After talking to Ridgetop a few days ago (he showed me a great ride up to Blue Lakes) it seems that we were both interested in whether the old route of Hwy 50 from Glenbrook to Spooner was at all usable. I had a chance today to check it out - here's what I learned.
Yes, the road surface is still there (although not in great shape - I probably wouldn't choose to descend it), but at least half of it is private - apparently belonging to the gated Glenbrook development at the bottom. It could be that they don't really want visitors, even on bike or foot, but no one bothered me in my exploration. The upper part is apparently open to cyclists and hikers.
Google maps depiction of this area is a bit screwed up - particularly with respect to the road names. (And these maps are also used by most cycle route mapping sites.)
I mapped this short 2.7 mile segment. My detailed comments on the cue sheet describe the gates and other conditions encountered.
The main advantage I can see in using this segment is to avoid the 800 ft. climb on the shoulder of 50 (of course, you still have to do the climb, but using this route is almost totally vehicle free). After getting to the summit, I chose to descend on Hwy 50 itself (in the midst of the many riders of today's "Tour de Tahoe").
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