Bike Nevada County 2015 – Elevating the Sport of Cycling

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Bike Nevada County is a grand 52-day celebration of pro, amateur and recreational road cycling and mountain biking in Northern California. Hundreds of local, national and international competitors will participate in a range of events appropriate for various ages and skill levels – from fitness-oriented families to world champion racers.

Since 1960, Nevada County has drawn top cyclists to its mountain roads and 19th century towns, including European-sytle racers that have been won by three-time U.S. national champion Levi Leipheimer, and Alexi Grewal, the first man to win Olympic cycling gold for the USA. As a 19 year-old, Lance Armstrong raced here in 1991, taking 2nd place in the Nevada City Classic.

Currently, the County is experiences a mountain biking heyday, with the highest youth participation rate in the state of California. Moderate to extremely rigorous MTB trails and events abound. Some are featured as part of Bike Nevada County. Others are in undisclosed locations, including what one Team USA MTB racer described as “one of the best enduros in the U.S.” (see video below)

Don’t miss the historic, inaugural celebration – undoubtedly the first of many in years to come. Be there as Bike Nevada County elevates the sport of cycling by offering the utmost variety, inclusiveness, sportsmanship, safety, and natural beauty.

Bike Nevada County Calendar

Local Events

Friday, May 1st
Miners Dirt Series MTB Races
Race 1 of 3 (10-14 year-olds)
Lyman Gilmore School, Grass Valley and 2015 Nevada City Dirt Classic Series

Saturday, May 2nd
Nevada City Dirt Classic Series
Race 1 of 3
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Friday, May 8th
Miners Dirt Series MTB Races
Race 2 of 3 (10-14 year-olds)
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Saturday, May 9th
Nevada City Dirt Classic Series
Race 1 of 3
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Keeping Kids Safe Festival
GVFD Station #2, Grass Valley
more information

Monday, May 11th
Amgen Tour of California – Stage 2
Broad Street, Nevada City
More information here and here

May 11th-15th
National Bike to Work Week

Saturday, May 16th
The Union’s Community Bike Ride

Friday, May 22nd
Miners Dirt Series MTB Races
Race 3 of 3 (10-14 year-olds)
Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley

Saturday, May 23rd
Big Brothers Big Sisters Endurance Ride
Starts in Pioneer Park, Nevada City

Saturday, May 30th
Nevada City Dirt Classic Series
Race 1 of 3
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Sunday, June 7th
Ride the Amgen Tour of California Route
Sierra Express Bicycle Club

Saturday, June 13th
BONC Gala Ride

Saturday, June 20th
Folsom Historic Criterium
Race #1 of the Sierra Historic Omnium

Sunday, June 21st
55th Nevada City Classic
Race #2 of the Sierra Historic Omnium
Broad Street, Nevada City
More information here and here

Local Rides

Tour of Nevada City
Rides most days of the week (check calendar)
Meet in front of Tour of Nevada City

Sierra Express Bicycle Club
Every Saturday at 9 a.m.
Meet in front of Paulette’s Country Kitchen

There are endless biking trails that make Nevada County one of the most popular bicycling areas in the U.S. with trails criss-crossing the Yuba River and meandering through the Sierra Nevada foothills and peaks. For a list of bike trails in Nevada County, click here.

Nearly 30 racers descended upon an undisclosed location in Northern California to battle for the top spot at the 2nd annual Dirty Sanchez Enduro. The invitational race attracted some of America’s top enduro talent, including Team WTB/Cannondale, to what Mark Weir described as “one of the best enduros in the U.S.”

(Source: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, Video: WTB)

Grand Opening of Yuba Rim Trail at Rice’s Crossing Preserve

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Walk on the Wild Side this weekend with the Bear Yuba Land Trust, celebrating 25 years of land stewardship. Enjoy a hike this Saturday and Sunday or, an armchair trek on Monday night.

Join Bear Yuba Land Trust for a hike and grand opening of the new 2.25 mile Yuba Rim Trail, part of the 2,707-acre Rice’s Crossing Preserve during the annual community event, “Walk on the Wild Side” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 18.

Participants will hike a total of 4.5 miles, there and back again. The trail winds through the shelter of forest, then along a ridge top to an overlook of the confluence of the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Yuba River, below Bullards Bar Dam. This is only the beginning of a new extensive river corridor trail system.

“This will last for generations. This will be the trail system, the connection system, the economy booster,” said Nevada County District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston who attended a dedication ceremony at the preserve in March. Weston sees Rice’s Crossing as a key recreation landholding that will drive tourism and help the local economy.

