This ride was a reunion of sorts. My friend Pete Rissler had just bought a Trek cyclocross bike with the idea that with two sets of wheels, one set up with cyclocross tires and the other set up with fatter “gravel road” tires, he could participate in both backroad adventures and the great sport of cyclocross. Pete contacted me to see if I was up for this ride. I’m in! I rode my Salsa Fargo with my new wheel set “shoed” with WTB’s 700×40 Nano tires. I had no regrets leaving the 27.5+ wheel set at home for this ride. This route was one I was eyeing for last winter on fat bikes. But with experience I think the roads would be too steep to climb if snow covered.
We met at Bowers Mansion Regional Park in Washoe Valley. Along with Davis Creek Regional Park, and Washoe Lake State Park (camping available) these parks are great resources for bike tourists in the area. Pete had also invited Eric Miskow on this ride, and the three of us were off.
We entered Franktown Rd. to get to our access point Little Valley Rd. This road is blocked to car traffic but accessible to bikes with a quick hop of the fence. The road from here is a beautiful forested climb, sandy in spots, and ranges from steep to very steep. It is totally worth it!
We entered the University of Nevada’s Whittel Forest/Little Valley field station shortly after. The hanging valley above Washoe Lake and below the Tahoe Rim Trail is quite a sight and opportunity for field work on the eastern slope of the Carson Range. We visited the campground where Pete shared stories of some of his Masters program experiences. We crossed over Franktown Creek several times before exiting the property on the way to Price Lake.
We passed Ophir Creek Trail and Ophir Creek Just before Price Lake. This is a fly fisherman’s dream lake considering the white granite backdrop of Slide Mountain, alpine surroundings, and abundant surface feeding fish. Definitely a place to revisit with rod and reel.
We returned though the field station to explore the route south toward Hobart Reservoir but exited the forest on roads that put us on the south end of Franktown Road. The rest of the roads in this area will have to wait until fall.