Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cycling to Genoa to the oldest bar in Nevada

Slept in a bit after our few days of roughing it at the cabin. Not having hot water is sort of roughing it, even though I'm becoming convinced that Wild Cat Cabin is my favourite place on Earth.

Today was the start of our cycling training. Kathryn got on her bike, clipped into her clip-in pedals and we were off. I was pretty much convinced that anyone learning to use clip-in pedals has to fall off once so they remember the importance of clicking their heels to unclip before trying to put a foot down. We set off on our chilly ride and Kathryn's natural cycling ability dealt with drop handlebars, funny brakes and gears, brand new leather saddles, funny lobster style gloves and clip-in pedals. She regularly rides quite long distances around London, which has got to hone the old cycling skills, but I was still a bit worried about the number of new things she was having to deal with at once. In particular I was worried about the pedals. You really need to fall off to learn how those pedals work, i just hoped it would be at a quiet spot. In the event it was a gravelly spot, albeit with a lovely view of Job's Peak. I'm afraid my prediction of the event and relief that there was no traffic, and relief that the event had occured safely, may have made me seem a little less considerate and sympathetic than one might expect given Kathryn's gashed knee, but she's pretty tough about stuff like that so we pushed on.

After about 9 miles we passed some streams in a boggy patch. The streams were very odd, they were steaming plenty. Soon after we came upon Wally's Hot Springs, a very nice looking hot springs resort with pleasant cafe (shut 5 minutes before we arrived). We looked longingly at the water (Kathryn more than me) and we headed on to Genoa, to the oldest bar in the state (1863).

The bar was very pleasant indeed and seemed much more authentic than "The Bucket of Blood" in Virginia City (a city with much potential for historic interest, squandered - there is even a Mark Twain museum, since he worked there, but it is not very well done). Anyhow, on a cold cycle ride (about minus 3 with Wind Chill), the bar and it's wood stove were a welcome sight. Coffee and whisky soon warmed us up ready for th 13 miles home. A couple next to us in the bar had been skiing at Kirkwood and were pretty keen cyclists too, so we had a nice old chat. It's amazing how much nicer it is in a place when you can have a nice chat with whoever is next to you at the bar!

For the 13 miles home it was getting a little dark and cold but was downwind and pretty pleasant and fast. The usual treats of cycling were never far away - huge birds of prey (Red Tailed Hawks) circling overhead and the feeling we were out there with them, rather than encased in a metal box. Beautiful. A good reminder of what cycling is all about.


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