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Thread: Lake Tahoe area

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    Lake Tahoe area

    Coming out for a visit next June and just wanted to know what to expect. Will be bringing my road bike. My wife will be in conference all week so, I get to make it a training camp. MapMyRide is kind of funny. A dozen or so maps/routes by different people around the lake. About 4 or 5 to other areas. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    You've come to the right place for guidance. A few details would help, though. Such as:

    -- Where will you be staying (probably South Lake Tahoe, but we shouldn'tassume, should we )?

    -- What kind of mileage are you up for? You can do anything form short and fairly easy to truly epic. Keep in mind that Tahoe is at about 6200 feet elevation, and you will feel the elevation if you aren't used to it. Don't let it scare you, just don't expect to be at 100% efficiency. And make an extra effort to stay hydrated - you will need more water/Cytomax/whatever than usual. For some people, the altitude can make it harder to get a good night's sleep for a few days. Forewarned is forearmed, and all that.

    -- Do you mind doing some serious climbing? Trying to keep it fairly flat can be done, and with some very pretty and rewarding rides, but it does narrow the options somewhat.

    You will love riding in the Tahoe area. Some areas are best ridden early in the day to avoid traffic (near Emerald Bay is probably the main one), but the area is simply gorgeous, the roads are (mostly) in good shape, and you will not regret the effort to bring your bike.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

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    Of course, the best riding in Tahoe is done on a mountain bike. Though road rides up there can be nice too. If you are in North Tahoe, the Tahoe Sierra Century had 3 pretty routes of different lengths that you could select from and ride on your own. Their web page is still up-. http://www.tahoesierracentury.com/map_profile.html

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    Yeah, I guess I was the one doing the assuming. Let's put it this way, since this trip to Lake Tahoe came up, I'm looking forward to spending the next 7months getting into as good a shape as I can get my 48 year old body into. I'm used to altitude. My wife and I usually do a two week vacation in Summit County, Colorado with bike riding up the mtns. being a serious component of the stay. Been up Mt. Evans a couple of times too. I've put on some 30 ugly pounds while I took care of my wife going through cancer treatment. Now, she's back doing triathlons and I'm just being fat. I don't know if it's possible or healthy to lose 30 pounds in that span of time but, I'm going to do the best I can to get in the best shape I can by then. I won't be flying up the hills but, I want to get to the tops (passes) with a modicum of composure. Who knows, if things go right, maybe I will give some grief to some younger whipper snappers on some of those climbs (I can dream can't I, lol!)

    I'm hoping to do nice cruises early on in the week to get some acclimatization and then take on some epic climbs. There is no suffering on a bike, only relishing the effort and ride and hoping it would never end.

    So a loop around the like is probably in the works for early/mid-week and then take on some of those climbs. Give me what you've got. It'll help motivate me to train during the dark days of winter.

    thanks!

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    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Good to hear your wife is doing triathlons again. June usually starts with Americas Most Beautiful Bike Ride and is typically dominated by a large number of Team in Training teams from all over the country. Maybe you can start off your visit with that. http://www.bikethewest.com/

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    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Go get yourself a map of the Lake Tahoe area and prepare to follow along.

    The circuit around Lake Tahoe is about 72 miles. I suggest doing it clockwise. There is a stretch of Highway 50 that you have to be on, and it is a major high-traffic route, mostly flat-rolling-ish, but with one unavoidable hill. If you go clockwise, you go down the hill, and your speed is something of a defense against too much traffic and less-than-optimal shoulders. If you go counter-clokwise, you have to go uphill, and I, for one, would really rather not, given the choice.

    Somewhere in the South Lake Tahoe/Meyers area is a good place to start, because you can get through the Emerald Bay area early before the sightseer traffic picks up. (Early on a weekday is even better.) Other than the aforementioned section of Hwy 50, the climb upo to Emerald Bay is really the only potentially dicey traffic area (road at its narrowest, spectacular scenery to distract Winnebago drivers - you get the idea). If you have to start on the north shore somewhere, still do the ride - just pay extra attention between Camp Richardson and Emerald Bay.

    Beyond Emerald Bay, you have a separate paved bike path or good shoulders (and usually a choice of one or the other) pretty much all the way to Incline Village. Past Incline Village, the road is not quite so generous, shoulder-wise, but traffic is significantly lower until you get back to - you guessed it - Hwy 50.

    Once you hit casino-land in South Lake Tahoe, it's pretty much standard-issue urban riding. Not the most pleasant riding in the world, but nothing for an experienced cyclist to shy away from.

    As for other possible rides:

    From the North Shore, a loop involving Hwy 89 and Hwy 267 (both go between points on the north shore of Tahoe and the town of Truckee) is good. Hwy 89 northbound follows the Truckee River, and is slightly downhill heading north from Tahoe City to Truckee. Great shoulders on 89 here. 267 goes over a mountain - I've never ridden or driven it, but the Northstar ski resort is at the top, so somebody here ought to be able to tell you about it.

