I had some difficulties with gmail the last couple of days, plus yesterday we had no service at all crossing the mountains, so this is a bit of a catch up.
On Wednesday we climbed from Sacramento to Pioneer. The ride out of Sacramento was lovely. For a long time we were on a trail along the river. Wide, mostly flat, it was great. When we left the river trail though, we started climbing. And climbing. And climbing some more.
We went through Sutters Creek, where the whole Gold Rush began. I would have loved to stay and explore, but the d
ownside to these rides is you have to keep moving. Coming out of Sutters Creek the grades increased substantially. I walked when I needed to, rested when I needed to, and finally attained our last rest stop where I declared victory and hopped a ride in the van. We stayed in a wonderful church in Pioneer. Sierra Baptist let us sleep there and use their brand new kitchen. Better yet, they had awesome paper towels!
Yesterday’s ride was a wash for me. Looking at the elevation profiles, I decided to get a lift to the second rest stop and then join Mike there. However, when we got there, the rain and snow had begun blowing. We were next to Silver Lake which still had snow on the lake. Mike blitzed through without stopping, so that wasn’t going to happen, and honestly, I wasn’t crazy about riding in the snow and rain and wintry mix.
At the third rest stop, we set up to wait for riders. There was no cell service on the mountain so we had no way to know what was going on at Rest Stop 2 at Carsons Pass (yes, Kit Carson). But pretty quickly, we had a full van and full rack of bikes. The weather was getting worse, so anticipating there would be a need for more space, Ruth and I stayed to man the rest stop and sent the van to South Lake Tahoe to unload. About the same time they returned, the second van arrived from the 2nd rest stop where all remaining riders had bailed. The combination of weather and elevation was just too much. They had crammed everyone remaining and the bikes (taking some apart) into that van.
We finally got everyone to South Lake Tahoe. Five riders made it the whole way: Ryan, Henry, Mike, Steve, and Mark. Two more made it to Rest Stop 3 – Macy and Monica. They all deserve awards for most persistent.
Today is an off day, and Mike and I are staying at his friend Mo’s place here in town. We had pizza last night, and I slept in a real bed. Tomorrow we head for Nevada. Here are some photos from the top of the mountain yesterday.