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Lost and Found Gravel Grinder

June 15, 2024

Riding Lost and Found Gravel Grinder

The Lost and Found Gravel Grinder is a celebration of Gravel Cycling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Despite the record snowfall in the Sierra this year, the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder is still on. The event takes place in the Lost Sierra, one of California’s most beautiful and vast alpine valleys. This mixed-surface cycling event offers a blend of pavement, dirt roads, gravel roads, and historic railroad grades. Strambecco has named the event as one of the best gravel cycling events in California, and it benefits Sierra Buttes Trails Stewardship.

The event offers three different courses for riders of different levels: a 100-mile course, a 60-mile course, and a 35-mile course.  The Longest route is a 100-mile challenge with 8,447 feet of elevation gain. 80% of the course is dirt, and there are five aid stations along the way. The 60-mile course comes with 4,944 feet of elevation gain, where 70% is dirt, and three aid stations are available. The short course offers a social, scenic ride of 35 miles, 3,537 feet elevation, 35% gravel, and two aid stations. The aid stations are well stocked with energy snacks, hydration, and items aid station sponsors provide. These stations are evenly spaced throughout the various courses. This event is open to registration for pros, men, women, and juniors between 13-18 years old. Multiple categories and prizes are available for each of those within the Longest race.

The Lost and Found Gravel Grinder is hosted in the wide-open and high North Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, providing riders with stunning views and challenging terrain. Participants can choose to race or simply ride the route and take advantage of the quality aid stations. Racers and riders from around the world will be invited to lose themselves and find this two-wheeled paradise.

It is essential to choose the right bike for the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder. The Sierra requires wider tires with more tread. The recommended tire width for cyclocross bikes is at least 40mm, like WTB Raddler, Riddler, or Resolute tires. Riding a light, fast, rigid mountain bike with 2.0 tires wouldn’t be a bad choice either, especially if you are more comfortable on a mountain bike. There are lots of rocks and rain ruts crossing the dirt road sections in numerous spots, so when in doubt, check your speed a little.

The Lost and Found Gravel Grinder is not just about cycling. It is also a celebration of mountain life. A Welcome party and festival atmosphere brings all participants together with live music, snacks, and adult beverages. Saturday is a day of the rides with various start times for each course; Longest, Longer, and Long. Post-ride recovery starts mid-day with a post-ride meal, awards ceremony, and live music from several artists throughout the day and into the evening. The Lost and Found Expo is available all day, and free kids’ races are available in the evening.

The best part of the event is that the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder generates funds that are reinvested in the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. This organization is dedicated to creating sustainable communities centered around recreational activities by focusing on stewardship, job opportunities, and hosting other exceptional events like the Downieville Classic which is one of the Best MTB Events in the Northwest. Through their efforts in trail construction and upkeep in the Lost Sierra region, they ensure the provision of exceptional outdoor experiences.

Portola, the host town, is a small city located in Plumas County, California, in the northeastern part of the state. The beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains surround it, and it is home to many outdoor recreational activities.  Besides cycling, one popular outdoor activity in Portola is hiking. There are many scenic trails in the area, such as the Feather River Canyon Trail, which offers stunning views of the Feather River and the surrounding mountains. Other popular trails include the Beckwourth Peak Trail and the Lakes Basin Trail.  Fishing is also a popular activity in Portola, with the nearby Feather River and Lake Davis.  Boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding are also popular on Lake Davis. In the winter months, Portola becomes a winter wonderland, with many opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The nearby ski resorts of Sugar Bowl and Boreal are popular destinations for winter sports enthusiasts.

The Lost and Found Gravel Festival offers a deal on Portola camping sites; purchase three nights and get the fourth night free. For those who prefer hotels to camp, there are several options in Portola or Monterey. See Nakoma Resort, Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, or Monterey Marriott.

Best Norcal Gravel Grinders

Best Gravel Events in the Northwest 



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