By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
New adventures await those who desire to tour the Crestline area on electric bikes. The Lake Gregory Company has announced this new program, for residents and visitors. alike.
Each weekend, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. a relaxing guided two-hour tour of the back roads and by-ways of Crestline is offered on pedal-assist electric bikes. These e-bikes have wide tires for stability, a wide seat for comfort and all the necessary turn signals, brake lights, horns and headlights for street use safety.
The e-bikes are fully electric powered; if a rider wishes, they would never need to use the pedals of the bike at all. But, when the pedals are used, the power assist immediately kicks in and moves the bike easily and quickly along. Because of the many up-hills and downgrades in the Crestline community, the electric power assist and accelerator make biking an easy and pleasurable adventure, which would not be experienced on a regular bicycle on the uphill stretches. Both beginner and advanced routes available.
The e-bike tour begins in the San Moritz Meadow, next to the Bait and Tackle Shop on the east end of Lake Gregory. The whirling of the electric engine doesn’t distract from the quiet of the mountain environment. The required helmets and the closed-toed shoes give a sense of safety. It is suggested riders wear dark glasses or goggles to keep bugs from flying into their eyes while traveling along the route.
The roads chosen for the tour are mostly tree shaded and do not have heavy traffic. The tour takes the riders down past Valley of the Moon, where the original Club San Moritz began, to the end of Dart Canyon, past the highly awarded Sycamore Ranch Winery, through the historic apple orchards of Dart Canyon and to the end of the paved road. The ambiance of the roadway is tranquil and relaxing, letting the wind blow into your face as the electric bikes do all the work. The trip is smooth as Dart Canyon Road is almost pothole free.
Then the e-bike tour goes up Edelweiss into the “D streets” of the San Moritz Club lands. While cruising these streets, the replicas of the original San Moritz street signs are seen, with their stone pillars and little pitched roofs and colorful hanging street name signs. These street name signs were authentically restored about 14 years ago, by Jim Huff and Russ Keller of the Rim of the World Historical Society. At least two locations along this stretch of the tour have excellent views overlooking the lake and are wonderful selfie locations, so the tour stops at these scenic spots.
In fact, because these e-bike tours are often small in number, usually less than 10, riders can request to stop at safe spots to take photos during the tour. One tour guide leads the tour and the other one makes sure no one is left behind. Both guides warn of vehicle traffic.
The ride down into the future Camp Switzerland leads to a waterfall, where most of the e-bike riders take numerous photos. One wedding party thought the waterfall location was the perfect selfie spot for all of them.
Camp Switzerland is being designed as a future glamping and camping location for visitors to Crestline. Currently the sanitation system is being designed and installed for an upscale experience. Soon, the next steps in the development of Camp Switzerland will be in the works. It is hoped the camp may be opened in time for the 2025 summer season. It is anticipated that those who use Camp Switzerland will be using these e-bikes to get to the lake, beach and boat rentals, so they won’t need to use their cars to get around town once they are settled in at the camp.
Returning to the meadow, the tour goes right past the Lake Gregory cove where numerous commercials were filmed, as well as the location where The Parent Trap movie was filmed. Lake Gregory has been the site of numerous movie companies filming scenes.
The tour goes past the school district office, Leisure Shores Senior Center and returns to the San Moritz Meadow, which is next to the east shore docks for kayak launching and fishing.
The e-bike adventure tour of Crestline as currently designed is a fun two-hour way to see the east end of Crestline, away from traffic, and is only $75 a person or $600 for a tour of 10 people.
The Lake Gregory Company provides the new e-bikes, a helmet, and complete training of using the bikes, which are more like a low-powered electric motorcycle than a bicycle. The e-bikes are easy to control, ride and maneuver. The roads chosen are scenic and pass many historic locations and community spots.
The e-bike tours can be scheduled though the Lakegregory.com website, by scrolling down to the e-bike tours tab and signing up. E-bike adventures are currently being booked online for weekend tour dates through October, weather permitting. For more information on Lake Gregory activities or events call (909) 338-2233.