Yesterday I went out for my first ride in Tahoe in over two years. It was hard. I suck.
My original plan was to climb up Mount Rose to Tahoe Meadows, take the Rim Trail to the Flume, circle around Marlette Lake, climb up the Rim over Marlette Peak, then descend the Rim and Tunnel Creek Road back to the condo. In the end, I cut out the loop around Marlette Lake.
The ride starts with a constant 8.5-mile climb right from the condo. The climb begins with a steep 3.5-mile road section, then gets much harder in the middle as the road steepens and turns to dirt. The grade lets up a bit towards the top, and then the last singletrack climb gets steep and technical. It was here that I realized my wrist was going to be an issue; I didn't have the hand strength to power up and over obstacles. It was also at about this point that I realized my fitness level sucks.
The rest of my ride was mostly downhill, but it still took a lot out of me. The deep sand, technical downhills, and frequent little climbs tired me out. I think worrying about crashing was more draining than the ride itself.
I walked a number of technical features that in years past I didn't even think twice about riding. I have little confidence in my technical skills, and I get the occasional flashback of snapping my wrist on any rock formation that resembles the one I crashed on. I had one close call when my left hand nearly slipped off the bars. The grip strength isn't quite there yet.
In the end I made it through the most technical ride so far without hitting the ground. It was nice to get back out there, and hopefully tomorrow I'll ride with a bit more confidence.
Obligatory Tahoe shot: