Updated: Jul 24, 2020
An early morning at the Streetman’s included a big breakfast, a bit of bike tuning and laying back with a book and a view of Squaw Valley. After around a week in the tent we were all appreciating the beds we were lucky to borrow, and the beauty of a washing machine. Once everyone had awoken, we made our way upstream to a river with some little swimming holes.
The ice melt was cold and refreshing. My feet slipping and sliding on the moss covered rocks left some parts of the water murky, but all the more fun to dive into the unknown.
During the afternoon Fred and his father took us for a boat ride on Lake Tahoe. The views from the center of the lake were gorgeous, mountains surrounding this massive and frigid lake made the entire scene quite picturesque. We spent the afternoon into the evening wakeboarding and jumping off a high up rock.
We wanted to begin the day early and get started on the 120 miles towards the next home to host us. Ari has a cabin on lake Almanor, a detour of only about a mile. We planned to split this up over the course of two days and spend the next two days resting, since it is close to our half way point. After we all woke up, breakfast was being prepared and as we planned to have a long day we ended up staying a little while to fuel up before our ride, on something that isn’t granola or a bar. With our bellies full and our bikes tuned up it was time to say goodbye.
Terri Streetman rode down with us into the valley to get a wonderful photo with the backdrop of the ski resort.
We began the continuation of the ride on the 89, a two lane highway that will lead us north for about 250 more miles. This day consisted of a lot of ups and downs but nothing too difficult and we were all still feeling pretty good around 50 miles. We were making good time and pace (~15 mph), so as we stopped for a quick snack the mention of riding the whole way came up. As we discussed it further, it seemed doable and a fun surprise for our friends who were already up at the cabin, and with that we committed to 65 more miles.
Luckily, we had support from Will who was driving the section and wanted to meet up with us for a San Pellegrino and photo (~mile 85).
Overall it was a long day on the bicycle, besides a quick 30 minute break at a rest stop, it was mostly riding and occasional brief rests for water and snacks. We arrived and waited for our friends to return from the water after a massive day of 7.5 hours of riding and 117 miles. It was all worth it for the surprise of seeing our friends faces. Also for the extension to our rest days, making it a full 3 days before we would hit the road again. I haven’t had a rest like this since I bought my bicycle several months earlier, and after a day like that we were all looking forward to it.
Day 22, 23, and 24
The late nights making up for lost time wore down on us quickly. By the last night there I was ready to go to bed by 10, following the typical schedule we had on the road. There were several things to catch up on; drinking, eating and socialization with others that weren’t biking. In an attempt to camel (eat or drink in preparation for travel), I consumed even more food than the last time our friends had cooked for us. Stuffing my face each night with pizza, tacos and quesadillas, I was basking in my glutinous tendencies. We spent most of our time lounging around or taking the boat out to swim in lake Alamanor. One of the best parts about being there was the proximity to Lassen, a national park and home to a series of volcanos. Along the ride, we spoke of bagging peaks* and after having so many views of Lassen from the water, we all agreed to drive into the park the third day and take the short hike to the top.
Lassen stands around 10,500 feet, easy to reach by a 2.5 mile hike to the top.
A relatively easy hike left us stunned and satisfied at the top, with views of Mt. Shasta, lake alamanor and the forests surrounding us were tear jerkingly beautiful. This climb has been one of my favorite parts of the journey and having the aerial view made me consider how far we have truly come. Soon we will be leaving California and venturing into Oregon and Washington, two new states for Joe and I. These places unknown to us are homes of many who are facing the struggles of today’s age. We will ride in close proximity to Portland, a city that has been under attack by the federal government. As I write this I consider what has been allowing me to take this adventure, the privilege that has given me access to my bicycle and gear. Biking has received stigma because it is typically a method of low income travel. Many around the country rely on this type of transportation to get them from place to place, since vehicles come with many expenses. I have learned much about the dangers of the road while biking this far and a part of relieving that stigma and bringing more people towards a bike heavy lifestyle is to provide a safer atmosphere on the road, and to push people towards wanting to bike more with incentives. One troubling aspect we have faced while riding is the entrance into national parks. Since we are considered all our own individual vehicle we are required to have 3 separate passes. Not sure how this makes sense considering the fact that one vehicle of 5 people can enter a park on a single pass, but if you enter with 5 bikes you need 5 passes. This example is one of the many disincentives involved with the push our government and car companies have made to force everyone to own a car. When considering shifting towards a more equitable and less environmentally impactful society biking seems like one of the many solutions that need to be encouraged. If you would like to learn more about this issue, please consider reading this short segment by the Bike League.
*To bag a peak is to hike or climb up a mountain. Once on top one may consider this peak “bagged” and added to a collection of mountains that makes up their personal trophy case of peaks.