Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Tahoe Double: Spooner to Van Sickle and Stagecoach to Cold Creek

Morning ride: Spooner to Kingsbury to Van Sickle (21.7mi/3,654′)

Track:  Strava, MTBGuru, Garmin Connect

Despite being a shuttle ride, it was hard! Felt altitude from the beginning when Mr. Mud dropped me. Then at a step up lower on Spooner to Bench climb, my pedal struk a rock and  the foot came off, resulting in a slow mo tipping and bent the rear brake rotor, which I dragged around all day. Sports LTD fixed it for me at the end of the day; they rock! I didn’t push at all though on the Spooner to Bench climb other than two rolling dabs plus that tipping over, which made me happy even though it took the wind out of me to stay in the pedals through the upper rocky section. Surprised by how much pedaling it required from the Bench to Kingsbury and then surprised again by how much climbing there was before getting to Van Sickle. Got lost trying to get to Van Sickle. The ride was in the hot sun, which was to change in the PM ride.

Strava Comments on Mud’s ride:

Brian Lucido  Wow… Two big rides in one day!?! I saw your other one from 9 hours ago.. now this one from 14 hours ago. Epic!




Mud's bike at the Bench

Mud’s bike at the Bench

View at the Bench

View at the Bench

Mud is having blackouts

Mud is having blockouts

Top of Van Sickle

Top of Van Sickle

View from Van Sickle

View from Van Sickle


Afternoon ride: Stagecoach to Star Lake to Cold Creek (22.0mi / 2,870′)

Track:  Strava, MTBGuru, Garmin Connect

Strava Comments: (because I don’t have time to write a full report)

  1. mudworm ~ After the tough AM ride, we were just chilling at the motel and suddenly realized that we could catch the shuttle to Stagecoach. Within 5 mins, we were boarding. In the frenzy, I forgot that I still had the bent rotor from the AM ride. Oh well.

    From Stagecoach, we started out on the very very sandy steep climb right under the gondolas, and after remembering TahoeBC’s dis-recommendation of that route, we escaped to the right on to the fire road that took us to TRT. We first got lost looking for it. Then it totally surprised me how long it was (9+ miles) to reach Star Lake, and how much technical climbing and hike-a-bikes it involved. We caught up to two riders on a HAB stretch and found out that we passed them on our AM ride when descending towards Kingsbury. A pleasant chat revealed that they were Wherewolf and tahoetic (from MTBR)! We eventually passed them and started pulling away, so I said goodbye. Up to that point, I had been enjoying the magnificent view of Carson Valley under the clouds. However, shortly after we passed Momument Pass, we started hearing thunders and by the time we arrived at Star Lake, they sounded close. Some scattered rain drops came down. Luckily, at that point, the route turned right and away from the thunder clouds. I knew Wherewolf and tahoetic originally planned on climbing up over Freel Pass and dropping down Armstrong, but they did mention that they’d go down from Star Lake (i.e. our route) if weather turned, and it did turn. I hope and am fairly conficent that they had come down safely and would have a great story to tell.

  2. mudworm ~

    More images will be included later on in the trip report (Monday or Tuesday).

  3. mudworm ~ Glad to learn on MTBR that Wherewolf had a great ride. (And he snapped a great shot of us too.)

  4. Roy Ross Nice story. Another glorious weekend in Tahoe. I’ll just cast my mind back to the fun I had there.

  5. tahoe backcountry Next time go right on the powerlines trail at the intersection with the bridge, single trackk all the way back to ski run Blvd.

  6. mudworm ~ @Roy, thanks! The rides might not have been as epic as your Coe 2-hairdryer excursion, but I’m happy to let it be that way.

    @TahoeBC, We actually rode out that way first and came back to the bridge and followed the sign for “Cold Creek” thinking that’s what we wanted. Yeah, next time, definitely singletrack all the way. But it worked for the best because a cyclist named Brian on a Specialized hardtail started chatting with us on Pioneer Trail and he told us about Sports LTD, where I was able to get my rotor fixed with only a 10-min wait. I loved the Star Lake Connector and Cold Creek descent (more so than Van Sickle).

