Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finally I ride a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail...

This past Saturday I drove to Tahoe for my nephew Mark’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding in the backyard of one of his relative’s house in the Tahoe Keys.

Of course I figured since I’m driving all this way, I might as well spend some time with my sister who lives up there and since I’m going to be up there anyway, I might as well try to ride a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail which I’ve always wanted to do.

My sister has lived in Tahoe for 30+ years and ever since I got into mt biking, I've wanted to go up there and ride the Tahoe Rim Trail. It's supposed to be one of the most scenic rides in California and I've never done it.

Saturday evening my sister and I had a great visit and were able to get all caught up on what’s happening in each other’s lives. It’s odd to sit and talk about our kids (and my grandkid) as adults. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was spending portions of my summer up there when I was a kid fishing,hiking, riding my bike and just hanging out...those will always be some of my best memories growing up.

Well Sunday morning after breakfast, Maureen took Craig, their dog Louie and I up to the Nordic Center outside of Tahoe City and dropped us off for our ride. Craig has lived in Tahoe for over 30 years and knows just about every trail up there so I couldn’t have asked for a better guide.

We started off up a trail that lead past some little lake/pond where Louie took his first break. From there we were on a trail I think they called the jump trail due to the water bars that cross it regularly. Evidently if we had been going down this trail instead of up, these would be jumps instead of obstacles. Every one required a burst of effort to get over which at sea level probably would have been a decent workout but at 7000ft was more like a constant redline stress test.

It was a nice long climb that definitely got the heart rate up and kept the legs burning. At the top, we came to Fiberboard Rd (not sure if that's the real name or not)which is where Craig and Louie would be heading back and I’d be continuing on. Well, as we sat there taking a break, Brad, one of Craig’s buddies pedaled up the hill with a couple other friends in tow.

They stopped and we chatted and introductions were made. Turns out Brad’s friends, Noel and Nancy, were actually from the bay area and were doing the loop that I had planned on doing by myself. Since it’s always more fun to ride with others, I joined them and we continued up the hill towards the Tahoe Rim Trail.

I was a little concerned about keeping up since they were obviously a very fit group, but I managed to not hold them up too much. Luckily they weren’t acclimated to the elevation either so every time we stopped to rest, they seemed to be just as out of breath as I was.

We continued up the trail to a place with an amazing view. You could see all the way up Squaw Valley...just amazing!

From there we started climbing again (ugh) up to a place called Painted Rock – more amazing views and the last of the climbing for me for the day. From here it was an amazing single track ride down to another fire road where Noel, Brad and Nancy would spin off for a different loop. I needed to get on the road home so I took a more direct route down. I went down some trail called the Wall which connected to another trail I don’t remember, which connected to the Western States trail and eventually to the paved bike path along the Truckee River.

From there it was just a 6 mile grind back to town along the Truckere River.

When I got to Maureen and Craig's house, Maureen made me lunch, I had a shower and got on the road for home…..
What a great weekend!

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