RENO, NV A PLACE TO TRAIN AND VISIT

By Nenad Rodic,
posted 04/05

Welcome to Reno and Lake Tahoe area. City of Reno is situated 250 miles northeast of San Francisco. Average elevation of the town is 4500 ft. Population is about 300000 and Reno is one of the fastest growing cities in the states. Reno is accessible by airplane (Reno/Tahoe International Airport). By car you can get to Reno via I-80 from Sacramento (1 hour 30 min) or Salt Lake City (8 hours), via 395 from San Bernandino/Los Angeles (7 hours) and via SR-95 from Las Vegas (7 hours).

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SWIMMING IN RENO

You can swim at one of the Reno city pools during lap swim. Recommended pool is Northwest pool (phone: (775) 334-2204) or Idlewild (outdoors) during the month of May through October (phone: (775) 746-2267). If you prefer to swim in a group environment check the Sierra Nevada Masters Swim Team web site or contact Steve Lintz (702)785-2268(d), 849-2179(ev). If you are a US Swimming registered swimmer and prefer to workout with a US Swimming team check Lakeridge Swim Team or Reno Aquatic Club.

 

CYCLING IN RENO

Reno could easily be one of the best places for cycling you'll ever visit. Your options are limitless. The only limitation you may encounter is your own ability to climb endlessly.

1 DL Bliss at Tahoe. If you choose to enjoy this view from your bike you will need to ride about 50 miles from South Lake Tahoe or Kings beach and about 145 miles from Reno (round trip)

Below is the list of Reno/Tahoe Area more notable climbs.

NAME LENGTH
(miles/km)
PERCENT GRADE AVERAGE (%) PERCENT GRADE MAX. (%) ELEVATION AT THE TOP(ft/m) ESTIMATED CATEGORY AT THE BEGINNING OF A RIDE ESTIMATED CATEGORY AT THE END OF A RIDE
Mt. Rose from Reno 14/22.5 (17/28)* 5 8 8911/2800 1 HC
Mt. Rose from Incline village 8/13 5.5 8 8911/2800 2 1
Geiger Grade from Reno 7.8/12.6 5 7 6900/2100 2 1
Spooner from Carson city 9/14.5 3.8 6 7370/2200 2 1
Kingsburry grade from Jack's valley 8.7/14 6 10 7390/2200 2 1
Kingsburry grade from South Tahoe 3.5/5 5 10 7390/2200 4 3
Luther from Tahoe 7.6/12.8 4 8 7100/2100 3 2
Monitor from Topaz 9.5/15 7 9 8700/2800 1 HC
Monitor from Mrkleeville 7.5/12 7 9 8700/2800 1 HC
Ebetts from the east 6.2/10** 6 11 8900/2800 2 1
Hope Valley + Luther from the east 9+/15 <4 7 7100/2100 2 1
Six Mile Canyon from Highway 50 7.5/12 4 14 6200/1800 3 1
Gold Hill 2.8/4.7 7 18 6200.1800 3 2
SR 341 (truck route) 5/8 4+ 6 6200/1800 4 3
Brockaway from Northstar at Tahoe 3.1/5 6 10 7100/2100 3 2
Brockaway from Kings Beach 3.1/5 6 8 7100/2100 4 3

*Mt Rose climb from the very bottom is 28 km long but local cyclist usually climb and time trial from a Chevron gas station 22.5 km from the top.
**Ebetts pass: the road goes up gradually from Markleeville, but the climb itself is measured at the steep section from the cattle guard 10 km from the top.

If you are eager to try some of these climbs here are the rides I recommend:

-Geiger-Carson ride: Go south on South Virginia (or use back roads if you know them)* to SR-341. Go left at the intersection. SR-341 is Geiger grade. On your left you'll see 7-Eleven; that is where the climb starts. About eight  miles later you'll be at the top of the mountain. Continue on the same road through Virginia City and at the fork take either 341 or 342. If you want to see what 18% grade looks like go down Gold hill (342), and if you want to practice your descending skills in a little more controlled environment take the truck route (341). Continue on the same road and take a right at Highway 50, which takes you to Carson City. In Carson take 395 North, go over a small hill and exit at East Lake Blvd. Take either East Lake (right) or  Old 395 (left). They will both take you back to 395 north about 10 miles down the road. Take 395 north at the end of these roads and go back to Reno. This ride is about 75 miles and features 4000-5000 ft of climbing. On a difficulty scale from 1-10 I'd rate this ride 4.

