Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nevada and The Loneliest Highway

I always seem to get up early when I'm in a tent. Not sure if it's the restful sleep or the sunlight that does it...maybe both. Paul (on the Yellow Buell) and I were both up to help our fellow biker with his dead battery.


A jump didn't do it so we push started it, which also didn't work. And I tripped and fell on some huge rocks in the process...had I not been wearing my motorcycle gear, I would have been seriously hurt. Ouch. So I volunteered to go pick up a battery at the nearest auto parts store, Paul came with. Back a few min later, a new fully charged battery in hand, and we were on the road to get breakfast. I can't seem to recall his name at the moment, but he was really nice and bought us both breakfast for helping him out.


Highway 50 is similar to Hwy 93 that I had taken yesterday...straight and lonely. Except I think 50 has a better marketing department. It wasn't as lonely as 93, but the distance between towns (small ones!) and gas stations makes it a more lonely drive.


At the KOA the night before, one of the ladies at the desk had given me a Highway 50 survivors go thru each town on the list and get a stamp and the Nevada Tourism Commission mails you a certificate. The first stop was Eureka, NV. I took a tour of the Eureka History Museum and got a shot of an old newspaper printing press. Even the modern versions of these are soon to be gone.


I didn't get much rain today, in fact, it was quite dry and hot. And boring. And when the antelope darted out in front of me as I passed a small hill, things got a lot more exciting. If I hadn't hit the brakes, I would have had antelope soup for lunch...or someone else would have had white boy soup with antelope on the side, or both. Catching my breath and needing a moment to calm down, I drove a little further and stopped for some pics.


As I got closer to Fallon, NV and closer to the end of the lonely highway, I passed the Shoe Tree. Legend has it that quarreling lovers stopped by the road and one threw the other's shoes up in the tree. After they made up, the other reciprocated by tossing the first one's shoes up in the tree. And people have been doing it ever since. I grabbed a pair that had fallen and tossed them up. :)


It was HOT at the end of the ride in the hills east of Fallon. I tried to snap a shot of the temp at 105 but by the time I got out my cam and focused it on the bike's temp gauge, I hit a pocket of cooler air that was 100.3. And of course as soon as I put it away, the temps go back up. Oh well.


I stopped for some lunch at a 50's diner. I had been noticing a vibration in the bike so I looked up bike shops I could take it to for a look. Actually, I had noticed the un-even tire back in Ohio, but it looked small enough to get back to SD for a repair. But I felt it was getting significantly worse after the trip thru the hot desert. It was a Saturday, and few shops were open. I called up Tu-Bruthers Motorsports and even though they'd closed 5 min before I rang, they told me to come over anyway. The brothers looked at my bike and immediately found that my rear rim was bent. Over the thousands of miles on the trip, the bent rim wore the tire unevenly and it started to show after 8K miles. I hadn't hit any large potholes or anything that would have caused this on my trip so the brother's theory was that Cycle Gear bent it when they put on my current set of rubber. They deemed it not dangerous to my health to continue the rest of the way to San Diego, so after talking with them for a while about my trip and their shop, I got back to eating my lunch. The waitress at the diner had let me leave and come back an hour later, I tipped her well.

These guys were awesome, I can't recommend them enough.


Their 360 HP race bike.


I stayed the night in Fallon, NV at a hotel recommended by the Tu-Bruthers guys. A baseball tournament was in town so the hotel was packed full of obnoxious boys and even more annoying and obnoxious parents. I would have tried to camp but the nearest campsite I could find was an hour away, it was too hot and I was tired.

My route for the day, Highway 50.

View Larger Map

Tomorrow, into California and West to the coast!


Blogger tedder said...

if your rim is at all bent, make sure to replace the bearings sooner than later. Or you'll end up replacing them every 1500 miles like we did :-)

Looks like a proper adventure!

August 9, 2009 12:28 AM  

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