Today was a beautiful day for a long ride on the tandem. There was a light easterly wind so we headed to the Town of Ledgeview, Wisconsin (located east of us) to bicycle the Ledgeview Loops.
In 2018, we were hired to develop bicycle loops for the Town of Ledgeview. A recent survey of their residents showed a desire to have preferred bicycle routes signed in the community. After months of work the Ledgeview Park Loop (3.8 miles), Rollercoaster Loop ( 7.4 miles), Moneymaker Loop (5.6 miles), and the Dairyaire Loop (8.3 miles) were created and approved by the Park Committee and the Town Board.
Work on the loops continued in 2019 with the Town signing two of the routes and securing a sponsor for one. The Town’s website also has Loop maps available for download.
We had a fun afternoon riding a portion of all four loops on our 32 mile ride. The Dairyaire Loop definitely lived up to its name with the fresh farm scent for us to enjoy.
We encourage you to get out and explore your own backyard.
This COVID-19 virus thing really sucks! We hope we can make it a little easier for you and your family with a FREE Kindle version of our book. Get yours before midnight today, March 31, 2020.
You may not be able to get out much right now, but you can join us as we take you along on our 4,362-mile, 72-day, adventure across the Northern Tier of the USA on our bicycle built for two.
If you would like a hard copy of the book it is available on our website (www.webike.org). Free pick-up or delivery available in the Greater Green Bay, WI area. Also available on Amazon.
Remember, you can also check out the posts from our last four bicycle adventures on this blog. Feel free to ride along with us on the Northern Tier (2014), Mississippi River (2015), Historic Route 66 (2016), and Sierra/Cascades (2019). This could be a great way to get out of the house, virtually. Enjoy!
As for us, we are doing well and have been following the Wisconsin Safer at Home order. Thankfully, we are allowed outside and can enjoy our favorite outdoor activities – biking, walking, and running. This helps keep us mentally and physically strong.
Hope you are all doing well during these very difficult times.
“What do you have planned for this year?”
This is the most common question we get asked when we are at the grocery store, the gym, shoveling our driveway, meetings, out for dinner or a beer, literally everywhere we go in and around Green Bay, Wisconsin. And we love it!
What everyone is asking about, of course, is our next great tandem bicycle adventure. It’s kind of become our thing. After twenty-five years of riding a tandem, innumerable training rides, day trips, three unsupported cross-country adventures, a book (“Coast to Coast on a Tandem”), many articles and television appearances, and a 1,500-mile ride last spring from Washington State to Nevada along the ridge of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, it is what we are known for. Not to mention our bicycle and pedestrian safety consulting business, WE BIKE, etc., LLC and our advocacy work.
So, what do we have planned.
We need to bring you up to speed on several factors which are influencing our approach to this year before we reveal our plan.
Honestly, the biggest factor is Tracy’s knee, but there are others.
Tracy’s knee isn’t the same as it was before she was hit by a motorist back in July of 2018 while riding her bicycle. A driver ran a stop sign, failed to yield the right of way and struck Tracy causing a concussion, whiplash, bruising and a complex tear of the medial meniscus of her left knee which required surgery. Tracy was cleared by her doctor ten-months later to do our last trip, but he warned that the knee might not be as strong as before and might fatigue and become painful more easily. All these things were true. We were able to complete 1,500 miles, but we had to abandon before completing our goal of riding 7,000 miles through our last 21 states. Tracy was also dealing with anxiety from the crash and this contributed to our early departure.
Fortunately, Tracy’s knee is still getting stronger, thanks to her hard work and determination. She has recently returned to fitness classes, playing volleyball, and even running a bit. Hope springs eternal.
Peter had a bit of a scare himself in January when he developed some pain and a bump on the inside of his left knee. After consulting our athletic trainer and sports medicine doctor, Peter thought he might need surgery, his second on that knee. Fortunately, after x-rays, an MRI and a visit to our orthopedic surgeon, the bump was determined to be a meniscal cyst and he was cleared to return to training, without surgery or any restrictions. Peter is one happy camper and is killing his workouts!
It took us twenty-five years to build our skill, knowledge and strength to the point where we have been able to do some pretty incredible things, but now, it is time to reassess. Our plan this year is to start out small and see how far we can get.
