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Day #62

I’m in Fallon, NV. This town has >7,500 people. It’s quite a shock to see so many buildings, business, and life after riding through barren Nevada desert for the past week. Last night we stayed outside a bar in Middlegate, NV–population: 17.

I think tomorrow is our last full day in Nevada. After that, I’ll be in California!

A few days ago I was passed by a convoy of police cars followed by a wide load that took up 100% of the 2-lane road + shoulder. I just ascended to Pancake summit as it passed. On my way down, I caught up to the Carbondale crew and sped past Seth, Alex, Geordie, and BG. The downhill flattened out for a bit, and they all caught up & formed a pace line behind me. With my panniers, I make a fantastic wind blocker; all of them were able to draft off me. After a while I broke off from the lead. They thanked me; I was humbled. The fact that I lead the Carbondale pace line for several miles is about as big of an accomplishment as was climbing Monarch Pass back in Colorado. I kept up with their pace line all the way to the next Van stop before the next pass. I stopped for some ice cold water and took off before them up the next mountain.

Just before the last turn, I was entirely out of fuel. I walked my bike up the last mile or so, leaned it against the summit sign, found the only shade for miles, threw down 6 servings of beans, and took a nap on the summit of Pinto Mountain before riding the downhill 5 miles into Eureka, NV. Few things make you feel more powerful than having a picnic on the summit of a mountain in the middle of the Nevada desert.

During my climb up Pinto, I got my second mid-ride nosebleed of this trip. As I was gobbling up my Vegetarian Baked Beans in the shade atop Pinto, Collin passed me. He asked me if I had a nose bleed because he followed a trail of blood all the way up the mountain :-/

2 days ago I took a different route than the MS group for the first time since I met up with them in Pittsburg, KS. They took an alternative route up a bigger mountain to Middlegate. Occasionally I fill up with their ice-cold water at their van stops, but I _always_ carry enough water with me to be self-sufficient. Unfortunately, I hit some nasty weather on my route. I was on the edge of a storm for the majority of the day, but just before town I hit a nasty dust storm. The winds were mostly headwinds with occasional crosswind gusts that would literally knock me aside several feet. When I entered the storm I had to pass through a thick, opaque wall of brown dust that was as high as the mountains just outside the vally. When you see that coming, you don’t really know what to do!

I’ve been wanting to film a downhill since NC, but I didn’t want to risk loosing my camera so early in the trip. Now that I’m almost to Cali, I could finally justify that risk. On the way down Austin Mountain into Austin, NV, I took a video. It didn’t turn out great, but I figured I’d upload it anyway; it was a great windy ride!

(video failed to upload; check back later)

2 comments to Day #62

  • steve sherman

    Holy headwind, Michael! Strong riding. Great adventure. Be careful.
    -steve, amy, olivia, eddie, cici sherman (Blowing Rock, NC)

    • Anonymous

      @Steve I’m glad you guys stuck with the site! I was just telling my family stories of the trip, and the story of Globe road, Mellow Mushroom, and my greats hosts in Blowing Rock, NC is one of my favorites. Thanks again so much for everything! People like you are the reason I made it to California :)

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