Posted by: rustymccain | June 10, 2011

Austin City Limits!

Today was amazing! Our route was from Fallon to Austin, NV. This was one of the days that we had marked to worry about. 114 miles through the desert with only one store of which we were aware. We were prepared for a tough day, We started with a nutritious breakfast of cold pizza left over from last night and snickers, washed down with some coffee. We got some good sleep, so we both felt ok. We did make one horrifying discovery last night. We both checked our licenses and found out that we are not 28 years old anymore. This helped us understand a few things that have been happening. Things like, when one of us drops a $20 bill, we have a conversation about which one feels like he can lean over and pick it up. If neither answers in the affirmative, we just walk away.

 

Our goal today was simply to make it to Austin by nightfall. We were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day again. The wind seemed to hit us pretty hard on the way out of Fallon. My goal had become to make it to Middlegate at about 50 miles. Then I would worry about the next 64 miles. Much like life, things don’t seem so daunting when you break it down to smaller bits. The desert was much greener than I had anticipated, due to unusually heavy snow and spring rain. It was really pretty. We also rode by Sand Mountain, an amazing sand dune that was so large, it almost didn’t appear real. People were riding dune buggies on it and they looked like ants.

 

Sand Mountain

Despite the fatigue of six straight days of riding, including three really hard days, we felt pretty decent as we pulled into Middlegate Station. Middlegate Station was a real treat. There we met a young lady named Robbie. She was delightful and was very welcoming. Of course with good reason…she was from Bristol, TN! She made us a great hamburger and fries. ‘We sat on the porch in the middle of nowhere and had a great lunch. Middlegate Station is a real slice of Americana that I wish everyone could enjoy. And, while we sat on the porch eating, another biker rolled in. As it turns out, we made two new friends Geert and Evelyn. They are from the Netherlands. He was doing the same course across America that we were doing, only East to West, while Evelyn followed in an RV. We had such great conversation with them and invited them to come to TN for a ride. He looked very fit and Ray and I both commented after we left that we hope we look the same in 7 weeks. Pizza, hamburgers and snickers will surely get that done!

New Friends Evelyn and Geert

We pulled out of Middlegate with about 64 miles to go. In about 4 miles we ran into another young guy who was going East to West. He pulled over to our side of the road and we had a fun conversation in which he told us of a new store about 10 miles up the road. YES!! We went up the road and made a stop at Cold Springs. The lady there told us there was no way we could make it to Austin by nightfall because of the three climbs and the distance. As cyclists know….with that comment…it was on! The wind gods lent us a hand. We got to the top of the next to last pass and then hit the jackpot. A ten-mile downhill! We were loving it so much that we didn’t worry that we had a three-mile climb to end the day.

We came into Austin a little after 5:00. It is a quaint little town of about 200 people. During its heyday in the Silver craze, it had almost 10,000 people and for a short time was the third largest city west of the Mississippi. We are going to stay here during our rest day tomorrow. I have a ton of pictures, so I hope to get some of them posted on our gallery page. I also hope to post some lessons learned and interesting tidbits, at least interesting to Ray and I.

This trip has been better than we even expected. We are at 443 miles now. Great fun in a beautiful country. Hearing from friends and family makes it even better. Thanks for tuning in.

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Responses

  1. Glad ya’ll made it safe! Why dont you ever drop $20.00 in front of me? I will be happy to pick it up.

  2. keep it up. I know that not 28 feeling. 🙂

    Robert

  3. Ditto, I bet I can beat you to the ground for a twenty spot… Sounds like you guys are rolling along well, be safe! Jose’

  4. Ray!!!! Gail told me about the blog. I’m going to stay tuned (as much as possible). You guys are awesome! I’m leaving Bost next Saturday for the next 12 months or so. I will stay in touch. Be safe and have a blast!!!

    -Jayson

  5. Keep eatin them burgers… 190 is looking a long way off now. LOL. Kidding Rusty. Saturday’s ride wasn’t the same without Ray in the backgroud meowing like a cat and you complaining about pace up until you attack on Del Rio and make me suffer the rest of the way in. Sounds like you all are having a blast. I knew you’d make about 743 friends along the way. Keep it up.

  6. Hi Rusty and Ray, we are glad you made it to Austin without my (Evelyn) help! We are now in Placersville and enjoyed the Carson Pass very much. We will take up on your invitation to ride in TN in the near future!
    Good luck Geert and Evelyn

  7. You guys better keep it up. I am happy, for both of you, that things are going pretty well. I know, from doing long mountain bike rides, that anything can happen. From the looks of your bikes, it seems you are prepared for about anything. Hey Rusty, Mary Ann was in the store on Friday. She got some nice new kicks. Say hi to Ray. Keep it up and have fun.

    Good luck to you both.

    Maybe your butt will go numb and you won’t feel anything soon. 🙂

    Robert

  8. You guys are doing great. Seems as if you are ready for about anything by the looks of your bikes. Mary Ann stopped by the store on Saturday and picked up some new kicks. I wish only the best for you both. I know from riding long mountain bike rides anything can happen and I also know you can handle most anything. Keep the cranks turning and have fun, which I know you are. Say hi to Ray.

    Good luck and smell the roses along the way.

    Hey Rusty, with any luck, maybe your butt will go numb and that will be the end of that. 🙂


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