For me, there is nothing better than putting on some spandex, hopping on my all-too-expensive bike and just getting out in the world. You have to dodge a few cars as you get out of the city but it’s all worth it. There is simply no better escape! It’s just you and your bike on an expansive, never-ending road to nowhere – alone with your thoughts.
There’s no denying that we live amongst the most beautiful scenery in the world. Last year, I rode the Edible Pedal which allows us amateurs to ride through Carson Valley. The brave, or just more in shape, can choose to ride up Kingsbury grade and around Lake Tahoe. But if you’ve ever driven up Kingsbury, you’ll know that even automobiles have difficulties driving up it. Now imagine trying to power yourself up that on just two wheels. Yeah, I couldn’t imagine getting my 205 pound self up that either, so I opted to just stay down in the beauty that is Carson Valley and rode a 74 mile loop.
So I was beyond excited to see that the Amgen Tour of California was returning to Lake Tahoe this year by way of Carson Valley and Kingsbury grade. For anyone unfamiliar, the Amgen Tour of California is one of three “Tour de France” cycling events in America along side the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic. The Amgen Tour is a 7 day, 645 mile professional cycling race with many of the same teams and riders you watch in the Tour de France. I’ll be coming to you live from the caravan of cars trailing the race during Stage 6 which takes the riders from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe.
Stage 6, per Amgen’s press release: This daunting stage will start with a pass of Folsom’s newly completed the Johnny Cash Trail, a unique 3-mile trail that honors the memory of the singer and his historic performance at the Folsom prison in 1968. Then the fun begins – 123 miles featuring more than 16,000 feet of climbing, four KOMs (including Kingsbury Grade for the first time) and an uphill finish. The elevation in Folsom is just 275′. The racers will see 8,600′ as they crest Carson Pass and will finish in South Lake Tahoe at Heavenly at 6,600′.
The stage profile speaks for itself: