We Made It! Mountain Bike Nevada on the Utah/Nevada state line Sept 20, 2011
Here's the story.
9/10/11 - Day 1 Today marked the START of the inaugural mt bike adventure tour across Nevada. It was a beautiful sunny morning, but there were reports and signs of looming rain activity all week long. All the riders said their goodbyes, made sure all the final details were handled, and started off with smiles on their adventure at 10am sharp from Cal Neva Resort in Crystal Bay CA/NV. The first of 16 climbs, the Carson Rangeincluded some of the best views and spectacular lake sceneries in the Nevada. We climbedthe grueling sand of Tunnel Creek to access the infamous Flume Trail. Today was a four lake day...and all the beauty the Sierra Nevada Range has to offer.MTBNV 2011 Rider John Dowling high on Lake Tahoe State Park's famous Flume Trail with the turquoise waters of Sand Harbor far below.
The Flume Trail has an incredible view of Lake Tahoe for a fairly flat 4.5 miles all the way to Marlette Lake, it was a highlight of the trip and as great way to start the day and an 11 day mt bike ride. After waiting for the Great Flume Race to go by at the south end of Marlette, we climbed up Hobart Rd crossed the Tahoe Rim Trail and descended into Hobart Basin and Hobart Reservoir were we had a quick bite and refresher on the shore before the last small climb out of the Carson Range. The downhill was awesome with spectacular view of Washoe Lake as we descended over 3000' into Lakeview where we ere met by a KTVN Channel 2 News cameraman. After a quick interview and short 6 miles out to our first camp...we had completed the first day at about 3:30 at Washoe State Park.
View descending the Carson Range into Washoe Valley
Day 1 & 2 by Rich Staley, Great Basin Bicycles
9/11/11 - Day 2 The climb into VC was relatively quick, though quite arduous. TheVirginia Range is filled with a rich mining history as it is what we know as the famous Comstock. After we crested McClellan Peak, we dropped down into Virginia City where you can still feel the echos from a time gone by, it was a special day(9/11) to reflect on the past and be grateful of the freedoms we enjoy today. We stopped at Virginia City for lunch and ice cream (check out vid!).The International Camel Races were happening so town was packed. We had a quick 8 miles ride down 6 mile canyon before rolling out the last 15 miles on the flats of Ft Churchill Road which followed the Carson River all the way to the park. We took a dip in the Carson River then went over to the visitor center and listened to the Rangers at Fort Churchill State Park talk about the history of the fort. They even fired the cannon for us! BOOM! Thanks to all the family and friends that came out to see us!
9/12/11 - Day 3 It was a big day for everyone! 4:30am wake up call. 76 miles, 3 ranges, and lots of sand! We passed Hooten Well(an old Pony Express stop) and crossed theDead Camel Range in the morning. We were making good time as we reached the foot of the Bunejugs for lunch. After lunch things got tough. It was a brutal day for all of us, enduring the 12 -15 hour day with a 2 mile stretch of sand (below) that we had to hike our bikes through. The last climb between the Sand Springs Range and Cocoon Range was surprisingly tough very straining to our exhausted bodies, but rains that day had also cooled and packed the road nicely. The last 10 miles into Rawhide were mostly downhill and a welcome change to the drudgery of the previous 66 miles. Camp at Rawhide, though desolate, was a beautiful sight when it came into view. Exhausted, camp and dinner was quiet and reflective as we all licked our wounds and tried to recover.
9/13/11 - Day 4 Another big day, so far we have gone 210 miles and 12,000' of climbing . The morning ride was a well graded 35 miles to Gabbs where we had lunch. We accumulated 67 miles today. We crossed theParadise Range on the only paved range crossing of the ride.We were hosted that night at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park and are enjoyed some donated Ickys by the campfire. The State Parks really rolled out the red carpet for us allowing us to camp in theGroup Day Use area and they let us take showers in one of the ranger's cabins! The special tour of the fossil shelter was interesting and appreciated. Ben's BBQ Ichthyosaur was a hit also! Funny. it tasted just like chicken! Yummy!
