Trey's Tour of Truckee
KAOS Confuses Californians
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Monday, July 22, 2002: Stage 2
5:50 a.m. the cat is playing hockey in the house. Jeff starts the coffee. Toast and coffee for a pre ride warmup.
Today is a kind of recovery flat stage. We decide to head out to Lake Tahoe for a real breakfast. We start at about 8:30.
The route is flat as it goes upstream along the Truckee River. We have a slight head wind. Traffic is fast but there is a dedicated bike lane most of the way. Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Olympic games is on the right. We take a detour. Wow! The mountain is breathtaking. Photo op!
Shortly after Squaw Valley the bike lane on the road ends. We transition to a bike path. Slow speed is a drag until the views open up. We slow even more as we noodle along enjoying the vistas. The water in the Truckee River is unbelievably clear and a brilliant blue green as it tumbles over the rocks. More photo ops. People are floating along in rafts. I see my first fat people.
We get to Lake Tahoe City. It's all tourist. Time for breakfast. The Bridge Keepers Tavern and Grill is convenient. There is nothing like 1/2 pound burgers and beer for breakfast. It's 10:30 a.m.
We continue up the road along the shores of Lake Tahoe. We pass an estate with a stone wall and gates. Trey warns us that we can't even afford to look through the gates! Lake Tahoe is phenomenal. Trey tells us the deepest part of the lake is 1600 feet. The water is as clear as glass. In the old days you could see down about 150 feet but boat pollution has clouded the water. These days you can only see down about 85 feet.
The circuit around the lake is 72 miles. We stop at 7.2 miles and turn around. Ice cream and smoothies are in order.
We expect the ride back to be even easier and really fast since now we would have a tailwind and be heading downstream. There's a headwind. The wind did a 180 degree turn and picked up quite a bit while we were enjoying our smoothies. Neil flats. It turns out to be pinch flat. The rocks and stones along the way are granite and unforgiving. Neil changes his tube. Twice.
The pace is moderate as we contemplate the climb at the end. Jeff measured the descent on the way out. 3.8 miles straight up. No one is anxious to get started but we go anyway. We make it but not without difficulty. A third rule is added to the rules of cycling. Don't drink smoothies before climbing. Rules one and two are: Start out riding into the wind and Always live at the bottom of the hill. We noodled for 52.0 miles.
Neil switches to a 12-25 cogset.