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  1. #1
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    How wild is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?

    I only recently started riding more technical terrain since I got my HD3. The bike is more than capable, but I am not so sure about my skills. Everyone seems to rave about how good this trail is but it seems like it might be pretty technical... I was thinking of giving it a go but I don't want to end up stuck on a trail I can't ride, especially if I've worked really hard to get up there. How is it in comparison to, say, the rocky bit at the beginning/end of Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake, or the Sawtooth trail in Truckee? I have ridden both of these recently... did fine on Sawtooth, on Big Meadow I walked a lot of the rocks going up (uphill rocks are not my strong point), but managed to ride most of it on the way down.

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  2. #2
    Axe
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    Give it a go, if you walk, you walk.

  3. #3
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    There are only a few short techy sections. Most of the rest is fast and swoopy.

    Hey, if I can ride it, so can you
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    (uphill rocks are not my strong point)
    Uphill rocks won't be a problem on Toad's. They're all downhill rocks.

    Sawtooth & TRT Big Meadow aren't very technical. Most of the techy stuff on Toad's is on the first 1/3 of the trail. But like Axe wrote, you can always walk those sections. You can't improve unless you push your limits.
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  5. #5
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    Just send it


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  6. #6
    L1MEY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    There are only a few short techy sections. Most of the rest is fast and swoopy.

    Hey, if I can ride it, so can you
    Ok, cool. This is what I was hoping. I'm fine with walking sections that are clearly above my skill limit, and also fine with giving stuff a try if it looks doable, I just didn't want to walk down the entire 6 miles

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  7. #7
    fc
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    It's pretty gnarly near the top. It can eff you up and your bike if you are not used to rocks and sand.

    Walk iif you are unsure and know that there is swoopy fun stuff halfway down.
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  8. #8
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    I just rode it last Wednesday; the trail is in great shape at the top, the bottom is a little blown out. We climbed up from Big Meadow Campground; there are some uphill rocky sections there that require a lot of energy to climb. Now, for the descending...there are a few rocky sections that are legit. If you can't ride them, walk them. Lots of fun swoopy singletrack to make you smile

  9. #9
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    Maybe descend Armstrong / Corral first. If you feel good there then try Toads. Building confidence with experience helps.

    Also stay focused. There are great brewpubs after the trail ends and a couple of urgent cares available :-) Good MTB doc at the Stateline urgent care stitched my wife up after her wine bar accident in Downieville during the Classic a few weeks ago.

    Watch for altitude sickness. I got it last Monday on the TRT climbing from Spooner TH. It saps a lot of energy out of you that can make even nice descents exhausting. I need to acclimate to Tahoe more than two days before hitting 8,000+. Maybe I need to live there again in the summer...
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  10. #10
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    Good chance you will walk the water fall section, and maybe a few others, mostly due to lack of familiarity with the trail.
    Overall you'll likely ride 98-99% of it.
    If you are in a group, spread out towards the bottom, it gets super dusty. Third+ person back will be having a less than stellar time...

  11. #11
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    They sanitized the only hard section of the trail this year. You should be good to go.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by prozach0215 View Post
    They sanitized the only hard section of the trail this year. You should be good to go.
    "Pro"zach must not be able to read...otherwise he would have noticed your tech level...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    I only recently started riding more technical terrain since I got my HD3. The bike is more than capable, but I am not so sure about my skills. Everyone seems to rave about how good this trail is but it seems like it might be pretty technical... I was thinking of giving it a go but I don't want to end up stuck on a trail I can't ride, especially if I've worked really hard to get up there. How is it in comparison to, say, the rocky bit at the beginning/end of Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake, or the Sawtooth trail in Truckee? I have ridden both of these recently... did fine on Sawtooth, on Big Meadow I walked a lot of the rocks going up (uphill rocks are not my strong point), but managed to ride most of it on the way down.

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    Wondering why nobody is mentioning what it takes to climb up from "the Meadows" just to get to head down Toads! Check out a recent vid on YouTube heading up same route from B1KER.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    there are some uphill rocky sections there that require a lot of energy to climb.
    Can I quote myself...I assumed the OP checked out the ride profile?

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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    "Pro"zach must not be able to read...otherwise he would have noticed your tech level...
    Why be an ass? I was just giving the guy my opinion based on what he said. There isn't anything on toads the guy can't easily see in advance and get off and walk. The one section that was actually pretty hard was filled in with rocks and concrete this spring.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the tips everyone

    I might take a shot at it some time this weekend... it's definitely on my list to ride before the snow starts to fly in any case.

