Bicycle Journey Progress

The journey begins on July 29th and ends on September 11th, 2023

Ride Progress: ABOUT TO START!
Daily summaries:

terça-feira, 12 de junho de 2012

Day 60 – 06/01/2012 – Attempting to leave Las Vegas, NV

This day we had in mind wake up early and then ride towards Needles, CA. This destination was about 90 miles away, but we thought waking up really early would enable us to get there in one day. We woke up 6:00 am and by 7:00am we had taken our breakfast already. However packing, lubricating the bike and adjusting the tire pressure took a while and we ended up leaving the hotel 8:30am.

Right of the bat the temperature was high. We had not checked the weather forecast for that day, and we soon discovered we would go through some heat but we thought that would be nothing major.

We crossed Las Vegas in order to each the road that would take us to road 95, the one that goes towards our planned destination. The first hour riding in the urban area was difficult due to the high temperatures, but we managed to get to the road intersection. We found a bridge from where we could see the road crossing the desert. Road 95 cuts through a long stretch of nothingness, the kind of desert ground that doesn’t have even a tree, or a large cactus making shade.

Under that bridge we stopped our bicycles and eat half of a large sandwich we had with us. Our water bottles were so hot that I had to be careful when drinking due to the high water temperature. From below the bridge I contemplated the road that was waiting for us and felt a sort of a chill in my stomach knowing that road meant trouble.

We finished eating, had some more water and then started our descent towards the desert. The hot winds were blowing strong and dried out our eyes and mounts quickly. Right after entering the road there was a long decent, about five miles long. As we speeded downhill I started questioning our ability to reach any destination before getting into trouble. I then stopped the bicycle and questioned that with my uncle, but he though we were fine to keep going. I was not sure, but decided to give it a shot.

As we moved forward the temperatures kept rising more and more, and the need for water became constant. After about just three more miles I started feeling dizzy. The heat was really starting to affect my ability to think straight and I also started questioning if the amount of water we had, about two gallons total, was enough. Then I stopped and shared these concerns with my uncle. Without further options, we decided to go back.

We were already about nine miles into the desert, and the first five miles were now a long hill to be climbed. I was worried about not making back under the bridge safely, but due to the fact we had no other option but to try I kept quiet. There wasn’t even a small shade to cool off, so in an attempt to keep myself cooler I took one piece of underwear from my bag, soaked with water and placed in my head, under the helmet.

It took us about an hour to get back to the bridge. Once we did I laid down on the floor that was cool from the bridge’s shade and rested for a few minutes. My uncle also took some time to relax. Then we decided to head back about a mile more to reach a nearby casino which would certainly be equipped with AC. And so we did.

Once we got to the casino we parked our bicycles outside and tied one to another, then headed in. We found two couches which were free and faced the front door. From there we could see our bicycles. We decided to stay there until temperatures started to drop. My uncle bough us some chocolate milk and ice cold soda, and I got the laptop from the bicycle bag.

We spent the whole afternoon seating on those couches. I wrote a few daily summaries, and organized pictures and videos from previous days. My uncle accessed the internet and called Brazil. This way time passed and before we knew the sun was setting.

We used the restroom, packed our things and prepared for a ride in the desert during night time. We had no idea yet, but that night would be quite an experience.