The Santa Rosa Cycling Club developed the following guide for an extended supported tour for their members in 2010. The day rides for the tour are popular local long road routes with considerable climbing.
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Over a century ago Californians could follow roads from the Pacific to the Sierras and find food, drink and accommodations. In 1895 a cyclist could find roads from the Bay Area to Sacramento or to Yosemite Valley. Today, cyclists in the Central Valley, Motherlode, and Sierras can patch together rides to these destinations.
Currently, there are over 1000 cyclists in regional bike clubs who ride in the Central Valley, Motherlode, and Sierras. Local and regional bike clubs include: Foothill Cycling Group, Erma’s Diner Cycling Group, Golden Chain Cyclists, Stockton Bike Club, Horizon Bike Club, M360, the San Joaquin Bike Coalition, Delta Velo Race Team, Central Valley Velo, Stanislaus County Bike Club, Bear Valley Bike Club, Alta Alpina, and Project HERO San Joaquin. In addition, an estimated 250 individual cyclists or small groups of friends ride and are not a member of a club.
Each year there are eleven bike events that bring over 4,000 cyclists to the Central Valley, Motherlode and Sierras: Peddling Paths to Independence, Party Pardee, Mr. Frogs Ride, Ride4Art, Lodi Tour de Vines, Sierra Century, Ebbett’s Pass Century, Moms Ride, Golden Hills, Almond Blosom Ride and popular Death Ride. And, finally each year over 1,000 Northern California Nevada Cycling Association Bike racers come to Milton or Cooperopolis to race bikes on Easter Weekend and in August.
It’s clear, the rural roads in the Central Valley, Foothils and Sierras are popular for recreational cycling. What’s unknown is the economic impact of encouraging cycling tourism.
The first week in April the Sacramento Bike and Hikers sponsor the Party Pardee, a one day bike event that occurs in Amador and Calaveras Counties. The ride is popular because of the scenic rolling hills surrounding the Tri Dam Lakes. This event has been held for 26 years and registers over 1,400 cyclists. Prior and after this bike event the 40 miles of roads near Valley Springs Tri Dam are visited by bicycle clubs, groups, and families. There are local businesses that cater to cyclists: Starbucks, Hawg Dogs, Ace Hardware, and Subway. Cyclists stop for a coffee, lunch, or buying a spare bike part. Local camp grounds near Valley Springs are Lake Comanche, Pardee and Hogan that cyclists stay the night before or after their ride.
“Promoting Safe Bicycle Travel Opportunities for Bicycle Tourism,” is a strategic collaboration of transportation agencies from five counties: Tuolumne, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calaveras, and Alpine. The goal of the project is to improve public safety, increase active transportation, and promote economic development through a comprehensive plan to promote bicycle tourism that emphasizes safety improvements on state and local routes across county lines.
The Cycling Tourism Grant is funded by Cal Trans and the final project plan will identify bike routes for enhancing bicycle tourism, with an eye to improving travel conditions for all modes, and for residents’ travel needs as well as those of visitors.
Cal Bike is seeking input from cyclists, business owners, civic leaders, government officals, Bicycle related businesses, and local residents.
This link allows you to participate in shaping Cycling Tourism in the Central Valley, Foothills and Central Sierras.
The survey seeks information about supporting cycling tourism and will be used to study the economic value of supporting cycling tourism.
SUMMER RIDE SERIES
June – September 2020
This summer weekday rides are being planned in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties. Experienced cyclists from the MLBC will lead rides along rural county roads exploring gold rush towns of the Motherlode.
Riding Groups of four are determined at start and during ride: Group 1 Club Pace Group and Group 2 Casual Pace Group.
Valley Springs Home Base
All rides will start and end in Valley Springs. Times change monthly. The core ride is Valley Springs Tri dam loop, with ride options for hills and distance. The Tuesday ride has a brief mid ride break option at the Buena Vista Store, Jackson Valley Road. There are three EBMUD porta potties available on Tri Dam Loop. All cycling skill levels invited to the Tuesday Ride Series and E Bikes Class 1 Ebike.