    Jmpreston, that climb up to the bench from Spooner is a workout for sure! Last time I did it I kept having people tell me I should have gone the other way from Kingsbury instead I took the Sierra Canyon Trail down to Genoa from the top... I've never ridden so many switchbacks! I'm ok with Tahoe altitudes so no worries there... above 12k ft I usually get a nasty headache but I'm fine below that

    JMAC47, I was planning on riding up Armstrong rather than going via the Big Meadow TH. That way I don't have to shuttle it... or do miles of hiking like the guys in the video. I'm guessing the road they were talking about in the video is the dirt road that leads to Horse Meadows on the back side of Armstrong Pass... anyone ever ridden it that way? You would have to get someone to shuttle you to the trailhead back there but that trail would be rideable (I've hiked it a few times).

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Wondering why nobody is mentioning what it takes to climb up from "the Meadows" just to get to head down Toads! Check out a recent vid on YouTube heading up same route from B1KER.
    Pffffttt...climbing from the meadows. A few days ago I fooled myself into a sufferfest. Started at 4:15 at bottom of Fountain Place. Rode up Cedar/Sidewinder, then up the pavement. Surprisingly, after a few consecutive days of riding, my legs are feeling ok. I can make it up Armstrong. But, hey, why stop there? I've done this ride before. It couldn't have taken me more than three hours, tops. On to Toads! Never mind I have no food, headlamp, extra layers, and it's getting late. Hmmm...I don't remember this much climbing...huh, now my legs are starting to feel pretty tired...damn it, these climbs I could usually make are killing me and now I'm pushing my bike...crap, I'm out of water now. Finally made it to Toads and I don't even want to be on my bike anymore, but it's well past 7, gotta get down this thing. Nothing like riding a burly trail that you're only vaguely familiar with, while you're bonking, and solo, in fading light, wanting to go as fast as possible, but knowing that's a recipe for disaster. But man, what a fun trail! (at least the parts I didn't walk)
    Morals - If you're gonna start late, be prepared, or turn around (it might have actually been fun if I had food, water, and a headlamp). When exhausted, food and beer are strangely unappetizing, but Gatorade is the nectar of the gods. And I'm pretty sure there is no way in hell I previously did that ride in under three hours.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Pffffttt...climbing from the meadows. A few days ago I fooled myself into a sufferfest. Started at 4:15 at bottom of Fountain Place. Rode up Cedar/Sidewinder, then up the pavement. Surprisingly, after a few consecutive days of riding, my legs are feeling ok. I can make it up Armstrong. But, hey, why stop there? I've done this ride before. It couldn't have taken me more than three hours, tops. On to Toads! Never mind I have no food, headlamp, extra layers, and it's getting late. Hmmm...I don't remember this much climbing...huh, now my legs are starting to feel pretty tired...damn it, these climbs I could usually make are killing me and now I'm pushing my bike...crap, I'm out of water now. Finally made it to Toads and I don't even want to be on my bike anymore, but it's well past 7, gotta get down this thing. Nothing like riding a burly trail that you're only vaguely familiar with, while you're bonking, and solo, in fading light, wanting to go as fast as possible, but knowing that's a recipe for disaster. But man, what a fun trail! (at least the parts I didn't walk)
    Morals - If you're gonna start late, be prepared, or turn around (it might have actually been fun if I had food, water, and a headlamp). When exhausted, food and beer are strangely unappetizing, but Gatorade is the nectar of the gods. And I'm pretty sure there is no way in hell I previously did that ride in under three hours.
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it"

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  19. #19
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    How wild is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?

    Are you riding solo? And you just started riding tech a couple months ago?

    Solo means you have to ride more cautious. Can always walk the bike but obviously have to get off before trouble. Hard to know what you can handle though if you've never been in these situations. Slam that droppert all the way down at the top.
    Last edited by fc; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:17 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Hurtsogood, NOW you can ride with me, You are probably prepared for every ride going forward! I love a good sufferfest.

  21. #21
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    It's a pretty big difference in trail profile from Sawtooth to Toads. I always say " Ride what you can, walk what you have to". Be mindful that Once you're on Toads you're pretty far from help. Have fun out there


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  22. #22
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by railntrail View Post
    It's a pretty big difference in trail profile from Sawtooth to Toads. I always say " Ride what you can, walk what you have to". Be mindful that Once you're on Toads you're pretty far from help. Have fun out there


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    This^^^ Just remember, if you get in trouble, when you get towards the bottom stay right when you get to the fork intersection otherwise you'll end up stuck in the neighborhood not out in Forest Place/Oneidas where there's more chance to get a ride to the ER.
    Last edited by JMac47; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:04 PM. Reason: Typo
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    This^^^ Just remember, if you get in trouble, when you get towards the bottom stay right when you get to the fork intersection otherwise you'll end up stuck in the neighborhood not out in Forest Place where there's more chance to get a ride to the ER.
    Fountain Place, not Forest Place. Does anyone know how an FS road got that name??? Sounds like an AZ subdivision name. Forest Place is better.

