Ride Northern California
Join us for the all-new Race Day Pashnit Motorcycle Tour over the Memorial Day holiday weekend as we ride the northern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range plus spend two evenings at the races. Ever heard of Speedway Bikes? Few have. One gear, no brakes, 0-60 in 3 seconds, prepare to be entertained as these hot rodded methanol fuelled motorcycles race on a quarter-mile oval track.
Race Day Tour...
This motorcycle tour spans the 4-day Memorial Day Weekend and begins in Cameron Park, California. The Sierra Foothills are minutes away, along with heaps of Gold Rush history to start the day. Marshall Gold Discovery is just up the road, the location of the gold discovery that is credited with starting one of the largest human migrations in modern history.
Our destination for the 1st day is Auburn. We're off to the races to see Speedway Motorcycle Racing, where the bikes go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds and have no brakes, here at the famed and tricky dirt oval at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California.
After a night at the races, we'll be headed further north into the Sierra Range for Chester. Along the way are small towns filled with Victorian gingerbread houses and steeped in Argonaut history like Nevada City. Nearby, Empire Mine in Grass Valley is said to have pulled almost $11 Billion (with a B) in gold (in today’s dollars) from up to a mile down beneath the earth’s surface. To the north, Malakoff Diggins miners washed away entire mountains to get to the gold in turn creating one of the worst ecological disasters in modern history.
Ride the Sierra Range...
Some of these gold mines along Highway 49 evolved into beautiful state parks like the aforementioned Empire Mine & Malakoff Diggins, others become tiny towns like North San Juan and still others became ghost towns like French Corral barely recognizable as a place for civilization to grow save for a label on a map, possibly a building, are all that remain.
Yuba Pass is a local favorite, but we’ll skip north instead to ride a mountain pass even more remote. La Porte Rd was only paved two decades ago, and some of my older paper maps still label this as a dirt road. Today’s a gleeful playground of adult frivolity, with smoothly banked corners and broad views across the northern Sierra. The North Complex fire in 2020 burned through the Plumas and Lassen National Forest spanning 330,000 acres in this region, burning nearly 2500 structures. We’ll flow through the burn scar into Quincy. The mountain town of Quincy was saved the same fate as nearby Paradise, as the flames came within mere miles of the city limits. La Porte is a super-fun motorcycle road and includes everything you could ever wish for, deserted, excellent pavement, broad views across mountain terrain and unknown to most.
Trekking gradually north gets us close to our very own active volcano known as Mt Lassen. Ask yourself how many places in the continental United States can you view an active volcano. Now kids, there are no active lava flows like in the movies, those were 10,000 years ago to the north at a place called Glass Mountain. However, Mt Lassen last erupted in 1917 and the boiling mud pots are here plus the mountain side produces a stinky rotten egg smell heavy in the air as sulfur gasses escape from the earth beneath our feet coming up from deep fissures below the mountain. Roads atop Mt Lassen punch up to the 8511 ft summit and are endlessly twisty while overlooked by a snow capped peak that can stay white well into July. Lake Helen near the summit may get 40 feet of snow each winter season.
The best is yet to come as we ride Highway 36 across the state, often regarded as one of the best motorcycle roads on the West Coast of the United States, to reach Hayfork and Weaverville.
Combined with Highway 3 Scott Mountain Summit, we can ride over 250 twisty miles across the Trinity Alps. Add the Klamath Wilderness, the Marble Wilderness to that list, there’s a lot of wilderness up here and not a lot of people. Wandering through Far North California, by now, you may have noticed signs for The State of Jefferson everywhere.
State of Jefferson...
In October 1941, the Mayor of Port Orford, Oregon, Gilbert Gable, said that the Oregon counties of Curry, Josephine, Jackson, and Klamath should join with the California counties of Del Norte, Siskiyou, and Modoc attempting to form a new state, later named Jefferson, after Thomas Jefferson.
Gable was motivated by the belief that these heavily rural areas were underrepresented in state government, which tended to cater to more populous areas.
On November 27, 1941, a group of young men gained national media attention when, brandishing hunting rifles for dramatic effect, they stopped traffic on U.S. Route 99 south of Yreka, the county seat of Siskiyou County, and handed out copies of a Proclamation of Independence, stating that the State of Jefferson was in "patriotic rebellion against the States of California and Oregon" and would continue to "secede every Thursday until further notice."
The timing of their declaration could not have been worse for their proposed movement, as days later the United States entered WWII and the idea was shelved. You will still see signs for the State of Jefferson even today along Highway 96 and as far south as El Dorado County (east of Sacramento) as numerous grassroots efforts have attempted to gather fruition to little avail. However, the idea centering around unconstitutional imbalance of representation refuses to die, and as recently as 2017, legislation was introduced to push the issue of succession much like West Virginia succeeded from Virginia. You may note there is no state of East Virginia.
Siskiyou Golden Speedway...
Our arrival in Yreka offers one more Race Day experience. The Siskiyou Golden Speedway races IMCA A-Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Minis, Outlaw Pro Stocks, and Dwarf Cars. Bring the earplugs, grab a beer and a hotdog, there's not a better way to spend our Memorial Day holiday with a Day at the Races.
Four days of riding the Northern California Motorcycle Wonderland? And Speedway Races? And Quarter-Track racing?
Where do I sign up? Right here.
Tour: May 26-29, 2023
Meet: 3219 Coach Ln, Cameron Park, California
Arrive: 7:00 AM, Safety Brief 7:30, Depart 8:00 AM
Cost: $540 per rider, $119 Passenger
This tour includes narrow single lane paved mountain roads. The ride includes steep grades to 20% and negotiating tight hairpin corners. All roads on this tour are paved.
EXPERIENCED RIDERS ONLY:
This tour is not recommended for beginner riders or Very Large Motorcycles. Riders are expected to have at least several years of enthusiastic experience on their motorcycle riding remote challenging paved mountain backroads along with at least 5000+ miles of concurrent recent experience.
This tour is limited by the amount of rooms at our host lodging. We have booked rooms months in advance and our tours sell out by the end of January. Get on our mailing list to be the first to know about new rides. Tours are planned & announced in the late fall of each year.
Book early to ensure a spot on this new ride. Check with us to see if any available spots are open. Some of our rides may have waiting lists to be able to join the group.