Ironman Lake Tahoe Scouting and Road Trip Report: Day 1

150 150 Rich Strauss

July 1, 2013: Left home at 0500, as it was going to be very, very hot and I wanted to beat the heat. Sorry, no pics and I didn’t get my SPOT tracker page stuff working until later in the day.

SPOT tracker page here, for an overview of my route

Uneventful but nice ride over the San Gabriel Mtns, on to the 14 and north through Lancaster, Mojave, with gas in Coso. Then up to Bishop for a 10a call with Patrick and some work in a coffee shop. Felt like a rockstar as anyone who walked by the EN All-Terrain Course Recon Vehicle (ATCRV) took pictures. REALLY need to hook up some EN stickers or get the bike wrapped!

Procrastinated in the AC of the shop and it was HOT when I got on the bike. Like >105f hot, not fun. Up the 395 to Lake Crowley Lake then long-way-around detour on the “Benton Crossing Loop.” I’ve done this many times on a bicycle. Crazy remote and no water for about 70 miles. I’ve seen some dark times out there. Curiously, much faster on a motorcycle . There was a weather system  over the Sierras to the west. It was very windy, and I got tossed around some.

Sage Hen Summit, on the Benton Crossing Loop


Given the winds and the system over the mountains, I decided to scout Tioga pass on the moto first. Very windy going up and a little chilly at the top.

Yosemite Gate, top of Tioga Pass, elevation 9945ft


Rode back down to Lee Vining and had 2 x fish tacos at the world famous Whoa Nellie Deli on the Mobil station at the bottom of the pass. Seriously, awesome food in a gas station.

Checked into my hotel, worked, let the fish tacos settle a bit, then got in the bike at about 6:15p. Challenging climb, with some extended pitches at 8-9%. It’s also a very long and deep pass, in that you can see where you’re going for a looonnggg time, no real switchbacks. So wayyyyy up ahead you see the road and a tiny, tiny RV that becomes a huge bus when it passes you = you gotta a long way to go yet!

GoPro video of the descent coming soon. Turns out I’m 3rd on the Strava leaderboard of the descent. Next time I’ll pass the rental Camrys with tourists and own it!

Strava file here

Coming Soon: Day 2 — Sonora Pass!

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