Fatbiking in and between SF and Tahoe
I am a Vermonter out in SF for work and have weekends free. Have my Pugsley with me and was wondering if any of you have any recommended rides. Looking to do something in between here and Tahoe. Maybe something at the snow line, or in packed snow around one of the resort areas. I have not seen many fatbikes out here.
I have already had some rides around SF and the bay area on the beaches (Sutro Baths, Marin, Corte el Madera, Boy Scout Camp single track, etc)
Oh just wait a little bit and you will be rewarded with a verbose explanation of wheel weight and rotating mass from Leopold Porkstacker. I speak for the entire Norcal forum when I say, "Sorry man". Get a big cup of hot chocolate and get ready to read. May God help your soul!
I think He'll be allllllright. porkman is the only one I know who gets all nutso on the weight thing.
Originally Posted by pmarshall
But All that stuff aside... There are some wonderful and scenic rides up in Marin and the Marin headlands that you'll do just fine on.
How's it going and welcome! I have a Pug-just got my Lefty from Mendon Cycles today! Hoping Porkstacker will help me with the build. Anyways hopefully he'll see this soon.
Alright, alright alright… we’ll start with pictures:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/turdfarmer/8110831965/" title="MeOnFatty by Jickmady Kulkarnisteakbacon, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8184/8110831965_eae968d59b_b.jpg" width="832" height="1024" alt="MeOnFatty"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/turdfarmer/8368669743/" title="LP1 by Jickmady Kulkarnisteakbacon, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8223/8368669743_6c74136627_b.jpg" width="900" height="727" alt="LP1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/turdfarmer/8368669689/" title="LP2 by Jickmady Kulkarnisteakbacon, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8084/8368669689_d152bf79e7_b.jpg" width="900" height="679" alt="LP2"></a>
You don’t need snow to ride your fatbike. I ride with “regular” people on “regular” mountain bikes regularly. You get used to the extra rotating weight—it will make you a stronger rider in the long run. Built up my 2012 9:zero:7 fatbike in January 2012 and to date have more than 2,500 miles on it (not once was it ridden in the snow). I plan on doing at least another 2,500 miles on it this year.
Just messing around everybody!! Take it away Brett!
Thanks man, I ride my fat bike on single track as well, I just enjoy it more on sand and snow. So was looking for rides like that, if anyone has any suggestions.
BT, I read a thread in the fatbike forum about riding in the snow around Truckee. Look for "No Cal" thread in the fatbike forum. I remember somebody commenting about riding in Coldstream canyon, but there are other places as well. If there's no snow or traffic (ahahaha), Truckee is 3 hours away from SF. On a Friday night, it's anywhere from 4 to 6-7 if it snows. I'd love to try riding in the snow, but it seems to be just starting in the mountains. Hopefully, by next year, somebody will be renting fatbikes up in the mountains.
I like Bowman Lake Road on the west side of the Sierra. It's off Hwy 20 which is near Yuba Gap and Interstate 80. It's groomed naturally by snowmobiles and snowcats, the Big Tuckers.
Drive as far as you see snowmobile trailers or snow coverage if you have 4wd or just park a little ways in off hwy 20 if you have a 2wd.
The climbs are gradual and you can go a long way back in there.
I run about 6 psi and get pretty good float.
North and South Beach in Pt. Reyes would be an awesome Fat Bike adventure, it spans for miles and some technical driftwood, spits, and whales to huck off.
I just moved from Colorado to Foresthill (20 miles NE of Auburn off I-80) and Foresthill road ends at snow at the China Wall OHV Staging Area. It's groomed with a cat supposedly 4x a week (not) but it's well packed. You can pretty much ride for as long as you want on the road or the side routes. The road links to Soda Springs and other side routes. I think I'm the only one up here on a bike from the looks of it. Check my blog for more pics if interested.
Other than the Nevada City recommendation (I'm going to have to check that out too!), Foresthill rd is awesome and closer to SF (2.5 hrs) than Truckee and there are few people.
Good call on Bowman Lake rd but it could get sloppy if you don't hit it in the morning. I just rode on a hiking trail above Truckee today and it was like pavement! I'm thinking a ride into Negro canyon could be really good before 11:00 on a regular bike with 2.3 tires.
Thanks Meriwether for the tip and welcome to the 'hood. I think if we can get someone to drop us off at Soda Springs at midnight, we could try a night ride until dawn and it would be mostly downhill to Foresthill...at least it would be good snow conditions at night.
Road around Folsom lake on Sunday. Great weather with some sand and single track. Going to try the forest hill road next weekend. It's just an hour from where I live. Also , there is a nor cal thread in the Fat bikes section.
Sorry, no cal.
