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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Biking Lake Tahoe

Whether you like them Skinny or Fat, you will see all types of tires on the trails in Lake Tahoe.  The area boasts technical terrain for the adventurous mountain biker including The Flume Trail, The Rim Trail and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

The Flume Trail begins at Spooner Lake and follows the ridge to the North overlooking Lake Tahoe.  There are many areas along the trail that demand you stop for photos or like many riders today, use your GoPro throughout the length of the ride.  Ascending over 2000 feet above Lake Tahoe, the trail has been named in Western America’s Top Ten Routes. Historically, the Flume Trail gets its name from the flume which transported water and logs during the silver mining boom from Lake Tahoe to Virginia City.  The Flume Trail is 22 miles long and can be done as an in and out or ride the length of the trail and take the shuttle back to the Spooner Trailhead. 

The Tahoe Rim Trail is part of a 165 mile loop that circles Lake Tahoe.  Not all parts of the trail are accessible to bikers and the trail is shared by hikers and equestrians.  The Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s site provides maps and trip planning to help you make the most of this wonderful trail.

If the name alone does not give you a hint – let me confirm that Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is all of that and more!  One downhill drop along this trail plunges 1500 feet in a span of less than  6 miles.  That can be pretty wild indeed at speed!  Its steep and technical and even experienced riders will get a thrill.

For fan’s of the skinny tire – Lake Tahoe does not leave you out.  South Lake Tahoe is a designated Bike Friendly Community so trails abound and maps and signage will help you locate the best spots to visit.  Complimentary bicycles are available at the Tahoe Keys Resort office for guests staying in one of  the Tahoe Keys community properties and rental shops are plentiful around town.

Three major cycling events are held each year in the Tahoe Basin that celebrate the road biking tradition.  Lake Tahoe’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride held annually at the beginning of June is a 72 mile ride which circumnavigates the lake.  This event is a must do for road bike enthusiasts and offers several options including a 1/2 ride with a paddle boat shuttle.  Sponsored by the same Bike the West group – the Tour De Tahoe is an early September ride which also features circumnavigation of the lake.

In a whole different league and with a name that gives an indication of the challenge is Lake Tahoe’s Death RideLake Tahoe Flume Trail.  Held in mid July, the complete ride is a grueling 129 miles with over 15,000 vertical feet of climbing over 5 alpine passes.  Sound like a fun day?  Join the 3500 riders that test their physical ability and sheer will to complete the ride.  I am always in awe!