The Trans North California is another route to add to your list. The first year event has 17 racers lining up at their grand depart, this Saturday, October 11th. The race starts at 8:00am at the California/Nevada border just outside of Reno. The route will head west over high alpine mountains, rural plains, and coastal landscape before reaching the ocean and completing the 400 mile trek across NorCal.

What to Know

Name: Trans North California Year: 1st Length: 400 Miles Start: Cali/NV State line Finish: Mendocino Vert: 40,000ft Route Description: Dirt road and some singletrack. Race Director: Doug Frederick and Dan Hensley  
Trans North California
Photo: Dan Hensley
Starting right on the Nevada/California border, racers will travel on Hennessee Pass Road leading into the Sierra Mountains. Racers will quickly reach the high point of the route at 7,000 feet, climbing dirt roads and singletrack through the Sequoia forests. After some time in the high Country, the route descends into the first resupply town of Comptonville, about 100 miles in. After a few more ups and downs, the route takes on the long flat section of the Rural Sacramento Valley, a nice change of pace. There are a handful of resupply towns in the valley where racers can grab a bite and resupply for the climb up into the Mendocino National Forest.
Trans North California
Photo: Doug Frederick
Racers will be rudely introduced to the Mendocino Forest 250 miles into the route with a 4000ft climb. Almost just as long of a descend will drop the fatigued riders into the Potter Valley. Riders will pass through Ukiah, another resupply town with food, lodging, and a bike shop. They will then travel thorough the the beautiful costal forest, climbing up more roads and descending some world class singletrack. Once racers reach the Big River, only a few miles separate them from a beer in Mendocino.
Trans North California
Photo: Doug Frederick
Doug and Dan understand how to put on a good race, it is illustrated by their presentation and overall route choice. It also shows by letting it be known this is a DO-IT-YOURSELF race. Riders will be expected to handle a bike failure or rattle snake bite on their own. Only in the worst of scenarios may a racer ask another racer for assistance. Their website states “there are no prizes, no entry fee, no medals, no trophies, no promises, no warranty, no sponsors, no fanfare, no expectations, no liability, no one in charge, and no one but you.” We like it that way. A first year event will always keep you wondering. Who will take the early lead, where will racers resupply, who will drop out, and how fast will it take people to finish. Although the route is comprised of a majority of road, it’s a tough route. The Trans North California has set up simple classifications for racers. The classes are as follows:
  • Ladies Geared
  • Gentlemen Geared
  • Ladies Single Speed/Fixed
  • Gentlemen Single Speed/Fixed
  • Tandem
Only one lady is in the start list for this year, but many of you may know of her. Alice Drobna, 2014 Tour Divide winner and new single speed record holder, will give many men a run for their money. After tackling a portion of his world tour, Kurt Sandiforth is back! Kurt is no stranger to ultra bikepacking races, completing the Triple Crown in 2012. Kurt grew up in the Sierra Foothills, so this race is right at home for him. Another notable racer who may have the most decorated ultra race season ever is Blake Bockius. This will be Blake’s 5th bikepacking race of the year, his last one being the Smoke ‘n’ Fire where he tied for first. Photos courtsey of  Doug Fredrick‘s and Dan Hensley‘s flicker pages. For more info head to their website… For tracking head over to Happy Trails!  
Trans North California
Photo: Doug Frederick


  1. This will be my first of many bikepacking races. This should be fun.

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