Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Day 3: US Route 50
Before beginning today's blog, we would like to first thank Marty Clevenger who wasn't mentioned in last night's post. Marty offered us invaluable advice on planning today's route and provided us with much needed supplies. Additionally, Al Snowdon, another friend of the Garton family, helped us find a place to stay for our night in South Lake Tahoe, and after warm showers and cozying up into our own beds we must say that we are forever grateful. Thanks!
And on to our story...
We set off this morning from the Garton household trying to think of excuses to just turn around: We were unconditionally treated like family for a night, and saying goodbye so soon made Shane reminisce on his hundreds of past relationship failures. As we left Folsom Lake, our first major stretch of biking took us bobble heading up and down Green Valley Road, parallel to US 50. A scenic and yet extremely challenge ride, Green Valley provided our rested legs with a much-needed warmup.
A challenging, yet doable climb, Green Valley Road eventually led us to the historic Pony Express Trail. With Buffalo Bill on our minds, we trekked along, sans mail bags, down the path. Pony Express was perhaps the last true fun of the day, as we were forced to carrying our bikes uphill to Route 50 and prepare, 40 miles into the day, for the toughest portion of the ride we have yet encountered. In preparation for the climb, we stopped at a rest stop along 50 for lunch and advice.
Finally, we were ready for the 50 mile trek into South Lake Tahoe. Shane and Kirsten led the climb for the first leg, a la Tour de France, but Shane was soon distracted by the awe-inspiring scenery offer from mountain men to fill his camelback with moonshine. Jason took the yellow jersey for the rest of the day, leading the pack by 20 minutes--move over Lance! Meanwhile, Zane and Claire took the time to get to know one another as they critiqued different energy products and drinks. Eventually, the entire group reached the final peak, albeit with frozen toes and nearly useless Oakleys, unable to stop the reflective glare from the sun off of the snow. Sanford, tired of the particularly un-Texan cold at the 7000ft elevation, began to descend down the beautiful but potentially dangerous path to South Lake Tahoe.
Eventually, the group reunited at the base of the mountains at a McDonald's, where Maria the Manager was surprised by the sight of seven weary bikers using the front lawn as a bed. The team soon made its way to the house, only to find Mike relaxing comfortably after his day of rest. Overall, the team cycled 94.93 miles from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe--a fine effort indeed!
Once again, special thanks to Al, Marty, the Gartons, and a wish of good health to Mike's Uncle!
Good night moon.