They say you never forget how to ride a bike.
So when was the last time you hopped on a bicycle for the first time in a long time?
I asked myself that question last weekend for my first serious ride in a decade. I had ridden a couple of times while living in Santa Barbara for college, but that was about six years ago and it was on a dirt path on a mountain and I certainly wasn't on it for 9 miles like my trek last Saturday.
My friend and former Nevada softball teammate, Raquel “Rocky” Martinez, had tried to convince me to try mountain biking over the last few years. With so much free time on my hands of late, it was hard to find an excuse not to join her this time. She let me borrow one of her old bikes and off we went.
We checked out the new Tahoe-Pyramid Trail. “It seems like a mellow trail," Rocky said in an attempt to convince me. "I haven’t ridden it before." I figured this wouldn’t be too bad, although she is the definition of an outdoor enthusiast. She works at Yosemite National Park, after all. We’ve been on hikes before and I survived, so I figured it would be fun.
We started in Verdi, off Old Verdi Road, and biked for 4.5 miles toward California, making it a 9-mile round-trip effort. The first mile was pretty flat. The rest was an adventure. There were a more hills than I expected, but it was an awesome workout. While a few of the hills were a too steep for this rookie to ride, the scenery was breathtaking as we rode between trees next to a flume and along the Truckee River.
The final stretch before making it to the Fleish Bridge was steep. I only ripped my pants once, so that was a win.
We biked just past the Fleish Bridge and Fleish Dam and sat along the river to catch our breath before making the trek back. It was pretty sweet crossing a bridge seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Even if you aren’t into mountain biking, the section of the trail we traversed is perfect for a hike, and there is plenty of room to social distance yourself from others.
I had never heard of the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail before the bike ride. When the trail is complete, it will be 114 miles of dirt, paved roads, bike paths, historic roads and bridges from Pyramid Lake to North Lake Tahoe. That’s incredible. You can read more about the trail here.
If you’ve never mountain biked and you’re looking to try a new workout, this is the activity for you. For those who made it look easy, I commend you, because that was one heck of a workout. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, and after our 9-mile excursion, they're right. Once you've learned how to ride a bike, you'll remember for years to come.
Shannon Kelly is a Multimedia Journalist for Nevada Sports Net. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @shannonkelly_2.