Exploring Motherlode Gold Rush Towns
Thursday Ride Series
Ride Leader, Rob Williams
Valley Springs to Cooperopolis
San Andreas to Angels Camp/Murphy’s
Valley Springs to Jackson/Butte Mountain
Valley Springs to SutterCreek
Valley Springs to Volano
Valley Springs to Ione
MokeHill to Mtn Ranch
Dorrington to Bear Valley
Bear Valley to Ebbetts Pass
Monday and Friday Ride Series
Ride Leaders, Nikki Grimes and Holly DaRold Acevedo
Clavey Road Climb
Groveland to Evergreen Lodge
Jamestown to Tuolumne City loop (34 miles, ~3200′ elevation gain)
Moccasin (almost) to Tuolumne City loop (40 miles)
Jamestown to Moccasin or Moccasin to Jamestown (30 miles)
Jamestown to Moccasin to Coulterville via New Priest Grade loop (or start in Moccasin in order to climb the Grade in cooler part of day). 55 miles, ~4900′ elevation gain)
Groveland to Greeley Hill to Coulterville to Groveland
(40 miles, ~5000′ elevation gain
C O M I N G This S U M M E R
Bicycle Travel with Camping/Hotels Guidebook
Lodi/Valley Springs/Mokelumne Hill/Carson Pass
- Pardee, Hogan, or Camanche Campgrounds and Hotel Leger
Stockton to Angels Camp/Murphy’s/Ebbett’s Pass
- Salt Springs Resort, Murphy’s Hotel)
Modesto/Knights Ferry/Sonora/Sonora Pass
- Knights Ferry Park,Sonora Hotel/Pinecrest)
Tuesday Evening Time Trials
Valley Springs Lime Creek TT
- More to be announced in June
The MLBC Board is hosting monthly bike rides in Central Foothills and Sierras. Ride details and more information to be published soon! Join us and explore the Motherlode!
Most Popular Rural Cycling Roads in Gold Country
Central Calaveras County
A popular bike route from Angels Camp are the roads often used in the annual Mr Frog Bike Ride held in April. (Map below shows start in Murphy’s) Begin your ride from Mountain Pedaler Bike Store and ride through the hilly neighborhoods of Angels Camp above Greenhorn Creek golf resort. Ride through historic downtown Angels Camp before heading up Highway 4 to the small Gold Rush Camp Vallecito. Its Union Church is a California Historic Landmark. Leaving Vallecito descend down to Parrotts Ferry bridge on New Melones Lake. Return to Highway 4 and head back to Angels camp. Your ride will make a giant loop back through Angels Camp and up to Murphys via Murphys Grade Road. Ride through downtown Murphys and return up French Gulch Road, a favorite local backroad lined with oak trees and hayfields, then back down Murphys Grade Road into Angels Camp.
There are several local restaurants for post ride lunch or coffee at Starbucks.
Route Options from Angels Camp
Dogtown-Calaveritas Out and Back, 28 Miles, Rolling hills and few steep climbs
Dogtown to San Dominican to Stevenot Winery, to Murphy’s
Old Gulch to Michael and Cave City
Why it’s the best
Some of the States most scenic Gold Rush Rural Roads are a short drive from Central Valley, Sacramento and Modesto and 2 hour drive from most Bay Area communities.
How to get there
West Calaveras County offers an never-ending supply of hill climbing in the Foothills, just a short drive from the Central Valley, Sacramento and Bay Area.
From Stockton take CA Highway 4, for 30 miles to Angels Camp
From Highway 49 take Highway 49 to Angels Camp
Best bike shops in Motherlode
Jackson Family Sports 275 CA-88 Jackson, CA
Mountain Pedaler Bicycle 352 S Main St, Angels Camp, CA
Sonora Cyclery 13867 Mono Way Sonora CA
For more information: Call The Motherlode Bicycle Coalition Co-Founder Rob Williams, 209-531-5844 or email email@example.com. Check Meetup: Valley Springs Cyclists
The Motherlode Bicycle Coalition is a fiscally sponsored project of the California Bicycle Education Fund and in Partnership with the Golden Chain Bike Club and Sponsored by Mountain Pedaler, Jackson, and Sonora Bike Stores.