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, June 25, 2006

Tour de Nez - 100 miles, 7,500ft, 100 degrees

We set off around 8am. I turned up on my own for the event but by chance had parked next to Scott fron Bsgetti's so I started riding with them.

Coming out of Reno we were soon in back roads and hills, very pretty. The first rest stop was about 15 miles in, just before we had a nasty stretch to do on the very busy 395.

Through Washoe (still on the nasty 395) I was surprised to notice a giant in a field behind the chocolate factory.
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As soon as was possible we pulled off the 395 onto a road that runs close to the foothills all the way to Carson (Franktown Rd?). A very quiet section.
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As we came in to Carson most of the riders turned left to go back, obviously doing the 100km run not the 100 miler. There was just one rider ahead of me so I caught him up. Darren was a good find! A pretty strong cyclist who knew how to draft, though we didn't do much of it really since we were mostly grinding up hills in the windless heat.

The first big climb was up highway 50 to Spooner Summit. The hill was long but the gradient pretty easy. But the road surfaces was awful. The only decent part of the shoulder to ride on was next to the busy and narrow highway. Kingsbury Grade (the next road along to the west) is still closed due to a rock slide too so there was even more traffic here than usual. At times, roadworks and ironwork pushed us into the main highway lanes which was extremely unpleasant and quite dangerous.

We eventually reached the summit and found our lunch stop in the forest. As usual I had no problem eating during the event and routinely stuffed extra cookies in my pockets to munch on as I was leaving the rest stops. A pleasant descent led us to Lake Tahoe, which we headed around for a while before going up Incline Village.
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The selected road to get up Incline was awfully steep and by now it was 100 degrees and had been for some time. At the top we had a rest stop and even in the shade one of the bike computers read 99 degrees. The rest stop was awesome though, mainly due to the ice cold water. I was surprised that a few people dropped out of the race at this point. The last hill had been a kicker and it was very hot and one guy told me he was seeing things. I guess the thought of 4 miles straight up Mount Rose was not a great motivator either. Eventually we headed out to get 'er done.

Immediately we noticed the wide shoulder and fresh tarmac leading up Mt Rose and the relatively gentle gradient. Mount Rose is a really lovely ride, perhaps as good or better than Kingsbury. Mt Rose itself is around 9,500ft so it was unsurprising to see the snow up there.
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Even the rest stop at the top had piles of snow still there - in 100 degree heat!
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Here's my new buddy Darren at the top.
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Destination Reno. One last look at the view before heading down.
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Here we go! 3,500ft straight down :-) Great fun and very fast.
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We got back to Reno in time for some food and to join the rest of the huge cycling celebration. It was quite fun to watch the pro crit race though some of the spills were pretty horrible.

I don't know how much water I lost today but I seem to be more salty than salt itself. So, not a bad day of Death Ride training, though the Death Ride is longer and has more than twice the climbing.

2 Comments:

At 4:59 pm, Anonymous Kyle Brown said...

minor correction - Hwy 50's summit on the east side of Lake Tahoe is "Spooner Summit" rather than Donner. Donner is I-80, west of Truckee.

 
At 7:48 pm, Blogger litsl said...

thanks Kyle!

 

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