Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 36 – Lake Tahoe

Another warm and pleasant night. I hit Hwy 395 at 6:15 heading north and downhill to Topaz Lake. It seemed odd that a big lake exists in a dry landscape, but the water in the West Walker River has to go somewhere. After Topaz, I headed uphill to a summit then enjoyed easy biking gradually downhill to Gardnerville where I refueled. The 14-mile ride to the  south end of Carson City (the capital of Nevada) crossed flat terrain with lots of irrigated pastures. I turned west on US Hwy 50 and started up a 2,400-foot climb to the Lake Tahoe basin. The reasonable grade, often a mild tailwind, and pine forest scenery helped me. The heat and insufficient water did not. About 12:30, I reached the summit and soon turned north on Hwy 28, hoping to find a minimart with water and chocolate milk. No such luck. A few small climbs depleted my energy. But I found a parking area where I could sit in the shade and eat lunch and drink water. When I biked close to the lake, I could hardly believe how colorful it was (see photo). Lunch and a rest gave me the wherewithal to reach Incline Village and call my friend Will for directions to his family’s condo. Mercifully, I was only an easy mile away. Will coached me on bike cleanup and rear tire patching. Will, Margie, and Will’s brother, Ed, went for a bike ride while I showered and rested. After dinner, I felt mostly revived. 69 miles today.

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