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I'm a "she".
936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is crazy! Will Coe be alright without me? -- plymmer
That was plymmer's panic cry before the trip. It was pure magic that somehow ratpick and ElHombre convinced plymmer that he needed to ride somewhere else other than Coe for once and they planned this "boys' weekend outing" as they put it. Not to shock him too much, they picked a place similar to Coe -- Tahoe, as both end with "oe." Mudncrud and I were just there last weekend and were still tired from the long drive, but I told him that this would be a significant historical event for the Hard COEre 100 trio, so we must be there to witness it; plus, a boys' weekend sounded fun and I wanted to be part of it.

When we arrived at the trailhead of Donner Rim Trail (DRT) on Saturday morning to meet the trio, it was around 70 or 80 degrees, pleasantly warm for most of us, but I was a little concerned if it would be too cold for plymmer, who was known to *enjoy* the summer heat at Coe. In my observation, he carried enough layers and even spare gloves that I thought could allow him to sit out a snow storm, so I relaxed a bit.

While plymmer was feeling a bit out of his element (again, he was not at Coe, remember?), the rest of us were not all in either. Long drive, altitude, and granite that we don't see in the Bay Area were all advisory factors we had to work with, which might just be why we enjoyed riding in Tahoe; ok, scratch the long drive part, and add scenery.

DRT+HITG was what was promised to plymmer before the trip. I enjoyed the ride immensely as it provided challenges at the right level - just enough to push my envelope, but not so much to rupture it. The boys apparently had their fun on the ride too playing on the rocks and/or swimming in the lake. To see the trio swimming in a lake that is clear and slime-free was quite refreshing to me too.

The mastermind behind Sunday's ride was ElHombre as he is the most, among us, knowledgeable about the area, although there was temptation to call TahoeBC from our dinner table at 9:30pm for consultation. The consensus was he quite deserved being disturbed late at night, but in the end, we were just an all-too-nice bunch. Having now finished the ride, I must say I'm not sure if TahoeBC could have come up with a better ride for us (there, that's a challenge for ya ;) ).

On Sunday, after already having visited the Bench (out and back from Spooner Lake), and a very therapeutically ride on Flume Trail over looking the large body of blue and green water under the blue sky, we had a hard time believing ElHombre that something better was yet to be experience, and boy, was he right! When we arrived at Marlette Overlook, our jaws dropped to the ground. With Marlette Lake in the foreground, Lake Tahoe in the back, and Sierra Peaks a stone throw away, what a view!

However, at the moment, even unbeknownst to ElHombre, something even better was still yet to happen -- Chimney Beach descent. Down at the bottom back at the car, everyone had a grin ear to ear. A cold drink in hand might also have played a role, although plymmer only took a banana.

That's not all; our time on bike was almost as good as our time off bike. At our relaxed dinner in the hotel restaurant in Reno (so much for a boys' weekend outing -- boRING!), we discussed Coe at length and had good laughs talking about MTBR-ers (yeah, if you are reading this, your name most likely came up in our conversation; and if you read this but not reply, we probably talked bad about you:devil:). Ratpick was constantly updating his FB status whenever he was off the bike to remind his beloved friends that their day sucked. ElHombre was always the first one, sometimes the only one, to jump in the water. I could be wrong, but I thought the only time I heard him swear the F word was after he plunged into Marlette Lake. Mudncrud dominated the driver's seat on our trip, like on all our trips (think he has trust issue with AFD), which allowed me to finish typing this report on the way home.

Oh, on the fireroad climb towards Chimney Beach Trail, beyond my loud huffing and puffings, I clearly heard plymmer make following comment that made me let out a big relieved sigh knowing that he was finally feeling at home.
I'm feeling good; this is like at Coe. -- plymmer
The rides:

Saturday: Donner Rim Trail (out and back) + Hole in the Ground (loop) (29.4mi/3,995')
Strava Links (with comments): mudworm, mudncrud, ratpick, ElHombre, plymmer

Sunday: Spooner Lake -> the Bench -> Spooner Lake -> Marlette Lake -> Flume Trail -> Marlette Lake -> Chimney Beach Trail (38.0mi / 5,489')

Strava Links (with comments): mudworm, mudncrud, ratpick, ElHombre, plymmer


Oops, that was a wrong one. Here.