The April 18 event is both a celebration of Earth Day and the Land Trust’s 25th birthday. Since January, BYLT’s trails team has led the construction of the Yuba Rim Trail built with the help of 17 committed volunteers who have worked more than 200 hours.

The day will begin with a short presentation honoring Bear Yuba Land Trust founders, songs from Secretary Shelly Covert of the Nevada City Rancheria – Nisenan and an update on BYLT’s plans for the Rice’s Crossing property.

Participants are encouraged to bring water, wear weather appropriate clothing and good hiking shoes for the hike. Afterward folks will head over to the meadow for birthday cake. Pack a picnic lunch, chairs, blankets, kites, cameras, binoculars, etc. for enjoying the meadow.

BYLT acquired Rice’s Crossing Preserve in June of 2014, the largest landholding in the Land Trust’s 25 year history. A community success story, the preserve helped BYLT to grow its conservation footprint from 6,000 to 9,000 acres. Rice’s Crossing links over 8,500 acres of public open space and will provide unprecedented access to the river in the form of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and fishing.

BYLT’s stewardship team will monitor the property ensuring that habitat for threatened and endangered species will be protected and restored. BYLT will work closely with South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) to develop a monitoring plan for this section of the river.

For 25 years, Bear Yuba Land Trust has worked with the community to protect land in the Bear and Yuba River watersheds. BYLT and its many volunteers have built 35 miles of trails and led numerous outings that get families into nature to explore and learn about this place we call home.

How to Get There: From Nevada City, take Highway 49 towards Camptonville, turn left on Marysville Road, over the Bullards Bar Dam. Rice’s Crossing North is located 1.3 miles from the dam. Park in the rock quarry on the right and cross the road to the North Meadow.

For those who want to schedule more BYLT activities into their weekend, there are two more options to choose from.

Geologist and paleontologist David Lawler will lead his moderate level and always popular “classic” Trek Back in Time to Chalk Bluff from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. Situated on private property at the top of Red Dog Road, this area is unique due to the exposure of ancient accumulations of volcanic ash – which looked like chalk to the early immigrants – and petrified-like wood from the tropical Pliocene era. This is a pre-registration event: $12 BYLT Members, $19 Not-Yet-Members.

BYLT just added an Armchair Trek: Beedy, Birds, Belize with reknowned ornithologist Ted Beedy from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 20 in the Gene Albaugh Community Room at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City. Beedy recently returned from a two-week birding and bird photography tour of Belize and Northern Guatemala. This evening slideshow will feature a photo illustrated tour of Crooked Tree Lagoon and its myriad waterbirds, as well as the diversity of birds and other wildlife that inhabit tropical forests of the coastal regions, Tikal in Guatemala, and pine woodlands of the Maya Mountains. During this trip, Ted was able to see 265 species and captured photographs of 134 species. This show will be accompanied with sound recordings made by Barney Kroeger. Beedy will also address bird taxonomy, natural history, and on-going efforts to conserve these tropical treasures. Don’t miss it! A $10 donation is recommended.

Learn more at Find more Nevada County trails here or download the Recreation Trail Web map app here.

(Source & photos: Bear Yuba Land Trust)

Summer Fairs & Festivals in Nevada County

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Summer is the perfect time to visit Nevada County and enjoy one of the many fairs and festivals that are happening throughout the season. From California WorldFest to the Sierra Storytelling Festival to the annual Nevada County Fair, there is some type of fair, festival or gathering almost every weekend to delight all ages and interests. A few of the festivals are featured below.

Strawberry Music Festival
May 21-25, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Strawberry Music Festival presents the gold standard in main stage entertainment, intimate side stage performances, top notch children’s programming, and workshops and activities for all ages. Headlining this year’s festival is Bonnie Rait!

40th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival
June 18-21, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival presents four days of family fun – jamming, workshops, children’s programs, Luthier’s Pavilion, Kids on Bluegrass, and camping on site. It’s the best in Bluegrass and Old Time Music on stage under the pines.

Music in the Mountains SummerFest
June 24 – July 5 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
For its 34th season, Music in the Mountains presents SummerFest, bringing contemporary and classic music together in a two-week celebration of community, art and music. This year’s programming includes Randy Newman, Circque de la Symphonie, Mozart’s Requiuem, The Glory of Russian Ballet, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, and the always popular “Happy Birthday USA.”

California WorldFest
July 16-19, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Center for the Arts presents California WorldFest featuring eight stages of music from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy camping, workshops, international food, fine crafts and children’s programming. This year’s line-up includes diverse music such as King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, Lucinda Williams, Buffy Saint-Marie, Emisunshine, Birds of Chicago, and much more.

