Saturday, June 9, 2007

Riding 91 miles was actually easy! Day 6

The theme today was "Recovery". All riders were tired after the last two days--those who went up the mountains quickly, and those who arrived hours after the faster climbers.

We rode along Route 80, and actually spent most of our time on the berm of the Interstate. It was much nicer than it sounds, as after the first 20 miles the traffic thinned, the surface was pretty smooth, and we were able to "draft".

When riding a bicycle, the forces we must overcome are gravity (so uphill is slow), rolling resistance (where the tire meets the road--Brits--please not the spelling!) and wind resistance. The flatter the surface, the easier it is to overcome wind resistance by riding behind others. While we all took turns up front--"breaking wind", one might say--Wayne must have had an extra bowl of Wheaties today; He "pulled" our group along much of the way, making it easier for the rest of us. That's the left side of Wayne on the right (yes, we take photos while riding), while Bob is on the left, in front of me. That darn Wayne rode so fast I couldn't get him centered in my picture!
Note the flat road, mountains all around, and minimal vegetation. I repaired my second flat tire today, after a small piece of wire from a radial tire (there's much debris along the interstate) pierced my tire. (The first flat occurred in San Francisco when a small piece of glass entered my tire). A quick change, and we were off--until Gary (a funny, pleasant lawyer from Missouri) had a flat. I helped him repair it, then Gerard, our mechanic, came up to quickly finish the job.

Quick aside--How many lawyer jokes are there?

Answer--Only three--all the rest are true stories!

Despite the long distance, I felt stronger as the day progressed. The terrain of the arid Nevada desert is quite different from California's Sacramento Valley and the Sierras. Lack of rain makes for quite a visual treat as we rolled past treeless mountains and high desert.
We stayed at a hotel/casino in Lovelock, Nevada. There are slot machines everywhere in Nevada--hotels, gas stations, convenience stores! Amazing. And, no doubt to the disappointment of the ladies who work at my office, I have no desire to gamble (or gambol, for that matter) at any of the casinos.

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