Breathtaking scenery!





Great company!






For even more eye candies, please see this post.

6,169 Posts
Wow you guy's make a cute threesome :thumbsup:

Glad you did not call was suffering Friday & Saturday from a bad case of Pericarditis, thought I was fricking going to die. Did rally for a ride Sunday in a forest near a ocean with cool trail names like "No Public Access".

668 Posts
Glad you did not call was suffering Friday & Saturday from a bad case of Pericarditis, thought I was fricking going to die. Did rally for a ride Sunday in a forest near a ocean with cool trail names like "No Public Access".
That sounds scarier than that threesome mental imagery - glad you got better quickly and were able to enjoy your Sunday out there...

I'm a "she".
936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
d-bug said:
Roy left Coe?
Oh, don't say that. It'll make Roy feel bad and Coe feel sad. It was just Roy's very brief vacation away, and he'll be right back to Coe next weekend. And Who knows, he might already be back.

ElHombre said:
a video production featuring mudworm flawlessly cleaning the 'Stairway to Hell' descent of HitG in front of a flabbergasted audience is upcoming.
I so look forward to seeing the video because for all I know, something like that could be a once-in-a-life-time showing. How often do you see a few boys stage failed attempts just to make *her* look good? :D But then, I'm sure everything flattens on camera, so people will see the video and say, "what's special about that -- coming down Fremont Older?" (Not that I've ever ridden FO.)

ElHombre said:
Endless energy
Yeah, let's talk about that. Here is my assessment of the weekend. Mudncrud and ratpick stayed up in the front most of the time. From the limited time when they were in my sight, I could tell they both were riding strong, not seeming to be affected by the altitude at all. Mr. Mud sometimes was the first one to top out, but ratpick's floating-up-the-rocks skills impressed everyone. ElHombre, as he said himself, was a bit spasmodic (is that even the right word?) -- sometimes, he was up front, and sometimes he hangs back with plymmer and me. I don't know if that was affected by which direction the beer (in the car) was. And you should have watched him sprint to The Bench. I wondered if in his mind at that moment, he was picturing himself riding in TdF alongside of Sagan. And talk about endless energy, that's how I would say about plymmer. He was never gunning for the lead position, but he seemed to never slow down either. I'm confident that if the ride had been twice as long, he would have just ridden at the same pace and kept going.

ElHombre said:
It was great swimming and cooling down in Lola Montez and Marlette lake (not sure where you heard that F-word, mudworm, I was screaming 'Fuuun!')
Hmmm... guess they do sound alike. All these years, I must have misheard Mr. Mud numerous times. ratpick and plymmer may have misheard you too because they touched the water with their toes and turned around.

TahoeBC said:
Did rally for a ride Sunday in a forest near a ocean with cool trail names like "No Public Access".
Considering half of your rides are probably on trails with names like that, no wonder you can't come out of closet (on Strava, I mean).;)

ElHombre, were those shots really from your phone? They look great :thumbsup: (better than all those from my camera!). I especially like that one of the smiling plymmer. Now, let's see ratpick top all that!

Where is plymmer? Hmm....:skep:

More Torque
2,037 Posts
I was out at Coe on Sat. Got there at 8, and it was in the high 50s in the HH lot, with fog and a breeze. The sun was not fully out until the climb up Tule pond. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, "Roy's gonna be pissed!" that this is not super hot July weather. Little did I know... Props to the crew for prying him away.


King Of Tooth Tarter
455 Posts
Tahoe OK, Then...

