Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Winnemucca to Battle Mtn with Manny
Today in PIX
I left my motel room at 6 this AM, with Manny Garcia, the manager of Cardinal Bike Shop in Palo Alto. He came up here on his vacation to ride with me because, in his words, "he wants to learn from the best". I made sure to remind him he would be learning from someone who is the best at being crazy.
And crazy we were. The ride started out with the cool and very big skies of the sage brush filled desert. On a delicious shoulder (the speed divots went away by the time we had rejoined the interstate) along the lightly traveled 180. Of which I commented that back home, some of the roads cyclists use are far more heavily traveled than what were were riding. with better sight lines for the drivers out here. And if you get hit by steel at 40 mph, it is not a lot different than being taken out by a 75 mile an hour truck locomotive.
It was fun watching Manny as he barely pedaled while taking lots of photos of me. And the Penny Farthing Winery people will be happy as I had their handsome T-shirt on that you can buy to help keep me on the road, hint, hint.
At about mile 25, we looked out on a road that winded up the mountain ahead. Roads always look steeper until you are actually on them. Nor did I think this ascent applied to us because i80 generally made the same wide s2weeping turns that the rail line did to get across these lands. However, it was a climb that I would have to make. To 5200 feet, I was probably out of the saddle for at least a solid mile and maybe two. I did stop a hundred feet from what looked like the top because it appeared as though either the summit was at hand or more climbing was in store for us. And I wanted to be fresh in the event that the latter was true. And it was.
Manny said that on the steepest part, I was going 8 miles an hour!! And he said that even he felt it on his multi speed, state of the art touring bike.
The downhill, however was not that fast and it wasn't long after we were off of it that the freeway was being resurfaced. And as such, the shoulder which we had grown to love was now the lane of travel for all the cars and trucks and motor homes. Manny didn't notice the pounding on his bike, I did. For five long, bone jarring miles. Ugh ............
And then a few miles later for another eight miles, the stamped concrete speed divots, IN and across the full width of the shoulder returned. All this just as I was beginning to think that Nevada's I80 could very well become the National Bicycle Greenway route across this state.
Heck there is enough of a right of way that a bike lane could be laid next to the shoulder and separated by a jersey wall. As well, there is so much history out here.. And on a bike, it is a pleasant part of the country through which to ride.
Guess I just have to make sure the Nevada state bike coordinator, Bill Story, know what we need out there. Now and in the future. So many possibilities!!
THX for all of U!!