Mark Twain once said “Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.” And honestly, there’s a lot of truth to this statement. There’s a sense of freedom that comes along with riding a bicycle. From mountain biking to road cycling, each one provides a different aspect to the sport that should be experienced. Luckily, the High Sierra is home to ALL different variations of cycling. Here’s just a few of the cool biking opportunities available to you.
Amgen – Tour of California
For the Cycling Fan
Nothing compares to seeing professional cyclists whiz by in person. It’s like watching a stampede of horses except on wheels. And lucky for us, the most prestigious American bicycle race is returning to the High Sierra. That’s right… the Amgen – Tour of California will finish in South Lake Tahoe . Both the men and women will ride a new course that is the most challenging of the entire Amgen series. And the women’s tour will make a reappearance for the fourth straight year and ride the same grueling Day 2 route as the 2017 race.
Arnold Rim Trail
Peace and Serenity
This 17-mile hiking, biking and equestrian trail, accessed from Ebbetts Pass, traverses a wide variety of fun biking terrain from deep in the Stanislaus National Forest to spectacular overlooks. The Arnold Rim Trail is a mid-elevation path in the central Sierra Nevada Range that gives you the opportunity to find tranquility in nature. Here you’ll discover breathtaking vistas with panoramic views stretching from Mt. Diablo in the East Bay area to snowy Mt. Lyell on the high eastern slopes of the Sierras near Yosemite. A must try for any bicycle enthusiast.
Bishop to Rock Creek
Bucket List Climb
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for well-conditioned road cyclists, the ride from Bishop to Rock Creek is downright gorgeous. Considered to be California’s highest paved road, this climb should be on any serious cyclist’s bucket list. Need more reasons? First, the road conditions are excellent. You won’t find any potholes or bumps. Second, nearly the entire stretch offers a challenge. The first nine miles start at a 4.3% grade followed by a 5.7% average grade for the second half. Third, the scenery becomes more majestic as you climb higher. The view will give you a chance to distract yourself a bit as you leave the foothills behind and head into an alpine setting. More of a mountain biker? Don’t worry… Bishop is surrounded by an infinite network of star-studded trails as well.
From Cow Patties to Mountain Bikers
For those looking for an unknown gem, hidden in the foothills that you can ride any time of year, the Skyline Trail in Three Rivers is your thing. Consisting of tight singletrack that bobs and weaves its way through trees, rocks and creek crossings, it’ll keep you busy for an entire weekend. Once your finished riding, head down to Visalia and savor the city’s fresh farm to fork cuisine at one of the many sidewalk cafes. Talk about a great way to experience everything the area has to offer!
From road cyclists to avid mountain bikers, the High Sierra is home to an amazing assortment of trails. These are just four of the more unknown trails existing throughout the range. Stay tuned as we explore a few more cycling adventures across the wide ranging High Sierra country.
Author: Alex Silgalis
Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at https://localfreshies.com