When was the last time you took a day for yourself? When you left everything behind and did what
you wanted to do?
For me, that was this weekend.
Lately, I’ve realized that I am not taking time to get outdoors. Well, not as much as I would like.
So what did I do? I took some of my own advice, packed up the Rav4, and took a day to play in the mountains.
Well, sort of. I packed up my bike stuff and headed to Lake Tahoe.
There was only one downside, it’s Memorial weekend, and it seemed like everyone had the same idea as I did. Thinking ahead, as I’ve done this ride in the past, I parked at Squaw Valley (or is it called Olympic Valley now, I don’t know).
You might think that driving to ride a bike is odd. And, I would agree with you. But there were some reasons why I decided to start the biking season in Lake Tahoe because it’s BEAUTIFUL!
Not only that but with a paved trail, getting back on the bike felt great. To make it even better, getting away from the daily life ritual was something that made me happy. The crystal clear Tahoe water was the icing on the cake.
To be honest, why not?
There are a ton of things to do in Lake Tahoe. If you have never been, I highly suggest you check it out.
If you drive eastbound on highway 80, I suggest taking the Soda Springs exit (Donner Pass Road) towards Donner Lake. This is also a must if you are a rock climber.
One of my favorite hikes in Lake Tahoe is Eagle Rock, giving you an amazing view of the lake. I cannot remember exactly how long it is, but it’s not bad. There is even free parking at the base of the mountain.
Another favorite of mine is the hikes at Meeks Bay and Emerald Bay. If you want to take a longer hike, you can take a trail that connects both of these destinations.
And if you want to go a bit further, check out the Cascade Falls Trail. This is located near South Lake Tahoe, and dogs are allowed on this trail as well.
Since you’re in South Lake now, you may also check out a cool restaurant (that I’ve been to in the past) called Fire+Ice, which has something for everyone.
I could go on, and I’ll remind you this is just summertime. Winter has a whole bunch of other options. I’ll spare you more Tahoe activities, as I think you can understand why it’s such an amazing place.
Getting back to my real reason for getting back on the bike.
My Real Reason To Ride More
I signed up for my yearly ride, which is called Tour de Fuzz. Not only is this a fun ride, but it supports the Chaplains of Sonoma County.
All that really means is that I’m going to do a ride, put on by amazing people, with amazing people, and for a cause that couldn’t be better. This takes me back to my main point, and I need to start riding more.
I only have a road bike since I sold my mountain bike. Since moving last year, I have found there is a large mountain biking community.
With that said, I’m slowly shifting gears (see what I did there) into becoming a true road cyclist. The only downside is my current location isn’t very road bike-friendly.
Tour de Fuzz
If you are interested in learning more about Tour de Fuzz, I’ll write a quick blurb about it here.
I have had the amazing opportunity to ride with my fellow road bike friends for the last few years. The only time I’ve skipped was last year, but everyone did (due to COVID).
This was also the very first organized bike ride I’ve ever done.
I used to live in the area the bike ride takes you, which made it easy to ride it every year. But now, it takes a while for me to get there. I am still doing it, not only for the comradery but because it’s an awesome experience.
Tour de Fuzz is put on and supports the chaplains of Sonoma County. It’s interesting to learn that people come for this ride from all over too! Not only that, but the tickets sell out quickly year after year.
Just as a side note, if you don’t know what Chaplains do, here you go:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a chaplain as a clergyman in charge of a chapel which can be attached to a branch of the military, institution, family, or court. Chaplains seek to motivate and initiate meaningful use of each individual’s beliefs and attitudes to manage their difficulties. Chaplains work alongside other health care professionals to provide services to patients and their families. Their role is to support, serve as a counselor, and help with any needs of first responders, staff, and patients.
If you didn’t read the dictionary definition above, know they are another support system that is offered. I’ve talked with many of them over the years, and they are always amazing.
Not only that, but did I mention Tour de Fuzz is in Sonoma County, which has amazing beer, wine, and food. Yep, this ride even has an amazing finish line, complete with an amazing BBQ, Lagunitas, local wine, law enforcement demonstrations for spectators, and much more.
I feel it is always important to support the first responders. I’ve heard people say that they don’t know anyone in law enforcement or who works as a first responder. I then reply, “LIER,” you know me, and I was one for a while.
Remember, they have a difficult and stressful job. Taking the time to meet them, you will find they are human beings too.
Bike Friendly Areas
If you have ever ridden a bike on the road, you know finding a bike-friendly area is crucial. There are so many places that aren’t.
Like where I currently live.
I have deemed it this because most roadways don’t have shoulders, marked bike lanes, or a community that likes road bikes.
Before you ask, I have tried to ride my bike here many times. I also have been riding for a while, knowing most of the CA laws, and worked as a bike officer. So, you can say, I know what I’m talking about.
So this means I choose not to put my life in another driver’s hands and drive to a bike-friendly place. I deem a place with wide shoulders, paved bike lanes, and good weather a place I’m happy to ride.
For me, I decided that is going to Lake Tahoe. It checks off all the above and much more.
When’s The Last Time You Got Away?
Sometimes I don’t know where these posts will go. There are times all I do is write what is on my mind. With that said, thanks for sticking around. I honestly would love to hear about your last vacation, day trip, or anything you have coming up.
We are officially in summer, well I think so, it did rain when I was leaving the mountains.
Stop reading stuff on the internet and get your butt outside.
Well, after you leave me a comment below, that is.