Yesterday was the Summer Solstice, the day with the most amount of sunlight and the official beginning of summer. A few weeks back, I met with a good friend for coffee at one of the local cafes in South Lake Tahoe. During the conversation, she brought up the idea that 3 types of fun exist in the outdoor realm. The more time you spend in the mountains, the more you drift to what we consider a “Type 3” kind of entertainment. So, what are these types and what sort of adventures can you have for each of these? We highlight 3 grassroots mountain bike adventures you can enjoy depending on the type of fun you’re looking for.
Type 1: Have your cake and eat it too
The first type of fun is the one that is pure joy without any physical exhaustion. A great example of this is lift-accessed activities. You ride a chair-lift to the top and then get to ride your bike or skis down without any of the hardships involved.
Northstar Downhill Mountain Bike Race Series
July 9th – September 13th
Getting into biking is a fun endeavor, but sometimes you need a bit more of a ‘good time’. Sure, you can go out and enjoy the mountains but what if you wanted to be in something like a softball league but with mountain bikes? On Lake Tahoe’s North Shore sits Northstar Resort. Starting July 9th, they’re kicking off a race series for both professionals and amateurs to compete in.
Type 2: A little bit o’ fun + A little bit o’ pain = A whole lot o’ Adventure
This is the perfect combination of pain and pleasure. There is a bit of exertion needed but in the end you do get to eat your ‘cake’ too.
Rebecca’s Private Idaho
September 1st – 3rd
After our road trip last season to Northern Idaho, we just can’t get enough of this amazing state. It comes as no surprise that one of our favorite Type 2 excursions would be in the Sawtooths. A century ride that’s 10% road, 90% gravel and a 100% fun where just the scenery will make you happy! And, if that’s too long, don’t worry. There is another option to make it a 56 mile ride instead. The only problem with the shorter ride is you’ll miss some of the best views of the race. So, like any Type 2 fun, you need to put in the work to reap the rewards.
Type 3: The Journey is the Reward
The last and most challenging type of thrill are for those that accomplishing the feat itself is the joy. This is for people who think climbing Mt. Everest sounds ‘fun’. During the entire adventure, your legs will be burning, you’re most likely going to be in physical pain and most of all, for the entire exploit there isn’t a place for you to just ‘relax’.
Tour the Divide
A perfect example of Type 3 fun is the Tour the Divide. A self-supported bike race starting in Banff Canada, it follows the great divide all the way south to the badlands of the Mexican Plateau ending in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. That’s nearly 2,800 miles! To make it even more challenging the race starts in Canada meaning certain segments of the race are still snow-covered, forcing you to carry your bike instead of riding it. A true test of endurance and pure will.