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Old 08-13-01, 02:47 PM   #1
Joe Pozer
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Breathless in Mountain Biking Heaven

Eventhough I'm completly exhausted today, I had an incredible weekend of mountain biking in Tahoe.
One thing that took me by surprise was how much the altitude affected me. The rides started at around 6,500 feet above sea level and topping out at over 9,000 feet. While climbing it seemed like I was never able to catch my breath. Climbing was not the most fun thing I've ever done, but the views more than made up for the pain. Incredible views of Lake Tahoe from the top.

On Saturday we rode Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and it definitely lived up to it's name. The climb was rough but once there you had 8 miles of incredible downhill. The top part of the descent was very technical with lots of boulders and drops while the bottom part was fast and twisty singletrack.

On Sunday we did the Flume Trail. It's not a very technical ride but it offers some majestic views of Lake Tahoe. I believe that it tops out at 9400' above sea level.

It was just an incredible weekend of riding. I still wish I was out there.

Pictures are on their way...
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Old 08-13-01, 03:03 PM   #2
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Sounds wonderful Carlos. Can't wait to see the pics.
You've go me worried about the elevation thing though. We're climbing supposedly from 9500 to 12000 ft.
At least that's what I was told. Haven't looked up the elevation on the net though. Maybe I can get a little oxygen tank to fit in my bottle cage...
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Old 08-13-01, 06:58 PM   #3
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Originally posted by Dirtgrinder
Maybe I can get a little oxygen tank to fit in my bottle cage...
Hey DG. Funny you mention the oxygen tank. My Friends and I were joking about that during the ride. We should've brought portable oxygen tanks. I really was surprised by how much the elevation affected me. I guess my poor sea-level lungs just can't take the altitude. I can't imagine how much I would be suffering at 12k above sea level. Are you going to get there a couple of days before you ride? I've been told that may help in getting acclimated to the altitude. Maybe some of the "high altitude" forum members have some suggestions on how to get acclimated with the altitude.

Anyway, you should have a great time. I've heard that N.M. has some incredible mt. biking.
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Old 08-13-01, 07:51 PM   #4
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We arrive in Albuquerque on Thursday evening and ride the Windsor trail in Santa Fe on Friday. I don't think it's as high as the SBT. Then on Saturday we ride the South Boundary Trail. Not much time for acclimation! I know they say to arrive several days early but we don't have that luxury. I read that you need to hydrate much more than usual and that will help. I guess we'll see! I just bought a 32meg smartmedia card for my digital camera so I can take lots of pics during my frequent rest-stops.
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Old 08-14-01, 09:24 AM   #5
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I was just in Colorado 2 weeks ago riding. Got there on Thurs. night and rode on Friday morn. Elevation started around 5500 with the highest point around 7700 - did 31 miles total with lots of total elevation gain due to the multiple peaks and valleys. Felt a little o2 deficit on the first big climb, but not much really. Once I got warmed up though, I felt great and did not notice the elevation at all. On Sun. went hiking at around 10,000 ft., noticed the lack of o2 a bit more. Mon. did a ride which started at 7500 ft. and went straight up to 9700 ft. over 5 miles. Definitely felt the lack of o2 the higher I got in the climb, but still felt good overall. I live at 300-400 ft. I attribute the fact that I felt stong on the trip to the fact that I am pretty much feeling in peak shape and have been riding 4 days a week on the single speed. I took the geared bike to CO and felt invincible!!! I think your level of fitness is going to be the single biggest factor for your performance at altitude, especially if you don't have time to acclimate.
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Old 08-14-01, 10:11 AM   #6
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I was very surprised by how much the elevation affected me. I've gone to Downieville a couple of times and the altitude never affected this much. The ride does start at a lower altitude (4,000ft) but it goes up to 8000ft. I've always felt very strong up there but at Tahoe I did suffer a bit. The climbs at Tahoe were much shorter than Downie but hurt much worse.
Still, I had a great time and the vistas were unbelievable.
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Old 08-14-01, 12:00 PM   #7
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I'm jealous Joe, been wanting to go to Downieville and Tahoe for a while. Too many places to go, not enough time. Need to win the lottery!
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Old 08-14-01, 12:59 PM   #8
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Yeah, I do consider myself pretty lucky with all of the great riding in the Sierras. There are still a lot of trails that I need to explore up there.
I'm with you Rider, I also need to win big money so I can quit working and drive around the country hitting all the best mountain biking spots.
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