Spoke ‘n Words: Area offers fine cycling, mountain biking in summer

Conrad Snover
Spoke 'n Words
Courtesy of Alanna HughesCyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing members Nate Freed and Conrad Snover enjoy the view along Boca Reservoir during a summer ride.

Editor’s note: This week’s Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing column, written by team member Conrad Snover, is the second of a two-part series breaking down local bike rides.

While the higher-elevation mountain bike trails aren’t clear yet, most of the roads are. The spring is a great time to get out and explore. The roads aren’t yet crowded with tourists and construction hasn’t taken over everywhere yet.

Here’s a quick guide to some of our favorite cycling and mountain bike rides in the area.

The best rides are the ones that start from your driveway.

Boca/Stampede: Start in Truckee and ride Glenshire Road (noting how much nicer and safer this will be on the Legacy Trail) through Glenshire to Boca Dam. Ride to the end of Stampede Meadows Road. Turn around when it turns to dirt at Henness Pass Road. On your way back, turn right across Stampede Dam and ride to the boat ramp and back.

Sierra Canyons: Take Highway 89 and the bike path to Tahoe City and down the West Shore. Climb 5 miles up Barker Pass Road 5 through Blackwood Canyon to the pass. On your way back, ride up as many canyons as time allows: Ward, Talmont, Alpine, Squaw and Cabin Creek.

Gold Lakes and Lake Davis: This is easily one of the best road rides in California. Start in Calpine and ride to Beckwourth, Lake Davis, Portola, Clio and over the Gold Lake Highway. Don’t miss the stunning views of the Sierra Buttes and be sure to stop for ice cream in Bassetts before climbing over Yuba Pass back to the car on Highway 49.

Cisco Grove: It doesn’t get much better than this. Ride west over the pass to the end of Donner Pass Road and back. Add the loop around Serene Lakes if you have extra time. Don’t forget to start and finish with one of Jeremy’s lattes at Wild Cherries.

Not much needs to be said about the unbelievable local trail options we have out our front door. I’ve not seen any other place with diversity and beautiful vistas that can rival Truckee.

Visit the Truckee Trails Foundation for up-to-date trail reports (, or go to Cyclepaths to get a local trail map. Here’s a slightly different spin on how to link together some of the tried-and-true favorites:

Donner Lake Rim Trail (DLRT) to Hole in the Ground: Ride up through Tahoe Donner to Drifter Hut and the DLRT, which you can connect to Hole in the Ground. For an epic tour, continue up and over Sugar Bowl and down through Cold Stream.

Sierra Meadows: Connect Sawtooth through Northstar all the way up to the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). Continue to Tahoe City and stop for coffee at the Dam Cafe before heading back up and over.

Looking for added motivation or the thrill of competition? Check out the weekly road and mountain bike races:

Reno Wheelmen: The group hosts an amazing series each month that cycles through three races in Reno and the Boca road race in Truckee (

Northstar-at-Tahoe: Northstar has something on the dirt for everyone: monthly downhill, weekly cross country, monthly Super-D races (

” Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing is a Truckee-based cycling team focused on racing and local bike advocacy. For more information, results and upcoming events, visit

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