Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Holed up in Elko, NV - Sherpa(s) Needed

Out here in the Nevada desert, I am holed up at the American Inn on Idaho St. in the small city of Elko. I back tracked to here, 110 miles from the Utah border, so I could rebuild my ride at $32 a night. And be in a place where I can have access to all the provisions I am going to need in order to continue in earnest.

If you've been following this blog, you have seen that this is not the ride I expected to be on six years ago when I first began planning it. Or for that matter up until May when I was still holding out for a support vehicle so I wouldn't have to be a 90-pound fixed gear bike going over mountain ranges. And it wasn't until I got halfway across Nevada when Manny Garcia started carrying my gear for two days that I realized that in between peeing blood and only going 7 MPH, that continuing without support was as much asking for trouble as it gave no dignity to my mission.

Passers by in cars don't take inspiration from what I am doing because they have no idea what I am up to. Instead they feel sorry for me out here on this machine that deserves to be honored as much as  the reason I am riding it. And yet there again, how can anyone be expected to know what I am all about to if I am a party of one?

Once people figure out what my ride is all about, they open up their hearts and their homes. Here in Elko for example, Greg and Lynette Park, two state-of-the-art trike riders who saw me and my bike at a local grocery store, have already offered to drive me back to Wells, NV so I can continue from where I left off.

I hate involving cars but in these bike inhospitable lands, that is the best I can do. We will leave at 4 AM so we can get a jump on the afternoon thunderstorms that are predicted and have been taking place out here for the last few weeks. Because I left Palo Alto without rain gear or warm clothes and now have this computer to worry about, I have been at the mercy of weather none of the locals have seen be this bad for so long ever.

A Saturday salt flats ride is the best we can do for another reason. Because there is literally no where out there one can pitch a tent, even if I carried one, the closest lodging is 100 miles from Wells. And since there is a big convention taking place at the Oquirrh Motor Inn in Lake Point, they do not have any rooms until Saturday nite.

And just because motorists have for the most part only seen me hard at work carrying my own gear, does not mean that I have not had a ton of help behind the scenes. Mr. Bike Oakland, Ron Bishop, has spent countless hours trying to figure out a way for me to bike into Salt Lake. Between plotting out routes at our site, and calling and talking to bike people all over the greater Salt Lake City area, he has pumped a ton of time into this effort. As has his friend, Gail Robinson, who has gotten me into dialogue with her friends Carol and Rob who are now just waiting for me to get there.

And then there are the beautiful bike sculptures that Paul Guttenberg over in Davis is trying to auction off as a benefit for my ride. Toward that end, he is working with Lori Yung in Sacramento and once they get better photos of them, all of this will go into fast forward. 

And so while I also wait for the better weather that will help my ride once I do get beyond Salt Lake, I am getting caught up on photos. But before I share the ones from the East Bay to Sacto that were stuck on my iPhone,
HERE is what Elko has looked like for the last few days. And before Greg and Lynette bought me dinner last nite, as the rare Renaissance Man that he is out here, he did some tweaks to make Peter Wagner's rack even more functional, plastic welded my sunglasses back together once again and even gave me this really cool little knife I had gotten excited about that he was using! Too much wow!

Here are those photos I just got out of my iPhone once I became settled long enough to install iTunes on this Windows machine.

PA to Oakland/Berkeley

Berkeley to Napa

Napa to Davis

In closing, if you want to come out here and ride with me for a few days, I could sure use your (sherpa) help carrying my food and gear (25 to 30 lbs). Do please advise at

THX 4 all of U!!

btw: While writing this, I set up with the Ross Anderson of the Elko Free Press and Lori Gilbert, of KENV-TV, to do some interviews here at 2PM today. This, as I just heard another very loud boom from the thunder that has kept me on guard for the last all too many days

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