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  1. #1
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    Lake Tahoe for Dummies

    Hello,

    I'm hopefully heading to the states within a month for riding in the Lake Tahoe area, however I don't have much information about the logistics (all I know is that I most likely will be leaving from Las Vegas after a week in the Moab area).

    The staying will be about a week but I don't know what is the best place to arrive, if flying to Sacramento and then drive or else, flying to Reno, then drive to Tahoe. Both cases would be a rental car. How much drive time is it?

    Then the place... I've been advised (a skier friend) to stay at South Lake Tahoe, but from some reading, seems there is a busy and crowded place (and the hotel he recommended me seems too expensive for my budget). Casinos and such are totally worthless for me as long as there is a nice place to take a beer at night. May be some other places better for me?

    Then the trails. From what I've been reading not all the rim trail is open for bikes and I don't plan to carry my bike from my country origin but to rent one there; that would also be another good driver about where to stay. .

    Any help? I'd appreciate any help you guys can give me

    BTW, my riding style is more on the Trail'ish side of XC but never on the full DH thing.

  2. #2
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    Motel 6

    Motel 6 is clean and cheap. Book online and save a few $$. Google will tell you the driving distance between any two points.
    Some Tahoe resources:
    The Flume Trail
    Tahoe Rim Trail Association
    The Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association.
    Lots of Tahoe rides, photos, maps, etc. on my biking site.

  3. #3
    Ebo
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    Just my 2 cents but I'd stay around Tahoe City on the north side....Nothing fancy and actually even retro, but I like Tamarak Lodge just east of Tahoe City by 2 miles or so. You can ride quite a few areas from the front door. Go for the small cabins. Midweek off season is fairly cheap and it has a small kitchen. Good spots too for end of the day brews.
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  4. #4
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    This thread in the General forum answers most of your questions and gives you plenty of info on the North Shore, which is, IMO, 10X better then staying on the South Shore: http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...ey-624747.html

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    This thread in the General forum answers most of your questions and gives you plenty of info on the North Shore, which is, IMO, 10X better then staying on the South Shore: http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...ey-624747.html
    uh oh I see another south shore-north shore debate.
    South shore has the hussle and bussle of a bigger town.
    The rest of the lake doesn't. Some spots can be almost desolate. Imagine that.
    Their is great riding to fit your style all around the lake I would suggest split your stay or stay in one spot and travel all around the lake and sample a different ride each day.
    Easy.
    Jack Tupp

  6. #6
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    Not a debate, but just stating my opinion having lived on both North and South shores, thus the "In My Opinion" (IMO). If you like gambling and drinking till the wee hours, South shore is for you. If you like a quieter pace and more options for riding, kayaking, rafting, climbing, etc, North Shore is the place; especially as the OP stated that the "hustle and bustle" of the casinos is not for him. As for riding, most of the good rides are up north as is most of the TRT that is open to bikes. It's worth driving down to S.Lake for Toads (and I'd recommend driving all the way around the lake on the way home as it is a singular place) but if you are staying down there and want to spend a few days riding, you'll be driving to the North Shore almost every day.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    Not a debate, but just stating my opinion having lived on both North and South shores, thus the "In My Opinion" (IMO). If you like gambling and drinking till the wee hours, South shore is for you. If you like a quieter pace and more options for riding, kayaking, rafting, climbing, etc, North Shore is the place; especially as the OP stated that the "hustle and bustle" of the casinos is not for him. As for riding, most of the good rides are up north as is most of the TRT that is open to bikes. It's worth driving down to S.Lake for Toads (and I'd recommend driving all the way around the lake on the way home as it is a singular place) but if you are staying down there and want to spend a few days riding, you'll be driving to the North Shore almost every day.
    ^disagree.

    But I am in S. Shore so very biased. South Shore has many many fun rides. Toad's, The Bench, Armstrong, Cold Creek. Lots and lots of new trails going in too. New rim trail on both sides of Kingsbury. This end of the summer we will have the new star lake trail.
    But whatever.
    The North shore and the south shore have lots of wonderful trails to ride. Check them both out and you won't be disappointed.
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  8. #8
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    Funny how everyone's opinion is different, I chose to buy on the South shore because in my opinion the options for riding, kayaking, rafting, climbing, hiking, backcountry skiing, etc are better.

    Hard to go wrong any where in Tahoe

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by amydalayna View Post
    ^disagree.

