The weekend is upon us and the free time we anticipate from a busy work week is calling for a mountain bike ride. The weather is perfect, mid 60’s, and the dirt is prime. Each trail has it’s own timeline of being “rideable” in the Lake Tahoe area. So, Tahoe Mountain Guides decided to check on the ever popular trail, Paige Meadows.
Paige Meadows can be accessed from a variety of locations; I like to start from Alpine Meadows. The initial ascent begins on a fire road for a good 20 minutes, or longer, depending on your climbing skills. The fire road rounds Scott Peak of Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, then a fast descent into Paige Meadows. At this point you will hit the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). Again, many options can be ridden with many exit points depending on how long of a ride you wish your legs to endure.
The main meadow is still under water and quite swampy. I give Paige at least another 3 to 4 weeks to dry out. While walking through the bog, TMG encountered quite a few bike tracks trying to push through. Yes, it’s fun to get muddy, but remember when the trail drys out we are all stuck with deep ruts. If possible find a safe way to walk your bike around, or just turn around. And by all means, DON”T make a new trail! Let’s keep Paige Meadows in good shape! Another encounter occurred, but we were not fast enough with the camera. A large mother bear was making her way through the meadow upon a log. Unfortunately, when she spotted us she ran like a dog chasing a ball into the woods. So on that note, be mindful when coming around a corner, you never know who, or what, will be waiting.
For more information on where to ride, routes and mountain bike guide information, be sure to check out www.TahoeMountainGuides for your next adventure. And if you need a bike, or want to demo the latest and greatest full suspension bikes from Rocky Mountain and Santa Cruz Bicycles, all our bikes come from Cycle Paths. We are all located in your one stop shop, Truckee Sports Exchange.
The TMG Crew
The morning of June 3rd there was a certain electricity in the air unraveling in Truckee, CA. Mountain bikes lubed with Gnar, tires pressure checked, and coffee sipped. The anticipation of and early morning shuttle ride via Tahoe Mountain Guides to the Tahoe Truckee Super D along with our friends Arielle and Abbey from Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Santa Cruz bikes was on their way to Truckee from Downieville, CA. If you have never heard of Downieville, look it up…it’s a mountain bikers mecca. But that’s not to say Truckee isn’t in the same category. Santa Cruz was going to host a mountain bike demo in Truckee, but first…let’s ride!
All we had time for was a quick loop on the Tahoe Truckee Super D, but faces were all smiles. The trail was riding the best it possibly could and the view of Lake Tahoe in its early morning haze was magical. But, with half an hour to spare, it was now time to deploy to the Sawtooth Ridge trail head, set-up tents, get the Santa Cruz mountain bikes ready and hope for a decent turn-out of mountain bikers.
The crowd was a perfect size and bikes would roll out as soon as a bike was returned. Arielle and Abbey fit bikes to the demo seekers as TMG signed-in guests, bike of choice they wanted to demo and talked bikes. The fleet of Santa Cruz bikes included: Blur TRC, Tallboy LT long travel 29er, Superlight 29er, Carbon Nomad, Carbon Blur LT & XC and Juliana women’s specific trail bike.
Each rider returning via the Happy Face trial was doing just that, smiling. Exclaiming “I love this bike”, riders were then sent to Cycle Paths Bike Shop to order a new Santa Cruz bike. The event was a huge success with many thanks going to Arielle and Abbey of Santa Cruz; Cycle Paths Bike Shop and all who came out to demo a new Santa Cruz bike.
The TMG Crew
Mountain biking is a sport that can involve some speed; especially while on a downhill descent. Often we reach for the brakes slowing into those turns, and sometimes we find ourselves falling over, or just biffing it. Why does this happen? Lack of speed. Getting out of our comfort zone can be no fun, fearful, yet exhilarating. Here are a few tips to use speed as your friend, to help push your personal envelope and become a more confident rider.
Ride a downhill section you have ridden before and note where you apply the brakes into that coming corner. The next time, wait a few second longer. Remember, speed is your friend. The wheels act as a gyroscope and want to stay upright. The faster those wheels spin the more rigid they become. The only way to accomplish this effect is with speed. Start this new maneuver gradually, and practice, practice, practice. Soon you will be taking those corners leaving friends in awe.
