After a late motel breakfast I was back on US 50 heading west. Where have I heard that before?
From Fallon to Carson City the road has increasing traffic. For the first third of the day it had paved shoulders that were entirely consumed by rather deep rumble strips. I’d me riding along and hear or see in my mirror a large vehicle about to turn me into road kill. I’d bail onto the rumble strips hoping not to dislodge and dental work. I suppose if you had kidney stones this kind of road sledding could be useful but for me it was literally a headache.
During this portion of the ride the headwind gods were still asleep. And the road trended slightly downhill. I missed a blatantly obvious turn and had to backtrack a mile. But I didn’t care.
I had emptied my two water bladders so The Mule was just cruising along. It was noticeably easier to handle too.
Another wonderful feature of the day was the existence of gas station convenience stores and restaurants along the way. I stopped at 28 miles for Gatorade and a Klondike bar. And to use the rest room. Gas station convenience stores make America great.
Sadly, my late morning snack must have woken the headwind gods and the rest of day featured an invisible hand on my chest.
A few more miles after the break I met Anna, an eastbound rider bound for Virginia. She’s from New Zealand. She’s going about 40 miles per day and didn’t seem the least bit fazed by the first tenth of her journey. We agreed on one thing: Nevada has mastered the mushroom cheeseburger.
I had to climb three hills, all gradual and well under 5,000 feet. No worries.
A casino had a deal on a cheeseburger basket. This made for a convenient lunch stop, my first lunch not on the shoulder of the road in ages. Be thankful for the little things, people!
Into busy Carson City, the state capital. Excitement! Thrills! Not! Just more commercial sprawl.
Anna told me where to find a bike shop. The Bike Smith folks replaced my brake pads and only charged me for parts. It’s their way of supporting bike tourists. Sadly the brake pads cost $95 per pair.
Now that my bike can stop like a champ, I went to the grocery store where I didn’t hit a single parked car or shopping cart. I did manage to buy food for tomorrow and wine for my Warmshowers hosts tonight.
I am staying with Joan and Greg in their guest cottage. Their house and cottage are cute beyond compare. They love hosting bike tourists.
I am off to help with dinner. Help meaning I drink some wine while Joan cooks.
Tomorrow I climb over a rather intimidating 7,000 foot mountain to South Lake Tahoe. How far I go depends on my legs and the availability of camping. It’s also my last day in Nevada.
And before I forget, there’s big news. Last night I decided not to continue to Portland. I am climbed out. Instead I will go over Carson Pass to Sacramento and finish this crazy tour in San Francisco. Many thanks to Jessie and Mike for offering to put me up in The City and to Marie who suggested flying home out of Oakland next week.
Miles today: 66.5
Tour miles: 2,714.5
Top speed: 25.1 mph