I have to admit, Tahoe is a lot of fun. Thanks to Patrick for luring me there with his new multi-bike hauling vehicle. Thanks to Dirk, the perfect tour guide. Thanks to Erik and Mei for excellent company. It was great to hang with Erik as he always seems to be working and misses some good Coe rides. I have pictures and details but can't seem to find the time to write up a pictured report. I think Chimney Beach Trail should be up there for the Trail Hall Of Fame. What an excellent way to end a glorious weekend.

Ah well, back to Coe. A nice diversion indeed!


462 Posts
It was a fun trip and I am glad that I went. Almost stayed and work instead I will do that this weekend. Very fun weekend with lot's of good trails and a happy finish.

1,135 Posts
Now you just need to get Charlie out there...
Well, there's the genesis of this ride! Last year, I tried to lure Skyline35 and Plymmer up to Hole In the Ground but we lacked a vehicle with capacity to get us there. I solved that this year and the email thread organizing this trip had the subject, "No more excuses"!

Unfortunately, Skyline35 did have an excuse this particular weekend and his absence was the only thing that stopped the weekend being perfect!

Day 1 was to be Hole In The Ground, a fun playground and the perfect length for a late start. I had spent some time on Coe rides laying the groundwork to separate plymmer from his beloved home turf for a weekend - still surprised I talked him into it :)

We arrived at the Donner Lake Rim Trail trailhead at 10:30am and were riding by 11am. It should be a crime to ride HitG without adding the DLRT - it's a fantastic start to the ride and an even better downhill ending.

DLRT has great views...

I've got zero interest in hammering around HitG to set a Strava time - way too much fun stuff to stop and play on!

The DLRT has these awesome rock ramps, that we stopped to session on the way up

It's a nice climb up to Andesite Peak and a great spot for a group shot (usually with the Castle Peak view :)

After a fun, loose descent we find some more rock playgrounds and, of course, stop to play!

It's getting a little warm which is making everyone pretty happy - every time I've been to HitG, I've stopped at Lower Lola Montez Lake and found it just a bit too cold to swim. I was hoping today would be perfect!

BTW, there were earlier reports of trees down across the trail. Plenty of evidence of some that have been cleared recently and this was the only one that we had to scramble over all weekend.

At Lower Lola Montez lake, I dipped my toe in and was thrilled to feel the water actually quite warm. So plymmer, elhombre and I were underwater in a flash!

I would love to have done some diving off the rock in the lake, but the water seemed too shallow to risk that!

All good things must come to an end and we leave HitG, but not before the challenging technical descent of the stairs. I follow mudncrud down and am thrilled as we both clean all the first set of stairs. It's been a few years so I forget the harder set is to come and am surprised as we come upon them. Everyone ahead of me is thrown by the one, big difficult stair and I come off and decide to walk it too. But I'm aware that someone is making an attempt behind me and move out of the way.

Here comes mudworm, barreling down the stairs and hops down the impossible stair as if it was a mild trail reversal. Incredible! So impressed. Skillz, she haz them! Cannot wait to see elhombre's video of this!

A couple of miles of road and we're back on dirt. Elhombre and mudncrud have found some new juice in their legs and shoot ahead. I'm content to take it easy. I had it in my head that the climb back up to the DLRT intersection was tough which, it turned out, was a memory from riding it at a time when I was less fit :)

We were impressed with the efforts to turn a large boulder into a trail feature on the DLRT as we rode in and on the way back, Elhombre decided to try it out.

Soon we were at the final downhill back to the trailhead and pumped ourselves up for a fun downhill!

Awesome day's riding. We had arranged to stay in the same hotel as Mr & Mrs Mud so we could enjoy their company and plan Sunday's ride...


1,135 Posts
There had been much discussion between mudworm an ElHombre about where we should ride on Sunday. Trail names such as Van Sickle, Cold Creek, Punisher were thrown out, few of which were familiar to me.

