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A classic route is the portion of State Route 49 which heads north out of Grass Valley/Nevada City, finds the North Fork of the Yuba River and follows it to its headwaters on Yuba Pass. From there, 49 winds down to the bucolic Sierra Valley and off toward Vinton.
I try to make this ride twice or three times a year. Today’s ride would be on the new-to-me 2007 Moto Guzzi Breva. I needed to see how I’d handle a 200-plus mile day on her and I needed to figure out why she wouldn’t start from time to time - especially if I'd been riding her a while. Today was a day that, if I got stranded, I could work it out.
Downieville blossomed at the confluence of the Downie and North Yuba Rivers. Highway 49 is reduced to one lane where it crosses, prompting passers-through to wait for the on-coming traffic and perhaps be greeted by one of the community’s friendly denizens.
TWELVE MILES FURTHER ON, Sierra City is a string of antique structures built on either side of 49.
THE BREVA WAS AN ABSOLUTE HOOT throughout the day. 250 miles did not seem like over-doing it. I have identified the gremlin, I think, and look forward to many more crossings of the Sierra.
Church of the Open Road Press