Long Live Long Rides! Tahoe-Donner to Nevada City on dirt!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Long Live Long Rides! Tahoe-Donner to Nevada City on dirt!

    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 Negro 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 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!

  2. #2
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    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:


    Long Live Long Rides! Tahoe-Donner to Nevada City on dirt!-img_1542_medium.jpg

    It figures the fat bike guy drinks beer out of a fat pitcher
    Long Live Long Rides! Tahoe-Donner to Nevada City on dirt!-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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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    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:


    Click image for larger version. 

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    It figures the fat bike guy drinks beer out of a fat pitcher
    Click image for larger version. 

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    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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  6. #6
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    EPIC

    The post ride pics are the best

  7. #7
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    Best write-ups on the web. I been waitin' on this one--closest I'll ever get. Super fantastico!

  8. #8
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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.

    Long live long rides!
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  9. #9
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    Long Live Long Rides! Tahoe-Donner to Nevada City on dirt!

    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...?



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Legend. Great pics and story. Thanks

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Meriwether;11437568]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

  12. #12
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    What a great read on a Monday morning to dodge work!

    P

  13. #13
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    Badass. I'm jealous!
    Sometimes you eat the trail, sometimes the trail eats you.

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  14. #14
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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!

  15. #15
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    well f**king done boys. great write-up as usual Jeff!

  16. #16
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    Wow, awesome ride and writeup! Thanks for posting

    Gotta love being able to connect things together like that.

  17. #17
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    Empty-Beer-J! Nice writeup - that is friggin awesum. i'm jealous...

  18. #18
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Empty_Beer again.

    You and your rides rok!

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

  19. #19
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    Very impressive. Great report.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    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!

    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.
    Last edited by Empty_Beer; 09-10-2014 at 02:37 PM.

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=Meriwether;11437568]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...?



    Truckee to Downieville...to Nevada City. That'll be a goodie. Still savoring teenager heads though! Fat, ugly, rideable, teenager heads.

  22. #22
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    Very nice work, Fellas!

    As always E_B, very thorough and entertaining TR!

    This ride was on my list for this summer until I was sidelined with a broken hand. I'm still hopeful to get it done in late October if I can rehab quickly enough. PM me if anyone is interested in that action.

    I was kicking around the idea of finishing the ride by exiting the Pioneer and dropping down Alpha road to Washington and picking up the South Yuba Trail, similar to the last half of the Big Brothers Big Sister ride. But rather than take N. Bloomfield back to town, connect with the Round Mountain trail system and finish on the last few paved miles to NC.
    But... I suspect I'll want nothing to do with that plan by the time I hit the upper pioneer.

    These trip reports certainly keep the stoke high!
    Cheers

    -Shon

  23. #23
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    Damn, that is my kind of ride! An all day epic! I've fallen out of shape since last year (Damn you 'life'), but it won't be long when I am ready to take this on. The question will be 29+ SS (major props to Whit of Meriwether bikes for fixing my frame), or steel 1x9??? This ride is officially on my list.
    Thanks again for sharing AND providing some motivation.
    I no longer deserve a signature. :skep:

  24. #24
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    Long Live Long Rides! Tahoe-Donner to Nevada City on dirt!

    Teenager heads...still laughing at that.

    NC to D-ville and back?
    NC to Truckee? On a different route?
    South Lake to Folsom?
    I'm in!

    SOB your Ti single is sweet but we'll have to show you a pic of Ralph's face halfway through the ride before you commit...

  25. #25
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    Ralph is a tough mofo, we had nearly 30 miles of ST to go, and he looked like a vegetable but soldiered on. I want that guy in my army...

  26. #26
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    73 miles, lol. This goes on next summer's list. I'm not familiar with the trails up there. Did you map this ride? If so can you post a link, it'd be nice to have that info. thxs

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    Full Pull!
    Nice one!

  29. #29
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    Great Ride!

    This report brings back fond memories; in the dim times (late 1970's) I lived in Grass Valley (Rough and Ready PO Box actually) and wanted to trek the original Emigrant Trail (Donner route). Did most of it but not in one shot; by XC ski, by hiking, by moto, by car and a little bit by bike (before the invention of MTB from my perspective; must have been on a 15 spd Nishiki).

    Hoped to tie it all together but wound up moving back to the Silly-con Valley.

    Oh-well...
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  30. #30
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    Wow what an amazing time. Great trip report. How does one get invited on such adventures? I am down in Chico and I dream of all-terrain explorations like these...

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by feel View Post
    Wow what an amazing time. Great trip report. How does one get invited on such adventures? I am down in Chico and I dream of all-terrain explorations like these...
    It helps to meet/ride with/do trail work with fellow mtbr.com riders. Next thing you know, you're getting invited on unpublicized adventures

  32. #32
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    Epic. I hope to work up to this someday, well beyond my longest dirt ride to date. You guys should post here again if you plan another.

  33. #33
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    Awesome ride. Great write up and all the photo documenting as you went is super cool. Great post EB.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by feel View Post
    Wow what an amazing time. Great trip report. How does one get invited on such adventures? I am down in Chico and I dream of all-terrain explorations like these...
    It probably helps if they know you, and ... if you are not a lady. Last time, after I signed up, others all dropped out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Syncro View Post
    73 miles, lol. This goes on next summer's list. I'm not familiar with the trails up there. Did you map this ride? If so can you post a link, it'd be nice to have that info. thxs
    Mr. Mud and I did a long version of the ride in July (83 miles). Here is our report and photos of this ride in this thread. Here is our .gpx track, which included a singletrack tour by the beautiful Scotts Lake:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nb7ynjs2a4...rsion.gpx?dl=0 . This ride was pretty much all dirt until starting to drop off to Scotts Lake. I remember people were quick to criticize that we didn't do some secrete (illegal?) single tracks some where near Nevada City. Guess we were held to a high standard.

    I think this ride is fairly friendly for explorers on their own (or in a small group setting) with low consequences of screw-ups due to its close proximity to popular fishing and hiking destinations and busy highways (in contrast to the 2014 Tahoe Sierra 100 route).
    Inch by inch, I will get there...
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