. If it's at all close to Easter, I may be up there myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
AKD, thanks for the detailed instructions. That's something I love about our mtb community, most people are very friendly and helpful. I'm pretty sure we will be up there on April 10th sometime during the morning. We'll see how late we get into Reno on the 9th. We have had a light year up here in Rexburg with snow fall, so I have actually been able to get out on my road bike, but it's booty cold at around 25-35F at it's warmest.
 
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