30th Annual Sierra Storytelling Festival
July 17-19, 2015 – North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Set among the towering pines, sloping lawns and historic one-room schoolhouse on Columbia Hill, the Sierra Storytelling Festival is now in its 30th year. Known as “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals,” it brings a line-up of internationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stages.

Nevada County Fair
August 12-16, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
Enjoy five days of entertainment and fun for fair-goers of all ages at the Nevada County Fair. The Fair presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals and exhibits – at the “most beautiful fairgrounds in California.” This is affordable fun for the whole family.

15th Annual Nevada City Film Festival
September 10-13, 2015 – Historic Downtown Nevada City
The Nevada City Film Festival brings award-winning shorts and feature films from around the world to the historic venues of Nevada City. A four-day celebration of art, music, and independent film-making, NCFF includes screenings, workshops, special performances, parties and a live comedy show.

(Source: Nevada County Tourism)

Tahoe Donner golf course opens to the public May 15, 2015

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Tahoe Donner‘s golf course opens to the public on May 15, 2015 (conditions permitting), and the driving range opens April 17. The course at Tahoe Donner is considered by many as “the premier mountain course in Truckee-Tahoe with incredible views and the best greens.”

To learn more or purchase season passes and multi-plan packs, visit

“Springtime in the Pines” quilt show at the Fairgrounds

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Pine Tree Quilt Guild of Nevada County will present the 31st Annual “Springtime in the Pines” Quilt Show on Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 3rd at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Over 200 handcrafted quilts will be displayed from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is only $7 and parking is free.

Special exhibits will showcase the talents of Featured Quilter Lorna Tiller of Grass Valley and the Mountain Art Quilters. Shoppers can purchase quilt-related items from Vendors and the Country Store. The Lunchroom will be catered by Christopher’s Deli and also offer drinks and homemade desserts for sale. Silent Auctions will be held each day and the spectacular Opportunity Quilt “Fiori” and multiple themed Baskets will go home with lucky winners on Sunday. A free shuttle will provide transportation between buildings.

Pine Tree Quilt Guild’s Community Service Committee, which makes and gives away hundreds of quilts to service organizations each year, will present two different demonstrations daily. Everyone who loves beautiful quilts will find something to enjoy at the Fairgrounds on May 2nd and 3rd. For more information, visit the website at or email

(Source and Photos: Pine Tree Quilt Guild)

Arts leaders, including a local contingent, convene in Sacramento this week

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Californians for the Arts, a statewide nonprofit group founded in 2010 to increase public awareness of the importance of the arts will convene more than 250 artists, arts educators and arts organization leaders from around the state at “Confluence 2015” in Sacramento on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

The group includes Julie Baker, executive director of The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, who recently was voted onto the board of the group. Melinda Booth, film festival director of SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival, will be on a panel.

On Wednesday, on the steps of the Capitol, Californians for the Arts will honor four Legislative “Arts Champions,” including Senator Jim Nielsen (R-4th District, Gerber). Others are Senator Ben Allen (D-26th District, Santa Monica), Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-57th District, Whittier) and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-46th District, Los Angeles).

Julie will be presenting the award to Nielsen. Senator Nielsen has been a longtime supporter of the arts and a strong advocate for funding the California Arts Council, the state’s arts agency. During last year’s Joint Budget Committee hearing, Senator Nielsen spoke about the value of the arts and arts education and urged his colleagues to increase funding for the agency. In the final Budget, the California Arts Council received its first General Fund budget increase in more than 10 years.

As an organizing committee member, Julie also suggested that SYRCL would be a good fit for a panel “The Entrepreneurial Organization: Balance Mission—and Budgets,” including how they have used the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to build awareness (and revenue) of their mission. As part of her experience, Melinda Booth has been organizing large events, such as SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival, since 1999.

The centerpiece of “Confluence 2015” is a full day of educational sessions featuring prominent experts in the nonprofit arts field on Thursday, April 16 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

The convening is also being timed to coincide with a hearing on “The Arts and Creative Industries: An Updated Assessment of California’s Creative Economy,” being held on April 15, 9:30-11:30 a.m., by the Legislative Joint Committee on the Arts. Participants in “Confluence 2015” will have the opportunity to attend the hearing.

Following the hearing on Wednesday, there will be lunchtime celebration on the steps of the Capitol, featuring the award-winning Element Brass Band and festive Mexican mojiganga street puppets from La Raza Galeria Posada. At this celebration, Californians for the Arts will honor the four Legislative “ArtsChampions.”

