Cycling in Tahoe, CA

Last week my Dad and I packed up “The Beast” (the giant van we’ve adventured in ever since I was a kid) and took our road bikes to Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I’ve been cycling for a few years now but this is the first year that I’ve started training more seriously. I knew the elevation gain would have me huffing and puffing, but I was really excited to challenge myself and log some rides over 40 miles! I love riding with my Dad because he knows that I can ride faster than I usually do on my own :) I’ve included Strava maps for more detailed info on the rides!

Lake Tahoe West Shore

The first ride on our list was out and back a portion of the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately we encountered a lot of construction on the road so we had to cut the ride a bit shorter than we anticipated. If there’s no construction, I recommend parking at Homewood and riding down to Camp Richardson and back. It’s a great warm up ride because there are lots of rollers with a few short, steep climbs. We took it pretty easy because we knew we were doing a big ride the following day. There are some great beaches on the south shore where you can take a break, as well as beautiful views of Emerald Bay.

Gold Lake Loop

The most challenging ride of the trip (though by far the most beautiful) was the Gold Lake Loop. In fact, it’s the coolest ride I’ve ever done. From Truckee you drive out hwy 89 to Sierraville. We drove a tiny bit farther and parked in the tiny town of Sattley. The ride has 2 massive climbs, the first of which is about 9 miles with at least 3 false summits. It’s a mind game! But the descent takes you right below the Sierra Buttes. The second portion of the ride takes you through amazing high country terrain and warm little river valleys that help distract you from the pain ;)

Squaw Valley to Glenshire

Our legs were toasted the next day, but we managed to do a nice flat recovery ride from Squaw Valley to Glenshire and back. This was crucial because had we not done this my legs would have been sore. PROBARS absolutely fueled us through each of these rides! 

Davis to Lake Berryessa

The last ride of our trip was on the way back from Tahoe to San Francisco. We started in Davis and road out to Lake Berryessa and back. This is about the same distance as the Gold Lake Loop (45 miles) but it’s almost all flat! After a good recovery day I was feeling really strong and we managed to ride at an average speed of 17 or 18 mph. But man it was HOT!! About 95 degrees! Definitely not my favorite place to ride. I was lightheaded when I got off my bike and all I could think about was food. Thank the universe for PROBAR Meal Bars!! All in all the trip was exactly what I was looking for! A great opportunity to challenge myself on longer rides, hang out in the Sierra, and build my base for cycling. If any of you have questions or more suggestions for rides around Tahoe, write me in the comments section below!!


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