One of my favorite lunch time rides is a route we call Timberline. It's around 10 miles and climbs 1,000 vertical feet. We barely have enough time to get it done in a lunch hour. All but a mile or so of the climb is paved. You can see the road up in the picture below.
Once at the top, you are treated to a great view of the city below. Unfortunately, most of the trees are burned down from 2004's waterfall fire. The first part of the descent is a rolling roller coaster like fire road.
The fire road comes to an intersection at this saddle, where you are treated to views of Kings Canyon, and south Carson City.
From the intersection, we take a steep road down, and connect to our favorite single track for the remainder of the descent.