Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Across California and Nevada

Day 36, July 29, 2008-601 miles. A long day of nothing but riding.

We got up before 7am, got our riding stuff on, had a Continental Breakfast at the hotel, and started out. Before leaving town, I stopped at a local car wash and sprayed the bike. I got most of the nasty crud under the engine and transmission off the bike. One inch thick cakes of mud, gravel, and calcium chloride came off the bottom of the motor. Most of the rest was just road grime. Not clean, at all, but not nearly as gross, and the corrosive stuff was now gone. Gary did his the night before, so both bikes look better.

We headed south on Hwy 1 just a few miles and then turned east on Hwy 20. It is a road that cuts across California, with lots of twisties and elevation changes. Fun. Except lots of places were under construction, and lanes were closed in several places. So, the progress was extremely slow. We probably lost over an hour due to construction delays and slow traffic. Although vehicles holding back other vehicles are required by law to use pull-outs, several drivers weren't courteous or following the law.

We had decided to try US 50 instead of I-80. US 50 is labeled as "The Loneliest Road in America". We wanted to see how desolate it is.

So, we got on US 50, and after a couple of towns, found that it is a very lonely road. In about 300 miles, there are 3 or 4 small towns or communities, and nothing else but rocks and sagebrush. Desolate to the 10th degree!

The road, itself is great. Smooth, good lanes, and sight distances measured in double digit miles, speed limit of 70, it was great to ride on. The road would go up into a mountain range, wind up and through the mountains, and then down the other side, and then have maybe 20 miles of broad, flat valley. Repeat this procedure maybe 5 times, and you have a flavor of what the road is like. Gas was available in 2 places along the way. Not a good place to run out of gas or have a breakdown.

And it was HOT! The thermometer on my mirror was at 118 degrees when we started. The air temperature was not that hot, but it was probably near 100 degrees.

When we neared Ely, a small gambling town near the Utah border, the temperature plunged to 66 degrees, much cooler. Not cold, but quite a change from the beginning to the end.

A good day, overall, with lots of riding.

Oh, and to clarify, we're going to Lexington OH for the AMA Superbike races this weekend. Only 2,600 miles from Ft. Bragg, CA to Lexington OH. With 600 miles done, only 2,000 miles to go in the next 3 days. Lots of riding...

Tomorrow-ride all day.

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