Lake Tahoe biking trails getting a makeover | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lake Tahoe biking trails getting a makeover

There are miles of hiking and biking trails that are shaping up around Lake Tahoe now that more maintenance and additions are happening.

The past few weeks have seen organizations like Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association and Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition picking up activity with projects and also getting their hands dirty on the trails.

"There's actually been a lot of trail work going on," said Ben Fish, TAMBA president. "We've seen a lot of deep erosion ruts that have washed out and things like trees down. We've had our crew leaders out a lot."

According to Fish, one of their crewmembers cleared 20 trees from the Corral and Sidewinder trails this past week. He said that those trails are clear now and should be accessible from top to bottom, but some further maintenance is needed.

"We're going to be working with the Forest Service next week on Corral to rebuild and reshape some parts of the trail … " said Fish. "It needs some maintenance after a couple years of riding. We're going to have a volunteer trail day out there June 4."

TAMBA has also made forward progress with its trails near the Angora Fire burn area. The Angora Trail System is one of the larger projects TAMBA has underway, with several miles scheduled to be added over the next three to four years.

Fish said they've been fortunate to have some assistance from the U.S. Forest Service on other projects as well.

"We've had crew leaders working with the Forest Service on a reroute of the Valley View Trail," said Fish. "The bottom section got eroded 2 feet deep in places. We're looking for volunteers to help with that one too."

Fish said that trail work will be going on for the next couple weeks and workdays will be going on during weekdays mostly. TAMBA is looking for volunteers for a June 25 trail workday at the Fallen Leaf Lake and Angora areas.

TAMBA has regular maintenance days in the Bijou Bike Park, which has been seeing more activity over the past several weeks.

"We have regular maintenance Mondays out there," said Fish. "That's a call for the public to show up and help maintain the surfaces of the bike park."

One of the largest obstacles still occurring is from the snow, according to Fish.

"There's less people out because there's less to ride," said Fish. "Conditions are less than ideal too." Fish said TAMBA's annual tradition of riding the Tyrolean Downhill Trail on Memorial Day has been postponed indefinitely due to remaining snow.

TAMBA will have several volunteer opportunities and fundraisers coming up and throughout the season. For information on volunteer opportunities and ways to donate, visit tamba.org

More on the road cycling side of things, LTBC is a little closer to completing its paper bike map project. The project has been in the planning stages for the past few months.

"We're making some progress with our overhaul of the free, paper bike map that we produce," said Chris Carney, LTBC president. "We've hired the local design firm, Sandbox, that is out of Truckee. They are in the process of a total overhaul map, bringing it up to a more modern look and updating the bike paths that have been added in recent years."

In just 10 more days, LTBC will again be spearheading the Tahoe Bike Challenge. The annual event challenges residents to replace their car trips with bicycle trips as much as possible.

LTBC members say there has been an increase in interest in the event from residents as well as local schools. "What makes this year's bike challenge so exciting is how Tahoe's schools are getting more involved than ever," said Nanette Hansel, co-chair for the Tahoe Bike Challenge and LTBC board member. "On both the North Shore and South Shore, we have been seeing a dramatic increase in the number of students participating in ride-to-school events, and this year could be the best ever for youth participation."

For information on biking paths, volunteer opportunities and upcoming events, visit tahoebike.org.