Downieville – All-time conditions ridden at warp speed

Recipe for stoke – 1 part loam, 1 sick crew and 15 miles of raw downhill

All Mountain Trail

Baseball fans have their season opener. Alaskan fishermen have the return of king salmon and T.V. junkies have The Walking Dead. All of us have something we eagerly await each year and for mountain bikers, it usually shows up in the form of their favorite downhill bike park or high-mountain trail. Here in NorCal, we have Downieville. Mile after glorious mile of old mining and moto trails that have been adopted by mountain bikers. The trails are raw and generally best ridden from top to bottom after shuttling to the top. For six months of the year the shuttle services shut down due to snow and trails go silent except for the adventurous souls who climb up to the snow line and descend back down.

If Downieville trails are the veins of this community and mountain bikers are the blood then the shuttle services are most definitely the heart that keeps this region pumping and alive.

If Downieville trails are the veins of this community and mountain bikers are the blood then the shuttle services are most definitely the heart that keeps this region pumping and alive.

Every spring the NorCal forum begins to buzz with questions like “When are the Downieville shuttles starting up?” or “Is Packer Saddle clear of snow yet?” Sometime around early May to early June the shuttles start running again and all is right in the world, of NorCal mountain biking anyway. The Trail Peek boys and a crew of notoriously fast locals hit Downieville this year for the season opener and the result was some of the fastest and rowdiest riding I’ve ever seen on these trails.

Trail Peek’s Dane Petersen finding flow at hyper speed on Butcher Ranch Trail

Trail Peek’s Dane Petersen finding flow at hyper speed on Butcher Ranch Trail

Trail Peek is the brothers Dane and Zach Petersen. Follow their adventures at Trail Peek on Youtube

We are blessed by this beautiful loam we have amongst us. Praise to “Ja-Loam” – Stan Jorgensen

We are blessed by this beautiful loam we have amongst us. Praise to “Ja-Loam” – Stan Jorgensen


About the author: Justin Wages

As a stage 4 colon cancer survivor, Justin Wages got into the cycling world in an effort to increase his endurance after losing his left lung. As a California native and growing up with a skateboard and snowboard beneath his feet it wasn’t long before the thrill of mountain biking gripped him. Justin’s day job as a Land & Recreation Manager helps him understand the balance between conservation and trail use. He also works with his fiancé, Jeni, to bring more women into the mountain bike world with certified skills clinics and education. “My goal is to get more people on trails for health and enjoyment,” he says. “I want to help them overcome their mental or physical limitations and be the best person they can be, while expanding their appreciation for our natural world.”


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