THANKS TO ALL SUPPORTING AND FOLLOWING US!
9/14/11 - Day 5 We have entered the central NV highlands and climbed the Shoshone and Toiyabe Range today. As we came out of the Shoshone Range via Union Pass, we skirted the Yomba Indian Reservation as we crossed the Reese River valley. The 3,500' climb up the Toiyabe Range was long and grueling, but the views kept getting better as we approached the pass. The climb followed the northern border of the Arc Dome Wilderness which boast several 11,000' plus peaks.
Our highest point of the ride at 10,109' Ophir Pass in central NV.
Everyone was excitedly hesitant to take on the gnarliest downhill in Nevada (my opinion) that afternoon. And the caution was well warranted as about 4 or 5 of the riders went over the handlebars at least once on the 4,600 'descent in just 7.5 miles. We ended at Toquima Road where we were shuttled into Carvers for a night in a hotel with a real bed and a shower! Yeah! Kudos to all the crew, volunteers and especially the riders for the exceptional efforts they have all made so far and thanks to all supporting and following us online.
Day 5 & 6 by Rich Staley, Great Basin Bicycles
9/15/11 - Day 6 We climbed the Toquima Range today. It was fair weather with a beautiful climb to 8,369' pass onMoore's Creek Rd. Most of the group went ahead to camp from here. Those who stayed at the pass got to meet the mountain lion hunting women who offered us Natural Lights and antelope jerky. Only in Nevada! The downhill was an extraordinary 10 mile corridor of colorful rock and winding canyons. We rode north in Monitor Valley for about 15 miles tothe unusual geyser formation called Dinah's Punch Bowl. Our camp was just a few miles north of here at the abandoned Pott's Ranch where we had an excellent grassy camp and a hot springs that was enjoyed by all the riders and crew! The rain storm started about 8:30 pm...Camp at Potts Ranch...the ominous thunderstorms looming in the distance
9/16/11 Day 7 Last night was rough... we had a storm roll in that dumped all night... a long 9 hours straight. In the morning we where up early and dripping wet with more thunderstorms approaching from what seemed like every direction. This forced us to stop short from today's goal at Fish Creek Ranch. We took cover from the rain and lightning at Hot Springs Ranch where we were evacuated and shuttled into Eureka for the night. The plan was to start tomorrow where we left off in Antelope Valley, weather permitting. Thundershowers were expected to start diminishing by the next day. Its was hard to get pictures when it was raining this hard but we where able to get a few during the brief moments of fair weather (above is Terry "The Hare" Buccambusso between rainstorms) in between showers. We have proved it takes much more then a little foul weather to keep us from making the crossing and now we were defiantly producing Mud, Sweat, and Tears for Nevada's public education.
Riders of MTBNV 2011 in Antelope Valley where they were forced off the trail the day before by rain and lightening...high and dry and ready to roll!
9/17/11, Day 8 It was a pleasant, sunny and long 66 miles today. Much better than torrential down pours of yesterday. We had to cross the Fish Creek Range first as we didn't complete the route the day before. Fish Creek Valley was a long flat crossing as we made our way to the flattened Pancake Range. Both were a nice change to the incredible daily elevation gains we had experienced through the central Nevada highlands over the past several days where ridges, peaks and passes range between 10,000'-12,000'.
Phil Jackson rolling down the Pancakes
The Ford that towed our main trailer broke a tie rod in the middle of nowhere, but no worries, Dave (our Rhino driver) fixed it with a little help from his friends.
We stayed at the historical abandoned Green Springs Ranch where we had permission to camp.
This place is rich with history of ranching, mining and the property was once home to a racetrack and had it's very own brothel...for the nearby mining operation.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset, another excellent dinner prepared by our chef's and a poetry reading by the campfire....Thanks Philly!
