While Tour de Tahoe is going down on the streets this Sunday, mountain bikers will be high above shredding the Flume Trail in the third annual Great Tahoe Flume Race.
The 20-mile race course will feature breathtaking climbs and views as racers make their way from Spooner Lake to the finish line at the top of North Canyon Road, climbing 3,300 feet along the way. Riders will start at 7,000 feet and get to test their wheels on the new Sunflower Hill Trail that connects to the Tahoe Rim Trail at 8,330 feet.
The Sunflower Hill Trail was completed on Aug. 11 and is a 2.6-mile single track alternative to the exposed, steep and dusty fire road that climbs up from the east side of Hobart Reservoir.
The Flume Race is the seventh race in the Sierra Cup Mountain Bike Series and proceeds will go to the Tahoe Mountain Bike Patrol, a local non-profit organization that offers education and support to Tahoe trail users.
The group has nearly 30 volunteer patrollers who provide directions, offer route suggestions or first aid and even help repair bikes out in the backcountry, head of patrollers Kevin Joell sad.
"The goal is to try to enhance the visitor's experience for those using the trails. Whether they are bikers, hikers, equestrians, it doesn't matter to us," Joell said.
Joell, who is also the race promoter, said the Flume Race usually brings in about $500 for the non-profit.
"The race gets some credit in building the patrol because we got the non-profit and we had about $150 in the bank and of course trying to make decision like, can we even afford a PO Box so that we can have an address that people might send donations to?" Joell said.
The Sierra Cup Mountain Bike Series will culminate with race eight at the Tahoe Fat Tire Festival at Squaw Valley Sept. 20-23.