Loud motors, shining chrome, tattoos, leather and hair flying in the breeze: sound like a nice way to spend some time in the woods? Heck yeah, it does!
Street Vibrations in Reno has had Tahoe a-hum this week. The bars have been a little rowdier, the roads a little busier, and the poker tables a little richer. This is one of the great things about Tahoe – all kinds of folks can find what makes them happy up here. And for those of us who live at 6200’ it brings diversity the likes of which we haven’t seen since…three weeks ago when we had our regular invasion of Burning Man freaks!
Yes, this is a great time to be on vacation in Tahoe. The sun’s out, the crowds are gone and we have sports back on the boobtube. Also, there are some great acts hitting the bars and especially the Crystal Bay Club. And for you motorcycle-folk, this is prime time because the roads are dry and even though it’s warm, you won’t cook in those leathers.
The run around Tahoe is 72-miles and although you could buzz the Lake in about 2.5 hours most people make a half-day of it, that is unless they make the mistake of venturing into a casino along the way. Starting in Tahoe City most folks ride until they hit the East Shore where there are some nice pullouts. Along this windy road that traces the shore of a great NV State Park the views are awesome and unlike some other stretches, they aren’t blocked by overbuilt lakefront palaces. A nice stop is Sand Harbor where you can put those toes deep into Tahoe’s unique and fine granitic sand. Continue cruising south and you’ll do the only tunnel on the ride before passing the famous Edgewood Golf Club home of the NBC Celebrity golf tournament. Next you’ll be under the biggest casinos at Tahoe. I recommend stopping at Womack’s BBQ just after you cross the stateline back into California (closed on Sundays). Then you ride the extended South Shore strip before turning north again to hit the gem – Emerald Bay. These are the tightest turns on the route (10mph hairpins) and also the one true knife ridge where a tipped bike could go down either side for 500 feet. There are a few nice parking areas and interpretive signs giving some history of the Lake and its only island. Continue north and you’ll see more of that big blue water before arriving in Tahoma, the farthest south post office on the West Shore. You’ll pass two nice marinas at Homewood then the famous deck of Sunnyside Restaurant, just a couple miles south of Granlibakken. Pull on into the Big G for some rest, maybe a hot tub and you’ve earned yourself just about any sort of dining option you can imagine.
This past week I saw a sleeved (tattoo’ed entirely up one arm) biker giddy as a schoolgirl when he told his mates about the beauty of his circum-ride-ulation of the Lake. This big guy went on to say that he rented a kayak that morning to go back and see the impossibly blue waters of the East Shore. He looked about as likely to ride a kayak as Bill Gates would be burning wheelies on this dude’s Harley – but he did it. And it’s great because while here, he rubbed off on us and the Lake rubbed off on him –I just hope it didn’t rub hard enough to remove any of those tattoos….