Everything you always wanted to know about our bicycle history, but were afraid to ask!
We moved to Ashwaubenon in 1993 for Tracy’s job as the Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. Almost every night after work, we would ride the same ten-mile loop west of town with our, then three-year-old, daughter, Melissa, in a bicycle trailer. When Melissa turned five, we bought our first tandem (Trek T-100) so Melissa could ride. Tracy did her first 100-miler on that bike at the Door County Century. When we added our second daughter, Alexandra, to the mix, she joined us on our family rides in the trailer. Some of our first overnight rides were from our home to Shawano (41 miles) on the Mountain-Bay State Recreation Trail. We would spend the night at a hotel in Shawano with other families from the Bay Shore Bicycle Club, eating pizza and swimming. The next day we all biked home.
We would sneak away on the bike as a couple whenever we could. Our first fully loaded (with camping gear) trip was to Fond du Lac (65 miles) in 2001. We had just bought our road/touring tandem, a Santana Arriva, and all the necessary gear. We camped in Peter’s brother’s back yard and got eaten alive by mosquitoes. We were hooked!
Our trips kept getting longer and longer as time permitted. By the time we completed our first three-week unsupported trip in Wisconsin/Minnesota, we figured we could probably make it across the country.
We completed our first of three unsupported cross-country trips, along the Northern Tier of the United States (4,362 miles), in 2014. We followed that with the Mississippi River (3,052 miles) in 2015 and, Historic Route 66 (2,603 miles) in 2016. In 2017, we released a book about our 2014 trip, “Coast to Coast on a Tandem, Our Adventure Crossing the USA on a Bicycle Built for Two.”
What is keeping us busy besides riding bikes?
There is a lot going on in the bicycle and pedestrian world in northeastern Wisconsin these days. We are looking forward to being home this spring to work with the following groups and organizations on their many projects:
Work will keep us busy this spring as well. We will be doing pedestrian and bicycle law enforcement training for the great State of New Mexico and Bike Cleveland (Ohio). This training provides law enforcement officers with the information they need to enforce laws which protect pedestrians and bicyclists and improve traffic safety in their communities.
We hope to see you on the road!
The determining factors in when and where we will travel by bicycle this year will likely be the weather (which way the wind is blowing), how we are feeling and, how much time we have. After that, the sky’s the limit! Follow our progress on this blog and our social media channels.
Facebook – WE BIKE, etc.
Instagram – @webikeetc
Twitter – @WeBikeetc
By Peter Flucke
Greetings from our home here in Ashwaubenon (Green Bay), Wisconsin where we are recovering from our latest bicycle adventure in the Sierra and Cascade Mountains. We have taken some medium-length day trips on the tandem and are enjoying the fall, between rain storms that is. We are getting stronger physically and mentally every day.
We didn’t expect to be home right now. We thought we would be finishing our longest unsupported tandem bicycle trip yet, approximately 7,000 miles in 21 states, and reveling in the accomplishment of having bicycled in all the lower forty-eight states. But this was not to be, at least for now.
What we do for fun, bicycle long distances, isn’t easy. But, over the years we have gotten pretty good at it, and it is a big part of who we are, as individuals, and as a couple. “We can’t dance together, but we sure can ride that bike.” Thousands and thousands of miles ridden, three cross-country trips and our book, “Coast to Coast on a Tandem,” stand as testament. I wouldn’t say we have gotten cocky, but we have become accustomed to accomplishing whatever we’ve put our minds to. But not this time.
Sierra Cascade Trip Highlights
-We began our trip in Bellingham, Washington June 1, 2019, a beautiful sunny day, and headed south.
-In Port Townsend, WA we found a bike shop to tighten some loose front wheel spokes, reconnected with an old friend from Madison, WI, Stacey, who now lives in California but was vacationing in the area, and had our first Warm Showers stay. Busy day, wonderful little city.
-The Olympic Peninsula, Pacific Ocean, Olympic National Park and Forest were quiet and beautiful. We even missed the rain.
-In Alma, WA we met up with our friends Greg (formerly from Green Bay) and Annette who live in Tucson, AZ and were also vacationing in the area.
