I got stuck working the whole day Sunday, so I thought I deserved a weekend make-up day. I took Tuesday off, and the family and I headed up to Spooner Lake State Park. It was our first Flume Trail ride of the year, but more importantly, my son’s first ever Flume Trail ride!
The elevation gain and distance of this ride will crush the spirits of most seven year olds, but that’s where the beauty of a tandem comes in. You end up doing most of the work, so to them, it’s just another ride! I should clarify that while I did most of the work, my stoker helped out plenty. He was there to deliver an extra boost of power whenever the situation demanded it.
I knew we could do the rest of the ride if we could conquer North Canyon. The last hill climb is pretty tough even on a single bike when you’re in good shape. I was already searching for more gears before we even got to the steep part. We ended up walking a very steep section, but my son grew tired of walking quickly and wanted to ride again. From that point on we just rode water bar to water bar, which are spaced pretty close to each other. We’d hit a water bar, rest, and then pedal to the next one. We were riding up this steep hill, and I was amazed! We celebrated at the top.
As much as I wanted Charlie to see the Flume Trail, I knew his favorite destination would be Marlette Lake. He thoroughly explored the chimney peninsula, and climbed every rock. I guess he wasn’t shaken too badly by last weekend’s experience! I finally had to beg him to come down, since he was making me nervous. The cold breeze kept us out of the water. Too bad, because the water was just begging to be dived into!
We visited the Fish and Game station on the south side of the lake, and watched the large trout in the pens. The water was just boiling with them near the inlet! I think Charlie was most interested in the Electric fence though, and wanted to know all about it.
We had to walk the switchbacks leading down from the dam to the Flume Trail. After that we all rode to the clearing where Lake Tahoe first becomes visible from 1,000 feet above. Charlie’s reaction was no different than everyone else I’ve brought up here over the years. Woooooooowwwww!
We rode the Flume Trail for about a half mile and had another snack. We had lots of snacks that day. I figured this would be a good place to turn around. I wanted him to have the experience, but not burn him out.
Before we left though, I told him to take a good look, because this was one of the best views on the whole planet! He seemed to appreciate this fact.
We had one last hill climb, the climb from Marlette back to the saddle above North Canyon. To motivate Charlie, Kristy challenged us to a race! Charlie pedaled hard up that hill, and kept telling me to go faster. We swapped positions all the way up the hill, but in the end, Kristy was no match for team Double Shot. Either that, or she let us win…
We had a screaming ride down North Canyon. Charlie asked me if we were going faster than a rocket or an airplane. At one point I thought we were experiencing the hiss of a flat tire, but realized it was just my stoker making rocket ship noises.
Before loading the bikes we visited Max and Patty at Flume Trail bikes, and each picked out a well deserved ice cream.
After returning home, we got cleaned up and went out for a post ride pizza at the Pizza King in Moundhouse. The end to a perfect day!
More pictures of the ride can be seen by clicking HERE.