Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tahoe, Rides 1-3

In order to save time (I'm lazy) and to make a long story short (rarity for me), I am throwing all three rides into one entry.
This pic does not do the view from the deck justice.  We could see a lot of the lake, with sail boats, para-sailing etc.  Beautiful!

Riding in Tahoe was AMAZING!  Though I have been to Tahoe many times, I have never ridden a mountain bike there; boy was I missing out.  From where I was staying (Dollar Point) I had access to a maze (literally) of trails.  My first ride started at ~6350' elevation.  I was lucky enough to meet a group just getting started at a trail-head at the Nordic Ski Center, and followed them up to what is called the 'Fiber Board Freeway' (old paved logging road) and then further up and onto the Tahoe Rim Trail and then up a bit further before a nice, but technical downhill.  After 18 miles, we were back to the start, so I set off on my own and re-rode most of the route just so I could remember it for another ride.  The group rode slow enough that the elevation was not really a factor (only felt it while climbing), and I ended my ride by jumping into the most beautiful lake in the U.S..  Total miles ~30.

The next ride I took the same route from Dollar Point up to the Fiber Board Freeway and then to the Tahoe Rim Trail.  From there I made the poor decision to ride the TRT up to Watson Lake.  I was told the trail was not SS friendly, and it certainly was not.  A lot of technical climbing with a lot of slow, sandy trail.  Still, I pushed on (literally) and made it to the lake and back.  Total ride was only 25 miles, but much tougher than the ride two days earlier.
Still some snow on them there trails.  You almost can't see my dirty white bike as it blends in with the dirty white snow.  Interestingly, a yellow patch of snow emerged shortly after taking this picture.
 For my last ride, I did the ride that everyone should do if they have a mountain bike in Tahoe, the Flume Trial.  To add more miles, and to make it more challenging (much more challenging than I thought), I started at Mt. Rose Summit about 3/4 up from the Tahoe Meadows trail head at 8900'elevation.  From there I bombed down Tahoe Meadows to the Flume Trail and rode the scenic trail to Marlette Lake; rode around the lake, then headed back.  It was all good until that dreaded, "What goes down, must go up" mtb rule came into play.  I was grinning ear to ear flying down the Tahoe Meadows I was grimacing ear to ear riding back up.  I realized too late that I spent so much time enjoying the scenery, that I did not eat enough calories (or drink enough water) to account for the extra elevation, and I was starting to bonk.  That coupled with many uphill areas with deep sand, made for a miserable climb.  Here I was on a 26" single-speed, on Racing Ralphs, with tubes.  I was wishing I was on a geared 29er with some beefy tubeless tires.  So I walked several sections, ate a bar and some jerky, and drank some water.  I also learned that though the temp. was in the 70's. being at that elevation, and in full sun the entire time, really takes it's toll on you, or at least me).  The ride ended up being ~33 miles of just amazing trails.  The pics do not do justice to the beauty of the landscape, but if have been there, then you know.  Looking forward to a return visit with more appropriate gear.  Great, great time.
Nice view off the Tahoe Meadows Trail, almost to the Flume Trail.

A rider I met at the trail-head was kind enough to stop and take this pic on my return.

Tried to take a cool pic...ended up dropping the bike on my shoulder and rode back sore, with a large dirty grease stain on my left shoulder. :(   That'll learn me!
Rode partially around Marlette Lake until some guys warned me the trail I was about to hit was not SS friendly.  They were pretty convincing, so I headed back to the picturesque Flume Trail.
The Flume Trail signage as I return from Marlette Lake.  Seemed to be a popular resting spot for many.

The Carson Valley on the opposite side of the ridge from Tahoe.

That cool water is looking pretty good right about now.

Relaxing with my thoughts...unfortunately, I don't have many thoughts, so it was a short break.

Riding away.

Because one shot of my arse is not enough, here is a close-up for you sick'os.
You though Bin-Laden was dead?  You are wrong Infidels!  He is alive and well sporting a freshly shaved head and shredding the trails at Tahoe's highest summit!

The best way to end a ride in Tahoe?  Duh, head straight to the beach and join the family for a swim.  Ahhh, so refreshing.  Good Times!

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