First stop was the Plaza Bikes shop in the Northstar village which offers state of the art, full suspension mountain bikes from Giant, helmets gloves and just about anything else you may need.. I was completely satisfied with my rental bike and it took the bumps and bounces without complaint.Lift ticket in hand I took a ride up the gondola to the Lodge at Big Springs where I picked up my bike rental.
Next to the calm ride up the mountain on the Tahoe Zephyr Express (they have replaced every third or fourth ski lifts with a rack that holds four bikes so its basically just like skiing, you ride up to the lift, toss your bike on a rack and hop into a chairlift just behind the bike and off you go) views views and views of the sierras.
A quick hop off the chairlift, bike in hand I hit the trails not knowing what to expect I played it conservative started on an intermediate trail. The trails are marked similar to skiing with a green circle representing easy, blue square for intermediate, black diamond for difficult and double black diamond for crazy.
This first trail was basically a dirt road with some steep spots but totally appropriate for my 9 year old son who will definitely be accompanying me next time.
After getting halfway down the mountain I jumped onto a single-track intermediate trail which is just plain fun, it included numerous berms and jumps and you could basically go as fast as your constitution would allow. 20 minutes later I reached the chairlift again, this time I took the Vista Express chair to the top and was rewarded with a view of Lake Tahoe to the south.
Now comfortable with the intermediate, I decided to take on a black diamond and was thoroughly pleased. This trail was fast, technical and exhilarating all at once, lucky for me I got the chance to catch my breath every 10 minutes or so at trail junctions before dropping off to the next segment. These black diamond trails were challenging yet ride able.
Another ride up the chairlift and a little over confident I decided to see what the double black diamond had to offer. Lets just say that I ended up walking a few sections and wondering how the tire marks made it onto some of those rocks. A quick ride down the mountain to our condo for the weekend for a quick lunch, then back up the mountain with a buddy to ride as much of the mountain as possible.
There are a wide variety of trails to challenge any rider’s ability level, and I noticed that even the most advanced riders are able to challenge themselves by going faster and faster. A number of trails include manmade features such as big air jumps and obstacles, beyond my level of expertise but they always had a safe and sane way around. At the end of the day the entire body feels a little shaky but well worth the dust, sweat and tears.
My husband was given a lift ticket and bike rental to facilitate this review. All the opinions are his tried-and-true experience and was not influence by any source.