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Riding Plumas County – A Route For The Bucket List

June 10, 2012

Plumas county lies north of beautiful Northstar California and Lake Tahoe, west of the Reno area, and is a few quick hours east of Sacramento.  It’s also home to countless lakes, rivers, and streams that will occupy any water enthusiast and many professional grade golf courses.  What’s termed the “Crown Jewel” of the area is the Lakes Basin.  This area is home to Gold Lake, The Sierra Buttes, and the incredible Gold Lake Highway.

Though Plumas county is large, small towns speckle the area.  They range from Portola and Quincy off of highway 70, Blairsden and Graeagle along hwy 89, Sierraville and Loyalton out in the Sierra Valley, Sierra City and of course the legendary town of Downieville.

Anyone who has thrown a leg over a mountain bike knows all about Downieville and the amazing trails that wind their way through the forest.  In preparing for races like the Downieville Classic, (Sierra Cup races, etc.) Plumas county is a great place to log many miles and hours on the road bike for building strength and endurance.

Recently, Ride Giant-Ride Northstar riders Stephen Berg and Ryan Icanberry headed out on an incredible training ride.  They rolled out of Graeagle and headed towards Portola (road A-15).  Once in Portola the riders climbed up to the picturesque Lake Davis.  Though it is a tough climb to get there, the descent down Grizzly road towards hwy 70 makes every memory of pain and struggle disappear.  Fast twisty corners, perfectly smooth tarmac, no gravel or traffic make the route perfect!

After finishing the decent on hwy 70, Ryan and Steve headed towards Yuba Pass via A-23 (also the course for the district time trials).  A-23 takes you to a small town called Sattley where Hwy 89 breaks off to Hwy 49.  From Sattley they  grinded their way up to the top of Yuba Pass which is then followed by a fun descent down into Bassetts.

Bassetts has a great little cafe and country store, the perfect place to refill bottles and grab a snack.  The last climb begins once you leave the cafe parking lot.  Trying to focus on your form is difficult on this last climb.  Your screaming legs, pounding heart rate, and overall exhaustion are quickly forgotten as your attention is pulled towards the incredible scenic beauty of the Sierra Buttes.  As you climb up to the final summit, you are rewarded with a feverishly fast descent down Gold Lakes Hwy into Graeagle.

Adding to the pleasure of  Ryan and Steve’s ride was the unmatched performance of their kinectic machines.   Riding a Giant TCR Advanced SL 3 and a Giant TCR Advanced 1,  Giant TCR technology in this country seems to flatten the climbs and smooth out any bumps along the way.  The descents are made with full confidence and leaves you wanting more.

So, if you are ever in the Plumas county with a road bike, this route is great for either training or for pleasure, it’s a must.  The route is a giant loop and it can be ridden in both directions-preferrable opposite of the direction we rode. Don’t forget to hit the Undercover Ale Works here in Graeagle/Blairsden for some incredible craft beer after you ride.

If you are looking for a fun ride event in the Plumas county area, be sure to check out the Tour De Manure in Sierraville next weekend on Saturday, June 16, 2012!  You can register at: www.active.com $50/$60.  Learn more here, http://www.sierravillefireandrescue.com/biketour.html.

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