Today we were riding from South Lake Tahoe to Fernley. We knew there would be an initial climb, and then all downhill. We had also heard there would be good tailwinds so we were looking forward to a good day.
Mike and I volunteered to sweep. We left the church and got as far as the State Line sign (CA into NV). We didn’t get a photo because a) there is NO where to stop and b) it’s just a small green sign hanging on a pole. Of course, it’s surrounded by giant casinos with all their signs, so the fact that you’re leaving one state for another is apparently not important enough to remark upon. 🙂
Not long after that, we missed a turn. We stayed on Rt 50 and rode up the mountain and over, all the way into Carson City. We texted the support team that we never found Rest Stop 1 and were proceeding to Rest Stop 2. When we rolled in, we were the first ones there. Sweeps are supposed to be last in. Oops.
So we waited around until all the riders went through – appropriate punishment for missing the turn. On the other hand, we took about 10 miles off the route and had a fantastic ride. Henry (our trip leader) had been told that Rt. 50 was a dangerous way to go. Mike had ridden 50 before and was confident it was fine – but in the end it wasn’t that we chose a different route, we just missed a turn. I wasn’t able to use my Garmin for turn by turn because I couldn’t find it last night. It turned out it was in the jersey pocket from yesterday but I didn’t discover that until this morning when it was too late to download (my Garmin is very slow). When that happens, we rely on the the prior riders to chalk the turns. We never saw any chalk. Oh well.
These are the views we saw on the way:
Along that glorious downhill there was a marker commemorating the King Ranch Fire which took the lives of 5 firefighters, including 3 prisoners and a guard. The prisoners were pardoned by the governor posthumously so they could be buried as free men. I thought that was pretty cool.
We screamed on into Carson City where we enjoyed these views.
After Carson City it was almost a straight shot to Fernley with a tailwind the whole way. It was awesome. I don’t think I pedaled for 10 or so miles!
We stopped for our 3rd rest stop in Stagecoach. When I went into the convenience store the guy working there asked if I’d sign his journal he keeps of all the cyclists who come through. I thought that was neat.
Coming into Fernley was challenging with our strong tailwind turning into a strong cross wind, but we made it and enjoyed a trip to the RV park for showers right after arrival.
So how did we recover our ‘sweep’ status? When we left rest stop 2 we had the last rider in sight. We stopped so I could take my jacket off but we knew she knew the route and had a Garmin and it’s not the sweep’s job to direct the riders in front of us. Nonetheless, by the time we got to Dayton, we were confident she had taken a wrong turn. We called into the mother ship and confirmed it so we hung out in Dayton while we waited for her.
Another cool thing happened — I ran into Taco Bell to see if I could get some cold water in my bottle. The guy there said, “Hey, I’m a cyclist too – do you need anything else?” I didn’t really, but I thanked him and he wished us a safe ride. I love how that kind of thing happens.
So my mileage for today was 78.1. We saved about 5 miles with our wrong turn. The first profile here shows the planned route, the second shows the route Mike and I took. You can judge who was smarter. 😉
Tomorrow is a day off here in Fernley (can you say not much to do?). On Monday, we head for Lovelock!