    I haven't heard of many injuries on Toads. I suspect that most riders are cautious the first few times until they scope the lines.

    It is all downhill to help, more or less, but unlikely you'll need it. Ride what you enjoy and feel is safe and be frustrated like the rest of us that you could have done better :-) You can fix that next year...
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  24. #24
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    well there is the surprise stairway half way down.

    you might want to do something like armstrong + connector + corral first. there's a big quantum from that to toad's but it's a super fun trail on its own. heck, just shuttle corral.

    also i think fountain place is named after the someone named fountain .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmtb View Post
    also i think fountain place is named after the someone named fountain .
    OK, I'm changing my name to kegger... :-)
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  26. #26
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    At least I didn't say Forest Lawn.....
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    At least I didn't say Forest Lawn.....
    There have been times while climbing Fountain Place that I expected to be a resident of a Forest Lawn :-) Same with that climb from Spooner to the bench or up to the top of toads from Luther Pass.

    Anyway, Fountain Place seems to be the subdivision there. Not a lot to be said for it though.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founta...ce,_California
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    Thanks for the tips everyone

    I might take a shot at it some time this weekend... it's definitely on my list to ride before the snow starts to fly in any case.

    Jmpreston, that climb up to the bench from Spooner is a workout for sure! Last time I did it I kept having people tell me I should have gone the other way from Kingsbury instead I took the Sierra Canyon Trail down to Genoa from the top... I've never ridden so many switchbacks! I'm ok with Tahoe altitudes so no worries there... above 12k ft I usually get a nasty headache but I'm fine below that

    JMAC47, I was planning on riding up Armstrong rather than going via the Big Meadow TH. That way I don't have to shuttle it... or do miles of hiking like the guys in the video. I'm guessing the road they were talking about in the video is the dirt road that leads to Horse Meadows on the back side of Armstrong Pass... anyone ever ridden it that way? You would have to get someone to shuttle you to the trailhead back there but that trail would be rideable (I've hiked it a few times).

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    Well, did you ride Toads yet? We're heading up there tomorrow am...riding up Armstrong and down Toads.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    Well, did you ride Toads yet? We're heading up there tomorrow am...riding up Armstrong and down Toads.
    Not yet... I'm spray texturing my house this weekend, unfortunately, so no riding for me It rained up there today so you should have primo trail conditions tomorrow. Enjoy!

    - Jen.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post

    JMAC47, I was planning on riding up Armstrong rather than going via the Big Meadow TH. That way I don't have to shuttle it... or do miles of hiking like the guys in the video. I'm guessing the road they were talking about in the video is the dirt road that leads to Horse Meadows on the back side of Armstrong Pass... anyone ever ridden it that way? You would have to get someone to shuttle you to the trailhead back there but that trail would be rideable (I've hiked it a few times).

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    You mean Willow Creek Road that takes you to a short one mile trail to the top of Armstrong from the Hope Valley side. OTE Tahoe will shuttle you to the beginning of that road on Hwy 89 just over Luther Pass and you have to ride up about 5 miles. (They can't use the road without an FS permit.) We've done that. Not bad and rather scenic. A few steep spots on the road but they are short. Part of the trail up to the pass is rideable but there is some hike-a-bike.

    With OTE Tahoe you can leave your vehicle on Fountain Place at the bottom of Toads and they will shuttle you to the trail up to the TRT before Grass Lake on Luther Pass. No need to climb from Big Meadow. Or do the Willow Creek Road option. Or climb Armstrong of course to the TRT. Try Willow Creek and see if you like it.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Pffffttt...climbing from the meadows. A few days ago I fooled myself into a sufferfest.

    Nothing like riding a burly trail that you're only vaguely familiar with, while you're bonking, and solo, in fading light, wanting to go as fast as possible, but knowing that's a recipe for disaster.
    A week ago I hit Toads right around mile 55 and almost 12 hours in.

    I hadn't ridden that trail for 10 years. I expected it to be a lot worse than it was. Rock gardens at the top I mostly walked the tougher ones and rode some of the rest (and went OTB on one, haha!) Fading light was the worst part, with full visibility anything after the first gnar is fast and fun. Except those damn stairs, again after 50+ miles those CRUSHED my quads.

    Like everyone else has said, just walk the gnar, the rest keep your weight back, check your speed if you're unsure and have fun!

