Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is only my opinion, but I feel that that the Southeastern Sierras have some of the best climbing rides in the U.S. Miles of climbing and numerous possibilities with low traffic and good roads makes this area amazing. We usually try to hit it three or four times a year and I more than feel the three hour drive is worth it. There are two locations to stay in that offer decent hotels and good rides. Lone Pine is on the southern end and Bishop is on the northern end. For this ride we stayed in Bishop and rode up to South Lake and Lake Sabrina.

South Lake is 22 miles of climbing above Bishop and Lake Sabrina is several miles off of this climb. The road up is shaped like a Y with South lake on the left fork and Lake Sabrina on the right fork. The climb up is pretty amazing with the Sierras rising up in front of you for the whole climb. Anyway, here's the ride:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/130315

Starting out in Bishop early in the morning to avoid the 100F temps that were going to hit the valley later in the day. The good thing is we'd rapidly be climbing and hot temps would be just a thought in the far recesses of our mind.





The climb starts about two miles out of town and doesn't let up. Luckily the 10% grades were still a ways off at this point. The rising Sierras gave us some energy to move forward.



The old granite formations on the way up aren't as impressive as the Alabama Hills a ways further south, but even still I had a lot of fun exploring these as a kid. Lots of little tunnel like areas, pits, etc. Fun stuff.



On the way up there are several campgrounds with good cold spring water. Be sure to stop at these as you'll need it. Just to the left in this pic is the first of the campgrounds. Nice paved road in and out.



Almost to the turn off for South lake and to the road where to the right heads up to Lake Sabrina. 10% grades in this area had my heart going when combined with 8,000 of altitude. Great fun!



And then the turnoff and up to South Lake.

 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Up through the Aspens

We made the turn and continued up through the aspen groves toward North Lake. This a beautiful canyon with high walls and a great cascading creek along the roadside. It's hard not to get lost in the scenery.



During the summer the lodge is open if you need anything. But the lodge at Lake Sabrina is both more friendly and has a far better view to eat your lunch to. So unless you're dying, keep on riding.









Once reaching North Lake at around 9700 feet it's nice just to stop and take in the view. The little shack down by the lake sells ice cold gatorade which is always a great thing too!







And then it was back down to head to Lake Sabrina and lunch. It was actually pretty cool, almost cold, heading back down to the intersection.

 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lake Sabrina and Back Down

The ride up to Lake Sabrina is only four miles but you feel every mile of it. The last 500 yards is actually the hardest as you follow the creek up to the dam and then climb up over the little dam to the lodge. But I could imagine lunch and that gave me the drive to make it up there.

Meeting up with a local who also had food on the brain :).





Aspendell is a small year round little village up here. I guess they really like long winters. I've spent time up here in the winter and it can be fun, but after a while Bishop seems like the better option!





The view from the lodge's little deck is incredible - almost as good as the hamburgers they serve :D .





Watch out or your lunch may magically disappear!



And for once, here's a pic that isn't off everyone's butts! :blush2:





And then it was back down to the hotel pool.



Now this is when my bike decided to go all to heck on me and I got to find out I can drift 18 miles without pedaling and still maintain speeds above 50mph. Whoo hooo. Just below the lake there was a sudden fire cracker like sound and my rear hub was officially toast. Along with it my rear DR spring. About 10,000 miles on both so I guess it was just time. Anyway, it was kind of fun drifting and I made it all the way back to the intersection of the road with US 395 where a ride was waiting. Crazy!





Thankfully I had spare parts and was able to keep riding for the remainder of the trip. But the Durace DR and hub are in parts heaven now.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
11,979 Posts
Great pics. Looks like a great trip.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,910 Posts
It has been a long long time since I have seen eight thousand feet.

Where is the shade?

Them skies sure are blue.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,106 Posts
I love the profile of the ride. I did a charity ride in Carroll and Frederick Counties in Maryland last Saturday, which is in the eastern piedmont. My Garmin said that I did 4900 feet of climbing over 67 miles and several grades were in excess of 10%. But, none of the climbs was more than a few hundred feet -- more than "rollers" but no mountains. After a ride like that, I really am envious of a ride with long, sustained climbs. Are the roads in your report open in May or would the higher elevations be closed then? I have a meeting in San Francisco in May and always am looking for an excuse to bring my bike with me.

And, as always, thanks for the pics.
 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mark, it all depends on the winter. I've ridden those roads in mid May before, but this year we had snow falling into June. The nice thing is that many of the roads are plowed year around so if you get even one good week of weather in May you can ride them. You'll just be looking at a lot of white stuff. It makes for a great ride but you have to bring tights and jackets for once you are up that high. But we've done it before and loved it.
 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also, if you do decide to do it drop me a line and I'll climb up there with you. Always looking for any excuse to do it!
 

·
Avid indoorsman
Joined
·
433 Posts
Ridgetop - will you please stop posting these. You are making me depressed (or living in Iowa is...).
.
.
.
.
Great report!
 

·
Ya, what ATP said...!
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
Thanks for posting these, Ridge. I've often thought about doing the Eastern Sierras Double just to take in that part of the state. Very impressive country and the roads look in decent condition.
 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The roads heading into the high country are all in excellent condition. The roads down below not so much. On the Eastern Sierra Double there is about 30-40 miles of expansion cracks that will knock your teeth out. Otherwise a very good ride. I haven't ridden it this year, but I was told several portions of the cracked pavement were repaired making it much better this year. The only problem is now I don't have a place to collect free water bottles (last year they were all over the place from bouncing out of people's holders).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,250 Posts
Good pics. The shots do not show the steepness of these climbs, do they? Very hard to photograph a bike pic that really shows the 'grunt'. That climb(s) is a little different than many of the Owen's Valley climbs in that it stays pretty constant after the first few miles...Most of those climbs seem to get steeper and steeper until you reach the last mile.

Thanks for the postings...We seem to have a similar affinity for riding passes or alpine climbs.... If you ever get the chance, you should also try the Beartooth Pass between Cooke City and Red Lodge in Montana....One of the most spectacular climbs in the US.

Don Hanson
 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've never ridden in Montana before. I'd sure like to. Need to add it to the list!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Those are some pretty amazing pictures,
how many feet of climbing did you do on that ride ?

Your so lucky being able to grab a bike and go to places like that.

KK..:)
 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just over 7,100 in elevation gain. I like the high places :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Your post on your Horseshoe Meadows climb inspired us to go camp and climb up there last summer. This time, we're planning a trip to do the same for the South Lake/Lake Sabrina climb. Looks beautiful. Thanks for the great posts.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top