    But I am in S. Shore so very biased. South Shore has many many fun rides. Toad's, The Bench, Armstrong, Cold Creek. Lots and lots of new trails going in too. New rim trail on both sides of Kingsbury. This end of the summer we will have the new star lake trail.
    But whatever.
    The North shore and the south shore have lots of wonderful trails to ride. Check them both out and you won't be disappointed.
    Wait a minute. Don't you sit on the board for TAMBA? "But I am in S. Shore so very biased" Maybe that's why their is so much new trail work going on in SL. Hope that doesn't continue forever.
    Jack Tupp

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tupp View Post
    Wait a minute. Don't you sit on the board for TAMBA? "But I am in S. Shore so very biased" Maybe that's why their is so much new trail work going on in SL. Hope that doesn't continue forever.
    Your comments are super annoying.
    Don't even get me started. No one from the North shore wants to step up. Seriously. Are you in the north shore? Do you want to step up? Come to the meetings. Organize a trail day.

    p.s. Our next TAMBA meeting is on the 24th @ 6.30 on the North Shore.
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  11. #11
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    I believe all the trails being built right now were in the works before Tamba was reactivated.

  12. #12
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    Seriously WTF?

    Quote Originally Posted by amydalayna View Post
    Your comments are super annoying.
    Don't even get me started. No one from the North shore wants to step up. Seriously. Are you in the north shore? Do you want to step up? Come to the meetings. Organize a trail day.

    p.s. Our next TAMBA meeting is on the 24th @ 6.30 on the North Shore.
    (Wride in The Forest ) Jacks comments annoyed me and I'm not in the scene up there!
    In keeping with tahoeBC's comment, once you're up in that beautiful Tahoe area, what's an hour (or so) drive time to either side of the lake to get out and enjoy the riding!

    Jacked Up needs to Chill Out!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    I believe all the trails being built right now were in the works before Tamba was reactivated.
    It takes years for trails to get built, so you are very right. For example, we are trying to put in a new legal downhill trail over by Chinese DH/ Kingsbury Stinger. So far we have been planning out the area in which to build. Next summer would be a full environmental impact analysis. The soonest we would be able to build is 2013.
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  14. #14
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    Back to the original question... If you are looking for some help on the trails, I have been compiling some of my GPS files here:
    Garmin Connect - Explore

    There will be more trails to come on this, but it take a little time to edit the routes.
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  15. #15
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    Hey amy, thx for the links. Can you tell me where you get 40 and 42mph on those runs? Or is that average for the shuttle ride in the vehicles to/from trailhead?
    Ripley V1 XC/Gravel Adventure rig
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  16. #16
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    Please chill out guys, not my intention to (re)create a flame war on what shore is best, just asking about what is closest to the nice trails and best budgeted nights from the biking standpoint.

    Thanks for all the input, I'll continue reading the links you sent me (Wherewolf, good luck with that rib!)

    So far on the net I have only found that theflumetrail.com leases bikes. Are there any other options? That leaves pretty much on the Nevada-side center of the lake, not closest from the north/south options I have been thinking.

    Any other suggestions on where to stay? The 'motel' word is pretty downsized here, tends to lead my mind to rooms rented in per-hour basis ...you know what I mean. I hope a motel there is clean and safe!

    Nice GPS info, thanks! I already sent that to my brother (my companion of this trip) to start working on his Garmin Rino GPS to process that stuff up!

    ...Not a clue that Google given the driving distances!

  17. #17
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    Also, is the Adventure Maps map an advisable buy? I plan to get some charting and trail descriptions when heading there, but there are a lot of map options to buy and not sure how the trail description is.

    Or is best just to drop there and ask the locals for their advice? (most of the time worked fine for me in the past)

  18. #18
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    Wink

    Here are a few shops that rent bikes:

    North Shore/Incline Village/Truckee: Lake Tahoe ski rentals, & snowboard , Mountain bike, rentals in Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe demos, road conditions, rental, shop,weather. Have Salomon, Burton, rossignol, Specialized, Rossignol, Trek, mountain bike rentals, discount coupons for vacation
    Cycle Paths Bike Shops: Truckee and Lake Tahoe
    Olympic Bike Shop, bike sales and rentals, Tahoe City, California
    The BackCountry
    Plaza Bikes Gear + Rental Shop at Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort sponsored by Giant
    The Bike Shop @ Village Ski Loft - Summer 2011

    South Shore:
    Tahoe Sports Ltd.
    Cycle | Sierra Ski and Cycle Works
    Flume, who you've already found.

    Shuttles: Home - Wanna Ride Tahoe Bike Shuttle and Tours
    And some more info on trails here: Wattabike Shop - Lake Tahoe's Premiere Bike Shop

    I don't live in Tahoe anymore, so there may be some new shops I don't know about. I'm sure the fiercely partisan North Lake/South Lake locals can add/subtract and flame away to this list., but no matter which shore you stay on, you'll have a good time.