  32. #32
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    I decided to go looking for Mr. Toad today... didn't find him as I was concentrating too hard on the trail!

    I rode up Fountain Place Rd and then up Armstrong (which is fast becoming one of my favourites). Fountain Place Rd sucks... I can see why people shuttle it. I thought it was going to start raining once I hit the TRT, but the storm never materialised (thank goodness as I didn't have a jacket). I hadn't been on that section of the TRT before, either on a bike or on foot, and found it hard work at the beginning but fun once I got up top.

    I took a break before descending Mr. Toad's and put my knee pads on. Rode the first section and thought that it wasn't so bad... then I hit the rock garden section. That was a whole load of nope! Any section where I can't figure out what the line should be on foot, I'm not gonna ride on a bike. I might have attempted a bit more of it had I not been on my own, but decided to err on the side of caution. I didn't fancy a repeat of last week's performance where I busted a helmet :/

    After the bulk of the rock garden section I was pretty much okay. Walked a few bits here and there where I either couldn't work out the best line or didn't have enough momentum. I made it halfway down the stairs before bailing and decided it was a stupid place to try and restart, so I just walked the rest of them. Below the stairs I was able to ride everything else. By the time I got to the flow section I had a splitting headache (yay, dehydration) and my legs were knackered, so I pretty much cruised the rest. I certainly didn't break any records for speed... maybe for the slowest though!

    Overall I'm glad I did it... if you're not in over your head sometimes then it's hard to improve. My mantra was seat down, heels down, arse over back wheel, pick a line and go slowly... it seemed to work alright. Next time I will take more water, wear some cooler knee pads (mine are really protective but are hot as hell), and get a shuttle up Fountain Place Rd to avoid the suck.

    - Jen.
    - Jen.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    I decided to go looking for Mr. Toad today... didn't find him as I was concentrating too hard on the trail!

    I rode up Fountain Place Rd and then up Armstrong (which is fast becoming one of my favourites). Fountain Place Rd sucks... I can see why people shuttle it. I thought it was going to start raining once I hit the TRT, but the storm never materialised (thank goodness as I didn't have a jacket). I hadn't been on that section of the TRT before, either on a bike or on foot, and found it hard work at the beginning but fun once I got up top.

    I took a break before descending Mr. Toad's and put my knee pads on. Rode the first section and thought that it wasn't so bad... then I hit the rock garden section. That was a whole load of nope! Any section where I can't figure out what the line should be on foot, I'm not gonna ride on a bike. I might have attempted a bit more of it had I not been on my own, but decided to err on the side of caution. I didn't fancy a repeat of last week's performance where I busted a helmet :/

    After the bulk of the rock garden section I was pretty much okay. Walked a few bits here and there where I either couldn't work out the best line or didn't have enough momentum. I made it halfway down the stairs before bailing and decided it was a stupid place to try and restart, so I just walked the rest of them. Below the stairs I was able to ride everything else. By the time I got to the flow section I had a splitting headache (yay, dehydration) and my legs were knackered, so I pretty much cruised the rest. I certainly didn't break any records for speed... maybe for the slowest though!

    Overall I'm glad I did it... if you're not in over your head sometimes then it's hard to improve. My mantra was seat down, heels down, arse over back wheel, pick a line and go slowly... it seemed to work alright. Next time I will take more water, wear some cooler knee pads (mine are really protective but are hot as hell), and get a shuttle up Fountain Place Rd to avoid the suck.

    - Jen.
    Nice report agent Jen.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    I decided to go looking for Mr. Toad today... didn't find him as I was concentrating too hard on the trail!

    I rode up Fountain Place Rd and then up Armstrong (which is fast becoming one of my favourites). Fountain Place Rd sucks... I can see why people shuttle it. I thought it was going to start raining once I hit the TRT, but the storm never materialised (thank goodness as I didn't have a jacket). I hadn't been on that section of the TRT before, either on a bike or on foot, and found it hard work at the beginning but fun once I got up top.

    I took a break before descending Mr. Toad's and put my knee pads on. Rode the first section and thought that it wasn't so bad... then I hit the rock garden section. That was a whole load of nope! Any section where I can't figure out what the line should be on foot, I'm not gonna ride on a bike. I might have attempted a bit more of it had I not been on my own, but decided to err on the side of caution. I didn't fancy a repeat of last week's performance where I busted a helmet :/

    After the bulk of the rock garden section I was pretty much okay. Walked a few bits here and there where I either couldn't work out the best line or didn't have enough momentum. I made it halfway down the stairs before bailing and decided it was a stupid place to try and restart, so I just walked the rest of them. Below the stairs I was able to ride everything else. By the time I got to the flow section I had a splitting headache (yay, dehydration) and my legs were knackered, so I pretty much cruised the rest. I certainly didn't break any records for speed... maybe for the slowest though!

