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  1. #1

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      MiceChat Round-Up Crew
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    154 Miles, 11 Hours, 11,400 feet: 3 days bicycling in the Sierra Nevada

    I just got back from a three-day weekend of bicycling in the vicinity of Lake Tahoe. The weather was perfect for riding (or other outdoor activities).

    Day 1: Sly Park (Jenkinson Lake) to Silver Lake via Mormon Emigrant Trail.

    Here we are posing for a picture before the first ride began:


    Mormon Emigrant Trail is a paved USFS road that runs about 25 miles from Sly Park (near Pollack Pines on US 50) to CA 88 about six miles west of Silver Lake. In that direction, it's a nearly continuous climb for over 20 miles. The summit is well over 8000 feet. Here are a couple pictures taken just past the summit:





    The road itself is very smooth with little traffic.


    Once we made it all the way to CA 88, we went to Plasse's resort for a break.


    On the way out, we stopped to take a couple pictures of Silver Lake. We returned the way we had come.




    That was the toughest day, with 63 miles round trip and 6700 feet of climbing. After the ride, we drove on up to South Lake Tahoe for Calorie Replacement Therapy and to spend the first of two nights there. Our Calorie Replacement Therapy was purchased and consumed at Baja Fresh. Several of our group went on to Coldstone Creamery for dessert, but my burrito more than filled me up.

    Day two (Donner Pass) will be posted later today.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
    2014 so far: 5751 miles, 319,000 feet


  2. #2

    • Elk Grove Chris
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    Re: 154 Miles, 11 Hours, 11,400 feet: 3 days bicycling in the Sierra Nevada

    Thanks for sharing, impressive ride. I remember catching my first trout in Silver Lake. I think Route 88 is much more picturesque than 50 (except when 50 overlooks all of Lake Tahoe).
    They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #3

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    Re: 154 Miles, 11 Hours, 11,400 feet: 3 days bicycling in the Sierra Nevada

    Day 2: Donner Pass

    On the second day we drove to Tahoe City, stopping for a full breakfast at the Old Tahoe Cafe in Homewood. From Tahoe City we rode along the bike path that parallels the Truckee River until the end at the Squaw Valley intersection. The path is busy and full of casual cyclists, but it's a more pleasant ride than the highway. Once we got on the highway, we saw few other cyclists. The pavement has many horizontal cracks due to the extremes in weather--making the highway the least pleasant part of the ride.

    Once we were on Donner Pass Road, conditions improved. The road follows the northern shore of the Donner Lake until it starts to climb Historic Donner Pass. From my childhood I remember riding in a car on this road before the interstate was built. It affords spectacular views of the valley below.


    OK, here it is without me and my bike in the way. You can see the road below.


    Here's a photo of all six of us posing with our bikes.


    Here's a classic shot from near the top:


    Once over the top, there is a sign giving the official elevation (and the opportunity to adjust my altimeter).


    We continued on to Soda Springs where we found a deli that afforded us a light lunch. The ride back down the grade went pretty fast, and Donner Lake's shore was lined with sunbathers. Back near Tahoe City, the river was nearly jammed with rubber rafts floating downstream. (Sorry, no pics.) Just another day with perfect weather to be outdoors.

    Once back at our motel in South Lake Tahoe, we sat by the pool and had pizzas delivered for our Calorie Replacement Therapy.

    Next up: Luther Pass and Blue Lakes Road
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
    2014 so far: 5751 miles, 319,000 feet


  4. #4

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    Re: 154 Miles, 11 Hours, 11,400 feet: 3 days bicycling in the Sierra Nevada

    Day 3: Luther Pass and Blue Lakes Road

    We got up early, packed up, turned in our room keys, and headed for breakfast at Heidi's. Then it was a fairly short drive over Luther Pass to the parking lot on Blue Lakes Road just off SR 88. From there we rode back to the summit of Luther Pass. It's an easy climb that provided a nice warmup for the rest of the day's ride. We regrouped at our cars to ride the 12 miles of forest road to Lower Blue Lake. The road started out fairly flat, but began to climb as we left Hope Valley. Then came the big climb of the day. Here are a couple pictures looking back.





    Once over the summit, we descended into the Blue Lakes basin where the paved road ended at Lower Blue Lake.


    We took some time to look around and read the info board.


    I was amused by the misspelled address at the bottom of this sign.

    I'm guessing no one involved in its manufacture had actually been to the office in Angels Camp. (At least Mokelumne was spelled correctly!)

    The back side of the big climb was just as steep but much shorter. I had to stop and take a few pictures of wildflowers, or I would never the end of it from my wife.








    At our final summit we stopped to take a few more pictures. Note that there is still snow on the mountain peaks.

    Best climbers of the day.


    We were finished riding by noon, making it the shortest of our three days of riding--only 37 miles with 2400 feet of elevation gain. My total for the three day ride was 154 miles in 11 hours of riding time and ascending a total of 11,400 feet.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
    2014 so far: 5751 miles, 319,000 feet


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