-A stop for lunch in Montesano, WA scored us a free Click-Stand for our bike from a friend of the maker. We don’t leave home without it now.
-Along the road to Centralia, WA we reunited with fellow bicycle tourist Richard Dorsett from Tacoma, WA who we met at Itasca State Park in Minnesota in 2015 while bicycling the Mississippi River.
-To “save time” we crossed the Columbia River from Washington to Oregon on the Lewis & Clarke Bridge near Rainier, Oregon. This was one of our most terrifying bridge crossings ever! Think, steep climb, minimal shoulder, logging trucks and large chunks of Ponderosa Pine bark. We survived!
-Our Warm Showers host in Columbia City, Oregon was a former Santana Cycles employee. Our bike is a Santana. Small world.
-In Portland, Oregon we stayed with Peter’s Cousin Becky Wehrli for a couple of days and met up with Rob Sadowski, a former colleague from Chicago, and Kyle Fordham who we met and rode with in Montana in 2014 while doing our first coast-to-coast bicycle trip.
-Bicycling the Historic Columbia River Highway through the Columbia River Gorge was stunning.
-Mt. Hood presented us with incredible mountain views and two flat tires in one day, our first.
-At Bennett Pass (4,675 ft.) and Blue Box Pass (4,024ft.) we crossed the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for the first time.
-Suffered a complete failure of our disk drag brake on a 2,200 ft. descent into the tiny town of Detroit, OR. Cooked a set of rim brake pads and cracked a brake lever/shifter housing trying to keep our 425-pound mass under control. This at the end of a 90 mile stretch with no services and minimal water. Again, we survived!
-Shuttled ourselves and the bike to Bend, OR by truck (78 mi.) for bike repairs and to recover mentally.
-Spent three days in Bend, OR with wonderful Warm Showers hosts while we repaired the bike and treated Tracy’s unexpected infection. One more day than expected.
-Took the beautiful, and well-constructed, Cascade Lakes Highway from Bend, OR up to Mt. Bachelor (9,052’) and our first snow. Dropped like a stone to Rock Creek Campground on Crane Prairie Reservoir for the night. No electricity or showers, but again, beautiful!
-Biked through lava fields on the Cascade Lakes Highway.
-From Chemult, OR, climbed to Crater Lake (4,900 ft. – 7,500 ft.). Tracy’s knee was suffering.
-Shared a campsite with wonderful complete strangers at the FULL campground at Mazama Village, in Crater Lake National Park.
-Averaged 30 mph, all downhill, to Prospect, OR in 30-degree temperatures.
-Approaching Ashland, Oregon, climbed Dead Indian Pass (2,800-5,200). The descent into Ashland was highly technical, hairpin turns, crosswinds, cattle grates, and steep slopes. We Survived.
-Had a Warm Showers stay in Ashland, OR with an expresso machine. Stayed for two days to recover and caffeinate.
-Entered California on the I-5 freeway, six miles downhill at up to 40 mph.
-Hit the 1,000-mile mark near Mt. Shasta, CA.
-Tracy found a wallet along the side of a mountain road near McCloud, CA and returned it.
-Biked approximately 300 mostly terrifying miles on California Highway 89 (two lanes, narrow, no shoulder, twisting, mountainous, lots of logging trucks).
-While climbing to Lassen Volcanic National Park, on a particularly difficult day, received a text from our oldest daughter that one of our cats, “Mio,” had cancer and needed to be put down. Sad day!
-Topped out at 8,500 ft. (our highest elevation ever on the tandem) in Lassen Volcanic National Park and encountered big snow, 30 ft. deep. Warmed up at sulfur pots on descent, warm but stinky.
-Blew out the electricity in our room at the Antlers Motel in Chester, CA when an alarm clock shorted out. Bang! Dark.
-Descended from Canyon Dam, CA – Greenville, CA, 11 miles, at 30-40 mph.
-Took two days off and explored Truckee, CA with our Warm Showers host.
-Biked around the south end of Lake Tahoe and entered Nevada at South Lake Tahoe.
