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Old 05-15-08, 01:34 PM   #1
Mojo Slim
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74 Miles Around Lake Tahoe

It has been called "The Most Beautiful Ride In the World". I'm sure some would argue otherwise, but it's gotta be right up there.

Yesterday (May 14), three of us left Harrah's at the South Shore exactly at 9:30am as planned. I hoped we would make it back by 4:00, which would mean something over 14 mph average speed. That's me on the right.


Here's the discouraging part: At the end of the ride, I felt GREAT. I'll explain later.

We started around the lake, clockwise. We didn't make our first rest stop until . . . mile 1.3. Everyone pulled into a McDonald's for a potty break.

After about 10 miles, we start the first climb, up to Inspiration Point. I was dreading this, since I have driven it and know there are two switchbacks. Swithbacks = steep. I pictured myself on the inside of the turn with a car on my left, unable to make it up and performing a 0mph fall. But ya know what? It wasn't all that hard.
Here's a view near the top.


Here's one of the switchbacks. I have highlighted Jim on the road. He may be a bit hard to see.


Once at the top, it looks like this. On a Wednesday, the only people at the view area were foreign tourists. There was lots of mutual picture taking.


From the view area, there is a nice, smooth downhill, whereon a cyclist is traveling as fast as the cars (42mph for me). It would not be so smooth for me on the last down hill.

Any real climbing is now over for a while. We get on a 13-mile bike path, that Jay described as "a road biker's single track". It was twisty, smooth and full of whoop-de-doos. We passed a California Conservation Corps crew who had just swept several miles of it. There wasn't a pine needle to be run over.


After lunch at a Subway, we hit the second climb at approximately 54.34 miles. By this time, the wind is swirling, and the occasional tailwind make us realize how yucky the headwind is. The "first cut is the steepest", but I find a comfortable gear and make good time. The last 6 miles is less steep but less easy for some reason.

Now for the big big downhill. We hit Highway 50 and feel like we are on the home stretch, which we are. Then, at 43 mph, my bike starts a "mystery shimmy". It has never done it before. I've ridden faster down steeper hills. I think I might go down. Jim, behind me, told me later that he couldn't believe how bad it looked. But, and here's why reading BF might actually be helpful, I remember reading about these "mystery shimmies" on one of the sub-forums (back when I read more than the 50+ers) and how to stop them. I clamp my top tube between my knees. The shimmy stops. Remember this tip folks. I have no doubt it saved me.

We pulled into the parking lot at EXACTLY 4:00. 74.03 miles. About 3700 feet of climbing. My average speed: 14.7, which is pretty good for me.

I felt great. Not worn out. No pain. I was never out of breath, even at 7000 feet. That's the discouraging part. I have been having trouble with my left leg (my doctor, an orthpedic sports doctor and a neurologist haven't figured it out yet, but that's another thread) and it keeps me from hammering, standing up over sprinters' hills, etc. But, I can ride forever. It's still an internal battle between my capabilities and my mind's expectations. I know I can be better.

Now, a little insight into Mojo Slim. I had a two hour drive home. I splurged with a Big Mac and Fries (at our 1.3 mile rest stop. Opened my sunroof and rear window slider on my '93 Ranger, lit a very nice Rocky Patel cigar, and plugged in my iPod. Even shuffling through 7123 songs, it knew I wanted to hear Clapton, the Beatles, Robben Ford. A very nice end to a great day.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:40 PM   #2
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Great report. Only one question: Are you sure that second climb was at approximately 54.34 miles? Could it have been 54.35 or 54.33? Just wondering.

Seriously, great report, great pics and looks like a great ride.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:49 PM   #3
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The perfect day!! I've done the drive along 50 twice, going from Sac. over to the Mono Lake area, north of there a ways actually. I may not recall the little town I was headed to but I do certainly recall some of the viws off of 50. Breathtaking. Thanks for including the pictures. they really made it for me.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:55 PM   #4
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Great pics, beautiful country, and sounds like an incredible ride. Congrats, but I have to tell you my mouth started watering when you mentioned the Rocky Patel............mmmmm...........smooth, with a slightly peppery finish, B.B King, Robert Cray, the Subdudes would have been good too, I know where you were at. And no wonder it felt great.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:00 PM   #5
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Man, that is way sick, as the kids say...as in good!
Great scenery! No more snow in May? I haven't been to Tahoe since '93.

Mojo, if you can do this, you can ride the road on Palomar. Now be quiet.

So you got more pics than this?
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Old 05-15-08, 02:13 PM   #6
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The picture from the top is absolutely beautiful Glad you enjoyed the ride.

