All over the mountains that surround Reno, there are traces and remnants of jeep and fire access roads and the infrastructure for subdivisions, long abandoned. Roads stretch from manicured, irrigated estates out toward desolate rolling hills of sagebrush and granite outcroppings. The transitions are often only within the scale of a mile or two –– Reno is a tiny place with a reputation much larger than its footprint and I know I’m lucky to enjoy it.
A joy of cycling in this area is that so much of the land is either National Forest or BLM property. It belongs to the people. You want adventure? Get out the mountain bike or ‘cross bike and see where that trace takes you. Often, it’s to a chained gate and barbed-wire fencing. If you’re lucky, there’s a hot spring or abandoned silver mine operation at the end. Because the land is public, it’s yours to explore.
I’ve been roaming a lot. It’s possible within the scope of a short post-work ride to roll through calm residential and end up in the pure environment of the Sierra. Stop and rub the leaves of a sage brush and smell your hands –– there’s ghosts in that odor.