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About this fundraiser:
Heart of Gold is Nevada County's premier gravel race through the heart of the Gold Country. Hundreds of riders will come October 8th to test their mettle, tackling some steep terrain all in the name of raising money for teen mental wellness services in Nevada County. All proceeds support Bright Futures for Youth, Child Advocates, Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation, and Youth Bicyclists of Nevada County (YBONC).
Otherwise known as HOG, the race requires true grit to complete, with two course options, one 45 miles long and 7K feet of climbing, the other course close to 75 miles long and nearly 11K feet of climbing. The routes can be brutal, but the scenery and purpose is well worth the effort! Riders will pedal through the Gold Rush towns of North Columbia, Humbug (Malakoff Diggins), Graniteville, Washington, and Nevada City, crossing the South Yuba River and Poorman's Creek along the way. The long course takes riders on an arduous 14-mile climb out of the South Yuba canyon, gaining over 3K feet of elevation and views of what many consider the crown jewel of the Sierras, the 8,500' peak of the Sierra Buttes to the North.
Each year for HOG there will be a special rider as the designated "Claim Jumper," who will start the race dead last and seek to pass as many riders as he/she can before crossing the finish line. Every rider passed is a "claimed" rider. You can pledge either a FLAT RATE to sponsor the Claim Jumper or pledge a PERFORMANCE RATE to sponsor X-dollars per rider that the Claim Jumper "claimed" during the race. For example, if you pledge $5/claimed and the Claim Jumper passes 20 riders by the finish line, then your donation would be $100. All donations are tax-deductible.
This year's Claim Jumper is Nevada County's own Justin Pfaffinger, a local since 1986, he learned to ride his bike as a toddler here in town. His love for biking has been constant, finding great joy pedaling all throughout the Sierras. As a kid he participated in youth mentorship programs serving as a "big sib" mentor to other local children. In college that continued as he volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo. His heart has always had a special place for Nevada County, feeling grateful for the support he received as a child. Returning with his high school sweetheart in 2009, Justin helped establish a children's dental clinic in Grass Valley and continues to serve his community through his private dental practice in Nevada City. He does enjoy a good challenge, so let's see how many riders he can pass!
For more information about the race, to register or volunteer, see www.heartofgoldgravel.com