-The great Tahoe Loop. This ride is very simple. Get on the loop anywhere at Lake Tahoe and follow the main road. It is always a right hand turn if you are going clockwise (recommended way). This are the roads you'll be on (starting from Incline Village): 28 to 50 at Spooner, 50 to 89 at South Tahoe, 89 to 28 at Tahoe City. This ride is approximately 75 miles and features some of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. It also features some good little climbs around Emerald bay (lots of fun)

-The Spooner-Rose ride. Go South on 395 to Carson City. Take a right on Highway 50 and go up Spooner summit 9.5 miles. Just over the top you'll take a right on 28 and ride to Incline Village where you climb again at SR-431 (Mt. Rose Highway 8 miles). At he top (9000 ft) be ready for a real treat-20 mile downhill to South Virginia street where you'll take a left and go back to Reno. This ride is about 95 miles long with almost 18 miles of climbing. I rate it 6 for difficulty. Click on the map to view the full size map of this ride. 1

-The Kingsburry grade ride. Go to Carson as mentioned before. Go passed the Highway 50 turnoff and turn right on Jack's Valley road about one km down the 395. Go south along the mountain on Jack's Valley road through Genoa to SR-207 (Kingsburry grade 13 km 6%). Go up, over the top and down to South Tahoe. Take another right on highway 50 and ride all the way north to Spooner (take left on 28) and Incline Village along the lake. In Incline go right on SR-431 to the top of Mt. Rose and back down to Reno as explained above. This ride is 125 miles and features over 30 km of climbing. I rate it 8 for difficulty.

By combining three rides mentioned above you can make it a over 200 mile bike ride that I would have to rate 10 for difficulty. Simply make a left turn at one of the right hand ones (50/395 or 50/28 or 207/50) and you're up for a real monster ride.

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Click to view the full size map

-The amazing Sierra Alps. Some 100 miles south of Reno is a little town called Markleeville. A great place to start your serious climbing training. From there you will not ride one centimeter on flat roads. This place is a pivotal point for the famous death ride. Unfortunately, water and food is available only in Markleeville and the great climbs are all situated south of there so you may have to bring a camel back with you or keep going back to the town after each climb. I doubt that anyone could manage more than two of these out and back trips, from Markleeville to the climbs and back to Markleeville. These passes are comparable to those used in the Tour De France, except that on average Sierra Alps are higher than French Alps.

If you are not a great fan of climbing, Reno area offers great flat rides where average speeds of over 40 km/h are possible.

FLAT RIDES:

-Washoe Valley loop from Reno: South on 395 to Washoe City (20 miles), right on old 395-loop around the valley (old 395 turns into East lake blvd. at the farthest point of the ride (30 miles), right onto 395-north and back to Reno. Total distance-60 miles/100 km; elevation gain about 2000 ft.

-Pyramid lake ride: North on Pyramid lake Highway (31 miles/50 km) turn right toward Nixon/Wadsworth, at Nixon turn right toward Wadsworth/I-80, at Wadsworth get on I-80 and go to Reno. Depending on where you start your ride in Reno, this ride can be anywhere from 100 to 120 miles. Lower air resistance due to higher elevation and great pavement make this ride extremely fast.

-Sierra Valley rides: Take 395 North to Highway 70 East (25 miles). Take 70 east to A-23 south (20 miles). Take A-23 south (left) to 49-East at Sattley (13 miles). Left on 49 and back to 70. Right on 70 and back to 395-South to Reno. This ride is about 130 miles but it can be cut short by doing various out and back sections and smaller loops. Riding in Sierra Valley is very fast but it can be very hot and windy.
A-23 is used for NOR-CAL district time trial championships and times of under 50 minutes for 40 km have been recorded in the past.

The best place to shop anything bike is Bicycle Warehouse in the Lakeside Shopping Plaza at the corner of Lakeside dr. and Moana lane. (775) 827-3277

There are two organized rides in Reno. They are both on weekends. If you want to get a short high intensity workout join local cyclist on a drop ride that starts at Bicycle Warehouse at 10 a.m. every saturday. For info contact Nenad Rodic at info@triathlonplace.com. Other ride is usually on sunday from a local bike cafe Deux Gros Nez at California street. It is usually a slower pace ride but sometimes up to five hours long. For more info on this ride got to Reno Wheelmen web site at http://www.renowheelmen.org/.

There is a series of cycling races organized by Reno Wheelmen cycling club. Races are usually tuesday night (crits and road races) at 6 p.m. or on Wednesday night (time trials). You do not need to be USCF registered cyclist to participate in these events. For more info go to http://www.renowheelmen.org/

 

RUNNING IN RENO

Reno area offers thousands of miles of trails for running and mountain biking. Some of the more notable trails are The Flume Trail and The Rim Trail at Tahoe. This trails are at 8000-10000 ft. so use caution when planning any running workouts up there. If you are coming from sea level it could be quite a shock.
West side of Reno Valley offers some great hilly routes that do not go over 8000 ft. Jones creek loop (12 miles), White and Thomas creek trails are also popular among runners and hikers.

View from Tahoe Rim Trail.

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The most popular run in Reno is the Steamboat ditch trail. It winds through Reno and stays flat at about 5000 ft. elevation. It is perfect for long out and back runs. The total length of the trail is around
12 miles/20 km.
Reno has few track that you can use. Reno High School Track is possibly the best one. It is situated at the western part of town at Foster drive across the street form Reno YMCA. Other tracks are; Reed High at Bearing blvd. and University of Nevada Reno at North Virginia street. There are three new high schools in Reno and they all have new tracks but I've never tried them so I can't tell you anything about them (besides they are rather far from the city center). The best place to shop for running and swimming equipment is Eclipse Running at Lakeside Shopping Plaza; corner of Moana lane and Lakeside drive. # (775) 827-2279

By Nenad Rodic founder of TriathlonPlace.com