Tour de Manure

June 20, 2020 all-day
Sierraville Firehouse
102 E Main St
Sierraville, CA 95936
Tour de Manure
Date: Saturday 20 June 2020
Start Location: 102 E Main St Sierraville, CA 95936
Organizer’s Website: Website
Registration: Registration


Registration Fee Schedule
Registration Options
Regular Late Event Day
Online Only Online Only Onsite Only
Metric Century 62 $65 $75 $75
Half-Metric Century Plus 40
Half-Metric Century 30
Processing Fees PLUS Processing Fees
Reg Period Start Date   07 Jun 2020 20 Jun 2020
Reg Period End Date 06 Jun 2020 19 Jun 2020 20 Jun 2020


Start Times / Routes / Distances / Maps
Start Miles 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100   Elev/ft Maps
8:00 am 62 Metric Century      
8:00 am 40 Half Metric Century Plus      
8:00 am 30 Half-Metric Century      


About This Event

“It’s a bunch of firefighters who never get on bicycles, putting on a century ride for people who do!” says Doug Read, founder of the one of California’s quirkiest rides, Sierra Valley’s Tour de Manure Metric Century.

Cyclists say they love the Tour de Manure most because of its spirited volunteers. At the registration booth in Sierraville, Dwight Brooks sets the tone with a few country yodels. Out in the valley, a padre of “Turn Cowboys” waves directional signs to guide you through tricky intersections; just when you think you’re riding into a meadowland outer space,  a homemade lemonade stand appears, run by the Spencer family next to their ranch; bicycle clubs and church groups people the rest stops, offering the kind of food the gold miners hefted through the mountains in their sacks; at the finish line party in downtown Sierraville, firefighters don’t let the cyclists go hungry, serving up BBQ chicken and trip tip, along with pasta, salad, juicy garlic bread and homemade desserts, while Michael Hogan and his retro country rock ‘n’ roll band The Simpletones play live on a turquoise Chevy truck.

The ride itself is glorious, circling one of northern California’s great secrets, the headwaters of the Feather River,  stitching together the ranches that have been the region’s keepers since blue-eyed Swiss-Italian dairy farmers arrived  in the valley 150 years ago.

The Tour de Manure gets its name from the weeks in May when the cows come home from their winter grazing grounds in California’s Central Valley to enjoy the water-drenched grasses of the high meadows for summer. Journeying along Highway 49 (the Gold Rush Highway) and county road A-23 and California State Route 70 (a route that Irish/British/African American explorer Jim Beckwourth charted across the Sierra), in long-haul trucks, they mark their passage with polka dot sprinkles of manure on the pavement, a familiar site and smell in the delightfully fertile weeks of spring.

The Tour de Manure threads wetlands full of red-winged blackbirds, yellow-headed blackbirds, and pairs of nesting Sandhill Cranes. Redtail hawks circle overhead, and an antelope or two might bound away across a field. At Sierra Hot Springs lodge, thermal springs bubble steam, while in Calpine nearby Indie-folk-country bands rattle the walls at Sierra Valley Lodge. Mostly, it’s just a real pleasure to soak in the Sierra Valley scene and enjoy the hospitality of its people.

There’s only a little climbing in this tour, primarily at the end when Highway 49,bounds over three sagebrush-speckled swells.

The 62-mile route starts in Sierraville heading west toward Sattley, turns north on A-23 to Beckwourth, then east for 2.5 miles on busy State Route 70 , through the valley on A-24 into Loyalton and Sierra Brooks, and down Highway 49 back to Sierraville.

The 42-mile route cuts off the Sierra Brooks section.

The 30-mile route follows the curves of Highway 49 from Sierraville to Loyalton and back.

*Proceeds benefit Sierraville Volunteer Fire and Rescue!


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