    And like anywhere, some hotels are great, some are sleazy; use Trip Advisor.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    So far on the net I have only found that theflumetrail.com leases bikes. Are there any other options? That leaves pretty much on the Nevada-side center of the lake, not closest from the north/south options I have been thinking.
    Try Olympic Bike Shop in Tahoe City (North Shore) for renting bikes. South and North Shore have awesome trails. I live in Truckee and we have a few fun ones as well. Like stated before the whole lake area is worth checking out.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Hey amy, thx for the links. Can you tell me where you get 40 and 42mph on those runs? Or is that average for the shuttle ride in the vehicles to/from trailhead?
    None of my tracks include any vehicle time use. Which ride in particular? Surprisingly, the Flume, Corral, and Powerlines give you the fastest speeds. While Toads may feel fast at times, you really aren't going as fast as it feels in your head.

    And on the Adventure Map, it really is a great map to have. I highly recommend stopping into one of the bike shops to pick it up.
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  21. #21
    NedwannaB
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    Just looked at the first two, bm and Saxon. Thought I saw 40-42 Max speed on them. Thats why the vehicle comment had the after it. Ill grab that map next time I'm back up there. Thx
    Ripley V1 XC/Gravel Adventure rig
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  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=Mithrandir;8348863]Also, is the Adventure Maps map an advisable buy?/QUOTE]

    Absolutely! It is hands down one of the best maps for figuring out where and what to do in Tahoe. I use it every time I am there to discover new places to ride.

    here is the website you can get it from...or you can get it from a shop.

    Lake Tahoe Mountain Biking/Hiking Trails and Guide- Adventure Map
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  23. #23
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    where to rent bikes in Tahoe

    Based on what I've seen, it looks like Village Ski Loft in Incline and Plaza Bikes at Northstar have the best "demo" type bikes... Assuming you don't mind riding a Giant or Specialized.

    The Backcountry in Truckee has Kona and Jamis bikes and they are also a good resource for trails around the Truckee, North Tahoe area.

    Have fun!
    -JB

  24. #24
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    The bikes at Northstar can be pretty worked over. In my limited experience you're better off renting from a shop, the bikes are in better condition.

    And definitely get the Adventure Map!

  25. #25
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    Thank you very much for your help guys! Hopefully I'll be there soon!! I'll definitely give a try on the Adventure Maps as the Moab trip was cancelled and I'll be for about 2 weeks, in the Tahoe/NorCal area.

    I'm at this time a fan of Santa Cruz, but if I'm leasing a bike I guess I won't be much picky other than the bike type. I'll ride what is best for the trail type. It won't hurt trying an Ibiz Mojo, though :-P

  26. #26
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    misc.

    Quote Originally Posted by amydalayna View Post
    Your comments are super annoying.
    Don't even get me started. No one from the North shore wants to step up.

    p.s. Our next TAMBA meeting is on the 24th @ 6.30 on the North Shore.
    yes - @ Las Panchitas, Kings Beach.

    [btw we have n.shore and truckee representation in TAMBA; a. I'll take that as poetic license There is definitely a lot more energy and momentum in s.lake at the moment. Gotta start somewhere...]

    re the original post, +1 on Wherewolf's suggested resources
    +1 TahoeBC - can't go wrong anywhere around here.
    + 1 on the AdventureMap too - it's great.

    some shops that used to rent bikes aren't renting them this year. south shore bikes near the "y' is renting them, southshorebikes.net. In general you might want to email or call a few shops before you get here, after you decide where to stay.

    If you end up being here longer you might want to check out Downieville too.

  27. #27
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    Big Props for the North and South!

    Whoa....where's the North/South love?!

    Mithrandir, I just got back from my annual pilgrimage down to Tahoe, and you'll have a rad time no matter where you stay. My family always gets a place at Dollar Point outside Tahoe City up north, but it's really not a huge deal to ride all over the area. As long as you're hitting the road early and not driving around too much during the weekends, the traffic isn't terrible. And, in fact, the scenery all the way around the lake is so beautiful, you won't care.

    Definitely get the Adventure Map -- totally well worth it. And don't be afraid to ask for intel from the locals. Almost everyone is really friendly and more than willing to share their stash.

    Speaking of, I come down every year all the way from Seattle and I can't imagine summer without a trip there. From me and all the others who visit, thanks to TAMBA, the LBSs, and all the Tahoe peeps who make it such an incredible place. Thanks for maintaining the trails and the stoke!

    (For those of us who use the trails, throw some ducats towards the cause and join TAMBA, the TRT Association and Keep Tahoe Blue.)

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