A Doozie of a Week

Let me start this week over. I’ve either been without connection or just too darned tired to write. Read on to find out details.

If you recall, a week ago today, we were in Fernley, Nevada and I had discovered a huge gash in my back tire. We tried to find a tire in Reno, but the one we found didn’t fit very well. It rubbed, making my ride miserable on Monday as we headed for Lovelock. That was also a wet, miserable day, so I rode part of it and then called it quits.

Tuesday we headed for Winnemucca. The church in Winnemucca was a United Methodist church right on the main street in town. I thought it looked like a Krispy Kreme donuts place with its light green and red trim.

Wednesday we headed towards Carlin. Our route went through Elko, so I crossed my fingers hoping I could get a replacement tire. The plan was for me to go ahead in the van and Mike would meet me there. Twenty miles and two bike shops later, no joy. The night before I had put the old gashed tire back on the back, filled the crack with superglue, and determined to ride on it.

The issue with my tires is that I ride 650b slicks. It’s a much more comfortable ride for long trips, but it’s an unusual size and property, so difficult for bike shops to carry – they don’t sell well. I was also having seat issues, so I took the Infinity off and put my Cambium back on. That resolved the seat issues!

I rode the rest of the way from Elko to Wells. One of the additional big challenges to this part of the ride is much of it has been on the shoulder of I-80. It’s perfectly legal but pretty awful. Many of my teammates have had flat tires – due to radial tire waste the trucks leave out there when they shred a tire. I have tire liners, which have come in handy for more than just the gash in my tire! But riding on the highway is also unnerving at a cellular level – it’s just a way of getting from place to place, not much about enjoying a journey. If you’ve driven long distances on interstates you know the feeling – good for getting where you’re going, but no character.

After Wells (where we stayed in a high school), we headed for Wendover. West Wendover and Wendover are on either side of the Nevada/Utah border. One side has casinos, the other is normal. I rode the whole way that day, crossing my fingers over this tire.

In Wendover we stayed at the Historic Wendover Air Force Base Museum. Wendover AFB is where Paul Tibbetts and his crew practiced for the delivery of the world’s first atomic bomb over Hiroshima. The entire program was top secret and everyone around kept the secret. That was laundry night for my team so we didn’t get to do much exploring around the base. It was “way cool” for lots of the team who have never spent much time on military bases. I like the way they’ve preserved the Officers’ Club, especially the dance hall part, but it’s definitely from a time gone by!

I’m having difficulties uploading photos. When one of the interns gets back, I’ll see if she can help me figure it out. In the meantime, know that we are in Salt Lake City tonight and tomorrow, and I made it safely on that gashed tire!

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