Category Archives: Biking

10th Anniversary of Riding Bikes from Yellowstone to Alaska

On June 23, 2002, my friend Tim and I set out on the adventure of a lifetime – we pedaled out of Yellowstone National Park on our bicycles to make our way some 3,000 miles over the course of 50 days to Anchorage, Alaska.

Heading out of Yellowstone National Park

Fresh out of college and a little dissapointed with the lack of adventure real world jobs in my field seemed to hold, I decided I needed to do something bigger. Tim, who was my coworker and one of my best friends in San Francisco at the time, was a willing partner. By an act of pure fate, I met Detroit-area philanthropist in a bike shop in my hometown who interviewed me on the spot and offered to give us a grant to pay for the entire trip! Thanks Beth!

Earlier that year, a friend and mentor of mine had just sent me the following Goethe quote and it never seemed more true.

What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

So we set off on June 23, 2002, ready to explore. We saw countless bears, moose, and eagles along the way; met some characters; and slowly traveled through some of the most beautiful places in North America. Along the way I learned many lessons, but the most memorable were from my travelling companion Tim. He taught me how to cook and laugh at both adversity and assholes. We still practice those skills today and are lucky enough to have adventures each year! It really is the incredible people I’ve met that have made my life so amazing. Gratitude.

Our route from Yellowstone to Alaska – we crossed the continental divide 5 times!

At the top of the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park

The AlCan Hwy was pretty dusty at times!

We made it!!!

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Multi-sport Memorial Day Weekend – A Family Affair

It snowed a bit on Saturday, the first day of the 3 day Memorial Day weekend, so we took advantage of the rare “down day” in Tahoe to catch up on work and errands. The next day, however, it was game on!

Task 1: skin up Kirkwood and look for my lost GoPro.

More snow at Kirkwood than we expected! Glad we brought the skis!

Task 2: Too much snow, so nothing to do but ski it!

Perfect ski run on May 27th!

Task 3: Catch some trout.

Beautiful setting to fish on Caples Creek

Task 4: Take our dog to the beach.

Too cold for humans but perfect for dogs!

Task 5: Shuttle ourselves for a quick sunset bike ride on the new Van Sickle trail.

The trails were perfect and smooth after the snow!

Pretty awesome time of year in Tahoe when you can ski, fish, bike and hit the beach in the same day!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Biking, Random rambling

A Balmy MLK Weekend

This past Saturday it was 60 degrees and sunny in Lake Tahoe.  We figured the trails were clear so we planned to head over to Lake Tahoe’s east shore to ride the Chimney Beach downhill.  Since it doesn’t typically warm up until late morning, we delayed our meeting until 10:30 AM and I decided to get out on the lake for a short paddle beforehand.  It was glassy and the air was warm – by the end of the paddle, I considered jumping in, at 10 AM on January 14th!

We met up for sport #2, mountain biking.  Climbing up on North Canyon Road, there was a lot more ice than we expected.  At the top of North Canyon, we looked down to the frozen Marlette Lake and regretted not lugging our skates up there.  The last bit of climbing to the top of the downhill was increasingly snowy and as we dropped in, things didn’t really change.  Snow, then ice, then snow, then a mile of dirt, then ice again.  It was tough to really let it run.  This might be one of the first times that the trails were icy and dusty simulatneously.

Jumping for the views on Chimney Beach trail

We decided to regroup over lunch and figure out a plan for the rest of this gorgeous day.  The Chimney Beach downhill was fun, but it didn’t quite meet our needs to open it up and go fast so we decided to run a shuttle on the Kingsbury trails.  It was late afternoon so we wore our down jackets and thick gloves and hit up the rim trail and new Van Sickle trail at Stateline.  A morning paddle and a full day of mountain biking on January 14th in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  Who would’ve thought! (But, seriously, we’ll take some snow now!)

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Fall Fun

While we wait for the snow and start checking this page frequently, I thought I’d let you know how the fall mountain biking was super awesome this year! Short but sweet! I missed some of it due to a trip to Michigan to visit my mom, but it only motivated me to get after it before and after that trip. Not to mention, the trip to Michigan was pure autumn, pumpkin patches, cider mills, piles of leaves, all with the background of crisp blue skies and red, orange, yellow and green tree canopies. Sure, aspens are a taste of the annual visual stimulation of fall foliage for people out west, but they really can’t rival the deciduous tree diversity of the east. Plus, I got to go to this crazy parkour night at the local Michigan gym – that’s right, Metro-Detroit Urban Ninjas. Anyway, back to biking in Tahoe. The October snow storms packed the trails and the weather couldn’t have been better for biking.

First up, Freel pass via the new Star Lake Trail, which, if you haven’t heard, is a mega-awesome XC trail up to Star Lake.

Nira and I at Star Lake

A long and scenic downhill from Freel Pass

Then the world-famous Flume Trail from Mt. Rose Meadows to Chimney Beach Downhill with Debbie, which is so fun if you like long, fast, nontechnical downhills.

lots of photo ops (Photo by Debbie)

Then it was couples biking day, which was fun, until PK’s bike broke.

PK Rocks! Downhill is still fun with a broken derailleur!

Then, Scott’s Lake Loop with a crew, which looks over Hope Valley and is not complete without a stop for pie at Hope Valley Cafe.

the pie-eating crew (photo by Juliana)

jumping for fall biking!

Nira cheering for Big Meadow beauty

Then one final out and back trip to Star Lake before more high elevation snow arrived.