A reception in the Capitol will be held on Wednesday evening, sponsored by The Boeing Company, one of the state’s most active contributors to arts education. At the reception, California’s “Poetry Out Loud” Winner, Levi Lowe, a student from Tuolomne, will perform. (The California Arts Council awarded Steven Hansen, a Nevada County district wide English teacher, the third annual “Hero Award” for the California Poetry Out Loud program. Nevada County received two big wins at the California Poetry Our Loud State Finals, as Falyn Lazarus, a senior at Nevada Union High School, was the first runner-up).

Day two of the convening, which is sponsored by the California Arts Council, will feature a keynote talk, “Opening the Doors,” by Diane Rodriguez, recently appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Council on the Arts, which oversees the National Endowment for the Arts. Rodriguez is also President of the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, the national association of professional theatres in America, and she serves as Associate Artistic Director of the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles.

Another featured talk will be offered by Moy Eng, who was appointed last year as Executive Director of Community Arts Stabilization Trust in San Francisco. Eng has been a longtime leader in arts and culture philanthropy, having directed the arts program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as holding key strategic planning and fund raising positions with important arts producing organizations like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Panels will be held on a variety of topics of importance to the field, such as “Building Public Will for Arts and Culture,” “A Good Vintage: Trends in Arts & Aging Programs,” “The Entrepreneurial Organization: Balance Mission—and Budgets,” “Arts Education 2015: What You Need to Know About Common Core, LCFF and STEAM,” “The Power of Art: Effective Intervention for At-Risk Youth,” “Back at Home: Arts & Veterans,” “Innovation, Engagement, Sustainability: Results from Philanthropic Initiatives,” and a screening of the KCET Artbound documentary “State of Creativity.”

Programmatic support for Californians for the Arts has been received from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Fleishhacker Foundation. Additional conference support has been provided by Ovation, the arts television network, and the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“This is the first time in many years that a statewide convening of arts leaders has been organized,” commented Richard Stein, president of the board of directors of Californians for the Arts. “Within a matter of days of its announcement, we were booked to full capacity. We feel this proves there is a great hunger for the opportunity to network with colleagues from around the state, to celebrate our successes, to share new ideas and lessons learned, and to embrace the possibility of future collaborations.”

(Source: Californians for the Arts and Sierra FoodWineArt magazine)

58th Penn Valley Rodeo on May 15 -17, 2015

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The 58th Annual Penn Valley Rodeo is coming to town May 15 – 17, 2015. Check out this fun video about the Penn Valley Rodeo:

(Video: Touchdown Productions)

Opening Dedication Ceremony of the Searls Historical Library

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The Nevada County Historical Society invites the public to the opening of the Searls Historical Library in its new location on Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m. Tour the facility, including its library, and enjoy cake and refreshments. The newly refurbished flag pole will be rededicated and the Scouts of Troop 855 will raise the national flag and the California Bear Flag. Please RSVP to Margaret Munson at

The new location is at 161 Nevada City Highway, Nevada City, located at the intersection of Ridge Road, Gold Flat Road and Zion Street, next to Sierra Presbyterian Church.

(Source: Nevada County Historical Society)

Celebrate Spring at Bridgeport

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South Yuba River Park Association invites the public to Celebrate Spring at Bridgeport on Friday, May 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. Enjoy an evening of food by Antonio Ayestaran Catering, wine, beer and beverages, and lively entertainment by The Consolations Vocal Band. Proceeds benefit ongoing activities at South Yuba River State Park. Advance reservations required by phoning (530) 265-8401 or the Bridgeport Visitor’s Center at (530) 432-2546.

Spring is a wonderful time of year to visit Bridgeport and the South Yuba River State Park. Through May 19 join a docent-led Wildflower Walks or enjoy your own springtime walk along the Buttermilk Bend Trail along the South Yuba River.

2015 Daffodil Run is Sunday, April 12

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The Daffodil Run was created by Joanie Bumpus 14 years ago and is sponsored by the Penn Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, Penn Valley Area Lions and Penn Valley Area Rotary.

Proceeds from the run benefit local schools and provide scholarships to Nevada Union High School students. Race proceeds also provide the planting of Daffodils in and around Western Gateway Park and surrounding areas.

5 & 10K Run and 5K Walk
 With Free Kid’s Run!

Race day registration at 7 a.m.

Free Kid’s Run at 8:30 a.m
5 & 10K Runs at 8:45 a.m.
5K Walk at 8:50 a.m


Run: $25 adults (13+); $10 children

Walk: $10 adults (13+); $5 children

Awards: Male and Female, top three places, by 
age group; T-shirts guaranteed for pre-reg entrants.

For more information visit

(Source: Penn Valley Chamber)