As we pulled into South Tahoe we spotted South Shore Bikes (SouthShorebikes.net) and chatted to Mark. A wealth of information, being a local who lives here for the biking. According to Ju he was pretty cute as well....
Ju spent a bit of time sorting out phone as the sim card we had was not cooperating, and then we headed up the Christmas Valley to another free campsite (if Fletch can do it so can we)....Thanks Mark...lovely spot. Then it was across the road and onto the Tahoe Rim Trail and across the Big Meadow. Mark had warned that there were a few steps and not to be put off, and above them the climb was gentle and the track primo. Passed three Dads with sons hiking up to Round Lake on a
camping trip. We ended up at Dardanelle Lake, which was stunning. Then the mostly downhill ride back to the access road. Perhaps a little too technical for us at that time of the day....We had been up since 6.30am, driven 3hrs, mucked around getting phone, food and info, found camping, mended a puncture, and it was now almost dark, so we were both a little weary to cope with the granite like steps and obstacles. Then I got another puncture, so the last km or so up hill to the van was a challenge. Fantastic circuit though. Really recommend it.
Ju is really knackered, feels sick and can't eat.....hmmm.
Daylight, and we have arranged a shuttle from TC Cafe and Flume Bike Shop, from their base just out of Incline to Tahoe Meadows, 9000', the start of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Shared the ride with a bunch from "The Bay" (that's San Francisco), a nice bunch of guys out for a weekend riding. Very cosmopolitan. (Columbian, Mexican, German and USA nationals).
What an amazing ride. A few easy technical bits and what should have been fantastic views....too bad about all the smoke. 15km of big time FUN.
Quite a few riders but you only see them when you stop for photos. Mtbers can only ride this section on "even days" (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc).
Then we dropped down the hill a little and rode the "Flume Trail" which files an old pipeline, so contours around the mountain very high above the lake. There were a couple of times when I wasn't too comfortable looking over the edge. Beautiful, easy ride, and I'm sure even betton a smoke free day. As Mark said it's a tourist route, but we are tourists, so had to tick it off. Nice to get back after 35km and munch down on a chicken sandwich and smoothies.
Ju is suffering. Tired, stuffed up, and feeling grotty, so she has done really well. We decide to skip a recommended downhill route, and back track along the Flume to descend (fun) down Tunnel Creek Rd to the shuttle base. I'm bossy and convince her that it is better for her health, and later riding, if we have a day off tomorrow, so we reluctantly leave the Tahoe Valley, and head NW across the Nevada Desert towards Biose Idaho. What an amazing landscape.....Flat for ever....75mph and an amazing smoky sunset....We haven't escaped the smoke yet.