Friday, October 26, 2012

More goofing off, this time in Downieville and Forest

Nim's school had a teacher training day on the 15th, giving us a bonus three-day weekend.  As we hadn't been up to Downieville in a while, this seemed like a natural thing to do -- especially given that the weather was still good for mountain biking.  For Christmas last year, Linda gave us a weekend in a friend's rustic cabin up in Forest that needed to be used before the snow started.

For those not in the know, the small hamlet of Forest, CA is a Gold Rush town up a dirt road from Downieville that hasn't quite achieved ghost town status.  There are a few funky cabins dating back from the late 1800's, a picnic table, and an old bar/dance hall building.  And mountain bike trails.  Some of the most beautifully-designed trails for bikes that I've ever had the pleasure of riding, thanks to the efforts of the Forest Trail Alliance.  Chad, being a former local, knows the guys who built these trails and had ridden them previously.  Their project has really gained a lot of momentum; every time we head up in that direction, there are new sections to play on.

We knew what to expect in terms of trail fun, but this time had the advantage of actually staying in town in a rustic, but cozy cabin.  The structure itself was an interesting patchwork of additions that originally probably dated back as far as anything else in town.

Chad was amused by all of the wacky old things hidden about the house.

He was also very good about making sure we had a cozy fire the first night, when it was a bit chilly.

The riding, of course was fun.  We finally got around to exploring the Plum Valley Ditch trail, where we had previously been thwarted due to grumpy mine owners and logging activity.  It's now open and clear to ride.  After the drop down the singletrack, Chad led us through the maze of dirt roads back up to the Truckee Ditch trail and back to town.

We also enjoyed the usual trails up on the ridge and on Sandusky. I just can't wait until they get around to building the connector trail back down to the river and Downieville.  One could then do an epic ride from Downieville down the North Yuba Trail to Goodyears Bar, up Mountain House Road (dirt), around all the fun trails in Forest, and then down the new connector trail back to Downieville in time for dinner.  It'll be glorious!  Unlike the "traditional" Downieville trails, the esthetic here is more that of good flowing lines through the woods than crazy technical downhill racing -- though there are many side features and jumps for temporary moments of insanity.

 Can you spot the rider?
Here I am!

Clear evidence that more trails are coming in.

All in all, a good weekend.  We exercised the truck's low gears crawling down Galloway road on the way back down to town to pick up Nimue from Linda's house before heading back into the sunset toward home.

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