by Curtis Fong, “The Guy from Tahoe”
Wow! Where is this summer going? Its already August and the tourist season is definitely upon us, limiting road biking events, due to summer traffic and warm temperatures. Yes, the Dog Days of Summer effects cycling as well. But, there’s plenty of off-road mountain bike riding offered And, August is the one of the best “Blazing Saddle” months to get away from the crowds and get back to nature on the forested trails.
At Lake Tahoe, most riding is now offered on our established mountain bike trails and there are no lack of routes and places to ride in and around Lake Tahoe. Most of the high-country snow is melting off and TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) has been working hard to maintain and build trail enhancements. Powerline, Angora, Armstrong Pass, Coral Loop and many more trails are open for all levels of mountain bike riders. For more info, visit www.tamba.org If you have time and want to volunteer for their trail days they are working on the Lily Lake Trail and the Stanford Rock Trail in the month of August, visit: https://tamba.org/upcoming-events/
There are also great mountain bike routes in and around Carson City put together and assisted by the Muscle Powered Group. One being the Ash to Kings Trail. The trail is seven miles long and connects the Ash Canyon trail system to Kings Canyon Road (Lincoln Hwy) and the Longview Trail. The trail is designed for mountain bikes as well as for runners, hikers and equestrians. For more information, visit: www.musclepowered.org
The Flume Trail is THE most Iconic mountain bike trail and scenic adventure offered at Lake Tahoe! This 14-mile adventure trail is located on Tahoe’s east shore and is easily accessible from Spooner Lake State Park, on Hwy 28 just north of the junction of U.S. Hwy 50.
One of the best ways to experience the Flume is accessing it from Flume Trail Bikes and Tunnel Creek Café in Incline Village. Max & Patti Jones are your hosts and you can park, rent a state-of-the-art mountain bike, including electric assist E-bikes and take their shuttle to Spooner Lake to ride the Flume from there back to Tunnel Creek Café for a meal and a cold one. More Info Here.
Max is a two-time National Mountain Bike Champion and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Member. He opened and cleared the Flume Trail for mountain bike riding and hiking in 1983. They are the original shuttle service and bike rental outfitter for the Flume Trail, operating since 2000.
The Flume trail is a moderately difficult one way 14-mile ride at 7000 to 8000+ feet in elevation with over 1000 feet of climbing in the first four miles up North Canyon to Marlette Saddle and a short descent leads to Marlette Lake. From there, it’s a mile and a half ride on the dirt road along the shore of the lake and leads directly to the Flume Trail.
The Flume Trail is almost flat and has spectacular views 1600 feet above the east shore of Lake Tahoe. The Trail traverses above several steep sections, so those afraid of heights be forewarned and there are couple difficult sections that you might feel more comfortable in getting off your saddle and walking your bike. Needless to say, this is the most iconic mountain bike trail at Lake Tahoe with spectacular views overlooking Lake Tahoe and Sand Harbor. At the end of the Flume Trail, there is a 3-mile, 1500-foot descent down Tunnel Creek.
For BMX riders, on Saturday, August 3, the South Lake Tahoe BMX Track will host the USA BMX State Championship Qualifier at the BMX track in Bijou Park. Approximately 300 riders will compete. Riders are members of the USA BMX sanction and ranges in age from 2 years old to over 60, competing in Class Levels from novice, intermediate, expert and semi-pro levels. Spectators are free and welcomed to cheer on the BMX Racers. For more info visit: http://www.tahoebmx.com
For road bikers, the 14th Annual Ebbetts Pass Century is set for Saturday, August 17. Starting and finishing at Bear Valley Resort on Hwy 4. This event offers four different ride options from 26 miles with 2,500 feet of climbing, 50, 65 and full 100 miles with 10,250 feet of climbing.
For more info visit: https://www.bearvalleyxc.com/ebbetts-pass-century
Out in Eastern Nevada, outdoors events are also offered as well as new mountain biking trails. The 2nd Annual Sky High Tri Event is on August 10. The event starts at the White Pine County Aquatic Center with individual and relay teams. 400-yard swim, 12-mile bike ride, and 3-mile run, while beginners will have a 200-yard swim, 3-mile bike ride and 1-mile run. And, don’t forget the kids Tiny Tikes Triathlon (ages 4-10) for the 50-yard swim, bike around the building and run around the parking lot.
The Great Basin Trails Alliance is also coordinating trail building, applying for grants and working with the Nevada Division of Forestry on 40 miles mountain bike trails out of Ely, as well… A system of trails are now connected on Ward Mountain. The 3rd Annual Race The Rail Event is set for Saturday, September 7. For more info, visit: https://elynevada.net
So, even though August can be HOT, weather wise — it’s Blazing Saddles Month, so keep the cranks a’turnin’ — Get Out and Get After It!