Infamous mountain biking race weekend back for its 20th year
The Downieville Classic is a weekend of racing and partying in the Sierra where riders have to pick one tool for two disciplines: a 29-mile cross country race, and a 15-mile downhill with a 5,000 vertical drop. This year, the event takes place July 30-August 2, 2015.
Downieville is most famous for its races, and riders come to prove themselves hardened and unbreakable.
The Downieville Classic Cross Country race is one of the last remaining point-to-point bicycle races in the United States. The 29-mile course follows a rugged “Gold Rush” era route from the mountain town of Sierra City (elevation 4,100’), to the crest of the Sierra Nevada (elevation 7,100’), and down 5,200 vertical feet into downtown Downieville. It’s considered a tribute to the mountains, the rivers, the big trees, the fresh mountain air and the hard men that carved trails through the river canyons in search of gold and prosperity.
The Classic is followed by the Downieville Downhill, which drops 5,000 vertical feet in 15 miles from Packer Saddle to Downieville. It’s the longest and most demanding downhill mountain bike race in the nation.
Riders participating in both the cross country and downhill races on the SAME bike qualify to enter the All-Mountain Class and vie for the All-Mountain World Championships. Bike companies spend thousands of dollars and countless hours engineering office bound gizmos to mimic the most extreme trail conditions. In Downieville, the All-Mountain Class not only tortures the bikes, the riders get to learn what they’re made of too. Racers compete in both the Point to Point Cross Country and the Downieville Downhill, on the same bike. Riders must choose their weapons wisely; a bike that climbs efficiently, descends with precision, and can handle a high-speed beat down for 46 miles on the way to victory.
Not a racer? Not to worry. Nearly as famous are the Ron’s House of Big Air River Jump, the log pull competition, and a soundtrack of live music.
This race support Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship trail work projects. Sierra Buttes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, preservation and enhancement of recreational trails in Tahoe and Plumas National Forest. For more information about Sierra Buttes, visit sierratrails.org.
For more information about the Downieville Classic and the Downieville Downhill, visit downievilleclassic.com.