All riders can look forward to a delicious, riverside barbecue dinner following the ride served between 2:30 and 6:30 pm.
All distances and climbing data is provided by RidewithGPS.com . DON’T PANIC! Much of the longer routes are hilly with some steep climbs although shorter than most mountain passes. Those with Garmin computers and other cycling clubs feel RidewithGPS.com’s stats are inflated by about 20%. Some riders completed the Motherlode as their first full century, but it should not be underestimated. Regardless the longest route with the optional Prospector Grade Route is great training for the Alta Alpina Challenge, or Death Ride!
We recommend all riders start between 6:30 and 8:00 am. Please use the Aid Station Operation Hours on the Safety and Support page as a guide.
GOLD DUST - Half Metric -1 aid station, post ride dinner. 28 miles, 3009’ climbing This is a relaxing introduction to the bicycling options of Northern El Dorado County. Leaving Lotus cyclists enjoy a very gradual climb to the community of Cool on Highway 49 ”The Golden Chain Highway”. Approximately eight miles further on Highway 193 you will turn to enjoy the quiet of Greenwood Road. A short climb brings you to the bucolic agricultural town of Garden Valley and then be sure to stop to take in the panoramic view of the Coloma Valley before an exhilarating descent down Marshall Grade to the finish. Freshen up, take in a self guided tour of the Gold Discovery State Park, enjoy some tasting at the local wineries, or just sit by the river and enjoy a good read. Be sure to return to camp for our riverside BBQ dinner served from 3:00 – 6:00 pm.
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
GOLD NUGGET – Metric Century – 2 aid stations, lunch stop, & post ride dinner. 64 miles, 7205’ climbing Where the Gold Dust riders descend Marshall Grade you will turn left and spin some big gears down Garden Valley Road and then descend to Rock Creek. The steady ascent of Rock Creek Road offers the sublime views of the South Fork of the American River canyon above Chili Bar Resevoir, and concludes with a refreshing aid station at Finnon Resevoir. Replenished you will experience the thrilling descent to the South Fork of the American River. Crossing the historic Mosquito Road Suspension Bridge (originally put into service in 1867) you get out of the saddle for the climb up to Placerville. This portion of the canyon is the centerpiece of the ride and you will want your camera!
While being rewarded with a delicious lunch in Placerville you can ponder the mostly downhill return to Lotus, or elect to go the additional distance of the Motherlode. Take notice of the Lincoln Highway plaque on the front of Tortilla Flats restaraunt on Main Street. The Lincoln Highway turns 100 this year! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
THE MOTHERLODE - Century - 3 aid stations, lunch stop, & post ride dinner. 94 miles,10,873’climbing Where the Gold Nugget riders turn downhill, you, the durable, persevere heading west on very rural roads, and can soon benefit from pace lines on significant portions of the loop. A short cruise brings you to the last aid near Rescue (no hidden meaning) followed by an easy roll to the river and then the last climb (1000′) to Pilot Hill. From here it is a fast, slight downhill spin back to camp with dinner and beverages waiting. Combining the Motherlode with Prospector Grade is a great training ride for The Death Ride. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
PROSPECTOR GRADE Bonus - 6.6 miles, 1,467’ climbing For those with the legs, lungs and desire the optional climb up Prospector Grade and descent down Marshall Grade offers a final challenge and rewarding panoramic view of the Coloma Valley. This loop is sagged at the end of the day so please do not ride it in the morning. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
Reported to be the shortest Highway in California State Route 153 at .5 miles in length is scenic and in our neighborhood. This is not one of the official routes and does not offer SAG support. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
Get a glimpse of some of the Gold Nugget and Motherlode routes on You Tube