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May Tour - San Francisco to Denver

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May Tour - San Francisco to Denver

As I hinted in my profile I've wanted to ride from my house to my sister's and in-laws homes for a long time. That would be from Wine Country north of San Francisco "straight" across Nevada and Utah to a bit north of Denver. I saw the first half of the route when I crewed in the 1988 Race Across America. The last third I've seen several times driving I-70. There is a couple of hundred miles of basin and range topography in Utah that would be new. I've bicycled the last tenth from Vail, CO to Denver, CO twice. My wife is supporting me across the middle half and it looks like there are Warmshowers people to cover the rest.

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West to East Ride

You are going to have a great time. I took that ride last summer. From Tahoe I took Hwy 50 across Nevada, and at Baker dropped down to Cedar City, Utah to cut across to Natl Parks, and northeast again to generally follow I70 to Denver. I camped mostly, so if you'd like info, let me know.
Jack Day

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my first reply ever

Good to know it can be fun. It looks like I'll be using Warmshower to Fallon NV. I'll get my "Loneliest Highway" booklet stamped at Baker and head straight east towards Denver. the wife and I are budgeting for a video-enabled camera so I can record the drop down Loveland Pass into Denver. I dream of showing that record to my local bike club next winter. Did you ever run a little short on time in trying to make each next town across Nevada and Utah. Does starting early each day and eating breakfast as you go work or is chowing down before you ride make sense? I see little advice about how much to eat and when, only to eat enough and stay hydrated.

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Nevada Tour

Hey Ken:
In Fallon you can camp at the fairgrounds w/showers. I was pulling a trailer and slower than most, but I made it from town to town okay. The weather during the middle of June was perfect for riding and sleeping.
After the Sand Dune, stop in Middlegate. What a trip that place is. Did you see the Kevin Bacon movie 'Tremors'? It's like that. The food is good and the owner has real cheap motel rooms and free camping with $1 shower.
Austin is one of my favorites. If you are going to camp there, go to the hardware store (local men's hangout) and ask for Reuben. Everybody knows him and they will tell you where to find him. He is the guy who runs the rodeo grounds which has a couple nice campsites with trees and w/shower. He doesn't charge but will accept donations. It's a great place at the base of the mountain before you climb into the town.
Baker has a food stop on the right with yellow benches on the porch for having a beer and WiFi for updating your Facebook. The owner is from New York City and also has some land across the street where you can camp for free as long as you eat a meal at his restaurant.
Eat before you ride. I carried peanut butter and bread for filler when there was nowhere to eat. I also carried 2 one gallon jugs of water in the desert states just in case. I did run out once in Utah but that was from pouring it over my head in 100+ weather. I found that when getting ready to make the run down from a summit, pour water over your head and the wind would cool you off all the way down.
My trailer was overloaded so I had to push my bike sometimes up the mountain road from Dillon to Loveland Pass. I camped half way up at the A-Basin ski run. There was no one around so I kind of snugged in close to a building, and left early before anyone showed up. I had lunch by the sign at the summit and what a great feeling that was. I also had a Contour helmet cam for the ride down to the Interstate. It was a 6 hour climb for me, and eleven minutes to get down the other side. I have the video. I'll post it for you tomorrow if you like.
I had phone/email service all the way across Nevada and Utah which was a surprise.

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