Portola the hub for Gravel Grinder

About 106 miles with 8,100 feet elevation gain through the eastern Lost Sierra awaits over 1,500 riders at the 2019 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder on June 1. Map courtesy Sierra Buttes Trail Partnership

Preparations for the sold-out Lost and Found Gravel Grinder on Saturday, June 1, are in high gear as race day draws near. There are options for 35 miles for the “good times rider” to 67 miles for the “adventurous rider” to 106 miles for the “serious riders and racers.” And, for the first time, the race will begin and end in the city of Portola.

The weekend is slated to start with a Friday night picnic in Portola City Park, where there will be on-site registration and check in from 3 to 7 p.m., with snacks and adult beverages available in the beverage garden from 2 to 7 p.m.

Race day kicks off early Saturday, with registration and check in at the park from 6 to 7:30 a.m., and a mass rollout start at 8 a.m. for the three race categories — 35, 67 and 106 miles.

Aid stations will be set up along the course to provide water, snacks and moral support as riders make their way through miles of wilderness, and post-ride recovery time is set to begin at the City Park at noon.


The park won’t be empty while the riders are on the course. Friends, family and locals are all invited to come check out the Lost and Found Marketplace, which opens at noon, with adult beverages served from noon to 9:30 p.m. provided by the Brewing Lair and The Brewer’s Cabinet, along with other Sierra Buttes Trail Partnership partners, with proceeds going to trail stewardship.

There will be a post-ride meal option, free for registered riders and volunteers, or $15 per person for non-rider attendees, with tickets available for pre-sale at Eventbrite.

An awards ceremony for the races is scheduled to take place from 3 to 6 p.m. to celebrate the victors in style, as well as drawings for donated goods during the ceremony.

Riders are encouraged to support local business and check out restaurants and food vendors in the area, and get back to the park in time for the free kids race sponsored by the Plumas County Sheriff Employee Association at 6 p.m.


The kid’s race is a special event to give youth a chance to have some fun on their bikes, too, and registration and waiver forms are available at cityofportola.com or at City Hall. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. at the city tennis courts, and awards will be given on the main stage following the races.

The Portola Post-Ride Party swings into action with the arrival of Afrolicious, who will play a 90-minute set on stage beginning at 8:15 p.m. and wrapping up at 10 p.m.

According to reviews, Afrolicious has established itself as both one of the most legendary weekly parties in San Francisco and one of the top live/electronic bands on the music scene today, so event organizers are understandably excited.

For those camping at Lake Davis who still want to safely enjoy the party, there will be a shuttle service running every half hour starting at 6:30 p.m. in Portola and dropping off at Coot Bay on Lake Davis 30 minutes later.


Sunday morning, June 2, participants can enjoy a pancake breakfast hosted in the park by Eastern Plumas Healthcare beginning at 6 a.m. Tickets will be available for $10 per person for adults and $6 for kids.

This year, local camping has been bolstered with a weekend camping pass that brings the race even closer to home for those about to hit the trails. The city of Portola has opened up multiple sites throughout the city, and amenities include a pool, restaurants, basketball court, skateboard park, pump track, volleyball and horseshoe pit.

Tickets for camping in Portola are available online at lostandfoundbikeride.com or via cityofportola.com and are $15 per night, including showers.

For those wishing to camp further away, there are RV and tent sites surrounding Lake Davis, and many lodging options in the area for those that may prefer a room to a tent.

Locals are invited by SBTS and the city of Portola to enjoy the event, join the fun and get hands on, with many volunteer options still open. There are openings for volunteers in registration in the park, parking and traffic control, the SBTS merchandise booth, beverage garden ticket sellers, first aid, aid stations and more.


Volunteers get free tent camping in Portola, a free event T-shirt and socks, lunch and ticket for an adult beverage, along with a behind the scenes perspective on what it takes to bring the event together. Details are available online at lostandfoundbikeride.com under the “Volunteer” tab.

For more information about the event and how to get involved, visit lostandfoundbikeride.com or cityofportola.com.