Hold on to those handle bars! We all put a finger or two on each brake lever, right? Well, instead of placing your fingers on the lever, wrap all five around the bars. This will also give you a more secure grip. I know, this can be intimidating, but trust me, when it comes time to brake you will know where the lever is located. Don’t forget to keep that head up and look down the trail.
Going faster is not something I recommend doing overnight. Ease into the feeling and gradually enhance those skills. Before you know it, you will be mountain biking faster and ready for any trail.
The TMG Crew
Hello Mountain Bikers! The snow is melting at a much faster pace and spring mountain bike season is going strong. Today we took a ride up Western States Trail and conditions were great. At the start, Temperatures were in in mid 60’s, which is nice for this trail; Western States from Hwy 89 begins with a good 20 minute uphill climb. You then get a short reprieve until you move towards The Wall.
The Wall, most appropriately named, adds another 10-15 minute uphill grunt, depending on your fitness level. This section is always great to see what condition you are really in. When conquering the wall, you then have a plethora of choices. I usually like to continue towards Painted Rock, because I like uphill, but the trail system from here is vast and plentiful. If you need recommendations where to ride, let us know.
The best part about today’s ride…no snow! That’s right, we made it all the way to the top of The Wall with no snow. Under the shrouded areas at the top a few patches of snow exist, but nothing to worry about. The trail along the Western States had few moist areas, lots of dried out pine needles from last season, and the relaxing sound of flowing creeks. So that’s it…time to get on the trail and if you need assistance, a mountain bike guide, or just want to talk trails, hit up Tahoe Mountain Guides.
Happy Riding from the TMG Crew.
Did I say WOW after Day 1?? Well, I’m saying WOW again, after Day 2. It was an amazing, exciting, fun and Humbling day out there (70 and sunny once again, by the way).
After starting my day with a killer “locals” breakfast burrito (at the Love Muffin Cafe no less) with a nice couple from Denver. Yes Kenny, he will be coming to ride with us at some point it was off to explore. I began my day on the Amasa Back Trail and damn was that a fun uphill. Not ashamed to say I did not clear all of those ups on my way. Took the Pothole Arch spur for some incredible Colorado River views, then it was decision time. Do I descend the same way I rode up (which I knew would be fun and technical in spots) or take the “DUDE” route, combining the Rockstacker and Jackson’s sections. Well, my desire and confidence got the better of me, so I chose the “route less traveled” Dude option.
Damn was that a humbling experience. I can see my riding ability, confidence and cajones have a long way to improve…What a humbling descent!! I was off my bike and walking over and down way more sections than I anticipated or wanted (and yes what I read did warn that this was difficult and dangerous). I must say that it gave me a new appreciation for the riders that “can” ride stuff like that. I did make it without any incident, as my level headed perspective (and riding alone) kept me from attempting anything foolish. By the way, I did not see another soul or rider on the route I descended…go figure! What a ride!! Next time I will descend on Amasa Back and giggle all the way down.
Grabbed a short break and lunch at my truck at the trail-head then decided to head north to the Bartlett Wash/Jedi 3D Trails/Playground. That was the perfect 2nd ride compliment to my 1st ride of the day (Kudos to Chris Moore for suggesting Bartlett). I spent a couple of hours out in those 2 areas riding and playing freeform on sandstone/slickrock and again, had the place to myself, not seeing a single other rider out on that mesa-like rock playground. Way Fun. Big ole cajun burger and large margarita at the Moab Brewery and the day was done.
One thing that I am learning/getting more clear on, during my sojourn experience, is to not be in a hurry to get done, with anything. Becoming more appreciative of “the moment I am in” and my patience level and self appreciation are growing.
I have decided to stay in Moab, rather than go to Fruita or Gooseberry as there is way too much to ride, explore and see here. Save those for another time. Plus, I wouldn’t want to leave the ant infestation in my bathroom to another guest. Just starting to make friends with them.
Today’s plan: Hit Poison Spider Mesa this morning (after another local’s breakfast burrito) and then The Magnificent 7 this afternoon. Yes, my legs and body are a little tired and beat up, but so what! I forgot to mention that near the top of Amasa Back a gust of wind actually blew me over. No soft landings anywhere out here…OUCH! and now have the scrapes and bruises to prove it.
Saving Porcupine Rim for tomorrow as what I am hearing every day it gets drier and there is a chance that LPS may open up too. Fingers Crossed…