Team Space Horse and the Luxury Horsepower Route through the Sierra Nevada!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
In the Spring of 2016 Jeff from All-City asked me if I’d like to do a party ride in the Lake Tahoe area before Saddle Drive! As you probably already know, anytime the word party and ride are in the same sentence, I say yes. Jeff then asked me if my better half would also like to come along, and of course, I just said yes to that too! In reality, I probably should have asked about the route and the terrain, but I didn’t. Liz and I would be riding 600 miles on the northern portion of the Divide just before, so I figured this would be a walk in the park. Boyyy…was I wrong.
A little advice for anyone that blindly goes on bike trips with friends, never let someone from a relatively flat area of this country plan a bike tour through the mountains of California! The day before heading up north to meet the All-City crew and everyone who would eventually become Team Space Horse, I called Jeff to try and get some more info on the route, he just said it was mostly paved and there wasn’t too much climbing. This was the first time Jeff Frane had ever lied to me! Did he mean to, no? Did he know any better, no.
It’s crazy, after watching the All-City video and viewing these photos again, it actually looks like we had fun! But at no moment while we were riding our bikes did I ever think I was having a good time. How crazy is that? Or is that just it? As cyclist or cyclotourist, are we doing this because we think it’s going to be a walk in the park or are we doing this because we wanna push ourselves further and further? We setup camp with a cult, bushwhacked through dense foliage to discover a bridge that should’ve been there wasn’t, forged two rivers because of previous bridge and one more that had gone missing just a quarter mile down the road, got lost, then lost one individual who actually followed directions and went the right way, and climbed some of the steepest and loosest terrain I’ve ever experienced. But at the end of each day, while either soaking in a hot spring packed like a sardine can or around a campfire illuminating our exhausted faces, we were all smiling and we knew we’d have so many stories to tell our friends when we would eventually make it back home and that’s when I realized why we do this.
P.S. I actually bet Jeff $100 dollars that he couldn’t go back and complete this route unloaded in one day. He said he could, but never tried and I don’t blame him!