Last night’s dinner of a hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and a side salad was augmented by a large beer. Large in the sense of could barely lift the mug.
I sloshed back to the surprisingly nice hotel where I watched the second Democratic debate for about 30 seconds. That’s all I could take of Eric Swalwell.
After a starchy hotel breakfast (Nevada does not do fruit), I rode up a small hill out of town. For the next 28 miles I was cruising at speeds in the high teens. Through Devils Gate and Yahoo Canyon into a basin for 28 glorious miles. Then I was punched in the face by a wind gust.
Uh oh, here it comes. The next five miles were like sparring with an invisible opponent. Then the wind became constant. Once again I was grinding away at low speed. So frustrating.
I climbed over 6,556 Hickison summit before riding into another wind in my face basin.
58 miles in, I turned north and up . Climbing, even with a tailwind wasn’t happening. There were stops and there wS walking.
I arrived at Bob Scott Summit and found no sign. Bite me, Nevada. I biked and, mostly walked, all this way. I want a damned sign.
Down the back side I rode, accelerating through 30 mph. A pickup truck surprised me as it passed uncomfortably close. My mouth opened and a large black bug landed on my upper lip. And sting me. So here I am, riding down a ridge at over 30 mph with a pick up truck just off my left elbow and I getting stung by an unknown creature that nearly got into my mouth.
This could ruin your whole day. Trust me.
I survived the ordeal and rather enjoyed the descent once the pain subsided. Then the road turned upwards again. And steeply. With dead legs, a gallon of water and over 30 pounds of assorted crap on my bike I had to make a choice: destroy my knees or walk.
After a half hour of pushing The Mule I saw the sign for Austin Summit, 7,484 feet. The last three miles were a steep, curvy descent to Austin, another town like Eureka. A few businesses, several dilapidated old storefronts, a couple of bars, a cafe, and a few hotels.
I stopped at the cafe and, on a whim, checked my rims. They were hot from all the braking I did on the descent
At the cafe, I had a proper lunch because nothing I ate during the day proved adequate.
Austin is on a hill so I rode down in search of a hotel that had decent WiFi. I needed to Facetime with my wife to fix the WiFi at home. The Cozy Mountain hotel had a room and rural Nevada WiFi.
After discussing behavioral economics with the motel owner (I turned her on to Dan Ariety and we discussed Nudge, Thinking Fast and Slow, a few Michael Lewis books, and Thomas Piketty, I checked in and did the call with my wife. (I didn’t fix the problem. Bike riding economists aren’t very useful.)
I went out to dinner and had undercooked pizza and beer that was over 20 months past its sell date. Haute cuisine in small town Nevada.
In three days I should be in Carson City where I get to make a decision: continue on to Portland via the Sierras or ride across the mountains to Sacramento.
Some of you may have heard that I was served a subpoena to appear in court in a civil matter in mid-July. I learned today that the case has been delayed so the tour can go on on its own merits. (It’s a personal injury lawsuit involving two cyclists injured by a security gate on the Mount Vernon Trail.)
Tomorrow, MOTS, more of the same.
Miles today: 70
Tour miles: 2,534.5
Top speed: 33.3 mph