By Tim Hauserman
Have you spent a fun week in Tahoe rafting, mountain biking and hanging out on the beach and are now itching to get on your road bike? Drive 25 miles north of Truckee to the Sierra Valley, one of the best places to road bike in these parts. If it’s the flats that you want you can pedal through bird sanctuary’s and ranch country on lightly used country roads. It will be no surprise that the popular metric century ride based in Sierraville every June is called the Tour De Manure. You could also get in some climbing by riding over the forested Yuba Pass and then down the gently winding descent to Bassets, where you can climb again up the Gold Lake highway past the astoundingly awesome Sierra Buttes and a series of charming little lakes. Or how about heading up the steep pull out of Portola to Lake Davis, or through a narrow canyon of lofty volcanic crags to Frenchman’s Reservoir? It’s all good riding any time, but if you have to pick a day, go Friday.
Last Friday I joined a Tahoe-Truckee based road biking group in the Sierra Valley. The Sierra Valley Farmers Market, is held at Gary Romano’s Farm every summer Friday between 10:30 and 2 pm, just a mile south of Beckworth. Our group parked near the market at 9 am, then rode 40 miles over the two hefty climbs up Gold Mountain and to Davis Lake. We arrived back at the market at 12:30, famished and tired. We found delicious peaches, succulent multi-colored peppers, tomatoes that melt in your mouth, and the always refreshing Tahoe Teas. Unfortunately, what we didn’t find were any of the sumptuous sandwiches prepared by a local bakery that I’d been dreaming about for the last ten miles of the ride, because those puppies were all sold out by the time we showed up. So ride harder or shorter if you do not want this calamity to happen to you.
Once you’ve fallen in love with the good riding to be had in the Sierra Valley, you can come back for much more by signing up for the Sierra Valley Gran Fondo to be held on September 21st. There are four different ride lengths from 33 miles to 160 miles. For information or to register go to svgf.org