After a day off and switching to a much nicer hotel, my body and brain had recovered from some seriously hard days of riding. In Nevada, if the miles and hills don’t get you, the wind will.
Breakfast was provided courtesy of the Denny’s in the hotel. I hit the road at 6:45 and was allowed passage through the work zone on the edge of town.
The road wound it’s way through some seriously high mountains with barely an incline. Just outside of town, at the top of one of the mountains, I could see evidence of a massive copper mine.
A cool tailwind pushed me over Robinson Pass at 7,607 feet. The descent was encumbered by a blustery side wind, the result of the road turning from the north to the south and west. It battered me as I crossed a basin and wended my way into the Butte Mountains.
Being a good little road, it turned to the northwest affording me s tailwind over Little Antelope Summit at 7,438 feet.
The road nudged to the west but the crosswind through the next basin was bearable. Up and over 6,517-foot Pancake Summit then down into the Newark Valley, with an increasingly strong side wind that occasionally blasted me in the face.
Next up was 6,433 Southgate, an unmarked summit they preceded a turn of the road to the north.
Tailwind ablowin’ I rode 5-ish miles to 7,376, mostly in my middle ring. To be honest, I was knackered at this point, stopping to reload my water bottles and munch snacks.
Once I was over the top the fun began. A downhill with a tailwind is a mighty fine thing. I was over 40 mph in no time, feathering my brakes to avoid disaster.
I smiled, slightly terrified, all the way to Eureka, my stop for the night.
Before grabbing a hotel room I stopped to talk with Giovanni and Cristina, tandem riders from the northwest of Italy. They were struggling with a broken tent pole that they managed to repair as we talked. They are participating in a cross country bike race. Their legs had some nasty cuts and scabs from mishaps along the way but were a blast to talk with.
Another, solo rider from the race stopped by. His name is Indiana. He chatted for a few minutes then took off on his bike packing machine bound for Battle Mountain.
Eureka is an old western town with a few businesses making a go of it. My hotel is mighty nice, a surprise after hearing unflattering things about the town from a rider who is a few days ahead of me.
Tomorrow is a repeat with few climbs until the last six miles heading over into my destination, Austin, Nevada. Back to back 7,000 footers. Oof.
Miles today: 77.5
Tour miles: 2,464.5
Top speed: 44.4 mph