Bike, Ski, Hike? A Solution is Found!Dale Campbell, Co-Editor
There are a number of paved bicycle trails in the areas around Lake Tahoe. We started our ride by heading east out of Tahoe City and slightly uphill, riding about 4 miles to terminate that portion of the ride at an overlook of the north end of the Lake. Sunshine, relatively warmer temps and blue skies provided some outstanding views of the Lake and surrounding snow covered mountains (see the photo with the first part of this article). Backtracking, we returned to the starting point of our ride (past the bike shop, just in case we needed some minor adjustments) and headed west through Tahoe City to the next portion of the ride.
This section of the paved trails started at the outflow dam of the Lake at Fanny Bridge (Google this to learn the reason for the name) and paralleled the shoreline of the Truckee River, which flows northwest towards the town of Truckee. The quietness of the trail (separated from the roadway) and the sound of the running water were quite soothing as we rode downstream. Continuing about 8 miles on this portion of the trail brought us to Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Yes, this is the same resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. With a base of 6,200 feet and spread across 6 peaks and 4,000 acres, the resort is served by 33 lifts and tops out at 9,050 feet. As you can see from the photo in the "From the Editors..." section, there was still plenty of snow on the mountains.
We once again backtracked, riding upstream with a very slight elevation change, bringing us back to the Fanny Bridge area. At this point, we followed the paved bike trail south for about four miles, pausing at a public park on the west shoreline of the Lake. Once again, the views across the Lake to the mountains on the East shoreline was magnificent!. We again backtracked on this third section of the ride, arriving back at the Olympic Bike Shop refreshed and relaxed. The Olympic Bike Shop staff were quite helpful, suggesting other rides that could be enjoyed later in the Summer.
The remainder of the week brought a variety of activities, including a drive down the East shoreline to the Heavenly Ski Resort, a gondola ride to the top of the Heavenly Ski Resort (which still had over 8 feet of snow), and hiking along portions of the Tahoe Rim Trail. The latter part of one particular hike was on three to four feet packed snow (hence the reason we didn't ride mountain bikes any during the week).
While our cycling was somewhat limited for the week, there are still plenty of opportunities for rides. The roads to Truckee and Reno are well maintained and have wide shoulders. At the south end of the Lake, we saw a number of cyclists enjoying the rolling terrain of the highway. Will Sharon and I go back? Definitely! When is the question. And when we do, we're planning to drive and carry the road AND mountain bikes with us. We'll just need to figure out what time of year might be best for the next trip!