Tuolumne Bikes was created to share favorite biking routes in Tuolumne County, CA and the Central Sierra Nevada using Google Earth. The site consists of a blog with posts about rides or “loops” and a Google Earth map of the loops and area roads. As posts are added to the blog, the map grows. The blog posts have links to the map, and the map has links to the blog. Once you have the map, you can navigate the site using either the blog or the map. To use the map you have to install Google Earth on your computer. The blog has pages with help for using Google Earth and with links and other supplemental material.
Tuolumne County is a mountainous rural county with lots of scenic riding on historic roads. There’s something for every rider, and my purpose is to highlight some of what our foothills and mountains have to offer. While we have very few designated bike routes, we do have recreational trails and lots of low-traffic roads. For a recreational experience, I will take an old bumpy narrow road through the boonies over an expressway with a Class I bike route next to it any day. Of course we also have roads that have traffic issues; the maps available on this site should help steer you away from the traffic and to the sweet spots be they paved, dirt, or gravel.
The author is a rapidly aging but still active bike nut living in rural splendor in Columbia with his spectacular wife, two brilliant kids, and some less than spectacular or brilliant animals that we love just the same. I ride a desk chair more than I want and my bikes less than I want. My family is generally supportive of my eccentricities except perhaps when our domestic infrastructure fails due to my neglect. I am always thankful to my family for putting up with me, and if you appreciate the site, please be thankful too.
Many of the rides on this site use both paved and dirt or gravel roads. I am neither a road or mountain biker in the way that those terms are often used. My emphasis is on access to places and the outdoor experience. My road bike usually has touring tires, and my mountain bike has fat tires but no springs beyond those in the derailleurs, brakes, levers, and such. On dirt, I usually ride a cross bike unless I expect very difficult conditions. I am more inclined to carry the bike for a mile or so than to bring more bike than I need. Sometimes I regret this smarty-pants attitude. I like mixed rides, because they usually go where there are very few cars, and they very often make it possible to ride closed loops instead of out-and-backs.