-Ended our trip on July 4, 2019 in Fallon, NV after bicycling 1,456 miles. The bike had a loose rear hub which required a bike shop to fix and there wasn’t one in town. There were also too many other minimums.
-Shuttled ourselves and the bike to Reno, NV where we spent several days with extended family. Explored the area in a Porsche Boxster, rested and recovered for the drive home.
-Arrived home in Green Bay, WI on July 12, 2019 after exploring more of the country we hadn’t seen before, particularly parts of the Oregon Trail which some of my ancestors traveled in the mid-1800s.
Why We Abandoned
As our friend Diane Jenks from the Outspoken Cyclist Podcast says, “In bicycle racing and bicycle touring, there is no shame in abandoning, it is simply part of the sport.” (Diane interviewed us several times during our trip.)
On July 1, 2018 Tracy was hit by a car! She was riding her city bike only three miles from our home when a motorist failed to stop for a stop sign and did not yield the right of way to Tracy. The motorist received citations for both violations. Tracy’s bicycle was damaged, and her helmet cracked. She suffered soft tissue damage, whiplash, a concussion, and a complex tear of the medial meniscus of her left knee. She had surgery to repair her knee on August 13, 2018. Tracy spent the next nine months rehabilitating her knee and was cleared by her orthopedic surgeon to do the trip.
During the trip it became obvious that Tracy’s knee was not the same as it had been on previous trips. She had less power, an issue in the mountains, and the knee was becoming progressively sorer.
Too Many Mountains
We love bicycling in the mountains and have successfully ridden them on many occasions. However, this trip was different. In our quest to bicycle our final 21 states, we had chosen a route that took us along the length of two mountain ranges instead of directly up and over them. The repeated climbs and technical descents were taking their toll on us both physically and mentally.
California Highway 89 was one of the scariest roads we have ever ridden from a traffic standpoint. And, we were on it for roughly 300 miles. Days and days. It was beautiful, but we didn’t see much of it. We were too busy watching for traffic. The road was two lanes wide, narrow, with no shoulder most of the time, twisting, mountainous, and there were lots of logging trucks traveling in both directions.
At one point an oncoming logging truck pulled into our lane to pass a line of slower moving vehicles. Our lane, at approximately 11 ft. wide, was too narrow for us to share with the 8.5 ft. wide truck. (Our handlebars are about 2 ft. wide. You do the math!) With no shoulder on the road, my only choice to avoid a head-on collision was to dive the bike into the 10 ft. deep ditch and take our chances. Miraculously, just before the point of no return, a slow-moving vehicle pull out appeared and we were able to avoid almost certain catastrophe. It took us several minutes stopped in the pullout to regain enough composure to continue the ride. We really didn’t have much choice.
There are always parts of a bicycle tour which are less than ideal and thus anxiety producing. Narrow roads with high-speed traffic are usually the culprit. Fortunately, we are well-trained cyclists with an abundance of experience, and we know that, even under the most difficult of circumstances, the chances of us being involved in a crash are very small. Also, the bad stretches usually don’t last long which allows us to regain our wits and nerve and continue riding.
In the past, no matter how difficult the previous day’s journey, we have always woken up in the morning excited to get back on the bike. On this trip, particularly for Tracy, the mornings often brought the dread of more extreme climbing, descents, and dangerous roads. For me, the dread had more to do with how unfair it was that Tracy should have to relive her crash every time a car passed us too closely.
Our tandem is a 2000 Santana Arriva with over 60,000 miles of loaded touring on it, not to mention day and training rides. The bike is in great shape, but I often joke that the only thing original on it at this point is the frame.
The bike took a beating on this trip:
-A couple of the teeth on the large chainring were damaged when we shipped the bike from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Bellingham, Washington, but we were able to fix them, and the bike was in ship shape before we left.
-Loose spokes on our new wheels plagued us early in the trip, but we eventually got them tensioned appropriately for the load we were carrying.
-Flat tires are a normal part of bicycling but having two rear flats in the same day was unusual. Never happened again.
-I dropped the chain during a long steady climb and it jammed between the bike frame and the small chain ring. I had to remove the chain rings to fix that one. Glad I knew how and had the tools.