    From Truckee, you can head west on the old Donner Pass road and climb to the top of Donner Pass. That takes you past Donner Lake (yes, this is all named for those Donners) and is pretty as can be. You can also head north out of Truckee on Hwy 89 - kind of roller-y, and there are prettier rides to do with limited time, IMHO.

    Also, there is a road from Incline Village to Reno (it has a state highway route number, but I can't remember what it is) that climbs up and over the Mt. Rose summit. That would be a significant climb on either side (more of a climb on the Reno side because Reno is significantly lower in elevation than is Tahoe), and again, I'll have to rely on others to give you road condition info.

    East out of South Lake Tahoe is the climb up to Daggett Pass. It has an amazing downhill into Nevada, but that would involve a major climb back up, either over the Nevada side of Daggett, or Monitor Pass on Hwy 89 (which would involve a pretty long ride and yet another significant climb on Hwy 89 over Luther Pass), or over Spooner Summit on Hwy 50.

    South out of the South Lake Tahoe area, I'd stick to Hwy 89 and Luther Pass. (Hwy 50 climbs up to Echo Summit and some spectacular views of Lake Tahoe, but that road is an iffy climb beacuse of the amount of traffic and somewhat episodic shoulders.) At the top of the main climb to Luther is a pretty little High Sierra meadow, a kind of scenery that I especially love. From the top of Luther, you can turn around to make it a shortish to moderate ride, depending on where you started. If you have more time, you can go down the other side to the junction with Hwy 88. Turn right, and you ride through a pretty valley and then climb up to Carson Pass. If you you turn left on 88, you have a blast of a descent through a narrow valley/wide canyon to where 88 and 89 split. If you stay straight on 88, you drop into Nevada (and if you want, you can circle back to Tahoe by going over the aforementioned Daggett Pass). If you go right onto 89, you're five miles, giove or take, from Markleevill, home of the infamous Death Ride. Four miles or so west of Markleeville is Grover Springs State Park, home of the Grover Springs hot pool, a wonderful place to soak. The springs are developed, meaning it is two regular concrete-lined swimming pools, one with hot springs water and one a regular swimming pool.

    Are you drooling yet? Good. You will love riding in the Tahoe area.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    Pepperoni Power ROJA's Avatar
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    This is a pretty sweet ride, if you don't mind an organized event: http://bikethewest.com/AMBBR.html
    Next year it's June 7. I did it last year and enjoyed it.

    If you like to climb, I've heard that this ride over Monitor and Ebbetts Passes is pretty good: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sadd...2&ie=UTF8&z=14
    Last edited by ROJA; 11-21-08 at 02:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sagebum's Avatar
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    Hi khan

    Our Alta Alpina Cycling Club serves the Tahoe, Alpine, and Carson Valley areas. Feel free to visit our Road Bike route page. These are road rides we commonly do. Pics, routes and descriptions.

    http://www.altaalpinacyclingclub.com...hp?action=Road

    Lots of great riding in June and feel free to contact us for info.

    http://www.altaalpinacyclingclub.com/
    Last edited by Sagebum; 11-21-08 at 11:54 PM.

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    This is just the kind of info I was hoping for and that AMBBR ride looks awesome. Only thing is we may be just getting there that weekend, I'm going to nail down our dates and location (it's set for where my wife's conference is) and see if that ride will work. Man, I'm more stoked than ever thanks to your information and guidance. Alta Alpina, I'll keep an eye on your site and maybe contact you closer to when we come out. Maybe you'll let me tag along (if I feel I can keep up and not be a drag on the ride) if you've got a ride going that week.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sagebum's Avatar
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    Definetly let me know when you come. We usually have rides all the time and can certainly put one together for you. Glad your wife is well and back at it....your turn!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagebum View Post
    Definetly let me know when you come. We usually have rides all the time and can certainly put one together for you. Glad your wife is well and back at it....your turn!
    Thank you, Sagebum. I'll look you up come June. And thanks again to everyone else for the great info. I'm getting excited already.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sagebum's Avatar
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    khan

    Also, here is a link to My BikeJournal Blog. another good way to keep up on routes and riding conditions out this way...feel free to look in anytime.

    http://www.bikejournal.com/blog.asp?rname=Sagebum

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    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    For mountain biking, you might want to check out the Flume Trail:
    http://www.theflumetrail.com/

    Also, if you're willing to take a ~2+ hour drive to Downieville, they have some spectacular single track - something like 17 miles of downhill with a 5,000' elevation loss. Then you get to catch a shuttle and get a ride back up to do it again.

    Outfitters/shuttle service:
    http://www.downievilleoutfitters.com/
    http://www.yubaexpeditions.com/

    A review:
    http://ogrehut.com/trails.php/Sierra-North/Downieville
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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