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Road Trip: Lake Tahoe [Flume Trail] – 23 Miles

I went to high school in Western Nevada, between Reno and Tahoe. I was new to the area and everyone hated me. I think that I may have threatened the Okies with my big city ways, including pegging my pants and listening to Bell Biv Devoe.¬† Or they may have just hated me because I’m a prick. But I’m pretty sure that the pants pegging didn’t help. At one point during my freshman year, after coming to terms with the fact that no one would ever want to be my friend, I did what any 14 year old girl would do: I stalked a celebrity.

I knew that Greg Lemond had lived near my neighborhood. He went to my high school. I had an art teacher that was keeping a bunch of his miserable paintings because she thought they would be priceless someday (when the professional cyclist adolescent art scene blew up.) I met someone at school who’s uncle was on the hunting trip when he got shot, though she kept clarifying that her uncle did no shoot him. That was someone else.

These all seemed like nice, casual introductory conversation topics. So I wrote a letter and left it in the mailbox that had “Lemond” written on it. I talked about how much I enjoyed cycling. I did not talk about the time he shit his pants during the ’86 Tour de France. I figured it’d be best to go the classy route.

A week later, I got a really nice autographed postcard¬† and a nice note from Greg Lemond’s mother. They seemed like very pleasant people.

I eventually adjusted to Reno, and learned to make the most of everything the city had to offer. I made friends. I went to casinos and ate cheap prime rib dinners for $2.99 and tried to get free drinks. I learned to shoot guns and drink bad beer. I tried to become a professional bowler. I learned the act of lovemaking from a prostitute named Reginka, whose father was a Russian cosmonaut and whose brother trained wild bears to ride unicycles for Circus Circus.

And I bought a mountain bike (then I drove my mountain bike into my garage.) My friend Dan took me up to ride something called the Flume Trail in Tahoe. The trail is well known now, I think. But back then it was a pretty casual mountain bike trail that ended up in the parking log of the Ponderosa Ranch where they filmed the cheesy 60′s Wester TV show. The trail maintained beautiful views of the lake while traversing the rim, crossing over rickety old mining equipment.

I haven’t ridden the trail in awhile. But I’m trapped inside my Aunt’s house in Reno at the moment, with no bike, in a foot of snow, talking to my family about their respective planned deaths due to cancer. So I’ve decided to get drunk and go back to my happy place. Which at the moment is the Flume Trail.

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