18 inches of fresh snow can make for fun snow biking. I have found some great places to ride recently. The best spots are trails that are snowshoe or foot compacted or trails that are snowmobile compacted.
Snowmobiles are a snowbikers best friend.
Oneidas Road in South Lake Tahoe is one of those great spots for snowmobiles and fatbikes. The road is the trailhead for the Corral loop trail system. Hint-great snowbiking!
Winter on the Corral Trail
I went to ride the trail today, a week after the last storm. The snow was really light by Sierra standards. There was too much snow then, but I was determined to ride it today. Normally snowmobiles go here, but there is not yet enough coverage for them on these rocky singletracks. I rode it anyway and it was ride-able and quite enjoyable. Here is a short video of the ride.
I also rode the bike trail near Pope Beach and the Fallen Leaf Lake trails. These trails were snowshoe and foot compacted. There is a lot of great snowbiking around South Lake Tahoe and it is just getting better. Anyone out there with a snowmobile that wants to help put in trails? Are there any other snowbikers that want to help put in trails? Please contact me and we can create an amazing network around the Lake Tahoe area. In the meantime I will continue to ride and put them in myself…
Here is a short video and some photos that show how I celebrated. Fat Bikers around the world celebrated this day by getting out on their fat bikes. In the Sierra we had a major winter storm with up to 3 feet of new snow on December 7th. It was fun on plowed roads, but not on the trails. These images were taken the day before.
Lake Tahoe View
Corral Trail – The start of the Sierra Sidewinder Trail.
I opened up my Yahoo start page today and saw this article. (CLICK HERE) It is just a matter of time before everybody that mountain bikes will get a Fat Bike. This is just one of the reasons to get one.
Living in snow country, I ride twice as much with my Fat Bike. And it is twice as much fun.
I was at Sierra Cycle Works for some biking gear yesterday and I got to ride this cool bike that had an internal 18 speed gearbox integrated into the bottom bracket with a Gates carbon belt drive. It shifts great under a load, has a large range (lower low-higher high) with evenly spaced gears and is maintenance free. You don’t need to lube your chain every ride, or worry about breaking off a rear shifter. This also helps eliminate chain alignment issues with 5 inch tires. This system will be great for the type of riding we use fatbikes for ie: Sand, Snow, loose dirt…. We just need some fatbike frame manufacturers to integrate the Pinion into their frames.
The mountain biking is amazing right now. The trails I have been on the last few days are great. Keep in mind that I am riding on 4 inch tires. There is as much as 8 inches of snow around South Lake Tahoe. The busy trailheads are quiet and I am finding freshies everywhere. There is fresh snow on deep sand and this creates smooth trails. Fun on a fatbike, but not so great on a “traditional bike”. Here are some pics.
Here is a great sandy singletrack with lots of climbing. You will be on the Tahoe Rim Trail for about 4 miles at about 9000′. The ride starts at the High Meadow parking spot. You can climb up to High Meadows on the dirt road or on the Cold Creek singletrack. At High Meadows you go to the Star Lake singletrack and climb up to Star Lake at around 9000′. It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to climb from the car to Star Lake and is about 7 miles. From Star Lake you can go South towards Freel Pass or North towards Monument Pass. Go North for about 3.5 miles and turn left to the new Monument pass trail. The turnoff is not marked yet, as this section from Monument pass down to Cold Creek is a new trail and has been recently finished. Follow the Cold Creek trail back to the start. Park at the end of High Meadows Road for this ride. This loop is for strong intermediate or better riders with about 3000′ of climbing and is about 17 miles.
Sand (noun) 1. The more or less fine debris of rocks, consisting of small, loose grains, often of quartz.
In the case of the sand around Lake Tahoe, it is made up of mostly decomposing granite. Most of the trails in Tahoe have sand and deep loose dirt. Traditional mountain bike tires don’t handle sand well. A fat bike tire (4 inches or wider), on the other hand makes deep sandy trails fun. I actually look forward to sandy sections of trail with fat tires. I can carve through sandy switchbacks and lean the bike into deep soft trails. I pedal and laugh (instead of pushing) up the switchbacks toward Freel pass on the Rim Trail. These Fat bikes are a true revolution in mountain biking. These bikes will increase your time in the saddle by at least 50% here in Tahoe. Fat bikes are not only a blast on snow trails but are truly built for year round use.
Here is a short video from the winter of 2013. I started riding in the snow in January 2013 on a Fatback. I soon realized that many of the summer hiking and biking trails are used by snowmobiles in the winter. This makes for amazing snowbiking. I was able to ride most mornings this winter and spring. You can get in twice as much riding during the year.
Christmas Valley to Round Lake Loop
High Meadows-Star Lake
Warr Cabin Trail
Mr. Toads Uphill-Cabin Site
High Meadows-Cedar to connector
High Meadows-Cold Creek
Christmas Valley Downhill
Donner Rim Trail