Several months ago, I posted my ride around Lake Tahoe with two friends (74 Miles Around Lake Tahoe). The same three of us did it again today, but this time with about 2000 close friends. It was called "Tour de Tahoe --Ride Big Blue"
We met last night in South Lake Tahoe and shared a motel room. I don't know how I ended up with the sofa bed, but it was the world's most uncomfortable one. It was easy to get up at 5:00 am to make it to the start. We were in the first wave at 6:30. Here we are at Starbucks at 6:00. That's me in the hat.
It was still darkish as we passed by the casinos on our way down Lake Tahoe Blvd. It was about 53 degrees. It seems like about 5 miles of slightly downhill, but it struck me later that it can't be, since it's all at lake level.
The climb up to Inspiration point is easy. Well, except for the switch backs. Easy, except for the switch backs. Oh, and the altitude. Easy except for the switchbacks and altitude. Oh, and the steepness. Easy for except for the switchbacks, altitude and steepness . . . and the second set of switchbacks. And then the third climb. But it's easy.
I don't have many good pictures, as from the first rest stop to "lunch" (about 25 miles) we really pounded. At least, if felt like it to me. I think Jay fell in love with #484 and boy, she could ride. We followed her most of the way. I did have a first. I was moving pretty well (for me) when in my mirror I see four young riders in matching kits move up behind me. "Four on your wheel", said the first rider. I acknowledged them. I think they stayed there for maybe three miles, then moved on as we hit a small hill. Young guys drafting on me! Shezam.
The traffic was not bad, and there was an amazing presence of Highway Patrol and Sheriff vehicles. The weather was still cool, just perfect for riding. We were down to shorts and jerseys by 9:30.
Anyway, here's a picture of the lunch spot (at 9:30 am) at Kings Beach.
After lunch there is some climbing, then about 10 miles of mostly up, with 6 of it pretty serious. There was a water stop about halfway up, which was nice. There was also a coyote that loped across the road in front of us. He clearly waited on the other side of the road, watching vehicle traffic, and crossed only when safe.
The "turn for home" puts us on Highway 50 and a long, steep, just repaved grade. It was here that on the last ride my bike convulsed in mysterious wobblies and I nearly went down at 43 mph. At almost the exact same spot I have a flat tire at 40 mph this time. Fortunately, the rear tire, not a blow out and no cars or riders near by.
My buddies didn't know I'd flatted, so they were changing clothes at the cars when I pulled in. We had a nice lunch around the pool at the Horizon Casino (included) and we all went our separate ways. Oh, I almost forgot. Last time around the lake I averaged 14.7 mph., of which I was pretty happy. This year . . . wait for it . . . . 15.8! for 73 miles. I think it was #484 that did it. My top speed was 45.0.
I had told a number of people that this was an "easy" ride. It's not. I think I'd call it "moderate" and, of course, it depends on the level of hammer. But it is gorgeous. We finished about 12:20 and it was still below 80 degrees. I'm sorry I don't have more pictures for ya'll.
Like last year, for the drive home, I fired up a cigar, after opening the sunroof, rear slider and both windows of my old truck. This year an Acid "Toast". Hmmm. Nice.