-The disk drag brake failure in the mountains outside of Detroit, Oregon was epic and terrifying. Ultimately, we discovered that the brake pads were worn out. Coming from very flat country, I had never needed to replace the pads in the past, so I never thought to do it before this trip, or to carry an extra set of pads with us. I do now.
-While trying to control the bike with just the rim brakes when the drum brake went out, I cracked off part of the housing of our right shifter/brake lever. The part literally fell into my hand during the descent. Since I couldn’t think of any extra parts in a that piece of the bike, I held onto the small piece of plastic. Turned out the bike works just fine with out the small plastic part that covers the spring in the shifter. We still ride it that way. Who knew.
-On a long steep climb Tracy kept hearing a rubbing noise coming from the back of the bike. Upon inspection, we discovered that the sidewall of our rear tire had failed, after 1,300 miles, and the tube was bulging out and rubbing on the frame. Usually when this happens the next sound you hear is, BANG! But we managed to fix it with a spare tire before that happened.
-Finally, as we rode to Fallon, NV on our last day, the rear end of the bike started to feel loose, a very strange feeling on a fully loaded tandem. It’s an even stranger feeling for Tracy who sits almost directly over the rear wheel. I ultimately decided that the rear hub was loose but decided not to fix it, if I could, because we had decided to abandon the trip, for now.
None of these mechanical issues were deal breakers in and of themselves. We had survived Highway 89 and would never have to bicycle it again. The bike could always be fixed. We would eventually get out of the mountains but, Tracy’ knee and our individual and collective anxieties were still issues. It was time to head home.
I like to tell people, “We had 7,000 miles of adventure in 1,456 miles, and that was enough.”
We are not done bicycle touring; in fact, we miss it already. We plan to use the winter to regroup, rebuild our bodies and minds and plan for the future. We will keep you posted.
What We learned
Go when you can, it could be taken away from you in an instant.
Our Next Presentation
We will be doing a free public presentation about this trip on November 21, 2019 at the Ashwaubenon Community Center, 900 Anderson Dr, Ashwaubenon, WI 54304. The event will begin at 5:30 pm with book signing and sales, followed by the presentation at 6:00 p.m. Please join us if you can!
Our Book – “Coast to Coast on a Tandem”
If you enjoyed following us on this adventure you will love reading about our first unsupported cross-country ride along the Northern Tier of the USA as chronicled in our book, “Coast to Coast on a Tandem.” The book is available on our website (www.webike.org), Amazon and at several local retailers and makes a great Christmas gift. Enjoy the ride!
Guest Blog by Beth Heller, M.S. Wello, Strategic Partnership Manager
Thirty-five days and 1,456 miles into their 7000 mile cross-country tandem bike ride, Peter and Tracy Flucke faced a tough decision. Tracy, who was still under a year out from major knee surgery in August of 2018, was feeling the wear and tear of the beautiful but aggressive west coast mountain terrain. In addition, road work and summer traffic demanded peak performance and awareness from the experienced cyclists. When they looked at the big picture, the national cycle safety experts knew going further simply wasn’t smart…or safe.
It was time to call this ride. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t achieve their goal. Wello caught up with Peter and Tracy to ask them how it felt to have to take their own advice and head home:
How did you feel about wrapping up early?
Peter: Before we set out we know there’s a difference between a plan and what actually happens. Setting up for a ride like this you make meticulous preparations based on the information available. Once Tracy and I get underway, the success of the trip depends on our ability to be flexible, to assess situations as they unfold and to make adjustments. In this case we had to be flexible in the face of the reality on the ground.
Tracy: When you set out, you assume best case scenarios and know that there will be some situations where you don’t have the best of conditions. With my knee, the terrain, road work and dangerous traffic patterns, we kept running into too many sub-par scenarios. That’s one of the hardest parts of being an expert – you have the training and experience to recognize when you’re compromised and sometimes have to deliver bad news to yourself!
How would you say this trip lived up to your goal?
Tracy: I knew going into this trip it would be challenging because I was actively rehabbing up until the time we left. For me, though, it’s not about the 7000 mile goal, it’s about the beauty of the countryside, the fellowship on the road and a sense of adventure. Biking keeps me real – and in many ways having to call the trip off was a pretty “real” experience. We were disappointed but also very excited by what we achieved.
