Spoke ‘n Words: Know the hot spots where to ride this spring
Spoke 'n Words
Editor’s note: This week’s Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing column, written by team member Conrad Snover, is the first of a two-part series breaking down local bike rides, focusing on spring road cycling and mountain biking. Stay tuned for next week’s column: The local’s guide to summer riding.
Now that the weather is changing, it’s time to put the summer storage wax on the skis and dust off your bike. Lube your chain and pump up your tires ” it’s time to ride.
Many of us have been riding for months already, and are eagerly anticipating the opening of all our favorite local routes so we no longer have to drive off the hill to ride.
Here’s a quick guide to some of our favorite local rides:
Baxter (Open most of the year): The Baxter exit off Interstate 80 is close to Truckee and is a nice gateway to small back roads in the Sierra foothills, winding through tiny towns all the way to Colfax.
Colfax to Grass Valley (Open all year): Take Tokoyana Road to Dog Bar Road to Magnolia to McCourtney all the way to Grass Valley. Stop at the Flour Garden Bakery for great sandwiches and coffee, then ride up through Empire Mine State Park to Rattlesnake Road to Dog Bar Road and back up Tokoyana.
Iowa Hill Loop (Open spring through fall): Park in Colfax and ride on the beautiful, steep, narrow Iowa Hill road down the canyon, over the river, up through the town of Iowa Hill, and all the way to Foresthill Road. Take this to Auburn, then hop on Historic Highway 40 back to the car.
Auburn to Lincoln: (Open all year): Create a loop on roads like Mt. Vernon, Virginiatown and Chili Hill. Start at Auburn Bike Works, then be sure to stop at the Brickhouse Coffee Co. in Lincoln to caffeinate for the uphill ride back to the car.
Explore on your own: Pull out a map of an area that looks interesting (or just zoom around using Google maps) and look for the thin little squiggly white roads to explore. Those are the fun ones for riding, as they typically translate to smaller roads with less traffic.
Auburn (Open all year): Thanks to the Folsom-Auburn Trail Riders Association (www.fatrac.org), you can now link the Manzanita, Foresthill Loop, Culvert and Stagecoach trails together for 30 miles of swoopy, non-technical singletrack fun. But watch out. The poison oak can be thick! Do not miss the opportunity for a meal at David’s Thai to refuel after the ride.
Washington (Open spring through fall): Climb fire roads then descend on the fast and fun Missouri Bar trail, returning to the car on the breathtaking Yuba River trail. But watch out for poison oak! Be sure to stop at the Washington Hotel’s cafe after your ride to immerse yourself in gold-rush history and enjoy a beer and burger or fish and chips.
Other rides: The Commemorative Emigrant Trail is traditionally the first local trail to melt out, while the Forest Service Road 06 area is usually the second area to melt out. The big network of roads and trails around the 06 Forest Service road in Sierra Meadows presents many options.
” Team rider Conrad Snover is the author of this week’s Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing column. Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing is a Truckee-based cycling team focused on racing and local bike advocacy. For more information, results and upcoming events, visit http://www.cwcracing.org.
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