I received a call from my friend EJ last Thursday, and he suggested we spend the upcoming Saturday mountain biking on a “really cool trail outside of Quincy CA.” I objected because I don’t own a legit bike, and I don’t enjoy riding uphill. He successfully overcame my objections by informing me there were numerous bike shops to rent from, there were shuttles that provided rides to the top every hour and the trail was rated as the 8th best trail in the country.
I should have learned by now, I can’t trust his information. He’s that friend. But I did.
Flash forward to our 6:15am departure on Sat morning: Our crew consisted of EJ, our friend Kirby and me. I typed “Quincy” into Google Maps because that’s where I thought we were going. Wrong. We established we were going to Downieville once we were about 45 mins into the drive. Fortunately the route we pursued only added about 15 mins to out trip. For your reference, the best route from Reno is shown below: 80W -> 89 -> 49.
The route we took directed us to 395N toward Quincy, and had us take a detour as shown below. It was still a beautiful drive and therefore the stoke was still high.
Once we arrived in Downieville around 9am, I learned there were only two bike shops. The first bike shop’s shuttle was booked solid for the day, and the shuttle left every 2 hours. Why didn’t I verify EJ’s information again?? I felt so dumb.
The second bike shop was also booked solid for the day. HOWEVER, they had a shuttle leaving in 15 mins and a party of three that hadn’t checked in. We had a party of three and we miraculously got their spots. Good karma was on our side, and I’m glad it worked out since the next “potential” shuttle opportunity would have been at 11am.
I rented a sick Specialized downhill beast for $65. I had never ridden a legit, modern downhill bike until that day, and I can understand why they’re so expensive these days. Everything was engineered to handle the bumps and the speed perfectly, and it did. The shuttle was $20 per person and dropped us off at the very top.
The ride was about 14 miles and about 4500 feet of downhill. It was sick. There was only 1 section with a climb. The trail we took was the Butcher Ranch Creek Trail, and you can read more about the numerous trails HERE. After the ride, I had the most miraculous guacamole burger from the local restaurant. After a hard ride, some calorie-dense soul food is the best.
The video encompasses a brief overview of some of the terrain: fast downhill sections, flowy sections through the trees, gnarly rock sections and beautiful scenery. Since mtn biking is so organic, I decided a raw edit, (no music,) would be more fitting. Click the wheel on the bottom right and choose 1080p for best quality.
If this post inspires you to go ride, I want to hear about it. Leave me a comment and tell me about your experience!