By Tim Hauserman
One of the great things about small towns like North Lake Tahoe is that we pull together to help the kids of our community, and insist on having a good time doing it. A prime example is the Tahoe Sierra Century Ride set for September 14, 2013. Developed as a means of supporting the award winning band programs at North Tahoe Middle and High Schools, the Tahoe Sierra Century is a community event that gives Tahoe locals a chance to see their friends, and out-of-towners a chance to enjoy Tahoe hospitality, while going for a long and challenging ride.
The race includes 100 mile, 60 mile and 30 mile rides. All the rides start and end in Squaw Valley. The full century warms up on the bike trail to Tahoe City before heading to Kings Beach, where the first real climb begins: Over Brockway Summit. Once you finally reach the top, in a flash you are in the Martis Valley and roaring towards Alder Creek Road, the back entrance to Tahoe Donner, where climb #2 ensues, all the way to the top of Tahoe Donner. It’s a surprisingly long climb. Then after savoring the lovely vista, it’s another significant downhill and a refreshing break along Donner Lake, before it’s time to face climb #3, to the top of Donner Pass. It’s steep, but short and the views make it all worthwhile. Next up, the long deceptively gentle downhill to Cisco Grove. I still remember the first time I rode this section. How pleasant it was rolling down for what seemed like forever, and then I noticed all those people struggling back up the hill on the other side of the road…my future. Once you finally do make it all the way back up climb #4 from Cisco to Donner Pass, it’s mostly downhill from there, although riding from Truckee to Squaw often feels like an uphill in the afternoon because there is almost always a headwind. Find some friends to hide behind.
While many come to ride, they come back for what this century provides: A friendly, happy group of riders. Great food and drink at all the rest stops. A hearty lunch at Big Bend, followed by dinner at the Village of Squaw Valley. And appropriately, at the finish, entertainment by those North Tahoe band kids whose program is benefiting from the ride. Be a part of this great event by registering online at www.tahoesierracentury.com. Unlike other similar events, you can register for the Tahoe Sierra Century up to the day before the event without paying a penalty. So there are no excuses, get out there and ride.