Riding The Friendly Skies
For over 60 years, Truckee Tahoe Airport has been helping people discover the natural beauty of California's Sierra Nevada mountains.
With about 95 flights per day, the small public facility caters to flyers of all stripes. Some of them come in for quick hiking or skiing day trips. Others are arriving in 50 year-old single-engine planes with fishing gear in tow.
“It's the entire spectrum of the airborne world,” Marc Lamb, the airport’s Aviation and Community Services Manager, told us. “There’s even a skydiving operation here, so we get a lot of people coming in for that too.”
With no lack of things to do in the Lake Tahoe region, the airport lets pilots and flight crews get in on the fun by offering a unique perk: a chance to explore the area on an ebike.
Two of Truckee Tahoe Airport's ebikes. (Photo Credit: Marc Lamb)
“They'll grab those bikes and run downtown, get a little exercise, and the pedal-assist lets them get up the hills without getting completely hot and sweaty with their flight uniforms on," Lamb said.
Lamb added that if the weather's good and the layover is particularly long, some pilots will take a 10-mile ride to nearby Donner Lake -- the perfect site for either an extended day hike or just a picnic.
Donner Lake from McGlashan Point. (Photo Credit: Justin Smith)
Offering pilots and crew a chance to enjoy the outdoors is just one way that Truckee Tahoe is using ebikes to make their services a little more rad.
The airport also relies on RadWagon bikes to take luggage from taxis and limos that may not be licensed to drive onto the airfield. And, on occasion, they'll pull out a RadBurro to help those who, well ... don't travel as lightly.
“The passengers and flight crew seem to love seeing the RadBurro when it pulls up," Lamb said with a laugh. “It's just quick and easy to get to from one end of the airfield to the other.”
And who knows? It may just be a matter of time before you start seeing ebikes at an airport near you.
We guess that would make Truckee Tahoe's approach a pilot program ... for pilots.
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