Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting to Lake Tahoe

The night before we left - I had a hard time sleeping.  I fell asleep okay but then woke up at 3am and didn't go back to sleep.  I actually got up at 4:45 - took a shower and finished packing everything I needed that morning.  A (my roommate for the trip) road over to my house and we carpooled to the airport.  The flights out were pretty uneventful, everyone was excited.  When we landed in Reno we took a bus to the hotel.  The hotel name was Harvey's and having never been to AMBBR before, I expected a motel looking place - but turns out Harvey's is a casino affiliated with Harrah's - ha.  Needless to say, the hotel was pretty nice.

After checking in, it was time to pick up our bikes.  My bike was undamaged but there were several teammates who had chunks out of their tires, or bikes were scratched up.  One bike was badly damaged and the tires had to be replaced - yikes.  All of the ride-preventing items were fixed before ride day.

The weather was crappy and the forecast called for rain Saturday and thunderstorms on ride day...boo.  A and I must have checked the weather almost hourly just to see if anything had changed - we were kinda bummed about the weather.

Friday night we the team rented a yacht and we took it around Lake Tahoe - it was a lot of fun.  It was also extremely cold, there was an upper deck of the yacht that provided a great view, but it was just too cold to sit outside - even with the provided blankets.  I spent most of my time in the inside portion of the yacht, only popping out to take pictures.   By the end of it we were all pretty tired.

Saturday morning we woke up and had breakfast at a local cafe, went to pick up our packets for the ride and then off to the bike shake out.  We left a little late due to the fact that we all needed to pump up our tires and we were sharing 1 pump.  When we headed out, it was raining a little bit but not too bad.  It was overcast with dark grey clouds.  My plan was to ride out with the group going to Emerald Bay  and just ride to the base of the hill.  I didn't want to push it before the big day.  We rode out and then stopped at a great spot to take a group picture - looking out over the lake, it was beautiful - even though it was overcast.   We then headed up to the base of Emerald Bay and somehow I was convinced to keep going.  I looked up at the switchbacks and immediately thought - uh, no, there is no way this is going to happen.  But, I was wrong because it really wasn't as hard as it looked.  I had to stop twice and then once again at the top to catch my breath - the altitude affected me more than I anticipated.    I got to the top and we rode to an area where you could take pictures and we did - it was great.  Apparently on ride day this area is FULL of people and just in general a cluster so we took all our pictures Saturday so we wouldn't stop on Sunday.  The ride down was a blast too. It was raining a little bit harder, and it was slick, but I dropped down on my handlebars and feathered my brakes - it was great.

The ride back to the hotel - not so great.  The rain picked up, we were freezing, and there was a lot more traffic and a lot of cars did not seem to like us being on the road.  We were really glad to get back to the hotel safely.

The rest of the day we ran errands, had our inspiration dinner to carb up, and went to bed early so we'd be prepared for the ride the next day.