Author Topic: Bike ride across Nevada part of Western Express  (Read 9385 times)

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Offline aggie

Bike ride across Nevada part of Western Express
« on: August 24, 2020, 01:41:44 pm »
I will be working SAG on this ride and it should be an interesting time with all the measures in place to keep Covid transmission to a minimum.  Not sure many organized rides have taken place this year.  I'll post a review after the ride is over as it runs from Sept 27 to Oct 3. 

Offline aggie

Re: Bike ride across Nevada part of Western Express
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 11:33:54 am »
The ride named OATBRAN was held Sept 27 - Oct 3.  The ride is mostly on the Nevada portion Western Express along Hwy 50.   There were 17 riders and 10 support personnel.  Most of the riders and support staff had taken a Covid test just prior to the ride and no one was or got sick during the ride.  Many riders commented that they did this ride because everything else was cancelled this year.  When the riders checked in the hotel required masks as did every hotel or facility along the route.  Each rider was also issued 2 neck gators to use during the ride at rest and lunch stops.  (They were also given a jersey and water bottle with this years design and colors.)  Current Covid protocols were in place for the ride.  Also there was a check-in/check-out system in place at each rest/lunch/end stop to ensure every rider was accounted for.  A Sag ride was available any time a rider didn't want to ride or needed a break on the climbs.  Each rest stop had fruit (honey dew melon, cantaloupe, apples, grapes, oranges, bananas), cookies, various gels/energy bars (GU and Hammer), granola bars, water, and two kinds of drink mixes (Hammer and Cytomax) as well as sun screen lotion and hand sanitizer.  Riders were asked to use hand sanitizer as they arrived.  There were also chairs and bike stands and easy ups for shade.  The first stop is where many riders take off their jackets, etc.  Bags and markers were provided and the bags were then dropped off at the end stop.  Lunch had all that as well as someone making sandwiches to order (various lunch meats, breads, avocado, tomato, romaine lettuce, bean sprouts, pickles), red vines, and various cold drinks (various sodas, sparkling water, pickle juice, red bull, cold bottled water).  At the end of the ride each day there were also various drinks and salty snacks.  The ride organizer works with various service organizations in each town we stop in to provide breakfast and dinner.  It makes for a good fund raiser in these small towns.  Weather was just about perfect with the morning temps in the low 40's and the afternoon highs in the 70's and low 80's.  I know of only 1 flat this year. 

There was a dinner Sunday night to introduce all the riders and go over the route the next day.  The ride began Monday at the Nevada/Calif border in South Lake Tahoe at one of the casinos were we stayed Sunday night.  (We had a closed off area in one of the parking lots to park for the week.)   The first day was about 90 miles and there were 5 rest/lunch stops.  Several riders saw some of the wild horses in the area.  The ride ended at the Motel 6 in Fallon.  On Tuesday the ride was from Fallon to Austin which is about 110 miles.  There were 6 rest/lunch stops and the route used old hwy 50 (NV hwy 722) from Middle Gate to Austin.  I saw only 4 vehicles on this section.  Several riders saw some big horn sheep near East Gate and everyone saw the antelope near Austin.  Dinner featured smoked tri-tip. Wednesday was from Austin to Eureka - about 70 miles.  There were 4 rest/lunch stops and the end was at the Gold Country Inn.  Dinner was a hamburger/hotdog cook out with all the fixings.  After dinner there was a tour of the Jackson House and the tunnels which were featured in the show Ghost Hunters. Thursday the ride was from Eureka to Ely - about 70 miles.  We stayed at the Jail House Casino.  We spent 2 nights here.  Dinner on Thursday night was a full Turkey dinner (mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, salad, rolls, various desserts).  The old fashion soda fountain at the drug store was closed but they did offer takeout for their delicious milkshakes.  Friday was the last riding day.  It was from Ely to the Border Inn on the Utah/Nevada Border - about 65 miles.  (Just outside Baker.)  Everyone took a shower and changed out of their riding clothes.  Dinner was a boxed chicken dinner and we ate outside under the easy ups.  After dinner prizes/awards were given out to each rider based on comments or other things happening during the ride.  Lots of laughter.  Each rider also received a "I Survived Hwy 50" t-shirt with the route printed on the back.  Bikes were put into racks for the trip back to South Lake Tahoe.  There were two 15 passenger vans as well as a car and pickup truck to transport everyone to allow for some distancing.  Every one was transported back to the Jail House Inn and there was an after ride party with food in the casino.  (You bought your drinks at the bar.)  On Saturday after breakfast there was a picture taken of all the riders and support staff before everyone got into one of the vehicles for the ride back to Tahoe.  There was a stop for lunch (on your own) on the way back.  We did see 2 self-supported/touring riders that week and we made sure they were welcomed at the rest stops if they passed by while they were set up.

I'm sure I forgot some details but that is a good summary of the ride. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 01:54:41 pm by aggie »

Offline jamawani

Re: Bike ride across Nevada part of Western Express
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 04:46:09 pm »
Border Inn and not Baker??  Oooohhhh.
Coulda taken the bikes up to Wheeler Peak and zoomed down.
And the little Kerouac's Restaurant is 5-star.
Sounds like you had great weather for the trip.

PS -
Almost everyone goes town to town to town, understandably.
Plus, you were doing the motel thing - not camping
But the Nevada desert is spectacular - esp. a mile or two off road.
And the night sky is  - - well, you see the entire universe.

Offline aggie

Re: Bike ride across Nevada part of Western Express
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 08:00:34 pm »
The ride did end in Baker when it was a camping tour and some riders who haven't enough climbing for the week do climb Wheeler Peak.  NPS has their facilities closed.  The ride also offered a tour of Lehman caves but they were closed.   The sky IS spectacular at night.  The ride did offer a van ride to the top this year.  I think 4 or 5 riders took the ride.

Offline cyclist alan

Re: Bike ride across Nevada part of Western Express
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2020, 10:09:01 am »
Thanks for sharing such things