Forest City, the New Downieville
The bumper sticker says "Follow Your Bliss", and if you are a mtn biker,
your bliss could likely be located in Forest City, a place you have probably
never heard of.
According to the sign before entering town, the population is 40, and if
that is true then about 50% of the home owners who live in Forest City like
to build and ride singletrack tails.
Over the past 3 years, local volunteers, the Forest Service, Bicycle Trails
Council of Marin, Forest City homeowners, and the Forest Knolls Freewheelers
have been building bike legal singletrack in the hills around this historic
mining town about 25 miles from Nevada City.
The only thing more fun than riding new rolling singletrack, is riding on
new singletrack that you help build the day before. That was the case this
weekend, as Lisa Luzzi hosted her second trailbuilding/partying/riding
weekend of the summer.
On Saturday, 12 volunteers, using chair saws, clippers, and digging tools,
cleared and brushed approximately 1 mile of mostly level singletrack that
follows the historic Pike Ditch waterway. This connected to another 5 miles
of trail that had already been built.
That night, after a successful day of trailwork, we partied to the wee hours
of maybe 9 or 10 pm, and then Sunday, an even dozen of us set out to ride a
classic Forest City singletrack loop, which of course included the new trail
we put in the day before.
Can a route be called "classic" if you are the first people to ever ride it?
Don't know, but we did a spectacular 25 mile loop ride, that included about
19 miles of rolling singletrack, and 6 miles of very quiet pavement. The
trails rolled through deep pine forests, with some opening in the woods
where we would stop to enjoy the views and have a safety break.
The ride started at 9:30 am on singletrack from the front of Lisa's house,
and we got back at about 4pm, descending on a trail that came down to the
back of her home. Cool, she owns a home in the middle of a great bike loop.
The singletrack was mostly buff, great fun for someone like me who likes
intermediate technical trails, but there were some difficult stream
crossings and steep switchbacks, where I walked, that would challenge the
most technically proficient riders. (Michael More, who tried a very tough
switchback, crashed on his 4th attempt, smashing his knee on a rock and
ending his ride prematurely.)
I had trouble keeping track of all the trail names, but the Forest City
Flume Trail (some locals call it the Truckee Flume Trail) is one of the most
enjoyable legal bike trails in this part of the state. SWEET!
If you have done the major Downieville rides, and interested in some new
territory, on trails built by mtn bikers for mtn bikers, way off the beaten
path, on trails where you will never see another hiker, equestrian, or
anyone else on a bike, check out Forest City.
Right now there are no trail signs, no trail maps, no guidebooks, and no
information on the web about these trails, (this will change in the future)
so for details contact Lisa at email@example.com
PS- Oh yeah. If you have done the Downieville Downhill, check out the Forest
City Mexican Mine downhill, that starts in Forest City, and ends down at
Goodyear's Bar, on the North Fork of the Yuba. From here either car shuttle
back, or climb on your bike 12 miles up a dirt road back to Forest.