Distance: 67 miles
Weather: Gorgeous! 60⁰F to start, 63⁰F at the summit and 85⁰F in Sparks
Today was "picture perfect" with very blue sky, comfortable temperatures, and at times a tail wind - what better conditions for a day in the saddle!!! Riders headed out of the hotel and up Hwy 89 for 8 miles before entering a very serene, tranquil bike path running along the Truckee River of a stream connecting them to Tahoe City.
Ten miles later they arrived at Kings Beach where they could see a very large portion of Lake Tahoe surrounded by snow-capped mountains - many found it difficult to pull themselves away from the picturesque scenery. Moving onward, they entered our second state, Nevada, and many took the opportunity to visit the Brockway Bakery before attempting the big challenge of the day, the climb up Mt. Rose.
Lake Tahoe to our right and Mt. Rose (the only year around open passage) in the Sierra Mountains to our left. The challenge of getting over the mountain was a no small feat for our riders who continue to get stronger daily. Part way up was a spectacular overlook that provided perspective to the height of the mountain. Riders enjoyed a tail window up the mountain and even more so after crossing a meadow pushing them to the top. 8.2 miles to the max of 9% grade, riders were met with cooler temperatures and a very gusty wind at elevation of 8900 feet. Time to refuel and then tackle the 16 mile descent - several riders hit their PR speed records on the ride down. As they moved further down the mountain, temperatures began to warm and riders were able to shed some of their cold weather gear.
Entering the town of Sparks, very little vegetation could be spotted on the hills surrounding the city. Often the only greenery was areas that were being irrigated.
After Route Rap and dinner, the group used the rest of the evening to organize and prepare for a long day in the saddle tomorrow. One must have a routine to assure they accomplish daily activities and are prepared for their next day’s adventure.