Outside with Charlie: Bike adventures

By From page A9 | May 23, 2014


May is Bike Month.

The goal this year is 2 million California miles. So far, the count is upwards of 960,000 miles ridden. There is less than two weeks left to make the 2 million mile mark.

Placerville Bike Shop’s team has put in over 2,500 miles. Over 1,000 miles of that total was logged by just two riders. It is very probable that the team will log over 4,000 miles by May 31.

Keep in mind that the various teams don’t actually ride as a team. Some of the team members might ride together, but mostly all of the miles are simply individual riders posting the miles they have ridden.

There is still plenty of time to sign up, either as a “team member” or as just yourself, and log some miles. There is no requirement to log any particular number of miles, and it is free. If you ride it, log it. One mile is better than no miles.

On another cycling note, the Amgen Tour of California recently went through parts of El Dorado County. I am always hopeful that a Lake Tahoe start will again be in our future. While May is always full of weather surprises, warm one day, snowstorm the next, it would be good to have the race launch from Tahoe, successfully, next time.

As May works its way through various weather conditions, the hiking and cycling opportunities start to expand a bit. The snow in the high country is slowly giving way to bare ground. More trails at higher elevations are becoming hikeable or rideable.

A constant in any venture out to the forest any time of the year is checking the weather report before heading out. This is especially true if you are planning on doing any hiking or riding in the mountains. May and June are two months that can produce a wide variety of weather surprises. It isn’t overly warm up there just yet.

Being wet and cold is a very dangerous combination. Making sure that you are prepared for the weather is simple, doesn’t take much time, and greatly increases your chances for a really good day in the forest, or along the roads while you are wandering aimlessly.

The Crystal Basin is mostly open, and reports from a few people say that Bassi Falls is in full roar right now. You can get to Wrights Lake, but the campground is closed for repairs.

Loon Lake, Ice House, Union Valley are simply gorgeous right now. Pack the bug repellent with you if you go up there. Our little buzzing mosquito friends are out and they would love to see you.

Horsetail Falls is another easy to get to spot that is open. The falls are very impressive right now. Pyramid Creek, which the falls feed, is running high and fast. Safety when hiking anywhere around Horsetail Falls should always be in the front of your thoughts.

The campground at Lover’s Leap is open if you’d like to spend a couple of days exploring that area. Strawberry Lodge is another good spot to park yourself after a day at Horsetail.

Get your maps out, and start wandering. You never know what kind of new adventure you’ll come up with. Get outside!

Charlie Ferris

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