Night Riding in Nevada

July 14, 2012

Hola Nevada!

Heel clicking our way into Nevada

Our penultimate state

Anna and I arrived into Nevada a couple of days ago. While I am sure there is plenty of neat things to do in Nevada, we have been eager to make our way through the state. We’ve been warned on many an occasion of the heat, lack of services, and mononity of the state by several bike tourers. Our family has also shared their concern too; which is nice!

We met a group of five tourers making their way from San Francisco to New York in Delta, Utah. It was our final stop in Utah and they gave us some sobering news and important advice concerning biking through the Silver State.

First and foremost: water. Anna and I have added a good fifteen pounds of water to our bikes in preparation for the heat.

Secondly, lack of services. There have been stretches of 170 miles of nothing. No water, food, gas… anything really. This road was something else. It is a little disheartening to ride for three hours, turn around and see the same spot where you were three hours ago…

So Anna and I decided to begin our riding early. Real early. We have been rising at about 130 AM. Having a quick snack, and then pounding out the miles in the dark until about 1130 AM. Any riding after that is very difficult given the heat. Our first night riding experience was a trip. We had one head light and one tail light. I rode in front with the head light and Anna tagged close behind with the tail light. We have since bought more lights and have gotten used to riding in the dark… Not too much fun though.

The result of early early mornings. I am taking a quick nap at our breakfast stop…

We have put in almost 3500 miles so far and Anna’s back tire shows the wear.

Thankfully we’ve carried a spare from Syracuse and she is riding smooth again.

We arrived to Nevada in the town of Border. There is little more in Border than a truckstop that we planned to spend the afternoon and night at. It was pushing 110 degrees and thankfully a group of local fellas invited us for a swim at a local lake. It felt too good and gave us something to do… They were too much fun and a great welcome to Nevada…

We have entered Nevada riding route 6, and we’ll leave Nevada riding route 6. However, route 6 placed a close second in Life’s Magazines Loneliest Road in America challenge. There was a stretch between Ely and Tonopah, 168 miles, of no services. Nada. Anna and I looked at the weather and it looked promising so we decided to try all of it in a day…

135.67 our final mileage of the day… Not quite 168. I’ll explain…

Stopping at the top of Currant Pass for breakfast #2. We were all smiles and looking forward to the 120 miles that lay ahead. Probably the 5 hour energy shot that Anna took and the three cups of coffee I took for breakfast #1 had something to do with it…

Route 6 lunch stop baby.

With 35 miles before we arrived to Tonopah, trouble was brewing. We had been racing these clouds for a few hours as we made our way up a just stupidly long pass. When we finally hit the top we were dismayed to see just as menacing clouds directly in front of us. But we put on our rain gear and mounted up. Needless to say, ten minutes later, it was like we had taken a shower. We still had 35 miles to go and were in sorry shape. With nothing but fields to our left and right, it promised to be a miserable final 3 hours. We kept riding with our thumbs out…

Our prayers were answered. After about twenty minutes or riding through the slog, Trish and her daughter Francesca drove by us. They swung back around, threw on their hazard lights and made room in their rental car. They are doing a family trip from Colorado to Oregon. We threw the bags in the car, I strapped the bikes to the roof with bungee cords, and Anna and I, literally sopping wet, hopped in for the final 35 miles. I don’t think I can adequately articulate how kind these two women were. They asked nothing more than that we pass on the favor. Upon reaching Tonopah we checked into the same hotel and they even bought us dinner. Anna and I were speechless as we constantly looked at each other shaking our heads slowly and smiling. People are incredible and the actions showed by Trish and her daughter are wonderful examples.

Anna and I are spending the day here in Tonopah and then crossing the border to California tomorrow. We are swinging through Yosemite and then headed to San Fransisco for a bit. Then the plan is to bike down the coast to Santa Barbra.

My Mom just completed the Alzheimer Association Memory Ride. A bike ride for a cure to end alzheimer. So happy for her and it sounds like she had a blast!

Thank you so much to Trish and her daughter Francesca. I sincerely hope that the rest of your trip is wonderful. You are both shining inspirations. Also, two other people who helped us out like crazy and showed us a wonderful time in Lincoln, Nebraska was Cheruth and her husband Kevin. They were the goat farmers who hosted us. As I look back on our trip, our time at Shadow Brook Farm was one of my fondest memories. If you feel so inclined, please contribute to their Kickstarter. But quick! Only nine days to go! They are doing great things and it would be wonderful to see them take their farm to the next step!

Much love, Andrew

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2 Responses to “Night Riding in Nevada”

  1. Steve from RCommunity Bikes said

    OK…just what type of energy snacks are you guys eating anyway? I’ve got to get some. You’re making the Energizer bunny look like the Tortoise…..You guys should do a round trip.

    Enjoy the journey.

    …Steve

  2. Emily said

    I’m so thrilled you guys are doing this (and that you are still healthy and safe)! I’m attaching tefilat haderekh (the traveler’s prayer) for Anna to copy down to take with you if she likes. With lots of love, Emily
    http://www.nik.nl/uploadedImgs/Tefilat%20haderech.jpg

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