Originally Posted by eredinger
Originally Posted by mbmattcor
I would be definitely be into trying the Donner to Foresthill ride. I've been researching it for one because I turn 40 this year and it's right around 40 miles from Donner to China Wall.
I talked to the Foresthill Forest Service office which does the grooming of Foresthill Road and the last time the road was groomed was the 15th and they went out to Robinson Flat (14 miles from China Wall) and then on towards Soda Springs for about 8 miles and stopped and turned around. That means there is another 17 miles on the "road" that may or may not be packed enough to ride and may not even be recognizable.
I called the local snowmobile guide and he didn't know if it had been tracked up to Donner Pass. The FS basically grooms the road down to Road 96 (?) which leads to French Meadows Reservoir and then turn around and come back. They claim there's 60 miles groomed, and from what I've seen snowmobiles have packed down many more miles of logging roads and trails off of the main FH road that aren't officially groomed.
With the storm coming in it's not the best weekend to pull the Fatbike Donner - Foresthill ride off but later this winter or early spring I think it'd be golden. If you're up for it, we could shuttle a car to the pass and pick it up a day later. But it'd be a good idea to explore the top of the ride from Donner to Robinson Flat...
PM if you're interested, could be sweet! Or we could get hopelessly lost but I promise no Donner Party.
Just so you guys don't die out there;), know that there is a ton of climbing between the Cedars and China Wall. That stretch is hard on most folks in the summer months and most underestimate it. Take a SPOT if you have one.
So a buddy of mine with a FAT bike told me about the following ride, sounds pretty *****en, I’ve done this exact thing on skis and it’s absolutely beautiful. Park at the Echo summit snow park (You will need a $5 dollar day pass). Across from the parking area you will find a packed in path in the snow used by skiers, snowshoers and folks dragging sleds of supplies to their cabins. Follow it to Echo Lake. Then you can ride across both lower and upper echo lakes with the beauty of the desolation wilderness as a background, clearly you don’t want to do this after a big dump of snow, but it gets packed out pretty quick by the wind, natural settling and lots of cross country ski use. Once after returning across the lake as a big storm was moving in we used our jackets as a sail and the wind pushed us right across the lake on our skis After that head to Lake Tahoe, maybe go down to the camp Richardson area and just cruse miles of beaches right along the lake.
All my pics of the area are on my home computer, but here is an ice skating report from last year when we were lacking snow, the map in the beginning shows lower & upper echo lake on the right hand side.
:: View topic - Ski Bummed - Backcountry Ice Skating TR
For a longer ride, Blue lakes road off 88 between South lake & Kirkwood might be good, it's a popular snowmobile area which means you can prolly find a packed trail all the way to Blue lakes, but you might have the occasional snowmobile buzzing you also. Once again you will need a snow park pass to park there.
Here's an interesting trip report from someone who rode the "mostly downhill" from Donner to Foresthill/Auburn. Sounds like he may have under-estimated a bit...
duly noted...thanks for all the input Sean, BC and Hans
Now I've found my self shopping for Fat bikes :D Luckly a buddy of mine just bought one and is basically the same size as me, so maybe I'll take it out for a spin and see what I think.
Thanks for the warning guys! I always have my best friend Spot with me too, my wife doesn't let me leave home without him.
Yes, I knew it wasn't all downhill, a quick look at Google Earth tells me it descends for awhile into the North Fork of the American drainage, then climbs out to Robinson Flat.
The route kinda basically follows the "Tahoe Sierra 100" MTB endurance race which has 17K of climbing or something (all the way to Auburn). But I like the "up" so that's cool with me!
But if anyone hears whether Soda Springs over to the intersection of Soda Springs Road and Foresthill Road is packed, let me know please! I'll likely go see for myself in the coming month.
I wonder if those lucky peeps that own the Cedars cabins groom it or not.
Thanks for the tips on the other rides too, Echo looks awesome!
Here's some rides out that direction from my house, I also live in Foresthill.I t will at least give you an idea of the terrain. These are backwards from the direction you will be traveling, there's better ways to get back home coming from Tahoe:eek: I believe one of these goes up Rd 51, not the way you want to go.
My understanding is that they don't groom past Soda Springs/Foresthill Rd intersection which means you will be relying on snowmobile tracks from Serene Lakes to that point. There is generally a pretty good track from Serene Lakes out past the crossing of the North Fork, from there it depends on who wanted to go out that way and how far they ventured.
Just be aware you will walk a lot of those hills if it's remotely soft. Good luck, sounds like a cool adventure!
Foresthill, Soda Springs, Truckee, Tahoe Vista by seanallan at Garmin Connect - Details
Home to Hole in the Ground trail by seanallan at Garmin Connect - Details
I'm interested in trying snow biking, but don't have a fat bike. Would 2.5 inch wide tires work in snow or not?