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Tough Tahoe ride

2200 Views 23 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  GoGoGordo
A few days ago I asked for suggestions on a new Tahoe ride. Thanks to all for the suggestions. But perhaps I should remind those that responded that I am over 60, have two bad knees and I've been riding for exactly two months. But I suppose I can't complain too much because it seems I tend to forget that myself. I wanted to ride someplace new at Tahoe and since my good bike is in the shop, I had to ride my backup bike, which has several problems. So I did not have much confidence in it. Since I was riding solo I decided to just do an out and back on the Tahoe Rim Trail from Brockway Summit toward Tahoe City. I figured I could ride toward Tahoe City and depending on how I felt, plus the trail difficulty, I could jut turn around and come back. At the last minute Cohenfive decided to come along. It is difficult to compare rides from several years ago, but this ride turned out to be perhaps the most difficult I've ever done.

The ride starts at about 7,100 ft. and then you go uphill on a very difficult and rocky trail for two miles. A few hundred yards into the ride I broke a spoke on my back wheel, and that added to the doubts I had about my backup bike. Then you get a really rocky descent for at least a mile. Then you have quite a bit of climbing up to 7,900 ft. twice, interspersed with some nice downhills. The scenery is quite spectacular and you occasionally get some good views of Lake Tahoe. After Painted Rock, about 12 miles in, the trail begins to go down quite steeply. We figured that was enough so we headed back. The downhills were really nice and both of us could not believe we rode up them. It started to warm up quite a bit and I just "ran out of gas." Also, for the first time ever, despite carrying 124 oz, I ran out of water. With about four miles to go, I was just going too slow to make it over a big rock and I went over the bars. Normally when I fall it happens so fast I have no control. But this time I saw a big rock coming at my face and I managed to get both hands out to prevent my face from hitting it. It was pretty rocky and without knee pads I'd probably have broken a knee cap. However, I really hurt the heel of my left hand and sprained my right thumb breaking the fall. I had to keep both off the handlebars the rest of the ride. We then had to go up that really rocky one mile stretch we enjoyed coming down on the way out. By then I was more spent than on any ride I've ever done. I doubt I rode even half of it. So it was really slow going. Cohenfive rode quite a bit and he occasionally very patiently waited for me. By the time we hit the top both of us were pretty tired and we only coasted downhill for the last two miles. Below are some photos, more on my biking site

Rocy climb at start

Rocy climb at start


More climbing

Mule's ears

First view of Lake Tahoe

Cohenfive climbing

Tadpoles in Watson Lake

More climbing

Peak flowering

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Out _and_ back, Brockway to Tahoe City? That's just silly.

I've ridden it from Tahoe City to Brockway solo, shuttling back to Tahoe City on the local bus from Kings Beach. I've read that is the tougher direction, but after riding it Brockway to Tahoe City last weekend, I don't think it really matters (certainly dropping down the loose/steep bit from Watson Lake towards Tahoe City is easier than going up it).

If you ride the next segment of TRT (Paige Meadows), don't try that as an out-and-back. It is definitely better done as a loop ("Stanford Rock/Ward Creek loop).
Of the sections of TRT that I have rode that one is way down on my list and I don't think I have missed any sections. For some reason I seem to like the East and South Shore stuff better.

All i saw were the pics

Great shots of your ride. I'm itching to get up to Tahoe for some riding. I'll be doing
Xterra Tahoe at the end of the summer, but just taking your time to enjoy the ride, take some pics, and relaxing after the ride is something I really enjoy in up in Tahoe.
well whatever you think of the ride, it was beautiful and tough. at the end of the day i really enjoyed it although it was probably the toughest 25 mile ride i've been on. i think of the total, only about 5 miles would be classifed as 'flowy, fast tahoe singletrack'...the rest was rocky both up and down. we spent a long time out there, stopping frequently for drinks and to take photos. i took about 80 pix in total which is far and away the most i've taken on any ride. steve you did a great job of hanging in there on a tough day. you should feel good about how far you've come, and this was bound to be a difficult ride regardless as it's just tough terrain. it is just great being up there in this breathtaking part of the country. here are several shots from the ride which don't need much explanation. well done steve.....:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


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batch 2 of 3....


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Despite the subject you've got some good photos there ;)
I've already forgotten most of the bad parts of the ride since the scenery was so great. Except for a really sore thumb, which has gotten me out of my usual Sunday indoor and outdoor chores, I feel pretty good today. I got eight hours of sound sleep last night for the first time in years. I purposely left out the part about your grand entrance to the motel and carrying your bike back home. I thought you might like to put them into your own words :D

Nice job on this one :thumbsup:

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Now you tell me

anotherbrian said:
Out _and_ back, Brockway to Tahoe City? That's just silly.
Now you tell me :D
I tried to loop that ride last summer by taking the road from Tahoe City to Kings Beach and then up the hill to the trailhead. By the time I'd gotten 3 or 4 miles in on the TRT I was pretty beat and wound up dropping back through Burton Creek and the neighborhoods east of Tahoe City. Tough terrain.
love this ride!

great pics!

i actually love this section of the TRT and prefer it over the Rose to Spooner section. i love the technical aspects of this ride and when you hook it up with Western States, you get a great mix of climbing and descending and a nice ride back to Tahoe City on the bike path.
To bad you guys didn't set up a shuttle it would have been much easier to just continue on to Tahoe City from the point you got to with some fun downhills to boot. Sorry you didn't enjoy it that much I really like that section of TRT.

The heat has really been slowing me down also besides riding at a snails pace I went thought a 100 oz Camel back and 4 large bottles of water on my ride Saturday, luckily I brought a filter.
Enjoyed most of it

We enjoyed most of the ride, it was quite beautiful, and there were lots of nice downhill rocky sections. I ran out of gas and water toward the end, and I'm just not in good enough shape to ride up much of the first two miles.
I hope I'm still going strong at that age. Good job!!!
Wow - 3700 ft at such high elevation after only beginning to ride again recently is definitely masochistic. Great job.
Impressive ride for 2 months of riding. I bonked miserably when I did the Western States, Watson Lake, TRT about 6 miles from the end. That made for some very painful climbing, but it was a blast nonetheless.
All relative

ctripi said:
I hope I'm still going strong at that age. Good job!!!
It's all relative. I meet the same 70 year old guy on the trail once in a while. He mountain bikes three times a week and competes in open water swimming.
Awesome post, even better photos!! That kind of elevation is tough as hell, especially at 7000ft!!! There is not enough O2 up there for that kind of climbing, I have tons of respect for you but I also think you are nuts!
Wow, what a tough ride!

3700' of climb and 25 miles at elevation on difficult rocky terrain!!! :eek:

You're definitely back in shape in a big way!
geez, it's like i wasn't even there on this ride.......:)
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