Sunday, August 06, 2017

Business Trip To Lake Tahoe

Who am I kidding? Yes, these trips involve work. But they are made tolerable by the fact that we get to ride cool bikes in cool settings. This time, Quality Bicycle, THE big name in the distribution channel, invited the boss and I to Northstar Resort in Lake Tahoe, California.
These trips always start with planes.  I hate planes.  It's an arduous, humiliating process that turns any sane person into a grumpy, antisocial zombie.
A very nice view of the Colorado River along the way.  Somehow, I got a window seat on the first leg to Las Vegas.  A quick layover there and on to Reno we went.
Miracle of miracles, I got an isle seat on the way to Reno.  A quick, gorgeous drive up to Tahoe followed.  This is the Northstar Resort.  It's quite stunning.  Although you could probably say most mountain resorts are stunning.
 A beautiful northern California sky. I liked the wispy little cloud.
In case you got lost, there was this handy site map.  It's hard to imagine the scope of these places until you hang out a while in one.
 Cool little room for two.  It was warm during the day, so fans and open balcony doors were a must.
 And then there was the bear.
Each day, the sky darkened around 3pm.  There was the requisite thunder, and then a bit of rain.  Usually, it was over in less than 90 minutes and what was left was crisp and cool weather.
 Trees reach up to the sky, not minding the angry clouds and thunder.
 Sun came back out, and I walked around the facility.  Free Tesla chargers to guests.  How nice!
Coming down off the mountain from dinner on night one, we rode the cool enclosed gondolas.  Love the enclosed gondola....hate the chair lift.
 $8 later, the aspect of forgetting toothpaste has been rectified.  Yep.  $8.  For kids toothpaste.  I'm 50.
Day two, we rode mountain bikes.  This was mid-mountain, about a 10 minute grunt up from the resort. If you blow up the photo, you can see Mike coming up, and more people waaaay down.  This was a hard one.  I'm actually standing at the edge of the gondola facility.  From here, we could take more single track upward to either the double black downhill runs or some sweet, sweet single track down.  You know I chose the single track, right? And no, I never rode the gondola up the mountain to ride down.
 I thought this was a curious sight.  Did I mention that I loved enclosed gondolas?
Check out the layers of sunlight and how they lit the swaths of trees on the mountain.  This played out a bunch of times over the weekend and made the already beautiful setting even more stunning.
After we rode mountain bikes, we eventually went back up the mountain to eat.  The facility was located just at the edge of the routes we had ridden earlier, so I got a chance to photograph the signage.
 Yep, that's a sign for me.
This was the little gateway to heavenly ascending single track.  Yes, I love climbing tight, technical single track more than I like going downhill.  You know I'm weird like that.
The next day, we rode road bikes.  We deviated from the program and busted out of the resort and rode from the resort to Truckee, a picturesque mountain town along Donner Pass road.  It eventually made us earn our fun by climbing a 3.1 mile twisty, 7% pass to top out at Donner Summit.  I said it was road bike day, but I was on a heavy steel gravel bike.  No problem.  I already told you that I love to climb.
Atop Donner Pass, there was nice informational propaganda.  I love these things.  I feel so smart and worldly when I read about an areas past.
Again, the scenery and landscape were stunning.  Along the way up, there were tons of people parked in pull-outs checking out the views.  Some were rock climbing, which was neat as I went by at a blistering 8.9 miles per hour.
The sheer scope of a mountain always blows me away.  It all seems like it's right in front of you, yet it's far away and hard to get to.
Looking down at Donner Lake.  Riding past the lake on the way in was like watching an infomercial about California beauty.  It was truly inspiring.
No matter how high you get, there are always peaks up above you.  That strange structure built into the rock is an old rail tunnel.
 I caught Mike starting his descent, and I'm glad I did.  It adds a bit of scope to the photo.  Blow it up and you can see the people who have hiked to the top of that massive rock.
And since most of the product was saw was embargoed, I didn't get to take any photos of it.  It was really cool stuff, though.  You just have to believe me.  I did take a photo of the line of rental bikes that were available at the resort.  So, you and your friends can go to Northstar and rent a bad ass downhill machine....there were dozens of these things.  Dozens.  There was probably a hundred grand of rental bikes just on this rack, and this was one of two rental spots.

The trip home was uneventful, except for the inevitable middle-seat hell that I am usually subjected to.  The largest people on the plane were on my left and right, both flights.  Ah, well.

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