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· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, one advantage about where I live is that Lake Tahoe (CA and NV) is only about 20 minutes away by car from our front door. Since there is going to be an RBR ride in June (see Hoo's post sticky in the Lounge if interested) I thought I'd scout out the ride and take some pictures to show everyone. The ride itself isn't too bad. About 73 miles long with under 5000' foot of climbing. The worst part for the lowlanders is the altitude. The ride is 6200 to 7000' in altitude and it can get to people. For me, it's not much higher overall than the house so not too bad. Anyway, on with the report.

Starting in Incline Village, NV we started our ride heading south towards South Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake. Lots of people prefer to start in South Lake/Stateline but we like Incline because we can start with some good climbing before a very large descent into the Casinos. Four of us did the ride. I have to laugh a little because I think I'm about 1/2 the age of Doug and Stu and they kick my tail on long distance rides. They're freakin' distance machines.


We started the climb up and around the East shore. Always ride on the Lake side! Driver's tend to look at the water and ignore most of everything else.




It was a beautiful morning and just about perfect temperature wise. We were already aware of it, but still annoyed by the large construction projects around the lake. Repaving and sewage lines being put in. Got to admit I felt kind of funny leading a pack of about 20 cars but that's the way it goes.



After going past the first group of construction sites you come up to the Highway 50 and 28 junction then start one heck of descent. We were able to reach 50 miles per hour and what a rush that was. Have to take the lane though due to a large amount of water grates that push into the road.



Dropping down through Tunnel Rock and into more construction in Zephyr Cove we made our first rest (actually pee) stop. The Zephyr Cove Inn works great for this!





We then passed into South Lake Tahoe and Stateline to ride around the Casinos. Check the maps as you can ride behind the Horizon or take Pioneer Parkway to avoid the mess. there is an MUT but as you can see below it is often very packed with people. there's a golf course here that celebs play at once in a while and some great places to eat. We had subs at the Yellow Sub and a great brownie to energize us.





Leaving South Lake you continue onward on Highway 89 which breaks Northwest off of Highway 50. It's nice to get the heck out of the four lane chaos of downtown South Lake. Again, there's ways to avoid it but we figured we would be OK since it was so early in the day.

 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Continuing North to Emerald BAy

As you head around the Lake you may feel you are home free. It's a trick! Cruising along the flats on your way to Emerald Bay you run into a false flat (learned this term from the San Diego ride postings) and then as your legs begin to burn because you think you can fly up it you hit the real switchbacks. These babies are a kick in the tail but fun none the less. Just watch for suicidal RVers. The cool part is the ground drops off on either side so you get a view of Tahoe on the east and Cascade on the West. Awesome!






At the top you get the awesome views of Emerald Bay, the Sierras, and the Eagle Falls. Down in the hole on the beaches of Emerald Bay is Vikingsholm. Pretty neat Scandanavian style mansion built way back when. Worth the hike if you don't have a bike along. There is a nice road going down to it but you'll need a cross or MTB to get down there.



From the top you take a screaming descent down to the Falls and then a very steep climb back out. But, it's all good.


We then road around the West Shore to Tahoma where we stopped for water and food. This is the wet side of the Lake and there is still snow and water everywhere. Only about 30 miles to go from this point!



Past Tahoma you go around through Tahoe City and cross over Fanny Bridge. Wonder why they call it that?




We continued around towards Incline and managed to find that yes, buses do exist in Tahoe. Just can't escape them I guess. They are more aware of the bikers than many places though and don't try to kill you for the most part. Still have to eat their diesel though.



Hitting the Casinos on North Shore we saw a sign that raised the hairs on my neck. Only six miles to go for the most part and we hit very grooved pavement. Crap! I flatted my tire but it was such a slow leak I didn't notice it until I got to the car. Lucky I guess.



The last part of the ride (about 2 miles) was on Lakeshore Blvd and we managed to avoid any more grooved pavement. I made sure all my teeth were in place and then made it back to the car and home. A very nice way to spend the day. 73 miles long in about six hours of riding. Not too bad I guess.
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Ride

 

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Great post and pics. Makes me a bit homesick... I used to go to Tahoe in the summers to ride the lake and take my mtb out on the xc trails.
Thanks for the memories...
 

· Team Bovine Paceline
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Thanks for the report with pictures. It's always fun to see some different terrain, especially beautiful terrain. That water is incredibly clear, looks like Ocean water, I can see how motorists would have trouble keeping their eyes on the road.

John
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Lake is extremely clear. Something like 70 feet of visibility under water depending on conditions. I love it, but it is cold and deep. Diving off the West shore has a shelf that drops off something like 300 or 400 feet which gives you the feeling of being over the Abyss. Also has awesome places to dive off rocks and small underwater caves and tunnels and what not. Really cool stuff.
 

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Beautiful pics! Thanks for the report. Like someone posted earlier, it makes my heart ache to see it.

How bad was traffic around the lake (I note several references to suicidal RV's and other vehicles), and were there sufficient shoulders for the most part?
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The amount of shoulders varies dramatically depending on when the road was last worked upon. Heading up into Emerald Bay and then the majority of West Shore has very little shoulder and a lot of traffic in the summer. It can be a little annoying at times. Traffic can back up for miles at the Tahoe City junction in the afternoon (the picture of Fanny Bridge above is the bottle neck). I'll often jump onto the MUT and ride it as it is often fine through this area except for bikini clad teenie boppers walking back to their cars. I think the traffic bothers me less than many who come up after June 15th due to my basically growing up and riding all over up there. I usually start riding by 6:00AM as most people don't get up and around until around 9:30 or so. That gets me 3/4 of the way around the lake before it gets bad, and if I start in South Lake I'll have long since passed the worst traffic areas. Also, larger groups of riders help. You'll stand out more.
 

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Thanks for posting the pics and description. I am riding a century around the lake June 4th with the americas most beautiful bike ride. Coming out from the midwest so looking forward to the scenery. What kind of weather can I expect?
Thanks
 

· Coco Puff
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Ridgetop said:
Great report! You really hit all the high points. I'm figuring on doing the Lake in the next week or two, and looking forward to Hoo's ride at the end of June.

Cheers!

RW
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The weather this time of year bounces around all over the place. It was in the high 70's last week and now it's around the 50's. Personally, I would plan on mornings starting around 40 and a daytime temp of around 65 for June 4th. It could be ten degrees cooler or warmer either way though. Last year was a pretty miserable start but ended up being nice in the afternoon. It was so cold (about 24 degrees I think) when they started that the people who only brought spring wear were actually complaining of heart and lung pain. All I know was that I rode near there that day and it was painful. Watch the weather closely on accuweather and be prepared for just about anything. You can see I was wearing a camelback in the pics. I didn't have water in it. It was actually packed with a couple different layers of clothes that I could add or subtract depending on how the day went. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be warm this year.
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey J's, don't you have a super hot blondie already? Or was it a super hot Scottie? All the lounge stuff is confusing me. Can't remember. Anyway, she's taken. That's my wife and bike companion. Perfect combo!!
 

· Banned
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I camped there one summer when I was 15. Snow under the trees & great hiking temp. The lake is amazing in color & especially interesting w/ the cinder cone. Thanks for the re-visit.
 

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Beautiful pictures

Thanks for the ride report. I'm 3000 mles away, but this is definitly going on the list of future rides, maybe as part of a week long West Coast adventure. With the elvation in the 6000 to 7000 foot range, I may need a day at one of the casinos to acclimate :D
 
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