Mark Twain memorialized Lake Tahoe as “The fairest picture the whole earth affords.” This is as true today as it was in the 1860s, unless you happen to be on a bike fighting for three inches of roadway between you and a party bus.
So, a proposed bike path between our village of Incline and Sand Harbor is a 21st century boon for bikers and hikers who wish to behold the fairest picture the whole earth affords without fear of being clipped by a double-wide Winnebago.
We have to make it happen. I’m tossing in a handsome Ben Franklin with high hopes the Tahoe Fund Board of Directors might choose to designate one of the 16 scenic outlooks along the pathway as “Mark Twain Vista.”
As one who drives that route every day during the summer, I have seen enough close calls between lackadaisical bikers and goose-necking drivers to give the boogeyman a heart attack. And having enjoyed the bike ride myself around our jewel of the High Sierra, I can attest first hand that cars and bikes do not mix.
One good friend of mine who shall go unnamed, suggests, “Hey, they should just park their bikes and go gamble.” Well, that’s exactly what we used to do, but not anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I love casinos. Casinos are playgrounds for those of us too dumb or too drunk to do math, those of us who are subject to sudden outbreaks of Kumbaya fever. Casinos attract Cubs-fan types like me, that is to say, people more sensitive to beer prices than winning percentages. I just placed a bet today on the San Antonio Spurs to repeat as NBA champions in 2015, so you are reading the words of a potentially wealthy man.
But more than anything (next to world peace) I want to live to see a bike path where people can circumnavigate Lake Tahoe.
As a lifeguard at the Sands back in the summer of ‘61, I promised myself that I would run around this lake’s 72-mile circumference at 72 years of age. I was 17.
I will be reversing those two digits this summer and be staring that promise in the face. Though not yet ruling out a gallant try, should I have to break that promise to myself, I shall supplant it with a renewed promise to ride around the Lake of the Sky on the day we inaugurate the “Mark Twain Circle Lake Tahoe Bike Path.” Then I can go gently into that great beyond a satisfied man.
Mark Twain willed himself to see Haley’s Comet cross the heavens for a second time. He lived to see it and was promoted to glory the day after its perihelial passage.
I am determined to live to see the world’s most breathtaking bike path completed here amidst the air the angels breathe. I might need a personal trainer, and I might have to give up smoking, drinking and going to bed after midnight, but I can do these things if that’s what it will take to see the world’s most breathtaking bike path completed. Let’s go, Tahoe!
To learn more about McAvoy Layne visit www.ghostoftwain.com.