Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States and the tenth deepest in the world, with a maximum depth measured at 1,645 ft (501 m), average depth of 1,000 ft (305 m). Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest lake (1,949 ft or 594 m) in the United States. Please Note that the depth of Lake Tahoe changes every day as the lake level changes.
Lake Tahoe is about 22 mi (35 km) long and l2 mi (19 km) wide and has 72 mi (116 km) of shoreline and a surface area of 191 mi2 (495 km2). The floor of the Lake Tahoe Basin is at an elevation of about 4,580 ft (1,396 m), which is lower than the surface of the Carson Valley to the east! With an average surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m) above sea level, Lake Tahoe is the highest lake of its size in the United States. - USGS
Team Ride Ataxia Has Conquered Lake Tahoe!
On Sunday teammates Sean, Greg, Crystal, Mike, Glenn, Doug, I and a few others left Stateline (CA, NV) at 8am heading clockwise around the huge lake.
The group took off and I immediately fell behind (I have plenty of excuses: heavy bike [40 lbs], three wheels [more resistance]...). Crystal stayed back with me and about 5 mi into the ride her back tire went flat. After fiddling around for a while we realized that my pump would not work so we had to flag someone down and borrow a pump (always check your equipment before you hit the road). We lost about 1/2 hour but we got back on the road knowing that this would not phase us.
At mile 13 we hit the "Emerald Bay Switch Backs" that we had been warned about. This hill was super steep but fairly short so we powered through to the Emerald Bay Vista Point:
This is one of the most beautiful spots...ever. However, there was no time to admire the beauty, we had to keep moving so we quickly snapped this photo and jumped back in the saddle.
We hit the first rest stop a couple miles later after a screaming downhill (33mph). We devoured some cantaloupe, strawberries, pretzels and bagels before adding a little more pressure to Crystal's rear tire and we were off again.
Rolling hills are what we encountered for the next 25 miles. We were at lake level for a bit then climbed Dollar Hill and traveled back to Lake level at Kings Beach for lunch. At mile 40, we had covered more than half the total distance but we had spent much less than half the effort required to finish. At that point, my knees were aching a bit which made me a bit nervous but we pressed on resisting the urge to jump in the water at the beach.
We passed through Incline Village which is home to some of the most impressive houses (mansions) in the Tahoe Basin. Then we started the climb. This climb started at about mile 55 and lasted for about 12 miles. Nobody told me about this one...So I cranked it down to my granny gear and grinded out the twelve miles in about an hour and a half. As I was climbing, the outside corner of my left eye began to burn, I thought "shoot, sunscreen in the eye." Then I remembered that I purposely avoided my forehead when applying sunscreen. I realized that my head was so drenched in salt-saturated sweat that it was dripping in my eye and causing a terrible burning sensation...hooray!
My climbing pace is very sluggish (heavy bike, three wheels) so Crystal went ahead and waited for me at the top of the hill. We formed our two person Peleton and headed down the big descent (12 miles to go). During this descent on State Highway 50 we hit speeds over 30 mph while riding the breaks. The road had just been re-finished which made those speeds very enjoyable.
There were rolling hills for the last 5 miles then we finally reached the finish line. We were just about the last ones to finish, but they were not giving out awards for fast times and I think we had just as much fun as everyone else...mission accomplished!
Special thanks to Lyle and Joyce Miller for providing a roof over our heads the night before the ride.