Nate Bressler / Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2014
Distance: 490 miles one-way.
Downieville is a true mountain biking town. All three hotels offer bike lockers, and the town's economic plan includes a chapter on mountain biking. Each July, the Downieville Classic Mountain Bike Festival multiplies the town's population of 300 to 3,000. The town has only one grocery store but two full-service bike shops, Downieville Outfitters and Yuba Expeditions. They're the economic engines of this community.
Several times each day during the dry months, shuttle vans loaded with riders and mountain bikes roar out of each shop to the trail head at Packer Saddle, near the summit of Sierra Buttes. An hour or two later, those same riders come screaming down the mountain, crowding the quiet streets with knobby tires and sweaty Lycra.
-- Hugo Martín