Starting last Sunday, a group of three intrepid mountain bike explorers lit out from North Lake Tahoe heading west through hundreds of miles of known and unknown singletrack, double track and the occasional bike lane on their way to the ultimate destination of San Francisco on a ride dubbed simply “TheCommute.” Our very own Angry Singlespeeder (AKA Kurt Gensheimer) is one of those explorers and we will be posting mostly visual updates throughout the week as the group makes their way west with the towns of Nevada City, Auburn, Folsom, Davis, Cache Creek, Calistoga, Novato and finally San Francisco pencilled in on the route.
Below are photos and descriptions of Day 1’s ride from Tahoe City to Soda Springs, Calif. You can look at their Day 1 Strava Tracks here.
The Commute Day 1
A frosty morning on Lake Tahoe greeted James, Justin and me, but once rolling into the mountains above Tahoe City, our engines quickly warmed up and the layers came off. Our initial 15-mile ride from Tahoe City to James’ house in Truckee was the perfect introductory shakedown test ride of what’s to come over the next 400 miles. Descending OTB and Lena Watson trails revealed that if I want to keep up with James and Justin, I’d need to jettison the frame bag and go ultralight, only carrying a backpack of minimal gear. Hopefully that decision doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass down the trail. We’ll see. Now it’s time to push off towards Emigrant Trail and up to Hole in the Ground. Then we’ll stay the night with a stranger named Fritz in Soda Springs. – Kurt Gensheimer
After slimming down my gear at our lunch stop in Truckee and packing everything I needed into my Caltrans orange Acre Suppy backpack, we hit the trail up to Donner Pass. The weather couldn’t have been better for late October – high 60s, not a cloud in the sky and no wind at 8,000 feet elevation. Considering the weather this time of year can be apocalyptic at that elevation, we considered ourselves lucky.
Emigrant, Donner Rim and Hole in the Ground trails were the fare for the afternoon. Hole in the Ground was clearly the highlight of the day. It’s a legendary trail that has a remarkable balance of flow and tech. The sun was setting quickly, so we made haste to get off the trail before dark. We just barely made it, but had to descend the rowdiest and rockiest section of the trail – the stair step section – in the dark. We had our JetLites, but we felt that this 54 mile and 7200 feet of climbing day had to be completed with a final challenge. We finished the day with no whammies and look forward to an even bigger day to Foresthill tomorrow. – Kurt
View all of “TheCommute” daily entries here.