Bicyclists head down to the valley to get start on the season |

Bicyclists head down to the valley to get start on the season

Susan Wood

JIm Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Paul Tindall, a bike mechanic at Sports Ltd adjusts a derailleur in the bike shop.

To me, there are two escapes from Lake Tahoe: the type home buyers use to leave the lake to afford something in Eagle Valley; and the one I use every spring. As blustery weather conditions blow me off the hill because I’m, like many people, tired of winter in April, I take a quick trip to the Carson Valley to ride my Serotta bike.

When you own 2004’s Bicycling magazine’s coveted “bicycle of the year” there’s no excuse for not getting off your butt and onto the saddle to the wide-open road.

The rotation of wheels represents only half the charm. The stretch from the bottom of Kingsbury Grade at Foothill Road to Diamond Valley is some of the most scenic riding that can be found in Northern Nevada. Hawks swoop overhead, and barns offer a bit of the ranch land terrain long gone from Tahoe. The road seems as smooth as a baby’s bottom, so I’m able to glance up at the mountains I live in. Douglas County repaved the road last year from the Fredricksburg turnout to the intersection with Highway 88.

“They keep that in great shape,” cyclist Joe Marzocco said Thursday.

When the Tahoe resident takes time away from being a dad, husband and the Death Ride organizer for Alta Alpina Cycling Club and Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, he goes down to Carson Valley to ride. “When it hits 50 degrees, we start to see a lot of people out there,” he said.

And Paul Tindal, a bike mechanic at Tahoe Sports Ltd. at the “Y,” has noticed the same action riding on Foothill and taking in bikes for tuneups at his shop. He had four on the rack Thursday morning.

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Also a club member, Tindal has ridden down in the valley in the annual evolution of cycling here. Many Tahoe riders start spinning in Carson Valley. When the snow disappears at the lake and it gets warmer, more people ride up here.

“This year the winter has been so harsh up here,” he said.

It’s an interesting time of year for cycling in the region.

“I saw a guy ride up Luther Pass, while I was on my way to ski at Kirkwood,” he said. “Now that’s hard core.”

Like myself, Tindal appreciates the peace and quiet of the Carson Valley. Sometimes I’ll stop just to hear the wind blow by me.

“Four cars will pass you down there, while 150 will go by you up here,” he said.

One of the most popular Carson-area routes takes a rider from Diamond Valley to Jacks Valley through Genoa.

Gail DellaVedova, the Genoa General Store owner, has seen more cyclists on the road breeze by her place.

“It gets really heavy in April,” she said.