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

By Tim Hauserman

It sneaks up on us Tahoe locals. We are just barely coming to the realization that it is summer when it is Fourth of July, and crowds of folks head to Tahoe to escape the 1000 degree temperatures in the valley…Ok, 100 degrees, but for a mountain boy like me it sure feels like 1000, and a quick dip in our crisp cool lake is just what the doctor ordered.

So what to do over the 4th?

Beach it-Tahoe’s beaches have a wonderful festive air on the 4th of July. The popular state park beaches like Sand Harbor and Bliss while exceptionally beautiful, tend to fill up early and it’s a bummer to drive all the way to one and not be able to park. So find a place closer to your cabin, and enjoy the lake. I can assure you that any beach that is located on the lake, will be looking at the same lake.

Raft it-A few years ago after an excess amount of drunken shenanigans on the Truckee River, the powers that be passed an alcohol ban for rafters around the 4th of July. This year it’s in effect from July 1st to the 7th. Which means take the family, have a beautiful float, save the drinks for later, and enjoy the happy crowd. Perhaps a burger at River Ranch would be just the 4th of July treat you deserve.

Hike it-While some hiking trails, like the Rubicon Trail between Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay, are bound to be crowded on the 4th of July, it’s actually a good day to hike because most folks are doing the BBQ, on the lake, hanging with friends at the cabin thing. I once hiked a 23 mile segment of the Tahoe Rim Trail on the 4th of July and didn’t see anyone until the last few miles. Try the Tahoe Rim Trail from Barker Pass to Twin Peaks, or the Tahoe Rim Trail out of Tahoe City.

Bike it-The bike trail between Tahoe City and Squaw Valley might be slightly zoo like, but mountain biking out of Tahoe City or Burton Creek State Park shouldn’t be too busy. Or just use your bike as your means of transportation and keep one more car off the road.

Firework it- Don’t miss one of our Fireworks Displays. Kings Beach on July 3rd, Tahoe City on July 4th. Get there early, and don’t plan on leaving until well after the show, as it usually takes an hour or more for traffic to clear out. Better yet, walk to the event, and bring your head lamp for a lovely walk back home.

By Tim Hauserman


Recently my flight attendant daughter based in San Francisco sent me a text, “Hey Dad I’ve got tickets for a Giants game tomorrow, can you make it? ” I was pretty excited, since it had been a few years since I’d made it to AT&T Park to see my favorite team. And given my standby privileges on her airline I could catch the 9:30 flight and arrive at SFO in plenty of time to make it to first pitch.

The next morning I got up early, drove to Reno and arrived early at the gate, excited about my flight. Then I heard the announcement that the flight was delayed, with a new departure time of 12:15. This would bring me to the park, if I was lucky, in about the 6th inning. That wasn’t going to work. So I walked back out of the airport, tail firmly planted between my legs and drove the hour back home to Tahoe.

I arrived home just in time to watch the game on TV, but that meant watching crowds of smiling fans enjoying a beautiful sunny day at the ballpark and wondering where my daughter was seated. Well that wasn’t going to work, so I skipped the game and went for Plan B: A walk along the Truckee River and through Tahoe City.

About a half hour into my walk I rediscovered something: If you find yourself at Lake Tahoe on a breathtaking sunny afternoon, it’s all good. The lake was calm and blue, with pods of happy paddlers digging through the water. A few remaining patches of snow hung high on the mountains and chamber of commerce puffy clouds perched just above the highest peaks. There was a competition going on for who could look the most relaxed between the parents strolling their kids through town and the Truckee River rafters doing the gentle float down the river. There is no doubt about it, Lake Tahoe is a magnificent place to spend an hour, an afternoon or a lifetime. While it didn’t quite remove 100% of the sting of missing the game or the chance to spend a fun day with my daughter, I couldn’t think of a better Plan B.