I've used the clamping the knees around the top tube a couple times to stop a shimmy. It really does work.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:45 PM   #7
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I'd like to do that ride.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:51 PM   #8
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Your photos are alway great. Thanks for the shimmy tip.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:51 PM   #9
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Beautiful pictures, I wish I had somewhere around here that pretty, to ride like that.
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Old 05-15-08, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timtruro View Post
Great pics, beautiful country, and sounds like an incredible ride. Congrats, but I have to tell you my mouth started watering when you mentioned the Rocky Patel............mmmmm...........smooth, with a slightly peppery finish, B.B King, Robert Cray, the Subdudes would have been good too, I know where you were at. And no wonder it felt great.
I'm sure there was some King'n'Cray in there somewhere. I've got 'em. I do have a Subdudes CD. Might have to go listen to it. You're right about the Rocky.
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Old 05-15-08, 03:18 PM   #11
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Fantastic! Thanks for the great report and pics.
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Old 05-15-08, 03:27 PM   #12
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Man, that is way sick, as the kids say...as in good!
Great scenery! No more snow in May? I haven't been to Tahoe since '93.

Mojo, if you can do this, you can ride the road on Palomar. Now be quiet.

So you got more pics than this?
There was still snow around, even some by the road in the shadows. You can see a little snow in this picture, on the right. This is Cascade Lake, from near the top of the climb above Emerald Bay. To the right of the road is Emerald Bay. One is riding along a ridge, not much wider than the road. Pretty awesome.


In this picture, we are about 2 miles from home. If you look through the trees, right center, you can see the casinos.

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Old 05-15-08, 03:28 PM   #13
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Thanks much for posting. Great pics, great ride.

I was touring through Northern California once and planned to head around Lake Tahoe on my way south from Mt. Shasta but it started to snow, so I took a shortcut into Reno and flew home from there. I always regretted not reaching Tahoe; your ride makes me want to go back and do it the right way.
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Old 05-15-08, 03:38 PM   #14
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Beautiful! What a great place to ride.

If you're checking out the Subdudes, Annunciation is a great CD.
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Old 05-15-08, 03:51 PM   #15
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Beautiful! What a great place to ride.

If you're checking out the Subdudes, Annunciation is a great CD.
That happens to be the one I just happen to have. Copied from someone long ago. I'm going to go get my book, a Coke and listen to it . . . right now.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:16 PM   #16
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I just got some pictures from Jay, one of the three of us. I liked this one, because of the composition and it shows that we have climbed up the east shore, Spooner Summit.

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Old 05-15-08, 07:26 PM   #17
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I did that ride a few times back in the early 70's as a teenager. One of my friends had a stationwagon so we piled 4 road bikes in the rear and drove up 99 and then 50 from Stockton.

Thanks you for posting those wonderful photos to jog my memory.

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Old 05-15-08, 07:26 PM   #18
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Two years ago this summer we had a family reunion at Lake Tahoe. That week I had my 12th round of chemo and was sick as a dog, and couldn't go. This thread and those pictures is just rubbing it in. I am really, really envious.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:34 PM   #19
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I visited Lake Tahoe in 2001 for a family reunion and rode the MUP south from Squaw Valley. It was so dreadful, with a potential right hook at every intersection, that I used the road shoulder on the return trip. I didn't get out into the woods, as you did -- that looks far more appealing.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:42 PM   #20
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Thanks for the pics, Mojo. I haven't been there in too long. We camped at Fallen Leaf Lake, (near Emerald Bay), and went mountain biking on the Flume Trail. After the rides, we would swim in the lake, brrrr. The Flume trail is above Spooner Lake park and starts at Marlette Lake. I need to go back there!
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Old 05-15-08, 08:44 PM   #21
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Another one on my list of must do's.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:51 PM   #22
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I have ridden that route many times when I lived in the Bay Area back in the 1960s. When I was in HighSchool I rode from Bakersfield up the Valley and through Yosemite up to Tahoe. The friend I rode with had a relative who owned a place on Emerald Bay. My most vivid memory was stopping my bike and running down the long dock and diving into the water. Having never been to Tahoe before I didn't realize that when I hit the water it would take my breath away...literally. WOW it was Damn Cold!!! It did wake me up tho.
I have been living in Colorado and love the riding here but, once a year I make a trip to California by train and take a several day trip somewhere...you have given me motivation to do the ride around Tahoe again.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:05 PM   #23
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Beautiful pics. That sounds like the kind of ride you never want to end. We'll have to add it to our list of "some day when I retire" rides.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:05 PM   #24
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Now, see? That climb would kill me. Literally.
But there are few place on earth more beautiful than Tahoe
Nice ride and thanks for the pictures so I can live it vicariously.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:45 AM   #25
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Congrats of a great ride. Your description of the ride and scenery has me putting this ride on my "10 to do rides" starting next summer when my wife and I are retired. I can picture it now, we start at the casino, I give my wife $250, we kiss good bye, I ride around the lake, call her in the cell phone when done, we meet for dinner and both celebrate what a great day we had.
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