Peter: One of the reasons Tracy and I bike is to make sure we’re staying in touch with the elements of our work that make it a purpose rather than a job. Wello talks a lot about well-being. We bike to stay physically healthy, of course, but we also bike because it breaks everything that keeps us healthy down to its essence. It’s a physical, mental, social and community activity that connects us to life and allows us to play a role in shaping our environment through our advocacy.
What advice do you have for people who want to tackle an audacious goal?
Peter: Plan, but be willing to roll with reality on the ground. Tracy and I set out on a 7000 mile trip but it turns out that 1400 was what the trip actually needed to be. We enjoyed so much, worked really hard and came home healthy. That’s a total success for two people who are interested in and motivated by learning experiences.
Tracy: There are big, aspirational goals that tell the grand story and there are the everyday goals that give us purpose. Don’t ever be afraid to set the audacious goals because there are many ways to achieve them – and sometimes that may mean honoring your gut and heading home with lessons learned for next time!
Interested in learning more about Peter, Tracy and their company, WE BIKE, etc.? Check out their their awesome book Coast to Coast On a Tandem!
We wanted to share some of the videos from our trip. We were not able to upload on route due to limited connectivity. To review the blog from the day we made the climb – click here. Enjoy! (More videos to come).
Greetings from Reno, Nevada.
We want to let you know that we have decided we have had enough adventure for a while and are putting our bicycle trip on hold to rest, recover, and plan our next move.
We are both tired and Tracy’s knee is sore, but we are otherwise fine. Our bicycle, on the other hand, would need some love before we could continue on the “Loneliest Road in America,” highway 50. The rear hub is loose and there was no bicycle shop in Fallon, where we ended our ride.
We now are in Reno, spending time with family and making travel plans. Thanks to Amadeo Flores for coming to pick us, and the bike, up in Fallon. We are staying with Amadeo and Holly at their beautiful home in the Reno foothills. After exploring the area a bit, we will rent a car and head home. Our plan is to follow much of the route we were going to bicycle.
This has been an incredible experience! Although, we are sad to be suspending the trip for now, this is the best choice for us both physically and mentally. Pushing on would not be a positive, or safe, choice at this time.
Taking stock of what we have done thus far, we are incredibility proud of our accomplishments.
-1,456 miles ridden
-35 days on the road
-Numerous mountain passes scaled and descended
-Visited three national parks (Olympic, Crater Lake, and Lassen Volcanic)
-Experienced numerous national forests
-Met many incredible people, including some amazing Warm Showers hosts
-Shared our adventure through hundreds of blogs, podcasts, and social media posts
-Inspired countless followers
Thank you for all your support and encouragement. We will be in touch again once we get settled back in Green Bay.
Tracy and Peter
Guest Blog by Beth Heller, M.S. Wello, Strategic Partnership Manager
Two weeks ago, Green Bay made history when the Safe Walk & Bike Plan was approved by the Green Bay Board of Education and the Green Bay Common Council without a single dissenting vote. The plan actively identifies ways to help adults and kids of all ability levels make walking and biking part of their daily routines, It’s a major step forward that prioritizes infrastructure and projects that will provide years of health and economic benefits for the community.
Like anything worth doing, the Plan require the time and effort of many different groups including Green Bay Area Public Schools, the City of Green Bay and Wello. Luckily, too, our community is home to amazing experts like the Fluckes who have turned their passion for active living into a community asset. Together with Tool Design Group, WE BIKE, etc. Tracy and Peter served as consultants on the project, patiently putting expert eyes on piles of information in order to help build necessary consensus around the importance of building an active, connected community.
On June 19th, as the press conference unfolded, and the media stories multiplied, we wished Tracy and Peter could have been with us to enjoy the moment. But instead they were cruising the lovely scenery of the Pacific Northwest so, in the end, we couldn’t feel that bad for them, LOL.
But we do feel deeply grateful for such amazing community partners. Thanks WE BIKE, etc.
Wello thinks you two are the bomb!
