Tahoe Rim Trail on the 4th of July

Riding the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) is always a blast. It’s an amazing trail system, probably one of the best in the Nation, possibly in the world. The views are spectacular and the riding is awesome. Over the weekend of the 4th I managed to snag 2 great rides.

On the 4th I met up with rocket scientist and all around great guy Big Larry and another good friend Kathleen who coaches a high school mountain biking team in the Bay Area. We rode the section of the TRT from Mount Rose down to the Tunnel Creek trail. At that point we split up, Fiona rode the Flume Trail while Larry, Kathleen and I rode down to Red Flume Trail then around to the TRT over Marlett Peak. All in all a great ride. The TRT from Rose to Tunnel Creek is a great section of trail for beginning and intermediate riders to get a handle on the decomposed granite and rocky technical riding the characterizes the riding on the east and south shores of Lake Tahoe. Spooner to Red Flume Pictures and Ride Report here.

Saturday I had some slightly more ambitious plans. Last year some of the guys and I pioneered a new (to us) route going from Spooner Summit to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. It’s brutal 40 mile ride starting on the east side of the lake and going all the way around to Meyers. It includes some brual climbs and a few amazing technical descents. Since this route was based on the classic “Punisher” route we dubbed it the Punsher Plus.

I’ve also rewritten my main Tahoe Rim Trail Guide to include information about more rides in the area, including these two.

Folsom/ Dike 8 trails

Over on MTBR I stumbled across a thread with a fairly decent map of some of the trails near Folsom.   Mostly just Dike 8 and some of the surrounding El Dorado Hills area urban trails.  I don’t consider these to be destination trails but they are great for people that live in area or just happen to be passing though.  It’s also a good place for beginning riders in the greater Sacramento area to get some mountain biking in without any huge hill climbs or super technical riding.  Make sure you scroll further down in the  thread to catch the second map with a few more urban dirt trails. You can also check out the maps below as well.
Continue reading Folsom/ Dike 8 trails

Back in the Swing

So after a bit of a break from updating the site Fiona has goaded me into action again.  Strangely the update I worked on first is completely un-ridable right now since it’s under 12″+ of snow.  However since Fiona is the one who prodded me into working on the site she picked the trail I updated first.

The Strawberry Loop is Fiona’s Favorite ride.  Unfortunately until the thaw she just gets to look at the map and drool and speak of it wistfully to other riders.  This is a great beginner/ intermediate friendly trail about 30 minutes east of Twain Harte off of highway 108.  It also makes for some great bonus miles either at the beginning or the end of a Pinecrest Peak ride.  Without further ado,  here is the Ride Guide for Fiona’s Favorite, Strawberry Loop.

Incidentally some time ago I created a collection of Beginner Friendly Trails which sort of slid out there without mention.  So if you are a beginning rider you might want to check them out.  Many are spread all over Northern Califormia.

Gauging Improvement

Last year I rode at Annadel in Santa Rosa for the first time. I joined the festivities of May by the Bay, an annual mountain bike gathering organized through MTBR. Knowing that I hadn’t ridden there before, I asked for directions on recommended routes. Instead I ended up with a pair of guides who graciously showed me the way at my speed. I found Annadel to be a beautiful park with many trails that could be ridden by different experience levels. Definitely a place to have a map or guide the first time though. Even experienced riders could have a less than stellar ride without some prior information.

Now it’s a year later and I have the chance to ride there again, so off I go. I end up starting off the ride with about a dozen other riders in addition to the ride leaders of the year before. Even just a short time into the ride, I notice that instead of walking the climb, I’m still on the bike. And I’ll confess, looking back and seeing a couple other people behind me helped motivate me to keep pedaling. The route was very similar to last year’s. As I rode along I kept noticing that it seemed easier. I did walk some sections still, but I also was able to stay on the bike and clear some stuff that just seemed too hard just 12 months earlier. All in all I had a blast and felt glad to make it back to the parking lot at the end of the ride. A change of clothes and something cold to drink made a perfect end.

Fiona’s Tale

Fiona on a bridge.Well, obviously I don’t need tell you about the trip up but, I had a great time flying up to Oregon with Ogre. For me the best part of the weekend was the fact that I got to actually ride all three days of MTB Oregon and there were skills clinics for women specifically.

When Ogre and I started planning this trip, I visited the MBO website and requested the video CD to see what to expect. I didn’t think the chances were good that I’d be able to ride much and especially not with Ogre. The trail listings sounded like the rides were more advanced than my skill level, but I figured I’d find something that would be fun and maybe I’d be able to walk/ride my way through one ride. Boy was I wrong. There were several beginner/intermediate trails available. The one that kept me coming back everyday was the Salmon Creek Trail. This trail left directly from the camp area and followed along the side of a beautiful creek. The majority of it was covered by lush, mossy forest and even in the heat was a pleasure to ride. Continue reading Fiona’s Tale

A Ride Around Lake Natomas

Lake Natomas PhotoOgre and I needed to go to Sacramento on Sunday, so we brought the bikes along and got in a great ride. Starting at the Hazel parking lot, we rode across the bridge, down the bike trail, and out onto some dirt trails that break off the American Bike Trail’s paved surface to the north. These trails wander around in some old quarry areas. A beginner/intermediate rider would find some great areas for practicing their skills.

We wound around the lake mostly on the dirt with short connector sections of pavement. As we went along there were 2 rather steep hill climbs, but nothing unhikable (if needed) and one downhill by Negro Bar that is like riding down a trough. The blackberry brambles and thistles overgrew the trail and beat up our legs and arms. I had a hard time keeping up with the Ogre even with him keeping it slow for him, but I was afraid of going too fast. All-in-all it was a fun adventure culminating in a quick dip in the lake near the CSUS boat area.  (More Details about Riding at Lake Natomas)