Not much riding has been going on, yet alone training, too many big changes in my life to have riding be a priority so it was bit of a stretch to think I could make the 140 or so miles to Lake Tahoe without some suffering. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but there was certainly some suffering going on out there.
I worked a 12 hour day on Fri and was pretty wrecked before I even headed out the door at 7:30 for the 40 mile 5000' climb up to Robinson Flat for the night. I had gotten GPX tracks for the first 50 miles a few weeks ago so I didn't start the GPS until I got to Forks House Rd. I decided to take the route up trail 5 out of China Wall for a little more dirt as the rest of the route up to Robinson Flat is paved, not a huge deal as the first 50 miles has only a few miles of pavement.
I finally made my way to Robinson Flat and up the Little Bald Mountain Trail at about 10:30 and got to setting up camp. It was a bit breezy which meant the temps were nice, the summer setup would do just fine.
|First trip on the Anthem 29er|
|My camp spot at 7200' on Duncan Peak, Sat morning.|
I was on my first trip on the new Anthem, a great bike but my pack job was a bit off, the seatbag rubbed on the first large hit I took. This meant a full repack job on Sat morn, no big deal and it was nice to see the sun rise on a spectacular morning.
|Pondering the land I'll travel over today|
|I'll be headed over the farthest ridgline you see.|
Once packed up I was off on the Western States trail down to Glenn Mine, the opposite direction of the Tahoe Sierra 100 for once! From Glenn Mine it was on to French Meadows Reservoir and up and over Chipmunk Ridge on a nice dirt road to Hell Hole Reservoir, I know there's a story there but I've yet to find it.
|Western States dropping off Duncan Peak|
|French Meadows Res. disappearing below me.|
|Hunter Trail, let the pushing begin! Actually not too bad, less than a 1/4 mile. It's steeper than it looks!|
|A little techy!|
|The Fun Stuff!|
|Pretty good views here!|
|Classic Sierra mining trails|
From the bottom of Hunter Trail began the sucky part of not being able to follow the trails out of Hell Hole, a 20 mile 4000' climb up to Loon Lake. It's mostly back roads and where it's not, it's got a 6' shoulder, but it's road and I really wanted to minimize that, Damn Forest Service! About five miles short of Loon Lake the thunderstorms that had been in the area the past few days let loose with thunder, lightning and rain. I found a big Sugar Pine to hide under and looked over the maps for the hour it took to blow over.
|An unusual Sierra thunderstorm|
|The good stuff|
|You're gonna have to be a good chunk rider to stay on your bike here!|
|More fun stuff!|
|The pictures don't do it justice, those are 3 foot high boulders with drop offs the back side.|
|Those are nearly as tall as me on a 60 degree slope.|
|The bridge over the Rubicon River.|
|The bottom of Cadillac Hill, that's steeper than it looks as well.|
|More Cadillac Hill, I had a hard time pushing up this, once again, steeper than it looks.|
|Some big country out there!|
I rolled out around 7:00 and made my way on the now lovely flat to downhill Rubicon OHV trail along some stunning high meadows and lakes, by 8am I was at the lake!
|Still gotta pay attention on the easy stuff.|
|The final destination....|
All in all a great trip. I was worried about this section of the route. Would it be too hard? Would it be too much pushing? Too much pavement? In the end I think it's just fine as it is. It is the only route through the Sierras to the west shore of Lake Tahoe, so it is what it is, but in the end I'm happy with it. Totals for the weekend were about 130 miles in about 16 hours riding time, Ward Canyon puts me at about 180 miles from Auburn as the first section of the race. Thanks for reading.