After our rest day in Tahoe yesterday, today was the day that Matt and I truly felt like we were headed out on our ride across America. No more family, no more familiar roads, no more homes to stay in for some time. We kissed our wives goodbye and left the cabin with our new support drivers Danica and Maggie to drive back to Lovelock, NV to resume our ride. They dropped us back at the train station and we rolled out of Lovelock at 9a. We caught another great break with the weather as the temps were in hte mid 70’s all day and the wind was either at our back or off to one side. As a result today became all about “finding the sweet spot”. What I mean by this is that when you’re drafting behind another bike rider often the best draft is not directly behind them but slightly off to one side or the other depending on the wind angle. Usually when Matt and I ride we’ll rotate from the front to the rear about every minute or two. With today’s distance and condition we instead rotated every 10 minutes. As a result of the wind, temp, rest day, etc we had a GREAT day on the road as we rode 127.8 miles with 2,640 feet of climbing in 5:49 for an average speed of 22 mph for the ride. While it’s no Tour de France pace Matt and I were very pleased with time and as a result have selected Twenty-Two as the word of the day. We rode all day on Hwy 80 which had its ups and downs. The downs were the fact that we had 3 flat tires (2-Chris, 1-Matt) as a result of the wire that’s in all the remnants of the blown tires on the side of the road. The good was that we had a 12 foot shoulder with smooth pavement and VERY nice truck drivers. I’d say that 98% of the trucks would move over to the fast lane when passing us…very cool. As for sights today, there weren’t many. We saw our fifth prison of the trip so far, our first big road kill (big Coyote), and the Thunder Mountain monument in Imlay, NV. It was a couple of mile detour for us to get to the monument so Matt and I looked at it and then called Danica and Maggie to tell them about it. They then drove and checked it out. Apparently it was a monument that represented all the damage the “white man” has done to the indians and was made from all the garbage the white man has left: http://www.thundermountainmonument.com/ . From there we headed to Winnemucca for lunch, but before reaching Winnemucca we did our good deed of the day. We came across to young woman in a broken down car on the side of the road. We stopped and asked if we could help them and they were so scared and didn’t know what to do. We were about a mile from a truck stop so we told them we’d go get help for them. We then rode and walked into this very rural truck repair shop in our bike gear (probably a first for them) and told them about the girls. They then sent a truck out to help them so hopefully all went well. After meeting Danica and Maggie for lunch in Winnemucca (Subway again) we then rode the final 52 miles to Battle Mountain, NV. Matt and I felt so relived to have our two biggest mileage days of our trip behind us. We then went out for a great steak dinner (with huge animal heads staring at us) and then all went and enjoyed a bottle of wine at the Super 8 hot tub (man do we know how to live). We’re about to crash for the night and are looking forward to only riding 80 miles tomorrow to Elko, NV.
Where Are We?
Riding Time: 220:45 (hours:minutes)
Elevation Gain: 117,768 feet