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Riding in the Tahoe area

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I have been riding the north and west shore for the last 10 years and would love to find some new people to ride with. I know some pretty good trails in the area and would love to explore more but it gets kinda hairy out there sometimes and I don't want to go too far out alone- better to ride with a buddy just in case. Which reminds me of a story...

It's a lazy summer afternoon at our campsite in Meeks bay when the three of us decide to "ride the rubicon". Me on my '84 XR500, my good friend and riding partner Marty ('87 XR600), and Dave (XT400) head up Miller lake road with 4 or 5 beers in our bellies and thunderstorms booming in the distance. The further along we get the more ominous the thunderstorms become and we start to get some sprinkles. No problem, just a few sprinkles, it will stop soon enough. We have ridden the Rubicon trail before but never all the way to Rubicon springs. The last section is really rocky and technical and not for the faint of heart . Our egos fortified with beer, we continue all the way down to the river trying not to realizing all the while how difficult getting out is going to be.

We congratulate ourselves and walk around for a few minutes when it becomes obvious the thunderstorms are moving our way and it might really start to rain .So we hop back on our bikes and start heading out, Dave first, followed by Marty, then me. Dave makes it up the the first and most challenging off-camber rocky section, stops at the top and waits for Marty who has stopped right at the bottom. I pull up beside Marty while he gets psyched and I'm thinking aren't you going to get a running start? Nope, he just gasses it, gets halfway and loops his bike. It crashes hard on some jagged rocks, puts a hole in the crankcase and starts spewing oil all over the place. Suddenly things are not looking so good.

A light rain starts with thunder and lighting going off nearby. It's starting to get late and the sun is going down. I tell my buddy to just leave his bike (it's a POS anyway) and let's start hiking, suggesting we can ride double on the easier sections and maybe make it out before dark. He declines and suggests we see if we can find some help back at Rubicon Springs. We agree but first I want to get my bike up and over this rocky section before it gets even more slippery from the rain. The problem is there is now oil all over it. I throw caution to the wind and figure with a running start I can make it. Wrong! I hit the oil with my back tire, it spins, then bites, then I loop it. My bike is fine but hand is now bloody and possibly broken from the sharp rocks I fell on. I'm pissed at Marty and myself and now Dave decides he has seen enough says he'll meet us back at the campground and takes off by himself. Needless to say this does not sit well with us. More thunder and lighting and rain as we leave our bikes and walk down to the river. I'm thinking I can't ride with my broken hand, it's too late to hike out and we will never find any help out here in the middle of nowhere. We are going to have to spend the night in the wilderness! Thankfully we did notice some 4Wheelers camping by the river so we made our way to their campsite thinking we could at least borrow some kind of warm clothing or shelter.

Imagine us two guys showing up all dirty and bloody asking for help. We probably looked pretty pathetic but hey, we were! Anyway. it turns out that the campers were members of the Boulder Creek 4WD club. Marty lives in Boulder Creek. What a small world. We were saved.

One of the guys said he would load up Marty's bike in his jeep and take us as far as Miller lake but then we would be on our own. I figured Marty could ride my bike out of there while I rode in the jeep. Well, turns out Marty couldn't manage my bike very well, he just wasn't used to it so I decided to try it now that my hand was bandaged up and I had some pain killer in me. After about 1 hour of literally crawling along with the Jeep we made it to Miller lake where we were given some parachute cord and said thank you and goodbye to our saviors. Now all I had to do was tow marty and his bike the rest of the way out using this thin nylon cord over 4 or 5 miles of very rocky terrain. We started with about a 15 foot long piece of cord which continued to break every mile or so and ended up with about only 5 feet left by the time we got to the paved road. The rain started up again as we made our way back to camp soaked and relieved. I pulled into our campsite with Marty in tow around 7:30PM with Dave sitting there drinking a beer asking "what took you guys so long?" I wasn't sure we were going to make it ou that day but somehow we did. I am still amazed that we did it - and I want to do it again!

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I have ridden the Rubicon a couple times, fun stuff.

I'd like to ride with you sometime. I'm in the area pretty frequently as my family has a vacation house in Tahoma, which allows me to ride directly from the house to the Rubicon.

Where exactly do you live?

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I live in Santa Cruz but have a rental in Tahoma and some friends on the North Shore so I get up there pretty often. I'm self-employed so I usually go up during the week to avoid the crowds in the summer. Any chance you can ride midweek? If not, no problem. It's just my preference. Would love to hook up next time I'm up there. You can PM me with contact info if you like. I'm going backpacking in Desolation Wilderness the week after next but plan on going riding up there soon after that.

Have you ever gone through the Blackwood Canyon area? There is some single track at the top that is challenging and beautiful scenery too. Last year we went through Barker Meadow toward the Rubican trail. A much nicer route back into the Rubicon. It avoids some of the nasty parts of the Jeep trail. Look forward to meeting/riding with you.

Zorn (A.K.A Greg)

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I would have shot your buddy dave for leaving you up there. No matter what, no matter who. you always stay and help your fellow dirtbikers. If he would have gone back to camp to get help, that is one thing , but to go back there just to drink beer!!!! I would be PISSED.

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Yeah, I no longer ride with him. He lives in Arnold, CA and is NOT my friend.

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Rubicons tough stuff. Are all of you trail riders or track? If your ever in the area again check out Prosser which is about a half an hour from Tahoe, if ur into the trail riding thing.

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Drive the rubicon sometime, its pretty sweet, but dont drive ur ordinary 4 wheel drive up it, even though some dumbasses do.

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Yeah I wasn't looking forward to driving my "ordinary" 4WD pickup down to get my buddies broken bike. It did cross my mind as an option but I thought better of it. I could never have made it without a winch. To be honest I'm not sure what we would have done had it not been for the Boulder Creek 4WD club jeepsters. We felt REALLY lucky to get out of there WITH his bike.

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WOW scary story haha. I've been helped out of some sketchy situations in my truck by other 4wheelers, its a really cool thing and we gottastick together and help out a rider/wheeler in need! Glad you guys made it out. I'm looking forward to running the rubicon in the truck...AFTER making some rock sliders :applause:

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