Aspens Peaking at Cold Creek

next time I see this it will be frozen!

I really didn’t mountain bike as much as usual this year because of kayaking, but I never got burnt out on it, experienced it during some of the best trail conditions, and had fun all the way until the end.

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Snow and bikes

I got 3 runs in last week. It’s a little sketchy trying to ski in the first snow when it is still fresh, but cautious skiing and big skis make it fun.

the scene at kirkwood
















By Sunday, we were hoping for tacky biking and fall aspen vistas, so we headed to the iconic flume trail. It was a little more snowy than tacky in some areas and the aspens were still green, but it was beautiful per usual.

Jules posing after a snowy decent

dance moves at Marlette

flume beauty

lake tahoe and desolation in the distance

muddy faces, fun times!

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Filed under Biking, Skiing

We bought a house!

We finally bought our very own house.  We are pretty pumped!  But we are super busy moving and so I haven’t been posting.  Here are some photos.

In other news, it is fall in Tahoe and it is awesome!  Why, because there is way less people around, although the construction is not making driving any easier.  Yesterday my work obligations ended a bit early, I went for a nice long paddleboard on the calmest water and then did a few backflips off the dock.  It is nice to get a few more swims in before the snow flies.

Otherwise this fall, I’ve been kayaking on the South Fork of the American:

Mountain biking, attending trail work days, and drinking beer in my bike helmet.

And working on my backflips on the trampoline and into the water in preparation for ski season.

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Filed under Biking, Random rambling, Whitewater

Angora Lakes Triathlon Recap

Four super awesome women showed up to compete in the 1st Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon on Saturday, August 6th. I am super grateful to our one amazing volunteer Sarah who cheered us on, timed us, and helped us transition.  The best part was that everyone rolled in to the finish laughing and saying how much fun they had.  Some people said they wanted to do this race every weekend.  It was that much fun.  So mark your calenders for the 1st weekend in August, 2012, 2013, and so on.

Photo recap:

Sarah marking up Taylor pre-race

Competitor Markings

Pre-race competitor photo

The start... so intense!

Top 2 finishers, Lauren and Trish

The results

Group photo post race

Congrats to the winner Lauren – her inaugural win will go down in the history books.  And a huge thanks to everyone who came out.  Mark your calendar for August 4, 2012… it’s an event you don’t want to miss!

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Angora Lakes Triathlon THIS Saturday!!!

The 1st Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon is this Saturday, August 6th. The course is set.  Check it out here!  Be there by 10 AM to race!  The race starts at 10:30 AM sharp!

Here is the course map:

We still need volunteers to be at the start and finish, man the 1st transition, take photos, and be swim safety in a boat or on a paddleboard on the lake.  Contact me if you are interested!

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All you need is love

Ketty A and Jakey K got married in Anderson Valley this past weekend.  What a fabulous location for a fabulous couple.  After a frantic rush to finish my work on Friday, I left Tahoe to pick up PK from the Sacramento Airport en route to Philo, CA.  It was a pretty far drive and so we arrived more than fashionably late for the gourmet BBQ that Tim prepared that included a gigantic fresh caught wild king salmon and kegs of local beer.

The next morning Pat went on a tour of the brewery while Tim, Max and I went on a super awesome and recommended 50 mile road bike ride from Anderson Valley out to the coast and back.  We started out from Philo, headed north through farms and vineyards, then west through vineyards and redwoods, north again along the coast and then back east to anderson valley along the Navarro River and through more redwood groves, completeing the loop.  Only 20 cars passed us making it extra awesome.

We met up with everyone at the swimming hole at the wedding spot for some frisbee and cliff jumping shenanigans.  This person was there, who is the identical twin sister of this person, but all I noticed is her impressive muscles.  I should probably start weight training like a firefighter.

Then it was wedding time, which was super awesome, hilarious, fun, and sweet.  Congrats to the happy couple (not sure who took this photo)!

The next morning we tasted some wine at Navarro and started to make the trek back to Tahoe via Sonoma and Napa counties.  Good thing we busted out because on the way home Lauren texted me and said she had VIP passes for Alison Krauss that night in Tahoe!  Extra exciting because Good Old War was opening.  Woo hoo!  Amazing way to cap off the weekend.

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Weekend Adventures After Work!

It’s always fun to try to do weekend type activities after work and it is more possible than ever right now with the extended daylight of summer solstice week.  Last night I did a solo mission on the Upper Truckee River where I kayaked from Meyers down to the lake and biked the shuttle.

Map of the route: UTRmap

The UTR is raging right now – > 1,000 cfs!

 I left work, dropped my bike with a change of clothes off at the take out, drove to the put in and got on the water around 5:20pm.  The first section is super pretty with lots of wood in the river and a few fun little wave trains – definitely unusual in this meadow river.  The river winds through the Lake Tahoe Golf Course and I stopped to say hi to Pat teeing of on hole 15.  Next up was the more traveled section of Elks Club to Venice and I stopped to take a few photos of the restoration that I worked on a few years ago.

Here is an example of some of the rapids on the UTR (SO GNAR!).

I saw a few more boaters lower down and got to my bike at the take out around 7:30 pm.  If it were the weekend, I would’ve taken my time and maybe paddled a bit less, but I wanted to get back to my bike with a reasonable amount of daylight to do the change and 7 mile shuttle ride.  Here I am back at the car at 8:15, just in time for the Alpenglow!

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