Encircling Big Blue

Because we had anticipated chilling temperatures in the morning, we both started out with wearing a wind breaker bike jacked, with a short sleeved jersey underneath, bike mittens and bike shorts. In addition, I was wearing a short sleeved base layer underneath. It certainly helped at the beginning, but as mentioned above, with the first climb, sun coming out and temperatures rising, we continued in shorts and jersey.

Accommodation

Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, it was simply most convenient, i.e. closer, to stay at the southern tip of the lake, meaning in South Lake Tahoe. I picked a motel with a low price (it came out to $80 per night) and with decent reviews on TripAdvisor. Any motel will do, really.

Weather etc.

Since July and August are historically the hottest in the Tahoe Area, June or September are good alternatives with more welcoming temperatures if you are exercising outside for multiple hours. For this specific trip, which we did beginning of September, the weather turned out to be nearly perfect, with colder temperatures in the morning (44 Fahrenheit), warming up to around 72 Fahrenheit during the day and pretty much sunny up until the last hour of the ride. In the afternoon as well as the next day, thunderstorm clouds rolled in, which brought showers and cooler temperatures. So even though the temperatures get more accommodating, the weather can, unfortunately, also be a little bit more unpredictable. Before you head out to Tahoe, check the weather forecast. If you consider to take the ride as more of a stroll along the lake, with not paying attention to time too much, be sure to check how much daylight you have available and plan accordingly.

Things to do after the ride

Since we did the loop on a Saturday and were planning on heading back to the Bay Area on Sunday, there was still some time left to explore other things in the South Lake Tahoe area. If you are up for another physically demanding challenge, you can hike up Mount Tallac (from South Lake Tahoe, north on Hwy 89 three miles, left onto Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Turn right at “T” and continue to the Glen Alpine Trailhead sign and turn left). If you want to take it a little easier (like we did), you can take a ride with the Heavenly Gondola up to the top of the resort, where you can enjoy great views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Although with prices starting at $32 for the return trip, the gondola ride might seem equally steep.

Resources

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