Yes, you may know “MTB” as the acronym for “Mountain Bike,” but I take my definition one step further: Mountain Bike, Tan, Beer. This magical sequence of activities can take place on the weekend or after you get off work—the sun shines until 8pm after all. If you are in South Lake Tahoe you can find a ride that fits your gumption level, with the only requirement being two wheels beneath you (suspension is a definite plus). Because of the low snowpack, trails are melting out far earlier than usual, and plenty of lower elevation favorites are already clear for our biking pleasure.
The Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association, or “TAMBA,” is a fantastic resource for trail conditions and maps, including this South Lake Tahoe trail map with descriptions. If you find yourself using these resources often, become a member to keep the good times rolling. Cold Creek, Van Sickle, and Cedar trails offer great riding for nearly all ability levels, and can be linked up depending on how much of a leg burn you’re after. As the snow melts, more advanced rides like Mr. Toad’s will open up as well. Corral Trail, a crowd favorite for fun features and berm turns, is currently under construction but is expected to be ready in a few weeks (keep your eye on the TAMBA site for updates).
Although sunscreen is a necessity during MTB festivities, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sunshine during and after your ride. For the “Tan” portion of the day, keep some camp chairs in your car for some post-bike relaxation, complete with lots of rehydration and your favorite energizing treat. As you wind down with a good stretch, gloat over your split times or elevation gain with the Strava app.
Finally, a good bike ride (or a major digger) merits a cold beer afterwards. There is nothing sweeter than having a fully stocked cooler waiting for you at the end of your ride. Consider cans instead of glass for risk free, light pack outdoor drinking.