    Overall I'm glad I did it... if you're not in over your head sometimes then it's hard to improve. My mantra was seat down, heels down, arse over back wheel, pick a line and go slowly... it seemed to work alright. Next time I will take more water, wear some cooler knee pads (mine are really protective but are hot as hell), and get a shuttle up Fountain Place Rd to avoid the suck.

    - Jen.
    I did the same ride on Saturday, with turfnsurf...except we skipped the pavement climb. I think I might climb it next time though.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How wild is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?-img_1953.jpg  


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    Good report. Plenty of rain this evening in South Tahoe so good you missed it. It looks like the next weather window for the Tahoe high country is Thursday. I'm going to ride the lower trails until then.

    For slow bump rollover nothing beats the Fox Factory 2017+ forks. They nailed it with great engineering. Really helps with picking your way through rock gardens. Also tubeless tires with about 22 psi for normal width tires helps on the granite.

    Storm seems to be ending. Going outside to drink wine and watch campers bail out their tents at Fallen Leaf Campground :-). Probably ride Cold Creek tomorrow.
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  36. #36
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    Climbing Cedar/Sidewinder/Connector is better than riding Fountain Place, as long as it's not a weekend when lots of people are riding downhill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prozach0215 View Post
    Why be an ass? I was just giving the guy my opinion based on what he said. There isn't anything on toads the guy can't easily see in advance and get off and walk. The one section that was actually pretty hard was filled in with rocks and concrete this spring.
    That's sad to hear. I rode Toads about 5 or 6 years ago, nothing that you can't stop and very easily walk down.

  38. #38
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Climbing Cedar/Sidewinder/Connector is better than riding Fountain Place, as long as it's not a weekend when lots of people are riding downhill.
    Ditto. But on the weekends I'll bail off at Connector and head up the pavement as I find the upper part of road easier.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  39. #39
    L1MEY
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Ditto. But on the weekends I'll bail off at Connector and head up the pavement as I find the upper part of road easier.
    Yeah, I should have done that... it would have been more enjoyable and probably less tiring. That road is no joke! I like the ride up Cedar, haven't tried riding up Sidewinder but I have a feeling the sandy switchbacks might make it a bit tough for me (I'm getting better at them but uphill right turn switchbacks are a problem for me, especially in sand). Connector also seems like it would be a hard ride going up. Armstrong was great going up though, I really enjoyed it

    Ditto on the tubeless tyres with low pressure. I'm running 2.6 Nobby Nics at 14f/16r and the grip on the rocks was insane! My 2018 Pike RCT3 performed like a champ too, and feels much less harsh at my weight than a Fox 36. I've no doubt that if someone who knew what they were doing was riding it, the bike would have made it through the whole thing!

    Proof I was there:

    - Jen.

  40. #40
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    Toads is probably my favorite ride I've done in Tahoe to date. Someone mentioned my video earlier. I'll put a link to mine, and the other YouTuber I was riding with that day below.

    I'd like to do it as a loop. My other buddy "Billygoat" we met up at the top rode from the bottom. The shortcut we were talking about in my video is basically driving up 89 some more to cut out a little more of the climb. If you look at this trail map: http://b1ker.com/trailmaps/MrToadsWildRide.pdf The little hiker icon on the bottom next to the TRT that is 0.6 miles long that links into the green route we followed is the aforementioned "short cut". I'll be honest with you though. From the point of where those trails meet is where the climb just gets really difficult, so you really aren't doing much but cutting out the more manageable part of the climb and saving about a 1.5 miles.

    I realize the OP already rode the trail but thought I'd throw this in for people reading this down the road.

    B1KER Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHmuuibUDpA
    MTB Savant Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBUmosL2V7k&t=258s
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

  41. #41
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1KER View Post
    Someone mentioned my video earlier
    Are my stickers in the mail yet? 😳
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Are my stickers in the mail yet? 😳
    I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic or I missed an order. If the latter I'm truly sorry. Either way, PM me your name and address and I'll drop ya some in the mail!

  43. #43
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1KER View Post
    I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic or I missed an order. If the latter I'm truly sorry. Either way, PM me your name and address and I'll drop ya some in the mail!
    No sarcasm just a jovial jab. I catch your vids was just giving you a plug is all.👍
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  44. #44
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    LOL, I thought so...but I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss someone. That's like my biggest fear about shipping them myself is that someone pays for them and I miss the email.
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

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