A North Tahoe Bike Path Weekend

WHO: Lis and her “new” 1996 Gary Fisher Aquila

WHAT: Bike riding!

WHEN: July 9–10, 2011

WHERE: North Tahoe bike paths and roads

GEAR: combination bike lock, bike lights

I got a little excited about cruising the North Tahoe bike paths this weekend. Perfect weather, beaches calling, and a pristine condition, new-to-me 1996 Gary Fisher Aquila (a killer Craigslist find), which I outfitted with some fat road tires to transform it into the ultimate cruising machine.

In the two-day weekend, I pedaled 23.6 miles in total, hitting up everything from Chamber’s Landing in Tahoma to Jason’s Sand Bar in Kings Beach, and of course a few beaches in between. Below, I provide a short primer on North Tahoe bike paths if you’re interested in taking a ride too:

North Tahoe Bike Path Guide

Tahoe City Parks and Rec maintains paved bike trails that leave Tahoe City in all directions: northeast to Dollar Point, south to Sugar Pine Point State Park and northwest to Squaw Valley. They all make great family rides, just be sure to follow bike safety rules (ride in the right lane, walk in the left, give notice to others of your presence, etc) since some trails can be crowded in the summer.

Tahoe City to Squaw Valley

4.5 miles, mostly flat. This is by far the most popular Tahoe bike path as it runs along the scenic Truckee River. I rode it on July 3rd this year and had to be on high alert for all the rafters leaving the river and kids swerving in all lanes. It’s such a fun and beautiful ride though! Continue on up a gradual uphill to Squaw Valley, about 1.5 mile more, to take a break/get a snack in the village. If you want to make it an even bigger ride, you can take the bike lane along Highway 89 all the way to Truckee.

Tahoe City to Dollar Point

2.5 miles, with a gradual uphill climb to Dollar Point. This is not the most scenic of options but is a nice ride, and will get the heart pumping if you take it up Dollar Hill. On my recent ride, I continued on Highway 28 once the bike path ended, and there’s an amply sized bike lane (not recommended for families) to get you all the way to Kings Beach.

Tahoe City to Sugar Pine Point State Park

9 miles, mostly flat with road crossings and a few moderate grades. This is my home stretch as I live about 5 miles from Tahoe City, near Homewood. I love this ride… takes me about 30 minutes to get to Tahoe City from my house. Killer lake views and beach access after Sunnyside on “Dog Beach.” Between Homewood and Tahoma, take the detour through a quiet neighborhood road to stay safe.

The Tahoe Mountain Sports Adventure of the Week blog series takes a walk (or hike, surf, climb or Tahoe bike path ride) in someone else’s shoes, from pro athletes to local Tahoe adventurers. Let us know if you’ve got an adventure to share.

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