South Lake Tahoe- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    South Lake Tahoe

    Something about the trail descriptions of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride have been luring me in. Technical at the top, flowy at the bottom, 40mins to an hour of downhill - count me in!

    So this Saturday I made the drive down to South Lake for a spin. The plan was to climb up to Armstrong Pass, take the Tahoe Rim Trail to Toad's, and rip down. The climb started off with about 2 miles of this:



    But there was plenty of this around to keep the mind occupied:


    As I got to the top and started consulting the write up I was following, I ran into a couple that was out for a ride. They seemed to have some local knowledge, so I confirmed my route with them. In a generous gesture, they invited me to join them on a larger loop culminating in a descent down Toad's. Sweet!

    We started to descend down Coral, and out of nowhere my front tire went flat. The tube ruptured right at the valve stem. Something weird is going on - this is the second time in two weeks. Threw on a new tube, and caught up with Matt and Kristen.


    Climbing the power lines

    We were hoping to take the Cold Creek trail up to the bottom of the new Star Lake singletrack. There was a junction with a F.S. sign pointing right labeled "trail". We ended up following this sign, which was wrong. The punishment was a steep fire road ascent.




    View at the top.


    Skinny session





    The climb up to Star Lake on the new singletrack was pretty good. The grade was rideable, a couple of technical spots, and good views all around:



    Consume food here.


    Star Lake

    We then slogged up the TRT to Freel Pass:


    Matt at the top of the pass:


    Kristen finishing off the climb:




    I made it, too:




    Finally our efforts paid off. Mostly downhill for a while:




    The climb up to Armstrong Pass would normally be pretty straight forward. On noodle legs, it proved somewhat difficult. Where's Waldo?


    This brought us to the top of Toads. I feel like photos of this trail are elusive. Mainly a product of its brilliance. We stopped for a mini session at "The Waterfall"




    From here, it was all downhill. There were a couple more rocky, technical spots before the trail opens up into bermed turns through the forest. On the last uber chunky section, I pinched a flat. At this junction, I was at the end of the group. Fear not, I'll throw a new tube on. Oh snap, tube used up this morning. Ok, let's patch this thing. Oh god, is my patch kit really with my commuter????

    I ended up walking about 2 miles of Toad's. My heart sunk further with every step. Matt and Kristen realized I was MIA and Matt hiked a bike up to look for me. THANK YOU!!!!! Threw a new tube on and ripped back down the hill.

    At the bottom, there were some fun waterbars to pump on the jeep road. Matt pumped one, slammed his brakes, and exclaims "For the win!"


    Saturday was just one of those rides. I think all of us had a great time. Big mountains, big scenery, big climbs, big descents, big mechanical issues, and big smiles.

  2. #2
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    ^^^ That adds whole new meaning to the phrase "floating pivot" . . . don't worry though. I'm sure that will buff right out.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  3. #3
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Holy "I just snapped my frame int two" moment.

    Looks like a great ride though - thanks for posting!

  4. #4
    Weekend warrior aspirant
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    How do you shear both chainstays? WOW.
    That must have felt crazy!
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  5. #5
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    I <3 Tahoe!

    Great post !

    Sorry about your bike.

  6. #6
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    Looks like a great ride.

    It's been awhile since I've been to Tahoe and I've done the ride you were originally planning. So there's a new trail from the Fountain Springs road to Freel Pass?.... or did you climb to the top of Coral then descend then follow the Powerline trail over to another trail? You lost me there.
    Last edited by KRob; 07-16-2012 at 04:30 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  7. #7
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    In the frame's defense, only one chain stay snapped initially. The other merely cracked severely. It then completely failed as he sort of coasted to the car.

    As for the route, I didn't plan it so I'm trying to work off memory here. But - climbed up Fountain Springs (Oneida? Rd.) to Coral/sidewinder trail head. Took Coral down to the power lines, climbed up to cold creek, attempted to take the Cold Creek singletrack to the bottom of the new (not sure how new) star lake single track. We ended up on a dirt road in lieu of cold creek singletrack. From there it was TRT over Freels and Armstrong.

    Does that help?

  8. #8
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    Sounds like a great ride. Do you have GPS data you can share? I'm in Tahoe this week and this ride sounds great to me.

    I rode TRT from 50 to Kingsbury a couple days ago, that was pretty fun!

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    I was using my iPhone to track it. It died somewhere before the end of the ride, but here's a piece of it.


  10. #10
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    Now that's what Trek would call a real "full floater" rear end! How in the world did you break both chainstays??

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitale232 View Post
    - climbed up Fountain Springs (Oneida? Rd.) to Coral/sidewinder trail head. Took Coral down to the power lines, climbed up to cold creek, attempted to take the Cold Creek singletrack to the bottom of the new (not sure how new) star lake single track. We ended up on a dirt road in lieu of cold creek singletrack. From there it was TRT over Freels and Armstrong.

    Does that help?
    Yes, thanks. This along with the the Strava map below helps orient me. I guess the Cold Creek trail was the the one I wasn't familiar with.

    Love Mr. Toads however you get to it.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  12. #12
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    I really wanted to do that ride, but last time I was there on July 2 last year (it feels like so much more than a year has passed), there was snow and ice floating on star lake and some backpackers reported that the trail to Armstrong pass was basically impassable because of snow (the trail reaches over 9400 feet, IIRC). I was already exhausted after carrying my bike over snow and slush for more than a mile of the rim trail coming up from Heavenly, and I knew the trail to Armstrong Pass was at higher elevation and on the shaded back side of Freel Peak, so I had to turn downhill at Star Lake and ride down the barely built trail that went from Star Lake to the meadows. Maybe there was a real trail there, but I couldn't find it. My GPS (loaded with USGS topo maps) showed a dotted line within a few hundred feet of me, but I spent some time searching with no luck. I only saw some blue flags on trees occasionally, but otherwise I basically just rode straight down until I found a dirt road near the meadows.

    I did, a week or two later, make is up Armstrong Pass Trail (above Armstrong Connector above Corral Trail) to Armstrong Pass where it hits the rim Trail, but we decided there would still be too much snow to go to Toad's from there, so we rode back down to the bottom of Corral (which is also an awesome ride).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails South Lake Tahoe-imag0337s.jpg  

    Matt

  13. #13
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    Great ride report and photos, I hope to ride there someday.

    Thanks for posting

  14. #14
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    Great ride - thanks for sharing with photos! If anyone want to check out a map of the trails in South Tahoe we have a pdf for free download on the TAMBA website complete with descriptions and dirtections. It includes that route and more if you're adventurous. Trails |
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  15. #15
    El Gato Malo
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    Love the reports that come out of Tahoe! Thanks!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminj View Post
    Great ride - thanks for sharing with photos! If anyone want to check out a map of the trails in South Tahoe we have a pdf for free download on the TAMBA website complete with descriptions and dirtections. It includes that route and more if you're adventurous. Trails |
    A huge thanks to TAMBA and all the others that contributed countless hours to these trails. They're beautiful.

  17. #17
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    Vitale great rinding with you. Looking forward to catching up w/ you again.

    Thanks for posting all the pics, and welcome to the neigborhood!

  18. #18
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    Great pics

  19. #19
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    good write up and looks like a great place to ride
    F*ck Cancer

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  20. #20
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    Awesome write up.

    I just did that ride from fountain road -->armstrong pass --> trt --> Toads and while I wanted to switch my nomad out for a hardtail for about 3 hours of uphill riding when it came to riding down Toads it was awesome! I feel like you need All mountain durability for that downhill as evidenced by those broken chainstays. Hope you're under warranty. Awesome riding.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

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