GRANITE BAY GRINDER: High school mountain bikers hit the trails at Folsom Lake

Riders compete in weekend race March 19 & 20
By: Placer Valley Tourism - Courtesy Story
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Gears will be shifting, mud will be flying and the trails around Folsom Lake in Granite Bay will be packed with high school mountain bikers March 19-20 as more than a thousand student athletes will be competing in their second official race of the season — the Granite Bay Grinder. 

Placer Valley Tourism will team up with NorCal High School Cycling League again to bring this incredible race back to Placer Valley.  Vanessa Hauswald, Executive Director for the league, explained they have been racing out at Granite Bay for about 12 years now and cyclists love it because the terrain is perfect for all skill levels, plus it's a great venue for spectators. 

"The Granite Bay course has a few technical sections that make it really fun, but not too challenging or dangerous,” Hauswald explained. “And the flowy, rolling profile of the trail is really perfect as there is enough space for riders to safely pass one another, and yet there is some tight single-track that keeps it fun. An added bonus is that the course is gorgeous … that is, if you have enough energy to lift your head up and take in the scenery while you are racing."

There will be 11 categories of competition which include freshman girls, sophomore girls, junior varsity girls, varsity girls, freshman D1 and D2 boys, sophomore D1 and D2 boys, junior varsity D1 and D2 boys and varsity boys. Medals are awarded five-deep in each category and team trophies will be handed out to the top three D1 and D2 teams. 

Approximately 1,200 teenagers will brave the course terrain over this two-day event with teams ranging as far south as Fresno and as far north as Arcata. The race days start around 6:30 a.m. when the teams arrive to set up their tents and staging area and the course opens at 7 a.m. for a morning pre-ride. Actual racing begins with the girls teams as they kick off the day at 9 a.m. 

Local riders from Woodcreek High and Granite Bay High will be in attendance as they ride around Folsom Lake. Admission is free for spectators and refreshments are available on-site at the race.