I had hoped that a fast, fit group like this might be able to manage a Rose-to-Toads type epic, but that idea was quickly discarded because of time.

Over dinner, as a Punisher route had seemingly been decided, I threw out the option of Flume + a TRT loop and eyes unexpectedly lit up. I was surprised to learn that the Muds had not ridden the "world famous" Flume Trail! There had also been some recent MTBR posts about Marlette Peak and Chimney Beach Trail and a new route idea was quickly formed: an initial out-and-back up the Tahoe Rim Trail to "The Bench", then climb from Marlette to Spooner, do the Flume then climb to the TRT to loop back to descend Chimney Beach Trail.

My new Outback, outfitted to carry 4 bikes could actually squeeze in 5 at a pinch so we planned to park it at the trailhead of the Chimney Beach Trail to avoid road miles to make a final loop.

We bachelors-for-a-weekend took a little longer to get ourselves organized in the morning and ended up meeting the Muds at Spooner Lake. After shuttling my car down to Chimney Beach, we saddled up and rode towards the lake.

ElHombre had done some reconnaissance at the bike shop and found that we could reach Hwy 50 by riding past the lake. So a lazy ride, since there were many hikers out, took us past the lake. All the hikers we met on this part of the trail were extremely friendly - so nice to see - everyone was out to have a fun day and share the trails.

ElHombre had some brake issues the previous day so I was amused to see this on the highway as we neared the TRT trailhead...

The TRT climbs south from Hwy 50 at a fairly consistent grade, with only a few spots steeper than 11%. The surface is mostly hard-packed sand in the lower part, very easy to climb on.

As we get higher, it starts to get a little more technical and lose (and fun), making me start to look forward to the downhill on the way back!

I was surprised to find myself with quite a bit of energy but tried not to push too hard on the climb, aware that there was a lot more riding to do. Several of us had eaten buffalo burgers the night before and I figured they must have given us wings for the morning climb!

Mudncrud and I arrived at the top first. Having not been on this trail before, I wasn't sure where the actual end point was and stopped short of "The Bench".

It was still a very pretty spot to stop and admire the view and when everyone arrived, we continued on under ElHombre's guidance to the actual bench. We soaked in the view, ate and considered how we were going to approach the downhill.

I knew it was going to be a very fun downhill. But we passed quite a few hikers on the way up and I didn't want to come up on any of them suddenly. Some of us decided up front to take it very slowly while I decided to "cautiously descend as fast as I could"! Elhombre followed me off with his Contour camera running but it quickly became obvious that it wouldn't work well as my tires were throwing up a lot of dust. So I let fly and just had fun.

I slowed on blind corners and down to walking pace past hikers so as to not scare and also not throw dust up and everyone was extremely friendly and I still got a hugely fun, bugs-in-my-grin downhill!

Arriving back at Spooner Lake, it was already past midday but having lunch was delayed when we remembered the availability of ice cream at the bike store!

Ice cream was so good as the day had warmed up and I saved my lunch for later. We refilled our camelbacks then headed off for the climb to Marlette Lake

My memory of that climb is that it is long, very steep and exhausting, but it had been a couple of years since I had climbed it and I was eager to see how it felt with my current level of fitness. I wanted to hang with the group, who were mostly riding together on this climb at the start, but once the road turned up I found my preference to push the steeper climbs separated us so I went on at my own pace to regroup at the top.

Not too long into the climb, I hear someone approach behind and then mudncrud passes me, going full speed up the steep climbs. I thought his buffalo burger had more wings than mine so resisted the urge to chase him down!

I recall my first time on this climb wondering if the trail went all the way up to the switchback on the far hill (fortunately not!)

We regrouped at the top and picked this time to eat lunch. I could definitely feel the lack of oxygen in the air but I felt I was coping with the altitude better than I had in the past.

Eventually, we took off down to Marlette Lake and rode alongside it, admiring it, to the Flume trailhead.

As we arrived, ElHombre pointed out the top of Marlette Peak where we would be heading after the Flume. I was pretty excited - the view from there promised to be spectacular and I had wanted to ride up behind the Flume for quite a while.

ElHombre immediately jumped in the water, wanting to experience the rejuvenation of the cold water that we had received at Hole in the Ground the previous day. I just wasn't hot enough and even plymmer, who likes a good cold swim on a warm day, hesitated. In the end, ElHombre dived in solo and we just cheered him on!

After a long break, the "Flume virgins" headed down first with ElHombre and I bringing up the rear. mudworm took the lead and we didn't see her again until near the very end of the trail!

The Flume Trail has gorgeous views of the lake - I don't think I'll ever tire of them!

We get to the rockfall and lift our bikes over it as usual. I wouldn't even consider trying to ride this but we find out later that mudworm not only attempted but succeeded in riding through with no dabs. Damn!

At the end of the Flume, we rest and talk about it then begin the fire road climb up to the TRT

Soon we are riding the TRT which will climb all the way up around Marlette Lake to the peak we had picked out earlier. The trail is initially easy and non-technical, but further up it presents rock obstacles to climb over, some sand pits to ride through and tight, technical switchbacks. A good fun climb!

It also has a few spots with great views and I stop and climb atop a rock to check it out

I'm really looking forward to the summit and the promised view! Mudncrud has zoomed on ahead but waits where the trail begins to descend for a regroup. I notice a fun rock at the end of the trail, so setup and watch as everyone arrives and rolls over it

We rest for a little, cooling off then resume the rolling climb to Marlette Peak. As we are up over 8,500' again, the terrain begins to get more sparse...

We eventually pop up out of the trees and I'm eagerly awaiting the view

And we were rewarded. Elhombre had promised us something special and he delivered - this is one of the most spectacular alpine views I've ever seen

We hung around for a while, taking photos and enjoying it.

It was quite windy up there, so we didn't linger too long. Everyone departed when I realized that my rear tire was going flat. It's "ghetto tubeless" and I suspected a cut on a rock was the culprit. I put some air in it and spun it, hoping there was some sealant remaining to seal it up. I rode it a little and realized that the sealant must have dried up so I had no option but to throw in a tube. Annoying but it didn't take too long. ElHombre rode back up the trail to check on me.

I hammered down the singletrack descent not wanting to hold up everyone any more and explained myself when we caught up. After the singletrack, a fire road took us all back to lake level.

In just a few minutes, it seemed, we were back at the top of the lake and spent a few minutes checking out the chimney and resting.

Just 2 more climbs to go - a fire road back to the saddle then a climb over the ridge to the Chimney Beach Trail. I predicted that ElHombre would be drawn quickly up the final climbs as he is very affected by "beer gravity" at the end of rides. And sure enough...

ElHombre had scouted out the start of the Chimney Beach Trail earlier so we headed down to it and began to climb. The climb is a bit steep, rising 200' very quickly but at the top starts one of the most fun singletrack descents anywhere!

Chimney Beach Trail is long, quite steep in spots and quite technical in some spots but mostly is a fast, flowy single track. I was unfamiliar with the trail so mudncrud led the way. So much fun - although I'm not usually keen on shuttling descents, I could imagine doing that on this one.

We had a blast on the descent then loaded up 5 bikes and riders in the Outback, returned to Spooner. We made plans to meet for dinner at a pizza spot on the way out of town.

A very fun 2 days - great trails, awesome friends, perfect weather.


I'm a "she".
936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ratpick, bravo! I love your photos, but I will still say ElHombre had the best photo -- that one of smiling plymmer, totally a poster material. It finally replaced that Forgotten Ones poster in my head, which had been bringing me nightmares. However, your narration is a masterpiece -- I'm re-living the trip through your scene-by-scene replay. Love it!!! Compared to your report, my report is like a Trailer.