Day 34 (July 4, 2019)
Silver Springs, NV (Lahontan State Recreation Area) to Fallon, NV – 35 Miles
Total Miles: 1,456
Weather: 80 degrees, sunny, tailwind
Today was a short day for a couple of reasons, it was either go short or way too long. We choose short due to the hot weather and mountain passes to come. We also have been having trouble with the rear wheel. Peter has tried a few things to fix it but thinks it might be the hub. We need to find a bicycle shop, unfortunately there is not one in Fallon.
Last night, the campground was a tough place to be. Between the illegal fireworks going off over our tent and the competing sound systems, we did not get much sleep. Morning came too soon.
The day started early at the Lahontan State Recreation Area Campground. The campground is operated by Nevada State Parks. We were shocked by how dirty and overrun the campground was. It appeared no one was taking care of it. The bathrooms were filthy and out of toilet paper. The campground does not have any designated campsites and allows people to camp wherever they want. There were massive amounts of RVs literally a few inches apart. There were just too many people in too small of a space. We can’t imagine what it will be like at the campground tonight, glad we will not be there.
Our ride to Fallon was uneventful. There were very few cars on the road. We suspected everyone was to where they were going already. We rode Hwy 50 most of the way with the last 15 miles having a nice wide shoulder.
We got to Fallon about 2:00 pm, checked out the town, and looked for a hotel room. There were lots to choose from, Fallon is evidently not the hot spot for the 4th of July. We hope wherever you are you have a Happy 4th of July.
Day 33 (July 3, 2019)
South Lake Tahoe, CA to Silver Springs, NV – 70 miles
Total Miles: 1,421
Weather: Cool start, 50 degrees, 83 degrees late in day, sunny, strong tailwind
We started early this morning at Motel 6 in South Lake Tahoe. We have not stayed at one of these for years. It was nice, the room was really clean and we had everything we needed. The staff was friendly and accommodating.
Peter picked up breakfast at the Grocery Outlet across the street. We ate, packed up, and hit the road. We had lots of miles to cover today in a new state.
We crossed into Nevada at the little town of Stateline (pop. 842). We stopped and took some pictures of the state line sign and then continued on our way. We were still traveling along Lake Tahoe and had some great views of the lake. We had the pleasure of seeing Lake Tahoe from the west, south, and east. Beautiful from all directions.
We arrived in Carson City, Nevada after a long climb to the top of White Hill (elevation 7,651 Ft.) and an amazing 35-40 mph descent of ten miles into the city. The descent was fun for Peter, but Tracy just hung on and tried to relax. The descents are wearing on her, they are just too intense.
We stopped in Carson City for lunch at the Red Hut. It was very good, and definitely filled us up for the rest of the ride. The Red Hut has been around since the early 1900’s.
After lunch, we got back on Hwy 50, which has four lanes and a really nice wide shoulder, ten Ft. It was easy to ride on and we did not have to worry about the cars coming up behind us, we both had plenty of space. The road was great, until we ran into the construction zone. One lane each way with barricades along the lanes. The side we had been traveling on was all torn up. This was not a good place to be on a bike!
We got off at the first place we could, a convenience store/gas station and tried to figure out how to get through the construction. It was going on for the next twelve miles and the guy at the gas station said it would be unsafe to be out there on a bike. We agreed. Peter pulled up google maps and, with the help of the attendant, we were able to figure out a way to at least get out of the worst of it. We found some side streets we could travel on for about 4 miles. We would then have to get back on Hwy 50. We hoped the construction would be done by then or at least we could bicycle through it away from the cars. Luck was on our side. When we had to get back on Hwy 50, the construction was still going on but, all of the cars were on one side in single lanes, and we could bicycle on the closed side. The closed side had not been torn up yet and had no construction vehicles working. We had the road all to ourselves with a great tailwind and made good time to our exit. Thank goodness!
We were heading to the Lahontan State Recreation Area, Silver Lake Beach Campground. The campground is on Lake Lahontan which is a reservoir for the Lahontan Dam. The lake is 17 miles long and has 69 miles of shoreline. It was being used for all types of water activities. The lake is probably the largest body of water in the area, so everyone comes here to cool off.
The campground was packed for the holiday. We found a spot near the restroom/shower building and set up our tent.