Washoe Valley

Combs CanyonAs we move into winter’s snow, mud, and ice, road biking suddenly becomes more appealing to me. Most of the trails are now under snow, but there are still miles of smooth, ice-free blacktop to be ridden.  Nevada’s winter days almost always warm up to the mid 30’s, keeping the roads pretty dry.

Sunday was sunny, so Kristy and I figured we better get out and enjoy the warmth before the storms arrive. We dusted off the road bikes, and headed for Combs Canyon, picking up Jeff P along the way. Once at the top of the Combs Canyon climb, we descended down into the beautiful Washoe Valley, one of my favorite places to ride my road bike.

Slide MountainWe got down to the flats, formed a pace line, and began spinning the pedals. I couldn’t believe the pace we were keeping. The miles were passing by so quickly!

We took a short break at Bower’s Mansion Park, and I remarked on our pace and how I didn’t remember road biking to be this fast. And Jeff P replied, “If it’s too good to be true, you have a tail wind.”.

Washoe ValleyAnd sure enough, Jeff P was right. The return trip was much slower with strong random gusts from the southwest. We formed an echelon formation with my butt hanging slightly out into the traffic lane. I took one for the team I guess. I fell off the formation and shot a few pictures, and it took me quite a ways to catch the other two. It was tempting not to stop, but my Blogging OCD got the best of me. I needed blogging fodder.

Old 395We got a late start, so by the time we got back into Carson, the sun was starting to set. Cold started creeping into our bodies, hastened by the damp clothing. The final blow was coming down the end of Kings Canyon. I never really warmed up after that. We stopped at Jeff P’s house, and Amy made us some coffees. This certainly helped, but Kristy and I were pretty chilled for the last two miles home. We got home just as it was getting dark.

Road biking is great this time of year, but it’s best to time your ride with sunlight. The wind chill from the higher speeds certainly does take it’s toll. There are plenty of great routes to take along the foothills that are out in the sun. Just be careful getting into the trees, since the shady spots are prone to icy patches.

7 thoughts on “Washoe Valley

  1. Be careful about falling behind to shoot pics and then hurrying to catch up on snow, or you might end up fat-lipped and sore, like me!

    Nice pics, though.

  2. I can’t consider my one mile of riding to the hardware store and back much of a ride, so I’m a loser too, Brent. BTW, have fun you guys. It’s raining pretty good here so unless you get some kind of warm-up this next week, I’m assuming you’ll have yourselves a white Christmas.

  3. If you’re not sure what Tim is talking about, CHECK IT OUT!

    Brent and other people who didn’t ride…A lot of times we’ll organize a ride at the last minute. If anyone ever feels like going for a ride, just shoot me an email or give me a call. I’ll include you on any last minute plans!

    Smudgemo – You are not a loser. You were probably the only one in America riding around with an ironing board strapped to the back of their bike. Lunatic, maybe. Loser, no.

    Thanks to all for the compliments on the pictures.

    The rain shadow is in Full Effect. The huge storm seems to be dumping on the west side of Tahoe, but nothing down here. We can still hope!

  4. Definitely do include me… but I had no time this past weekend. It was not a shot at you… I just wish I could have gotten out. Sandie went while I did laundry and wrapped gifts. I got to do that night ride a couple of weeks ago AND go out for beers with James. Plenty of give and take.

  5. No shots taken! I’m just saying that in general, these plans sometimes come together quickly. I’m always thinking of all the riders, but it can be too much to contact everyone. I can barely take care of myself sometimes. But if someone gives me the alert in the morning that they’re looking for a ride, it’s easier to keep people in the loop!

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