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Stetina’s Paydirt 2024

May 18

gravel cyclists at stetina's paydirt
Last Updated April 30, 2024

Stetina’s Paydirt has become a favorite gravel event among riders and was picked by Strambecco as one of the Best Gravel Cycling Race Events in the Southwest. Produced in partnership with Bike Monkey and started by former World Pro Tour rider Peter Stetina who moved on in 2019 to concentrate on adventure racing with a focus on less-trafficked routes like gravel.  Stetina’s Paydirt offers a supported rugged gravel experience through the Pine Nut Mountains and Eastern Sierras.

The event is extra unique with a few fun, creative twists including Wahoo’s Mechanical Bull which will enable participants to gain a 1-1 time bonus, an IRC Tire-Toss which can further help riders score some critical bonus seconds, and finally the Shimano Women’s Paydirt Challenge. Women get center stage with a $5,000 women’s only purse (no men’s purse) and serves as one small step to tackle the problem of gender equality in cycling.

Below you will find information on course details, lodging, dining, and other outdoor activities to do while in town for Stetina’s Paydirt.

Event & Course Info

There are two route options for cyclists at Stetina’s Paydirt featuring miles of mixed terrain spanning pavement, gravel, and sand; both are timed with awards for the top three riders in each category.  The Longer Paydirt option is around 70 miles and with ~4800 feet in elevation gain and comes with three distinct segments. Segment 1, the longest at 18 miles, is technically challenging and notorious for flat tires. Segment 2, celebrated for its superbloom of wildflowers that took place in 2023, leaves riders hopeful for a similar display this year. The route culminates with Segment 3, a thrilling climb from Jacks Valley Road to HWY 50 on Clear Creek Trail. This smooth single-track ascent offers a blissful experience, though riders must stay alert to avoid washing out on sandy turns. There is a time cut to qualify for the final climb. Those who do not cut finish their ride on the Medium Course.

The Medium Course is ~55 miles, with ~3500 ft of climbing. Participants of this course will cover fewer miles as they will not ride the Clear Creek trail segment. However, they will still enjoy the incredibly fun Indian Hills segment. Competitors in the medium course will be scored based on their performance in two segments.

Along with competitive racing, there are competitions at the post-race festival, including tire tossing and mechanical bull riding, for both participants and supporters to celebrate. The ride starts and ends at Fuji Park.

Besides hosting and co-producing his namesake event, Peter Stetina competes in gravel events all over the country and will mix up his equipment choices based on the terrain and the route.  For the Paydirt, he plans to ride the Canyon Grizl for singletrack capabilities with 42MM IRC tires which offer fast rolling on pavement, just wide enough to handle the soft sandy sections while providing solid grip for the singletrack.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

Where to Stay in Carson City

Carson City is the capital of Nevada and is known for many historical attractions, outdoor activities, and gaming opportunities. For lodging, participants can stay anywhere in downtown Carson City, close to Fuji Park, or around Lake Tahoe, however event organizers recommend staying at one of the Stetina’s Paydirt Partners for the event which includes The Federal Hotel who have thoughtfully put together a parking package for van campers as well. Other options are the newly renovated Holiday Inn Express, the Courtyard which is very close to the start/finish, and finally if you are traveling with a small group, the Staybridge Suites is a great option.

Dining in Carson City

Carson City, NV boasts a diverse culinary scene that reflects its rich cultural heritage, offering everything from traditional Basque dishes to contemporary American cuisine. The city’s dining landscape includes cozy diners, upscale eateries, and unique local cafes, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences. Local favorites include Red’s Old 395 Grill, Garibaldi’s Italian Kitchen in the downtown area, and Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint in Carson Hot Springs.

Outdoor Activities around Carson City

Carson City, Nevada, is a treasure trove of outdoor adventures, making it an ideal destination for athletes looking to immerse themselves in nature and challenge their physical limits. As the capital of Nevada, Carson City not only boasts historical charm but also offers a range of activities that capitalize on its beautiful natural surroundings. One of the crown jewels of the area, the Tahoe Rim Trail provides athletes with breathtaking views and rigorous trails. Portions of this trail pass through Carson City, offering convenient access for visitors. In May, when the snow has mostly melted, the trail becomes a paradise for hikers and runners alike, with wildflowers beginning to bloom and wildlife emerging in the warming weather. The trail varies in difficulty, making it perfect for a casual day hike or a challenging run.

Ash Canyon features trails that are a haven for mountain bikers looking for a thrilling ride. With a mix of terrain that includes everything from smooth paths to challenging climbs and exciting descents, Ash Canyon caters to all levels of experience. The well-maintained trails and scenic views of the surrounding mountains make it a favorite among both local and visiting cyclists.

Just a short drive from Carson City, Lake Tahoe offers pristine waters ideal for kayaking. This time of year, the lake is particularly inviting with crystal-clear, calm waters and a peaceful atmosphere before the summer crowds arrive. Paddling on Lake Tahoe not only gives athletes a great workout but also offers a unique perspective of the stunning landscape. Whether you choose a guided tour or rent a kayak to explore at your own pace, the experience is sure to be memorable.

Related Events

Bike Monkey is well known for producing Northern California and Nevada’s premier road, gravel, and MTB events.  Sister events include Levi’s Gran FondoFish RockHeart of GoldWenteTruckee Dirt FondoHammer Road RallyStetina’s Pay Dirt, The Bovine Classic and Rebecca’s Private Idaho. Bike Monkey events are supported with SAG vehicles, well-stocked feed stations, and post-ride festivals.  Many of these Strambecco rates as some of the Best NorCal Gravel Grinders and the Best Gravel Cycling Race Events in the Southwest.

For the multi-sport athletes of the group looking for other best-in-class race events in Nevada, Tahoe area and the broader region, be sure to check out our complete guides:

Details

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Location:
Carson City, Nevada

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Season
Spring
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