Sierra Trails puts on a number of events every year. This past weekend was the 2019 Lost and Found Gravel race, where they do a great job of hosting an event that is across-the-board a super fun time. It focuses on the natural beauty of the NorCal wilderness while putting emphasis on supporting the maintenance, creation and restoration of trail systems we love to ride and hike.
One of the entries this year was Kevin McClelland riding his Custom Gravel Monster. Kevin is a good friend and avid rider, and I was super stoked knowing he was pushing his limits entering the 106 mile category. No small feat.
Starting and finishing this year in the town of Portola allowed more of a community vibe. Camping in the town park along the lazy river and immersing in the community is part of what gravel races are about. A lax environment geared toward getting out in the woods and putting miles on your rig. Take it as fast or slow as you want, hang with friends or push your limits.
Out side of Portola the race takes you deep into the the wilderness of the Sierras where you can find your self riding isolated miles through a mountainous pine tree landscape on some amazing trails. This year with the rains the night before and combined with the snowmelt of the late spring season made for mixed conditions and challenging wet terrain.
Kevin said his rig performed beautifully and made for an amazing race. For this ride Kevin slapped on a set of 27.5 x 2.25 Continental Speed Kings. The higher volume fast rolling mountain tire proved to be a great choice for the mixed surface gravel race. The light, plush characteristics at 22psi made for a more enjoyable 106 miles. “From the wet and wiled climbs through the eroding and rutted single track to the high speed descents on slippery kitty litter gravel, the bike rode like a dream. The tire choice for the day worked out great too, and I’m super happy with the extra tire clearance this rig allows,” says Kevin.
Getting out in the wild, hanging with friends and giving back is what its all about. Sierra Trails does a great job of setting up a platform to accomplish all of these things. All the proceeds from the race go back into the community and into the wilderness. Connected to the race is a raffle called Builders for Builders. All the proceeds again go back to the community that continues to allow access to existing trail systems and fund the development of new trails. If you're interested in giving back and the opportunity to win one of five amazing handmade bikes follow this link and enter the raffle. Thanks to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, the builders for donating bikes, Kevin for ripping his Horse and Ian Matteson for these amazing photos.