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 Sierra 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 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 2:00 – 6:30pm.
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
GOLD NUGGET – Metric Century - 3 aid stations, lunch stop, & post ride dinner. 63.3 miles, 7139’ 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 ride the additional loops of the Motherlode. Take notice of the Lincoln Highway plaque on the front of Tortilla Flats restaraunt on Main Street. The Lincoln Highway turns 101 this year! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
APPLE HILL LOOP – OPTIONAL ADDITION - 1 Water Stop, 1 Aid, 19.8 miles, 2152’ climbing
Extend the fun riding part way up the El Dorado Trail to access the orchards and vineyards of Apple Hill. A water stop (and $1 samples) at Jack Russell Brewery will whet your whistle until your return at the lunch site for more sustenance. Adding this loop to the Gold Nugget Metric will result in a total ride of 83.1 miles with 9291′ of climbing.
WEBER CREEK LOOP - OPTIONAL ADDITION - 1 Aid, 13.6 miles, 1753’ climbing
If the legs are willing discover this very rural loop with a unique crossing of a perennial creek flowing across the road. Some ride through, but most avail themselves of the aid food while the valet carries their bike across. And if it’s toasty some riders enjoy a swim! Adding this loop to the Gold Nugget Metric will result in a total ride of 76.9 miles with 8892′ of climbing.
THE MOTHERLODE - Century - 4 aid stations, lunch stop, & post ride dinner. 96.7 miles,11,044’climbing The Motherlode shares all of the beauty of the Gold Nugget route with addition of the Apple Hill and Weber Creek loops. Following lunch riders will ascend El Dorado Trail to explore the bucolic vineyards and orchards of Camino. Later on where the Gold Nugget riders turn downhill, you, the durable, persevere through the Weber Creek drainage with a last aid station and stream crossing valet. Massage, showers, dinner, live music and beverages await you at our riverside camp!
OTHER COLOMA/LOTUS VALLEY RIDES The following are suggestions for further exploration of the area. They are not part of the event, and are not sagged.
PROSPECTOR GRADE - 6.6 miles, 1,467’ climbing This climb up Prospector Grade and descent down Marshall Grade offers a nice workout and rewarding panoramic view of the Coloma Valley. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
Thompson Hill Loop – 8.9 Miles, 1188′ of climbing
This short loop offers a sampling of what Gold Country cycling is all about. A short climb, a quiet contemplative stretch, and a short but fast descent. This includes the Highway 153 (shortest CA highway) piece and a spin through the Gold Discovery State Park. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ROUTE
Just to say you did it
Reported to be the shortest Highway in California State Route 153 at .5 miles in length is a short scenic ride through history.
Get a glimpse of some of the Gold Nugget and Motherlode route on You Tube