Fun in the Sierra

The Grinduro is a race, and we are not too much into racing, but man, the GRINDURO looked like such a fun event, and a great way to spend a long weekend exploring California's remote Sierra

Typically our XPDTN3 trips follow a loose course map or general direction and often plot the actual path as we go. For the Grinduro event, we need a bit more familiarity with the layout and pre-race guides and ample signage ensured we wouldn’t wander too far into the vast maze of forest service roads.

Check the 2016 official Grinduro video to get a glimpse of what it was all about:


Quincy, CA is far removed from the urban landscape of SoCal and the bulging communities surrounding the Bay in NorCal. The remote location made for a several hour drive the day before for most participants and on-site camping was a communal event. Riders shared everything from pre-race course and set up tips to campfires and refreshments.

After clarification of the ground rules and the last few sips of espresso we were off. As an “Enduro” style event there wasn’t a mad rush to race away from the start line; in fact we casually rolled away from the campground and onto the day’s first and largest climb, the last couple km of which would be timed. It was the perfect scenario to get warmed up as the sun peered through the pines and riders shed the morning layers of warm clothes.

The short lung-busting climb up over 2500m of elevation was over quickly and riders who completed the segment gathered to cheer on the individuals as they rolled into the Stage 1 finish. An aid station provided breakfast of beer, bacon, and bottles along with gels, energy bars and any bicycle service needed.

After the first uphill segment, we had more casual miles to log to get to the first fire-road downhill. From the top of the hillside, Mother Nature continued to show off her work.

The relaxed pace up the first climb during the untimed portion allowed for sight-seeing and conversations not typically afforded during a race format. Once we hit the timing mats though, the competitiveness was palpable

Temps had warmed the air to summer’s comfort but the signs of the pending winter season were already evident at the higher elevation

Perfect double track roads market the first part of the race, where every rider had the opportunity to warm up before the first timed steep and short climb .

There was no rush at the food stations, no rush to get on the bike again. The beauty of this racing format. Socializing.

The midpoint of the Grinduro came just after the fast, flat, paved TT segment.

Riders battled hecklers and their anerobic threshold before enjoying a gourmet recovery lunch prepared by the Grinduro crew

The versatility of the event’s timed segments matched perfectly with the EXPLORO’s go-anywhere, do everything personality. Air pressure adjustments were made for each of the segment’s surface conditions and some of us even opted to drop the saddle height for the last singletrack section. Once the times had been recorded for the last segment, riders made their way back to the Grinduro headquarters to hit the showers, swap stories, and compare times. As the results were being calculated we were again treated to a warm meal and fantastic entertainment.

Our XPDTN3 team is always seeking new adventure and looking for the next destination to explore but the unique character of this event and commraderie promoted by the format might have us make this an annual stop.The surrounding area could easily create the perfect backdrop for 3 days of riding. We left satisfied with the result but eager to venture out into the hills and Sierra Mountains in Plumas County and learn more about the cycling opportunities in this old Gold Rush era mountain town.

Check the rest of the photo gallery here:



The Grinduro is a race. But very different from a classic race. Think of it more as a weekend with friends, that’s why we decided to be there. BTW, thanks to the crew at Giro and Sierra Buttes Stewardship (http://www.sierratrails.org) for having us.

Logistics are easy, just register for the race and you have access to camping spots, showers and some food (not on the day before, but there are lots of food vendors inside the campground)

Check www.grinduro.com if you want to get a spot for the 2017 edition!

Location Quincy , California
Stages 1
Distance 101 km (62 mi)
Ascent 2200 m (7217 ft)
Best Time Grinduro took place in October 8th this year (2016), with also lots of other activities taking place on the 7th and 9th for a complete weekend
Weather We had sunny weather an perfect temperatures, a bit chilly in the morning though, but all good.
Tires Our group used different tyres, some of us had the WTB Ranger 2.0 mtb tyres , while Dave Zabriskie was using WTB Horizon 47 tyres, and loved them!
Gearing A couple of steep climbs, but you also need big gearing if you want to push on the time trial. I would say 40 or 42Tin the front and 10-42 T in the back can get you everywhere for the  Grinduro race.