We’re back from Reno, which was all about volleyball. But, I still had my eyes open for biking.
First, for a city, the biking in Reno is no different than the biking in Harrisburg: mostly cheap box store MTBs used by locals as their primary transportation to get from Point A to Point B, usually where Point B involves a job. One of the mornings as we were walking into the Convention Center I spied what looked like an organized ride of roadie types leaving from the far entrance, but I didn’t have a chance to investigate. They had to get an early start because daytime temps usually topped out close to 100F.
What did stick out to me was that almost all of the main roads in the part of the city we were in had bike lanes. They got used, but I would not call Reno a cycling mecca. It could be, with it being mostly flat and having bike lanes; but it’s not there quite yet.
On a free day we took off on a road trip (by car) and visited Donner Pass, Squaw Valley, and Tahoe City, among some other spots. Donner Pass Road, which runs along the lake/town, has a bike lane and given the touristy vibe, gets a lot of use. The pass, which is a long, steep series of switchbacks; also had a surprising amount of roadies grinding up and flying down. I’m not sure I’d do either – the former because of the amount of work, the latter because of the fear of catapulting off a cliff several thousand feet above the valley.
The road to Squaw Valley was basically a fairly level two-lane with a bike lane, and definitely a tourist/bikepacker’s paradise. Camping spots all around with incredible scenery and facilities if needed. Once in Squaw Valley, I spotted this Xtracycle, well used, outside a ski shop. They had dedicated bike paths around this area.
Lake Tahoe/Tahoe City was also bike friendly with bike lanes on the main route, but once outside of town there were some pretty impressive climbs to be made. Still, if one is in shape and likes the vistas, it’s probably worth the ride. It was in Tahoe where I saw a fully loaded MTB with a kiddo riding on a top tube seat, a loaded BOB trailer, with a Piccolo bike hitched behind that. I wanted to stop and talk to this guy so bad, but traffic wouldn’t allow it.
The moral of the story is that so much of this bike infrastructure and use seems to be taken for granted in this region, with no apparent wars between cars and cyclists…all directly counter to the venomous diatribes that devolve whenever there is an article about cyclists around here.
It was refreshing, but don’t expect me to move anytime soon.