Mt. Rose to Mr. Toads is a classic Tahoe route. It follows the Tahoe Rim trail from the Tahoe Meadows trailhead above Incline village and ends up dropping down Mr. Toads Wild Ride (Saxon Creek) into South Lake Tahoe 62-ish miles of mostly singletrack later and climbing over 8,000ft. Oh, and there’s over 10,000ft of descent too according to my Garmin Edge.
Isaac was too kind to invite me on his birthday ride with a a few other riders. Four of us started, only Isaac and I finished the entire route. Craig felt he was keeping us back so decided he’d ride in front after I flatted (the 1st time) and we never saw him again! We heard he bailed out at the Van Sickle connector into South Lake. We got booted from the TRT at Tunnel Creek because of the XTerra race, so rode down Red House Flume and up Sunflower Trail. After carefully navigating the hundred or so riders going up Hobart Road as we were going down we got to Spooner for the first ‘aid station’ of Isaac’s mom and dad. They are awesome.
We headed up from Spoonder to the bench, a 5 or so mile climb that isn’t TOO hard but definitely can hurt. Sam is a very strong rider but I think his 34 x 36 lowest gear is what got him in the end. He was hurting me at the start so I hung back a bit and went my own pace. To compare, I still have my 26 x 42 on there and was happily spinning that up the climbs. After the other aid station at Kingsbury we began the last push to South Lake. This is my favorite section but it’s also the hardest. Sam ended up bailing down to South Lake at Star Lake with about 15 miles to go. Ironically, I think he rode more miles in the end, but I’d have bailed too if I felt bad and knew what Freel Pass and the climb out of Armstrong Pass were like! Isaac and I were pretty toasted when we got to Toads..and this trail is pretty crazy. We made it down this iconic descent in one piece and now I know what the legend is about. Wow, that is an amazing trail! I cleaned it my virgin run only because I was following Isaac’s line. Serious over the back of the seat boulders at the top and high speed swoopy turns at the bottom, that trail is a bit of it all.
Somehow when I’m riding alone I never flat, but today i flatted FOUR times. Really only 2 times but because of a hidden thorn or two and a blown patch I had to stop and swap tubes four times. Pumping up the Knards is no fun task that many times. I cannot wait until there’s a better tubeless option, it should be very very soon…
All in all, a truly epic day for me. Sam and Isaac pushed my up AND downhill comfort level, and we rode some seriously amazing trail all day.