So, if I get it right, you bought a new vehicle so that Skyline35 and plymmer could experience something other than the Bay Area? Wow! Too bad Skyline35 missed out this time. Maybe plymmer can do the convincing now?

ratpick said:
All the hikers we met on this part of the trail were extremely friendly - so nice to see - everyone was out to have a fun day and share the trails.
No kidding. From small kids to old folks, everyone I encountered on both my weekends' trips were extremely friendly, and I ran into a lot of them (esp. near Big Meadow and Spooner Lake). What also blew my mind was the amount of dogs I saw on the trails. It seems to be a prerequisite to live in the Lake Tahoe area -- you have to have a dog or two. And they are all very well behaved. I love seeing everyone gets along. Of course, just like you, I exercised extreme caution and courtsey "flying" down from The Bench. Even when there was plenty of room to pass, I slow way down to almost zero speed and apologize for any dust my bike may have kicked up behind me. The last thing I wanted was to disturb the harmony.

ratpick said:
After a long break, the "Flume virgins" headed down first with ElHombre and I bringing up the rear. mudworm took the lead and we didn't see her again until near the very end of the trail!...We get to the rockfall and lift our bikes over it as usual. I wouldn't even consider trying to ride this but we find out later that mudworm not only attempted but succeeded in riding through with no dabs. Damn!
Good, good. I started to worry that I would not be able to live up to the image you guys generously painted from my lucky descent of Stairway to Hell on the HitG loop, so I'm quite relieved to see that I can at least dispute this one. Rereading my Strava comment -- I bolted ahead when Dirk told us Flume Trail virgins to ride in the front so we could experience "the surprise". Surprised I was because everybody was saying how easy the trail was and boom, a rock fall 100 yard in after a switchback! But I had the trail wide open to me, so I could take my time to pick my line. -- I realize that there must have been some misunderstanding. I was really just talking about that first switchback followed by a few rocky stepdowns and a creekcrossing *right after* you come out of Marlette Lake swimming hole. In hindsight, I knew I used the wrong words -- I meant to say Waterfall, a word people use to refer to the chunky section on Toads, even though in reality, the rocky step downs are not close to what's there on Toads. I bragged about my no dab (until the first actual rock fall on Flume as shown in your photo) because I surprised myself going through that section clean. I did dab or push through the two rock falls on Flume. Other than that, I was completely in the zone, being mesmorized by the flowy trail and scenery, and just let myself fly while being aware that some riders might, and did, come from an opposite direction. After I reached the intersection with a lookout side trail, I turned around to go back and meet you boys and take photos. I was hoping your boys were far behind me just so I could do an out and back on Flume, but it was not the case. :) ... Whew, that was a long winded explanation trying to clear myself of any misperception that I possess "skillz." :p

plymmer said:
I have pictures and details but can't seem to find the time to write up a pictured report.
Take your time. We are patient. :) Who knows when it will be next time you venture out of the Bay Area again physically, so having something to re-live by can come handy.

More pie please
2,010 Posts
Oh! Here's the ride report. I opened and didn't see you guys?

I had lots of family visiting and didn't ride at all over the weekend (though earlier in the week I did ride with my brother at the Gap and with his son at The Dero).

Dan, I have ridden at Tahoe once See, here's my Marlette Lake photo:

(Don't know who that was and it was unintentional, I was taking pictures of my friends riding through the water (the water level was higher that
day) and this guys comes through fast. Since it looked like he would make a big splash, I pointed my camera at him and push the shutter
button; ha, I got more than I expected!)

Thanks for all the nice photos and stories!

I'm a "she".
936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Indeed, Tahoe seems to be the place to be these days. There are so many Tahoe threads on the front page right now, and a lot of excellent rides (yeah, incl. even T/S100) too. How I wish I lived in Tahoe!

That picture you captured is hilarious, Skyline35! Betcha the rider jumped up and yelled "Fuuuuun!" ;)
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