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Monday, August 30, 2010

Tahoe - Rim Trail, Flume Trail

Lake Tahoe a seen from the Flume Trail

Congratulations to Jeremy for his first "Epic" Mountain Bike ride. 23 hard miles and 3300' of climbing at elevations above 7000', and over 8500' along the ridge. We rode sections of the Tahoe Rim trail and then created a loop around Lake Marlette by returning on the famed Flume Trail above the east shore of Lake Tahoe.

The XTERRA professional off road triathlon circuit had their Lake Tahoe race on Saturday too. We were able to see some of the last racers come through as they passed Lake Marlette, and I was actually able to ride with one of the guys and chat for a few minutes. We had been on our bikes approx. the same amount of time at that point.

I must say it was a little ego boosting to be riding up hills beside the racers walking their bikes. Granted, I hadn't just swam 300 odd meters in choppy water, and these guys and gals were the very back of the pack, and they still had 5k to run when they finished riding. But still, it was cool and makes me wonder what I could do with a lighter faster bike and a few competitive swimming lessons. I definitely had 5k left in me when we got off the bikes. Hmmm?

Looking east over Nevada

Next time we go - we camp overnight - or 2 nights possibly. I ended up driving a total of 14 hours in just over 24 hours to accommodate 6 hours on the bike. Bec, and the girls and I drove 2.5 hours to Lakeport Friday night, to spend a few fitful hours of sleep at our friends' home. (Actually she drove those 2.5 hours, while I napped and then read my latest novel out loud to the girls) By 4:35am Jeremy and I were heading toward Tahoe and on the bikes by 9:30am. That was reversed starting around 3:00 in the afternoon, putting the girls and I back in the Bay Area just before 11:00pm. Too much driving.

But it was worth it for our first shot at riding in this scenic area.

I think the last time I was this sore after a ride - was the last time I crashed. Yep. Did it again.
I attempted an ill conceived and ill fated superman stunt descending on the Rim Trail toward the north end of the Flume.
I do not fly well. I land worse.
My bike landed on me after I dove head first over the bars. I was sitting with my head swimming when Jeremy rolled up and accused me of staging a crash. I was still trying to get my wind back, so I just sat there with a stupid grin, mouthing unintelligible explanations with coughs and wheezes.

If nothing else Lake Tahoe makes a stellar backdrop for taking a moment to catch your breath.

I somehow managed to land squarely on my left pectoral and in spite of my last minute idiotic braking, landed on the very rock that had terrified my front wheel a mere fraction of a second before. I distinctly remember (during flight) thinking how tough it was going to be riding out of there with broken ribs.

No broken ribs, or any bones for that matter. (I don't think anyway - everything seems to hurt worse by the hour.) Fortunately my wrist had recovered 99% from the fall on New Years day, so it was ready to take another beating on the dirt to the right of the target rock. The left arm and hand are just fine, as they seem to know how to stay out of the way. Right knee has a small cut, really only worth mentioning because it was the only blood to be seen.

But, the "it hurts worst 2 days later" theory is all too true. Wow.

This route as recommended by my friend Vince was sublime, and I will do it again for sure.