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Tahoe! Four year wait is over

1819 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Wherewolf
Due to knee problems I've been off the bike for the past two years, and most of the past 3 1/2 years. I had not ridden Tahoe for nearly four years and with only 14 rides under my belt I was a bit apprehensive about my fitness and technical abilities. So I decided to do the easiest, but perhaps most scenic Tahoe ride: Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Lake via The Flume. Although this is only about a 20 mile ride and a mostly gradual downhill grade, I live at 100 ft. elevation and the ride is mostly between 7,500 and 8,800 ft. Tahoetic accompanied me on my last Tahoe ride four years ago so it only seemed fitting he join me on this one. But I warned him it would be a very slow touristy ride mostly to take photos.

The ride starts at 8,700 ft. through a beautiful meadow and then quickly begins to climb as you get into the forest. I'm usually gasping for breath about then as the elevation begins to hit me. But there were still several snow drifts and we floundered around for awhile, taking several wrong turns trying to find the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). At the top of the climb there is a big rock I've eyed for many years, and I've only gone off it once because I had my DSLR camera with me. I figured it might help get my confidence back by going down it. I went off it twice, although my form was not quite as good as Tahoetic's. From that point on I had perhaps the best skills and ride ever. I kept waiting for the "difficult" parts to come up that I had trouble with in the past, but they never seemed to materialize.

After nine miles the TRT hits an intersection and if you take a right you have an easy ride down the Flume back to Spooner. If you stay straight you have a 3.5 mile fairly rocky climb up many switchbacks to a beautiful overlook above Marlette Lake. Many years ago I tired going up the switchbacks and it was so frustrating I've never done it again. But today I felt so good I fingered we could try going up and if necessary just turn around and come back down. Much to my surprise it was not that difficult and we made good time all the way to the top. After taking the obligatory photos of Marlette Lake with Lake Tahoe in the background, and a few of ourselves, we got to blast back a downhill we certainly earned. We then went down the Flume and took photos at all the usual places. Marlette Lake was so high we had to bike through it. The water was quite warm so Tahoetic took a bit of a swim. From Marlette Lake there is a half mile fire road climb that always seems really difficult by this time, but I was surprised how quickly we reached the top. Then there is four miles of downhill fireroad to Spooner Lake. We ended up doing 27 miles and I have never felt so skilled, fresh, and ready for more at the end of any ride! Thanks Tahoetic! Below are a few photos, more on my bike site.

Marlette Lake (foreground), Lake Tahoe (background)

The trail awaits



Obligatory stairs shot



1600 ft. down

Tahoetic's shoes

Marlette Lake
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1 - 19 of 19 Posts

The Tahoetic's shoes pic wrocks.
Welcome back WW! You and your beautiful pixels have been missed. Glad the return to Tahoe went so unexpectedly well. That's one of my favorite rides as well.
Simply beautiful.
Some dang beautiful pictures! Gosh I could sooo picture myself treating my Yeti for a ride there! She needs to be in her natural habitat away from the confines of my small one car garage!
Awwwwh YEAH!

Hope you have a lot more riding in ya!
Damn I hate the desert... Great pics. Nice ride. One day I'd like to make it up there :)

Thanks for reminding me that Tahoe still awaits.
great as always steve! i'm very, very jealous that i couldn't make this one. let's get up there in the fall!!

just showed them to lisa and she loves the pix too!!
Thanks all!

Thanks all for the compliments. But it's not too difficult to get good photos from Tahoe. Spectacular scenery everywhere and the weather is always perfect in the summer. Give it a try sometime.
I must admit a little bit of envy/jealousy on my part. I left Cali 5 years ago. I truly miss the mountains.
Wish we had "touristy" trails like that here!!! Great pics - looks like the trail offers a little bit of everything. Thanks for sharing!!!

Gary J.
Absolutely mind-blowing pics Steve! Seriously, they made me weep.

I love the Appalachians (where I live)...and we have some great mountain biking...but nothing even remotely as grand and epic as that Lake Tahoe scenery! I am absolutely going to get out there someday to ride places like that—I don't care if I have to sell everything I own but the bike to do it!

I noticed on your site you used a Canon 5D? Nice! I recently picked up a T2i specifically for the 1080p video (sold my Nikon for it, in fact)...and I've been pretty blown away at what a generally fantastic camera it is.

If you post more Tahoe pics on your site, let us know! I'd love to see them! (And weep some more, LOL.)


Thanks! These photos are from my Canon G9, not the 5D. It is a real step down in quality, but much easier and safer to carry on the trails. Hopefully I'll have more Tahoe scenery to post this weekend and the rest of the summer.

P.S. I have a tutorial on dealing with Canon DSLR HD video on my biking site. Good luck!
Ha! I'll check out your tutorial—I produce video professionally at work, and we shoot/edit at 1080p (with the Canon DSLRs) all the time...but we also work exclusively on Macs (and Final Cut Pro), so we don't ever have any problems.

Now for me at home though...that's a WHOLE different story, LOL...where I have an underpowered PC running Sony Vegas 8...meaning "video transcoding hell." LOL

(Sorry for the threadjack there!)


SWriverstone said:
Now for me at home though...that's a WHOLE different story, LOL...where I have an underpowered PC running Sony Vegas 8...meaning "video transcoding hell."
You got it. Transcode with Neoscene and it's all downhill.
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