Downieville Biking … Flowing Downhill … Miles of It!
I had heard a lot of about Downieville from various different sources. When I had a chance to go there I took it.
We were the first riders to arrive in town that morning. We had arived in town at 8:15 in preparation to taking the 9:00am shuttle. We hit the public bathrooms, hiked around town a little, then climbed the stairs to Downieville Outfitters … the shuttle company Steve had made arrangements with. I paid for both of us as Steve had driven his car and I was staying in his new house.
The price was right … the first shuttle of the day was $25 and the second only $10. So I gladly paid $70 for our shuttles.
As we got all our gear ready I noticed more and more mountain bikers showing up … from all different directions. Some appeared to come out of nowhere.
Fully loaded the shuttle boss said the remaining 4 riders were going to be riding in the “Standby Vehicle.” Our driver decided to leave so I never got to see what that Standby Vehicle looked like.
** Note – At the end of the day the guy selling tickets said they had shuttled 76 bikes/riders for the day.
I quickly fell into conversation with the two guys sitting next to me (Steve always wants to sit in the shotgun position due to car sickness). They first had spoken to each other about how they wanted to ride the trails, then decided they might want to “smoke a bowl,” before starting. I thought this funny for the last ride I had done on my previous trip (to Montana) I came across 2 riders smoking a joint at the top of a downhill trail.
What seemed even more unusual was when the conversation turned to education, I learned both guys had children and cared a great deal about their kids learning.
The shuttle let us off at the Packer Lake Trailhead. While unloading I noticed almost all the bikes were a brand of All-Mountain bikes. My Camber was the only one with less than 5” of suspension. I bought the Camber mostly for cross country rides knowing I could ride most downhill trails as well as most other people, as long as we were not doing anything over 3 foot drops (which we didn’t). It has been my experience most bikers think they need 5 to 6 inches of travel and they really don’t. I saw nothing on these runs that would necessitate more than my 4 inches of travel … and I was looking.
- The White balloon marks the Packer Lake Trailhead, the beginning of both Run #1 (in yellow below ) and Run #2 (in red below).
- The blue “P” shows where we parked in Downieville.
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To learn about our first run down this flowing singletrack please click Run 1.