Author Topic: Western Express - NV - early June  (Read 5019 times)

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Offline tomdett

Western Express - NV - early June
« on: January 15, 2010, 10:49:39 pm »
I plan to ride from SF to Ely, NV following the Western Express route departing SF 6/01/10.  Plan to do this credit card style, no camping or cooking.  Wonder about services (water, food & lodging) when in NV.  Wonder about weather along the whole route.   Please advise. 

I plan to leave the WE route after Ely staying on US 6 toward Provo, UT, then US 191 and finally US 40 to cross Colorado as I head for Boulder/Longmont.   Any thoughts on that route across Utah?   

 

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 08:38:38 am »
Do you have the Adventure Cycling map? If not, get one. It is the best one-stop source for types, locations, and telephone numbers of services and for climate (not weather though) at several points along the route. And it is waterproof <grin>.

Fred

Offline tomdett

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2010, 09:12:35 am »
Don't have the map yet, still trying to decide on the route plan.  Hope to learn something useful from my post. 

Offline raybo

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2010, 10:25:43 am »
I rode from SF to Carson City (and back) on the ACA's Western Express route as a credit card tour in order to save the weight of camping gear.  This was a mistake.  While the climb up Carson Pass (from Placerville to Kirkwood, really) is truly a killer, having camping gear would have allowed me to wild camp when I got tired instead of having to keep pedaling to a place to stay.  In the end, I had to get a ride in a truck over Carson Spur due to it being dark and me being spent and ended up spending the night on a rock floor because of Kirkwood incompetence.  You can read my journal of that trip (pictures included) here: http://www.biketouringtips.com/showJournalPages.php?jid=25 .

I went in September and it snowed on the rest day I had in Carson City.

In June, I doubt there will be any snowfall but there will likely still be snow on the ground.

If I were to do this again (which I seriously doubt), I would take camping gear (at least something to sleep in and on) and plan to do the Placerville to Kirkwood/Carson Pass section in two days.

Ray
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 10:27:22 am by raybo »
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

Offline tomdett

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 01:09:57 pm »
I found this was really helpful.   Hope to hear more, especially about the NV portion especially as it related to heat in June and huge distances between lodging.


I rode from SF to Carson City (and back) on the ACA's Western Express route as a credit card tour in order to save the weight of camping gear.  This was a mistake.  While the climb up Carson Pass (from Placerville to Kirkwood, really) is truly a killer, having camping gear would have allowed me to wild camp when I got tired instead of having to keep pedaling to a place to stay.  In the end, I had to get a ride in a truck over Carson Spur due to it being dark and me being spent and ended up spending the night on a rock floor because of Kirkwood incompetence.  You can read my journal of that trip (pictures included) here: http://www.biketouringtips.com/showJournalPages.php?jid=25 .

I went in September and it snowed on the rest day I had in Carson City.

In June, I doubt there will be any snowfall but there will likely still be snow on the ground.

If I were to do this again (which I seriously doubt), I would take camping gear (at least something to sleep in and on) and plan to do the Placerville to Kirkwood/Carson Pass section in two days.

Ray

Offline Wayne_Estes

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 05:42:34 pm »
You might find this tour journal to be helpful.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=ax9Un&doc_id=5045&v=z1

Free camping in the desert is only practical if you carry a lot of water.  Most cyclists spend the night in towns (motel or camping) because the towns are the only places where water is available.  East of Fallon you will find lodging and dining at Middlegate, Austin, Eureka, Ely, and Baker.  East of Fallon the only "out of town" campground with water is at Bob Scott summit just east of Austin.  You could possibly free camp near the creek on the Carroll Summit alternate (hwy 722), but there is no designated campground.

Weather in June shouldn't be terribly hot because the elevation is in the 4000-7000 feet range.  Expect highs in the 80's and lows in the 40's.  But even in cool weather the sun can wear you down when there is no shade whatsoever.  Obviously you will need to carry water and snacks to fuel you through the day because there will be no water or services between each day's start and end points.

Starting in early May I plan to bike a modified Western Express route (Sacramento to Denver via 10 national parks).  I will be equipped to haul 2.5 gallons of water if necessary.

Wayne Estes
Oakland, Oregon
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 07:08:04 pm by Wayne_Estes »

Offline aggie

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010, 07:15:33 pm »
The Western Express can be done in early June and the weather should be good.  I've done the part through Nevada 8 times so here are my observations.

You shouldn't have any problem with water stops/availability up to Fallon.  After you leave Fallon the next place for available water and food will be Middlegate which is about 55 miles.  There is a neat old store with a bar and grill and a limited selection of groceries.  They also have small number of rooms.  I haven't stayed in them so I can't say what they look like.  If you opt for the alternate route  after Middlegate there aren't any water stops until you get to Austin - 60 miles.

The next place for water is Cold Springs which is about 11 miles from Middlegate.  There used to be a gas station and limited store there but it burned down several years ago.  I hear they have been building a new store that is supposed to be finished by now but I haven't been by there since September so I don't know if it's done.  They also have some rooms for rent.