9/18/11, Day 9 Everybody was getting strong and doing well by this point. We started early from Green Springs with another beautiful morning. The rains really made the desert come to life. We began by traveling through throughCathedral Canyon. It is a spectacular gorge with spires of granite and metamorphic rock jutting into the sky. The trail was no more than a rough cow track for about 2 miles though the canyon which narrowed down to just 10 - 15 feet in some places. It was a long climb up to over 8,000' at Hamilton Pass in the White Pine range. After a long descent through the range we began or second climb to over 8,200' at Pioche Pass. Ben and Scott had lunch ready at the pass...burgers, pasta salad and fruit!Are you kidding..it was awesome. The 10 miles downhill was a spectacular desert also. Views of the Currant Mt Wilderness, green spring fed valleys and a lush cottonwood covered creek were highlights on the way down. The day ended as we pedaled into Preston where we had a Hawaiian BBQ in the parking lot at Lane Ranch Hotel. Thanks to local rancher Jerry, we were supplied with fresh veggies and eggs. He also put out a challenge of $1000 to the first woman into Preston next year! If it is Jami Horner, he said he would trow in another $500...100% of all donations go to Nevada Public Education Foundation.
9/19/11, Day 10 Today we rode through Sawmill Canyon into the Egan Range. It was much like Cathedral Canyon the day before. Another hidden gem in Nevada's hidden ranges. The pass was a sweet sight because we still had about 15 miles to go to get to our lunch stop at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park and mostly downhill. Very cool ovens...impressive to say the least(they are pictured on each side of this webpage) The last part of the day consisted of traveling across the valley to the base of the Schell Creek range and a 5 mile climb on paved road into Cave Lake State Park for the night. We were greeted with margaritas supplied by Greg Jackson! Thanks! And the huge tri tip BBQ was a perfect last meal on the trail thanks to Ben and Scott...chefs supreme! MTBNV 2011 Awards were presented by Jenny Scanland of the State Parks and sfterwards we were treated to yet another round of cannon firings across the lake. AWESOME! 10 straight days of riding and it should go without saying that we were all sore and tired. However, all were doing very well and all were strong...one more day is nothing for this gang!9/20/11, Day 11 We did it! We left the CA/NV boarder 11 days ago on our Mt. Bikes and arrived at the NV/UT boarder today at 2:30 pm. After a "refreshingly brutal" morning climb over 8,500' Cooper Pass we crested the Schell Creek Range for an absolutely thrilling downhill. Way worth the climb...Phil was filming the tail end of the pack in the Rhino as we raced downhill while about 5 of us and gave him some good "dust in your face" footage. My favorite part was the dozen or so creek crossings we splashed through at the bottom of the range. After crossing the Snake Valley we climbed over our 16th range...in the shadows of the mighty Mt Wheeler (over 13,000') in Great Basin National Park in the Snake Range. We were all very happy, feeling still strong, and celebrating the accomplishment on Sacramento Pass. Crossing Nevada produced lots of minor scrapes, bumps, bruises, aching muscles, as well as some flats and minor mechanical issues. Nothing too out of the ordinary...they where expected and accepted as part of the challenge. We knew it wouldn't be easy...but the rewards will last a lifetime. Congratulations to all involved!
A big THANK YOU to everyone (NV Trail Expeditions and the NV State Parks) that supported us. Also, thank you all who sent in donations to NV's public education system, and for those that have not offered a donation yet there is a link at the top of the page to do so at any time. Thank You for the consideration for our 536 mile effort.
Some data and information from the riders:
Total distance traveled 536 miles, up and over 16 mountain ranges, 39,000 feet of climbing with stops at 6 wonderful NV State Parks.
There where 6 over the handlebar crashes! (all of them during the Ophir downhill), one shot of Ketorilac for a stiff neck, 4 flat tires (3 on bikes, 1 on a trailer), 1 fender bender to Bingo's Toyota :(, broken tie rod on Todd's support truck :(, 400 lbs of ice, 5 pounds of coffee, 9,000 miles for support vehicles, 40 lbs of candy bars, 10 large coolers for food, 700 gallons of water, around 660,000 calories burned, over 26 hours of video, 1000's of pictures, and 4 cannons fired! Yes, cannons!