Running between September 1st and October 15th, the Grand Prize of this season’s 5 Bucks a Foot campaign will be an Ibis of the winner’s choice worth $10,000. In homage to the hunt for gold that originally created many of the trails in the Lakes Basin, this one-of-a-kind Ibis will be custom painted matte black and gold. The bike will also be equipped with a full SRAM Eagle 1×12 group in gold and black plated finish, Fox suspension and dropper post, black and gold Industry Nine wheels and tires, grips and a saddle from WTB. For every foot of trail purchased, an entry to win the bike is put into the drawing basket.
The legend of the Lakes Basin began in the early 1850s when Thomas Robertson Stoddard claimed he stumbled upon a lake whose shores were glimmering with gold nuggets. His alleged story spread like wildfire, and by the following spring, thousands of prospectors searched for this elusive lake of gold. They found the lake, now known as Gold Lake, but the nuggets laying in plain sight never panned out. There were calls for Stoddard’s head after discovering his story was bunk, but by then the raconteur and his gold were long gone.
Although plenty of gold was eventually found in the Lakes Basin, the lasting legacy today is a network of rugged prospecting trails that connects nearly 30 emerald blue alpine lakes. Those that ride the Lakes Basin know it’s some of the most challenging, rewarding and stunningly beautiful terrain in all the Sierra Nevada. Measured by those who ride it in “dog miles” – the Basin is so rocky and technical that every mile ridden feels like seven. Although the going can be slow and arduous sometimes, the views are worth all the effort to reach trails like Mount Elwell, recently ranked as the third best mountain bike trail in the world by Dirt Magazine.
If there is any place the Stewardship can show off its rock work artistry, it’s in the Lakes Basin. In fact, virtually all of the trails in the Lakes Basin have been maintained and improved by the Stewardship, using sustainable rock armoring techniques, rock-lined drainages and elevated rock bridges over marsh areas to ensure that non-motorized recreation has as little impact on habitat as possible.
Show your support for one of the most magical regions in all the Sierra Nevada by purchasing as many feet of trail as you can. The payoff is world class recreation while helping employ local residents to keep our mountain communities thriving. And for one lucky winner, a brand new custom Ibis worth $10,000.