|When experienced bikepackers put together a route they like to ride, it is going to be a good route!|
|And I already missed a turn in the first hour and am going up the wrong ridge on the wrong side of the river. Had to backtrack later, but it was still enjoyable early in the morning.|
|An hour later, back on the right trail!|
The day before the start, there is a pre-meeting at Pizza on the Hill. A nice opportunity to meet other similarly-minded riders (everybody rides their own pace, so during the day you rarely see/talk to anybody). And with Covid - and also the huge changes/growth the bikepacking community experienced over the last decade - nice to catch up.
|Talking to Forest and Alissa|
|Looks like I've become the old guy in those events. Blake Bockius wasn't there and|
that probably left me as the only one over 60.
|Not this time, years ago.|
The Hole in the Leg section
on the Hole in the Ground trail.
The infamous Hole in the Ground trail. It has left holes in many people over the years. Indeed, two scars on my right leg are from it. Yet Forest pre-rode it the week before just to make sure it wasn't going to be too brutal (because of late snow and fallen trees).
|Hail before it started pouring|
|In the tunnel!|
The second "Blue Loop" goes around Lake Tahoe, using the bike-legal sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail wherever possible. There is a lot of climbing, but it is very rideable. There are several Flume trails (distinguished by some second part in their name). Unfortunately, it was middle of day on a weekend, so those trails were crowded.
|Just such a good trail going around Lake Tahoe!|
|Spooner Lake at Sunset|
|Didn't use the rainfly on this trip. Tent at Spooner near the cabin|
|Forest, me, and Julie|
|Next shift, same spot, Dan, Spencer, Walter. By then we had left, Jake Inserra took that picture.|
|Things look up after Star Lake|
It was going to be an (overly) long day in any event, but there was yet another challenge: The Tahoe Rim Trail goes past the tallest mountain in the Tahoe area that day, Freel Peak. Freel Peak is 3318m (just a bit under 11,000 feet), which makes it the tallest summit in the Carson Range, El Dorado County, and the Tahoe area. So I can't just ride past this peak without climbing it. Especially since I have no other reason to get to this peak otherwise and I already missed it last time I was on the route.
|Going up Freel Peak|
|Cooling down on the climb, it was a hot day, but still had some snow fields|