 Strava comments on Mud’s ride:

  1. Brian Lucido Hey! You’re in town!

  2. Brian Lucido How long are you here?

  3. mudworm ~ Today n tomorrow.

  4. Mud Crud Just saw this post. Yeah we were only there for the weekend. Between riding and work did not have much time for much else. Now it is Monday.

  5. mudworm ~ Yeah, I wish we could stay longer because the drive for a short trip like this is always brutal! Lucky for me that Mr. Mud is a steering-wheel control freak. A good book definitely alleviate the pain of the long drive. We listened to Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemptionon this trip; it’s a great book!

  6. Mud Crud The camping the first night was kinda nice although some what unconventional. The Milky Way was so bright it seemed to pop right out of the sky.

Posts on MTBR thread:


I hope that Wherewolf and tahoetic will have an equally exciting story to tell; that is, I hope they have safely escaped the thunders over Monument Pass today. I figured I’ll reply on this thread to check in with them. Wherewof and tahoetic, It was really nice meeting you in person and sharing the trails with you, twice albeit briefly.


Originally Posted by mudworm View Post
I hope that Wherewolf and tahoetic will have an equally exciting story to tel…

Nice to meet you. By the time we hit Star Lake it was raining, the wind was howling, and the temperature had dropped nearly 40 degrees from just a few hours ago. So we took Star Lake and Cold Creek Trails, which I had never been on before. Rain stopped about a mile down Star Lake and it turned out to be a great day. Fantastic trails and I’m glad we went that way



Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
Rain stopped abut a mile down Star Lake and it turned out to be a great day.

So glad to hear that! It’s amazing how fast the weather turns in the mountains. Mr. Mudncrud have had some close calls — has anyone else seen rock climbing (metal) gear glow in lightening? He didn’t know where our route would go since I planned the route and was guiding him from behind (like how we normally do most our rides). He kept thinking we had to go over one of the passes in front of us when the thunders were moving close to us. I lost credibility when I kept tell him that Star Lake would be just around that next corner and we would start to go down after that. I guess I didn’t study the route carefully either and was expecting a <5 mile climb to Star Lake from Stagecoach, which turned out to be 9+ miles surprising even myself.

Thanks so much for the great photo! We almost never have us two in the same “action” photo , let alone with me being in the lead. I love that! Looking forward to seeing more photos from your wonderful adventures.


Stagecoach (do not go up this way)

Stagecoach (do not go up this way)

Technical climbing up TRT

Technical climbing up TRT

Clouds over Carson Valley

Clouds over Carson Valley

Mud caught up to Wherewolf and Tahoetic at a HAB stretch

Mud caught up to Wherewolf and Tahoetic at a HAB stretch

Clouds moving in on us

Clouds moving in on us

Trail side repair

Trail side repair

Star Lake is gray under the clouds

Star Lake is gray under the clouds

Mud did not waste a single second at Star Lake

Mud did not waste a single second at Star Lake




2 Responses

  1. Dirk dBon 26 Aug 2012 at 10:40 am

    Hi Mr&Mrs Mud,

    It’s been great reading about all those trips I’ve missed out on, though I had some other things to be rather happy with of course ;).

    A technical question, out of curiosity: do you use a script to scrape the Strava etc comment threads in here, or do you do it manually?
    Since Strava doesn’t provide (yet?) RSS or other XML export feeds, a good app I was thinking of would be to scrape content per user (mostly comment threads) and format it in feeds…

    Anyway, I’m currently so out of shape (vacation, subsequent airplane cold, work to catch up with) that it will take a while to get in decent Tahoe or Coe shape… hopefully by October 6th I’m back at full strength – remember, you are signed up for the big Coe ride, unless you have a real good excuse ;). I think/hope Brian L. will be there too, so it will be a good occasion for a rare sighting of him and Janet in the Bay Area.

  2. mudwormon 27 Aug 2012 at 10:43 am

    Dirk, this is Mrs Mud’s territory. 😉 Ah, the Strava comments. I wish I knew an automatic way to “embed” the comments, but I don’t. Thankfully, WordPress allows copy and paste page content, so post-processing is fairly minimal (I just manually remove the avatars). Let me know if you come up with a comment feed! Oct 6? It’s missing on my calendar! :mrgreen: