Category Archives: Biking

Florida Mountain Biking

Mountain_Biking_Boyette

The_Plunge The_Plunge_Balm_Boyette Ridgeline_Balm_Boyette

While the rest of the country bundles up and digs out, folks here in Florida have to make tough decisions in January like, should I ride a surfboard, bike, both? Went out to Balm Boyette today for a bike ride with a buddy and brought the camera, which is something I have been rather slack about doing lately. Tons of fun rides to do including The Ridgeline Trail.

As the Swamp Club accurately describes,

The Ridgeline Trail, completed in December of 2008, is unlike any trail in our system. The climbs are challenging, but within one’s reach. The descents are definitely steep enough to cause a moment of hesitation, but the smooth run-out at the bottom puts each drop within your grasp. The trail is wide, with few turns; all designed to allow the rider to build and maintain speed. This trail is all about going downhill really fast…

Fun stuff!

Tampa Twilight Criterium

Tampa_Twilight_Criterium

I really enjoyed attending the Tampa Twilight Criterium in downtown Tampa on Saturday afternoon. I took my son with me in a backpack, and while I took photos, he provided commentary – “Whoooooooah!” – I think he was impressed that they were just a little faster than his Red Ryder.

Having done a few of these myself, I can relate to the challenges of working with a city to orchestrate an event like this. But the organizers, police, and City of Tampa were all accommodating and everything seemed to go smoothly.

My camera doesn’t really have the chops for this kind of combined light and speed, but I made the best of it and am happy with how a few came out. I just feel lucky I didn’t get my block knocked off. Hopefully the guys didn’t mind!

Cyclist

More on Flickr…

Fathers, Get Off Your Fat Butt and Go Biking

Biking_with_Babies Having a child will change any new father’s lifestyle. It can be very difficult transition to make, and there will be times when you find yourself frustrated that you can’t just drop everything and head out the door. Many men find they have little time, less energy, and worst of all, more weight gain as a result of no real and consistent activity. However, there is a great solution I have found that compliments any exercise regimen that you do have. Also, it is a great way to spend time outside with your child; and wife as the image features.

The answer is buy a bike. Not just any bike, but one that you can sit back on and be comfortable. Get a cruiser with a fat seat, articulated handlebars, interchangeable gears, and shocks to minimize impacts. Once you’ve found comfort and the right features, slap a nice big basket on the front and a child seat on the back. Trust me, you’ll look cooler than you think, especially when you fly by some poor sap pushing a stroller.

Parents often elect to get the trailers instead of the seat due to safety reasons. I understand these reasons, so I do my best to be as careful as possible. What I like about the detachable seat is that it brings my child up closer to me. He sees more or less what I see, and we can interact with one another. The compactness of the setup also makes for easier storage and carry. There are several different child seats to choose from, but both Rhode Gear and Bell make decent ones. I happened to get the bike and the seat from Sports Authority.

Incidentally, Sports Authority has a nice selection of life jackets as well. :~)

 Lifejacket4

Buying this bike has changed my life significantly. Not only do I now take and pickup my child from daycare whenever possible, but I have also discovered new areas in the place I live. It has freed me from some of the sedentary constraints of fatherhood, and given me and my son a way of discovering the world around us together. I’ve heard some parents complain their children are afraid of speed. My son now enjoys it. And a nice little bonus is that I have lost much of the weight I gained after he was born.

So fathers, get off your fat butt and go biking with your child.  

Reno Bike Scene

They are everywhere!

It’s like something out of Better Off Dead – “I want my two dollars! I want my two dollars!” Except, they are not evil hell-bent newspaper boys that are out to get you. They are people that want to see Reno as more bike-friendly city with more bike racks, bike lanes, and greater awareness surrounding alternative means of transportation.

The Reno Bike Project and the Holland Project (website coming soon) are two organizations that are striving to make Reno a better place for bikers. Especially now that the weather has turned to longer days and warmer weather, you cannot go to downtown Reno without seeing several people either commuting, cruising, or tricking out on some type of bike.

This picture was taken outside of the Imperial Bar & Lounge the other night on Arlington and First. Imagine all the other parking spots they would have needed if they had driven cars.

Keystone Canyon

Because the ski season for Lake Tahoe is off to a very slow start, I am still mountain biking pretty regularly. Keystone Canyon offers a number of different trails to ride upon, one of which being Evans Trail.

Simply ride up from the trailhead off of McCarran Blvd and veer right when the trail crests at the looming mechanical towers. 

All along the trail one is afforded nice views of Reno, and there is actually some decent technical riding to be found.

You descend down into a slot canyon, head left at the bottom, and eventually you switchback your way back to the top. From there you blast your way back down Keystone Canyon to the car.

Not a bad little ride considering its close proximity to the city.

Above Reno

Today was clear and cold, and I was a little apprehensive to go mountain bike riding, but it actually turned out to be quite nice despite the fact that it is now December in Nevada.

Keystone Canyon is a popular trail for Reno residents because it offers easy access to the national forest area surrounding Peavine Mountain, an 8,266 peak that creates a significant mountain chain just outside of the city.

Before it became a recreational asset to Reno, the area served Washoe and Paiute Indians, as well as Basque herders, miners and foresters. The remnants of copper mines can be seen in some places, and the landscape, devoid of but a few trees, indicates that it was heavily logged for White Fir and Jeffrey Pine.

The trail climbs steadily, and before long you are offered a nice view of downtown. I actually clambered around on these rocks for a bit before I realized that I was just above a rather large animal den; and with the city seemingly so close!

The large, fresh scat surrounding the entrance convinced me that I was dangerously close to the home of a mountain lion. I quickly retreated and blasted down some fun single track back to the car.

 The mountain chain surrounding Peavine is a great asset to the city and a perfect getaway without having to go very far at all.

There are a great deal of trails cutting across the landscape, and hopefully with some volunteer work and even some funding a little restoration can take place to further improve the area. 

Marlette Lake

Marlette Lake is situated above the East Shore of Lake Tahoe between Spooner Summit and Sand Harbor.

What is most notable about Marlette is the fact that it has been a source for trout fishing since 1887 when it was first stocked with Cutthroat Trout.

Today, it is still used as a source for Rainbow Trout eggs, which are gathered during spawning season in tiered gates that run into the south end of the Lake. They are then transplanted in both Lake Tahoe and Walker Lake.

Fishing is allowed on the Marlette Lake, but you must use barbless hooks. If you get lucky, it is catch and release.

Marlette is also a popular area for mountain biking and hiking, and you will often see people circling the Lake to access the Flume or Rim Trail. Keep in mind that biking is only allowed on even days, so if you are planning a hike you might want to do it on an odd day. 

Regardless, it is beautiful, especially in the fall when the aspen leaves turn a vibrant gold and yellow. 

Riding the Rim Trail

This past Sunday I met up with a couple of my fellow colleagues from Twelve Horses, and rallied up to the Lake Tahoe Basin for a little mountain bike ride.

We selected the 23 mile loop that takes you from Mount Rose Meadows, out along the Tahoe Rim Trail, around Marlette Lake, back on the Flume Trail, and down Tunnel Creek Road to Ponderosa Ranch.

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