Then next place for food/water/rooms is Austin.  It is about 45 miles from Cold Springs.  There are a couple of bar and grills as well as three motels (Pony Canyon, Lincoln, and Mountain).  There is also a B&B in town that is wonderful.  Can't remember the name but anyone in town will tell you where its at and who to call.  The two gas stations have a limited food selection.

After Austin the next water stop other than the campground at Bob Scott Summit is the town of Eureka about 70 miles away. There are two motels and a good grocery store.  I recommend the Best Western.  It has a hot tub and a pool as well as a so so breakfast.

The next place for water/food/motel is Ely about 75 miles away.  It has several motels, restaurants, and grocery stores. 

After you leave Ely the next water stop is at Majors Junction about 30 miles away.  I haven't stopped there so I don't know what they have to offer.  Baker is about 35 miles away and it has a small grocery store (owner is NOT very friendly) and a small motel (Silver Jack) with a great little wine bar and the owners are wonderful.

You can also stay at the Border Inn on Hwy 6/50.  It has a restaurant/motel and a limited grocery store and the owners are real nice.  The rooms are ok.  The next stop on Hwy 50/6 is Delta.  As I recall it is 80 miles of nothing.

If you can carry 3 water bottles and have a 100 oz Camelback you should be able to make it.  However if it is really hot you may find you need to carry more water.  If you leave early in the morning you should be able to get to your next motel before it gets too hot. 

Offline BicycleNevada

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 08:14:50 pm »
We have free cycling maps available showing the US 50 route.  It also outlines water, services, vehicle traffic, truck traffic, shoulder width, etc..  Weather should be good in June but late storms are always a possibility.

Bill Story
Nevada Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
wstory@dot.state.nv.us

Offline tomdett

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 10:39:18 am »
Want to thank those that have responded to my original post on this subject.   Every post increased my knowledge.  Have modified my plan to start earlier to allow for extra days to deal with lodging spacing and get a little cooler weather.   Would still like to hear more so please share anything relevant to this subject.   
Tom Dettloff
tomdett@yahoo.com
Longmont, CO

Offline aggie

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 02:26:55 pm »
One thing I forgot to mention is the climbing on Hwy 50.  Nevada has a lot of mountain ranges.  In between towns you may see several ranges and basins.  This web site gives you and idea of the climbing you'll do between towns - http://www.bicyclenevada.com/prof_50.html.  Depending on the distance you travel each day you could have over 4000 feet of climbing that day.

Offline Bclayden

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 07:43:01 pm »
I know this thread is old news but has answered many questions I have about this route.  Still wondering how original poster Tom made out on his Route 50 ride through Nevada. 

I plan to ride Sacramento-Salt Lake City in May or June 2012 following the same route across NV with no camping.

Great notes on the hotel situation on the thread by the way.  Thinking a slight detour to Baker, NV might be better than an overnight at Border Inn?  Border Inn looks like a truck stop but could be wrong.

Any advise is welcome.

-Ben

Offline aggie

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 09:39:37 pm »
I've stayed at the Border Inn and a place in Baker.  The rooms at the Border Inn are nothing special but they are comfortable and inexpensive.  The Border Inn has a restaurant/bar/casino so you have at least a couple of options.  It's been awhile since I stayed in Baker.  You may want to check the web site for Baker, NV to see what motel options are available.  There is one place in Baker I won't do business with again.  Not sure of the name but it's something like TD (it has a limited grocery).  The owner doesn't like cyclists and isn't afraid to let you know. 

Offline Bclayden

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 11:10:31 pm »
Thanks Aggie.  We've got a winner! Border Inn sounds good.

How is the route 50 shoulder East of Fallon?  I've got years of experience with long and remote road rides but I always hate narrow shoulders and the RVs and trucks that come along.  What do you remember?

I'm not a rear-view-mirror guy but thinking this might be a time to get one?

-Ben

Offline aggie

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 12:03:16 pm »
The shoulder east of Fallon varies in width.  In some places you have a good shoulder but it other places not so much.  Nevada DOT has put rumble strips on the shoulder is some areas that make riding on the shoulder impossible.  However there isn't a great deal of traffic east of Fallon.  The traffic is sparse enough and the road visibility good enough that nearly everyone will give you plenty of space.  I've found the truckers to be very considerate about passing in the opposite lane.  I don't use a mirror.  You'll see a few RV's but not too many.   

Offline jamawani

Re: Western Express - NV - early June
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 01:04:07 pm »
STRONGLY suggest that you do not use US 6 east of Spanish Fork, Utah.
This road has high traffic, high speeds, blind curves, and heavy truck traffic.
It is considered one of the most dangerous roads in Utah.
In addition, there is almost always construction going on - plus poor shoulders in many places.

There is a scenic, low-traffic option that does involve more climbing.
From Delta take Hwy 132 to Nephi and Moroni. (Mod traffic east of Nephi)
Take Hwy 116 to Mount Pleasant, then US 89 north to Fairview.
Hwy 31 climbs the Wasatch Front, then Hwy 264 goes to Scofield.
(Very scenic, high country area)
Hwy 96 takes you to US 6 at Colton.

There is a seasonal store in Scofield and a historic general store at Colton.
Plus, there is a cutoff road between Colton and US 191 - Emma Park/Kyune Rd.
Also, there are nice back roads between Duquesne, Vernal, and Dinosaur.

J