Week 7
Ten hours in the car. If anyone has driven across Utah and Nevada, then you’ll understand we were in for some serious nothingness. Our only hope was the Bonneville Salt Flats (where a bridal fashion shoot happened to be taking place), and a stop at Pizza Hut on the Nevada border. Our grand plan was to break up this beast of a drive with a sleep in the car along the way (don’t tell my mum). But after cold pizza for breakfast, it was all worth it when we arrived in Mammoth, California.

Mammoth is another one of those great innovative places that decided ‘hey, let’s just use the chairlifts in the summer too’. Voila! Dirt is suddenly cool in this winter town. We were stoked to spend the day riding in this playground with heaps of trails and lifts to choose from. What makes this place unique is its surface; super loose ground mixed with cement bricks. Almost every corner is paved on the popluar jump line tracks, making it crazy fast. After a big day on the trails we headed back to our campsite for a feed.

Next up was a wee stop in Lake Tahoe, California. Ash’s lovely friend Amanda put us up for a few days and showed us what the locals are really passionate about: snow. Okay so we weren’t there at quite the right time of the year, but we did get to an outdoor premier of a new ski movie (think Gardens Magic if you live in Wellington).

We had heard about this place called Downieville, and just so happened to see the rad video on Spoke while we were in Tahoe and had to go check it out.

This small town of 800 people is home to gold mining and an awesome series of trails making up the Downieville Downhill. The local shop provides a map and a shuttle up to the start of the ride. Word (ha) on the street is that the course record is 37 minutes for this 17 mile track. Our mission: under an hour. Well, when we hit 1 hour 20, we realised someone is full of shit, ’cause we are fast as.

Needless to say it was still super fun riding over baby head boulders along the river. A totally great side trip for anyone in the area.

From the small towns of northern California, we are making our way to the coast for our last week in America. San Francisco is the next stop. Bring on the big smoke!



0 Responses

  1. Yup. Done that drive across Utah and Nevada. It’s a big chunk of tarmac toget behind you for sure. We headed down from Brian Head enroute to Yosemite. Right into the path of a distant lightening storm in a spectacular night display over various Nevada peaks. It was a great show from a distance but then the interstate veered around towards it. Eventually we had to pull over after succumbing to weariness resulting from multiple doses of singletrack. In the morning we woke with 6 inches of snow on top of the van. My bro was out in his tent in the cold with chattering teeth…..good times. America. Big drives go with the territory but the rewards are worth it! Lots of singletrack!! If ya haven’t been, make it happen.

  2. I seem to remember it taking me about 1 hour 20 to ride the Downieville classic descent too. But I was on my own so being pretty careful, and I rode the 1300metre climb too so I was a bit weary…

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