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must-do rides in the south lake tahoe/death ride areas...?

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must-do rides in the south lake tahoe/death ride areas...?

Old 08-08-14, 10:51 PM
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ooga-booga
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must-do rides in the south lake tahoe/death ride areas...?

hi all. coming up from san diego this coming wed and looking to ride in the markleeville/south lake tahoe area on thurs, fri and sat.
will likely do a century one day (maybe two)and hoping to ride the best the area has to offer. looking to do a few passes: monitor, ebbets, luther
and carson and maybe ride around lake tahoe in its entirety. i will have all day all 3 days since i'm traveling solo and this is a dedicated bike trip.
what are your must-do road rides (shoulda put it in the title) in the area? A second question is how is the support/supplies/provisions south of lake tahoe
on hwys 88, 89, 50 and 4? sparse at best or convenience stores in every little hamlet/town? thanks in advance for your helpful replies.
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Old 08-09-14, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
hi all. coming up from san diego this coming wed and looking to ride in the markleeville/south lake tahoe area on thurs, fri and sat.
will likely do a century one day (maybe two)and hoping to ride the best the area has to offer. looking to do a few passes: monitor, ebbets, luther
and carson and maybe ride around lake tahoe in its entirety. i will have all day all 3 days since i'm traveling solo and this is a dedicated bike trip.
what are your must-do road rides (shoulda put it in the title) in the area? A second question is how is the support/supplies/provisions south of lake tahoe
on hwys 88, 89, 50 and 4? sparse at best or convenience stores in every little hamlet/town? thanks in advance for your helpful replies.
Fantastic rides that I think you could stitch a few together:

Park at the intersection of 89/4, a little south of Markleeville, and ride Highway 4 (Ebbett's) to the summit. Maybe go down the other side a mile or two, but don't go too far ... it's steep and exposed to the afternoon sun, and not as scenic as the north side. If you have plenty of time, then ride to the top of Monitor ... go a few miles beyond the summit to the overlooks of the valley below, but I wouldn't bother riding down to 395, unless you are looking at re-creating the Death Ride/Alta Alpina 8 (all those climbs add up).

Park at the intersection of 88/89 (Picketts Junction) and ride 88 south to Blue Lakes Rd, then Blue Lakes Rd to its end. Skip riding 88 all the way to Carson Pass; there were better views on Blue Lakes Rd without any of the traffic. Also skip riding Luther (89), since the best part of that is the valley you start out in.

If you still have plenty of time, park at the base of Kingsbury Grade and ride it to the summit. You'll get great views on the Carson Valley, and a bomber descent at the end.

Ride the Lake Tahoe Loop clockwise so that you're always on the water side of the road. Start early in South Lake Tahoe or Camp Richardson so that you can get through the Emerald Bay portion before there is too much traffic. Emerald Bay, and the bit of road just south of Incline Village (NV side) as you go towards Sand Harbor are the best stretches. If you want more climbing during the loop, ride up 431/Mt Rose to the summit before you get to Incline Village.

Except for riding on 50 as a portion of the Lake loop, don't go anywhere near it on a bicycle.

I know you emphasized road rides, but the MTB'ing there is awesome, especially on the portions of the Tahoe Rim Trail between Mt. Rose and South Lake Tahoe. Lots of segments between the major roads allows you to hit one or two pieces at a time, and lots of places to rent bikes.

There are stores in Sorensen's Resort (near Picketts Junction) as well as the road leading up to Markleeville. South of Markleeville there is nothing. Stores don't stay open late either. However, get anywhere on the north or south shore of Lake Tahoe and services abound (north of Markleeville in Minden/Gardnerville there are plenty of things open late).

So my itinerary would be ride around the lake on Thursday if you are able to start early (thinking Thu would have less traffic than the weekend), rent a MTB on Friday and ride the Flume, then Saturday ride Ebbetts/Blue Lakes.
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Old 08-11-14, 10:36 PM
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Ride from Markleville to Lake Alpine and have lunch. Should be about 65+ miles. We started at the junction of 89 (Monitor Pass) and Highway 4 just for something different. A beautiful, hard ride. Bring water and food. Nothing available between Markleville and Lake Alpine.
Markleville to Lake Alpine - Alpine County, CA
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Old 08-11-14, 11:12 PM
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+1 on the Markleeville to Lake Alpine ride. One of the best rides in the area.

Also consider a Kingsbury - Hope Valley - Old Luther Pass loop. Old Luther Pass has been closed to car traffic for decades, but is still ride-able on a road bike. Awesome views of Hope Valley without the traffic on Highway 89 over Luther Pass. You can access it by following the path behind the rest rooms at the fishing area just west of Picketts Junction on 88, then follow the old road (don't mind the trees growing in the middle of the road ). It connects with 89 at the summit. Take South Upper Truckee down the other side for a nicer ride without traffic. Here's a link to a route that avoids much of the traffic through S. Lake Tahoe too - it's about 50 miles and 5000 feet of climbing.

Kingsbury-Old Luther - A bike ride in Alpine County, CA

You could add the Blue Lakes out-and-back mentioned above on the same ride if you want a longer ride.

Edit: Stores in Meyers, South Lake Tahoe, and Woodfords.

Last edited by gw_12; 08-11-14 at 11:20 PM.
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