Use the Trail: Verdi to Sparks
The trail along the river through Reno and Sparks has been developed over the years by the two cities and county. A new section was built by the Bikeway to connect Reno to Verdi without cycling on I-80 in 2005. This is the most popular road ride in the area―12 miles from downtown Reno to Verdi. The route is mostly on-street bike lanes west of downtown Reno, and a paved, separated path east of there to the end at Vista Blvd. The gradient is very gradual―nearly flat except about 1/4 mile climb in Mogul. Get a brochure here.
The trail at Verdi connects upstream as described on the Floriston-Verdi page. Dog Valley road can be ridden all the way to Sierra Valley (dirt) or Stampede Reservoir and from there on a back route to Truckee on Forest Service land. In Reno-Sparks there is a network of urban bike lanes and dirt trails provided by Washoe County Parks and Regional Transportation Commission.
There are abundant lodging and food services in Reno and Sparks, as well as bike shops.