Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why I am grounded in Elko, Nevada

For the very few of you (I know of at least one, while most everyone I talk to fully understands my dilemma) who think I am a pansy for not powering on, I offer this insight. I was 60 miles away from Utah when I chose to retreat back here to Elko, 120 miles from the border because of the weather. Which I will talk about now.

I have no problem riding in wet weather. In fact, as a car free cyclist, I ride year round and never let rain stop me from getting somewhere. Granted, I try not to go out in storms, I just wait until the heavy stuff lightens up and then I go out. What's more is that if you ride a bike and are afraid of rain you will ride far less than those with slightly thicker skins. Which brings me to one of the points of this discussion.

This is not regular precip I am facing. This is thunder and lightning charged rain fall I am up against. (see why it is especially unsafe to ride a Hiwheel in the desert when there is lightning) with no where to run for cover.and with the two towns that break this up spread 60 and 120 miles apart. Did I say there is nothing in between?

As well, everything has to be right for me to make the 120 miles to Salt Lake City. Since I will be on I-80 through the Bonneville Salt Flats and then past the Great Salt Lake itself, I can't be out there with 75 mph traffic in rain or other stormy conditions. Motorists need to have a good line of sight for me out there. This not to mention the fact that side wind gusts of 30 and 40 mph are notorious out there. And getting blown into the "slow" lane with not enough time for cars or trucks to react is a real game-ender.

Nor would Hwy 50 have been a whole lot better. They've got the same weather mess down there. So instead of Elko, I would be stuck in Ely. And once the front does pass, I'd be up against 240 miles of mostly wilderness for which I am not prepared for to get to Salt Lake City, instead of the I-80 I face now...........

And even then, I would be getting into a Salt Lake City and all the cities beyond and all the way into and through the Rockies into Boulder and Denver that are also being punished by these thunderstorms. And in so doing, am I not making cycling look like a hardship instead of the joy that we as cyclists know it to be?

And so, in sum, that is why I have chosen to regroup in Elko where there are services that can give this effort the longer term staying power it needs. It also gives me a chance to work with Paul Guttenberg, over in Davis, CA, in fleshing out the bicycle sculpture auction he has initiated..

THX for all of U, especially those of you who have needed this explanation from me!! Onward soon!!

1 comment:

  1. A wise move, Martin. Go joyfully or not at all. We totally understand and support this strategy. You are still the greatest of heroes.

    Clark Smith
    Winemaker, PennyFarthing Wines