After 3 years of living in paradise, I finally followed through with a big goal of mine: riding my bike around Lake Tahoe. It's a 72 mile trip by car, which I have driven many times and became alarmingly aware of the many hills and climbs. I always imagined how I may struggle on my bike up those hills and if I could actually make the whole ride in one trip. I found out that I could.
My roommate Katie, who seems to always be by my side in these adventures, is racing for a cause around the lake next week, so I promised I would encourage her by riding by her side around the lake before the race. We planned on doing it in 2 days because the furthest I've ever ridden had been 30 miles. We were going to stay in South Lake Tahoe, but Katie invited 2 other girls who wanted to do it in one day. I was a bit disheartened knowing I would be the slowest in the pack, but then I walked into the bike store to buy a spare tube and a very nice clerk told me I could easily do it...no big deal. My spirits started to lift. I also wore some awesome 80s style thrift store spandex to keep a sense of humor.
So we started on our adventure tackling the West Shore first climbing to Emerald Bay on our way to South Lake. I quickly learned that the trick about riding around the lake is to make sure your tires are fully inflated and to go in the early season so a car doesn't shove you off the shoulder.
It was a cloudy day, which was nice because the first climb was a killer and I probably would have worn out easier if the sun was beating down on me. Here's my reaction to that first climb:
We got to South Lake and I scarfed down a hummus bagel and carrot juice blend...I definitely needed the energy. We started climbing the hill that leads to the Carson Valley, which seemed to never end. Then we made our way to the East Shore and experienced some glorious downhill where we abruptly came upon some orange construction signs and found that we couldn't bike through. Instead, we had to pile our bikes into the pilot truck and be driven by a very nice construction worker to the end of the site. It was less than 2 miles, so this trip still counts!
It only started to rain toward the very end when we were almost home. I felt great during the whole ride and could have even gone further. I wasn't too sore the next day and I could be talked into the trip again! I feel full of energy and am glad we did 75 miles in 8 hours!! And look Mom, I'm wearing my helmet!