Gold Country Cycling Challenge Returns to Grass Valley |

Gold Country Cycling Challenge Returns to Grass Valley

The Rotary Club of Grass Valley announces the fifth Annual Gold Country Cycling Challenge on Saturday, May 19, starting and finishing at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.  The Gold Country Cycling Challenge features a century ride, two “metric century” rides, and a half metric bike ride (100/75/55/35 miles).

Ride through the heart of California’s gold rush; the beautiful and historic backcountry of Nevada County. Surrounding the charming mining era towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City, you’ll ride through some of the most beautiful landscape California has to offer. From forests and rivers to farms and vineyards, discover why the Amgen has selected to ride through Nevada County on multiple occasions.

Road safety will be stressed with the presence of Nevada County Sheriff, Grass Valley & Nevada City Police Department, and California Highway Patrol vehicles on the route at all times.  The event includes fully stocked rest stops, a lunch at the halfway point, experienced SAG and ride marshals, bike mechanics, and a bike safety check at the Fairgrounds.


~The Century

Not for the faint of heart, the Century includes roads ridden by the Amgen Pros. It’s a challenging, 100 mile adventure with 10,000  of climbing. Starting at the Nevada County fairgrounds, you’ll skirt Grass Valley and ride through sections of Nevada City before heading north to the South Yuba River watershed. You’ll rest in rustic North San Juan before heading further north to catch some stunning vistas of the Yuba River. You’ll loop back to the south and enjoy a quick break at Bridgeport State Park which features a historic covered bridge spanning the Yuba River and stunning displays of wildflowers. You’ll then continue south to lunch at Williams Ranch School. After lunch you’ll ride past vineyards, horse and cattle ranches to the northern border of Placer County before looping back to the fairgrounds. A challenging and spectacular 100 miles.

~The “Metric” Challenge

This 74 mile “metric” ride might be shorter than the century, but will still be a challenge with7,000’ of climbing. You’ll follow the same route north as the Century ride, including past Amgen routes. After your Bridgeport break and lunch, you’ll head south past vineyards and horse ranches taking a shorter, more direct route back to the fairgrounds. This is the perfect ride for those of you wanting a little less than a century, but more than a routine metric.

~The Milder “Metric”

Want a stunning ride with a little less mileage and a few less hills? Try the “milder metric.” It is 54 beautiful miles with about 5,000of climbing. You’ll ride the same route as the longer metric, but turn south at North San Juan, eliminating the Northern loop. You’ll follow the same route to Bridgeport, lunch and home as the Metric Challenge.

~Half Metric

This 35 mile ride will climb approximately 3,500 and includes some of the most beautiful landscape in Nevada County. From the fairgrounds, you’ll follow the Century route until you’re north of Nevada City. You’ll descend down Newtown Rd. towards the Yuba River watershed and rejoin the Metric route at the lunch stop. After lunch you’ll stay on the Metric route as it heads south and then loops back to the fairgrounds. They’ll be ample SAG support at the bottom of the last hill heading home in case you (or your legs) have “run out of gas.”

After your ride, enjoy a great post-ride party at the Nevada County Fairgrounds featuring Bill’s Chuck Wagon BBQ and Rotary’s own chefs creating a delicious, unique hot meal, ‘ol Republic beer and wine (or chocolate milk if you prefer), and music.   Vegi tarian meals are available.


The Gold Country Challenge is promoting “Give ‘Em Three”—a new law, requiring motorists to allow three feet when passing a bicyclist on the road. Proceeds from the event benefit the Rotary Club of Grass Valley’s youth activities – Lyman Gilmore School, College Scholarships, youth leadership training, Rotary Youth Exchange, speech and music contests, and literacy promotion activities.

The youth themselves get involved with the ride, as well, helping to earn those funds from the event. Lyman Gilmore Leadership Club is manning the Lunch Rest Stop at Williams Ranch School, and NEO is responsible for the stop at Magnolia School.  “We do this as an effort to get the kids involved with charity work and to teach them leadership skills,” said Robert Long, a member of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley and one of the planners of the Gold Country Cycling Challenge.  “Almost 35% of the revenue generated by the event goes to charity.  Charity being the youth activities our club promotes — Scholarships to both four year and technical colleges, youth leadership programs, international student exchange, Lyman Gilmore and Union Hill Middle schools, as well as donations to Sober Grad night and other youth oriented organizations.”

To register or to volunteer for this great event, go to

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