Hey everyone, My name is Brett and I'm a sophomore at The University of New Hampshire. My buddy Ty is also a sophomore at The University of Maryland. We both grew up in Merrimack, NH and are pumped to be on this trip, and Bluegrass Bound! This is our journal page which we will update as often as possible, along with photos of the days adventures. Thanks for visiting and feel free to post in our guestbook.
Day 1 (6/1)- Ty: All day Brett and I packed. We finally fit both bikes, the trailer and all the gear into three boxes and a duffle bag. All our gear ended up weighing over a hundred a thirty pounds... not really looking forward to dragging it through all four states and up two mountain ranges. O well we both look forward to finally getting to Telluride and being able to relax for four days and enjoy some good tunes.
Now Charlie is over my house setting up this website. It's almost eleven o'clock and I am not looking forward to waking up at three am for my six o'clock flight. I fly out of Logan International Airport on my way out to California tomorrow. Brett's flight arrives in California twenty minutes later then mine. He is conveniently not here to help with the website, instead he chose to head out to Hampton Falls tonight to see a lady friend. I don't blame him. I'm headed to bed while Charlie slaves away on this site getting it ready for our adventure.
|Average Speed||0 MPH|
|Riding Time||0 hours 0 mins|
|Altitude Increase||0 feet|
Day 2 (6/2)- Ty: Well today started off just wonderful and ended on a similar note. I woke up at three am and headed to lovely Logan Airport and of course both exits were closed. Once at Logan I went through the always effective security check point once inside I was wandering around trying to find my gate and I walked down a wrong staircase, long story short I had to go through security again. I eventually found my gate and the flight took off and I made into Phoenix. While waiting for my layover I reached into my carry-on and noticed Brett had left a lighter in my bag from the night before. I had passed through security twice and neither time they had found it. I got into San Fran at 12:30 a few minutes late, once there I got my luggage and thankful one of my mom's co-worker's, daughter and her friend picked me up at the airport and drove me across the bay to Oakland Airport where Brett flew in. Thank you for picking me up again.
Thankful all of our luggage came through. So Brett and I are right outside the baggage claim in a random bus stop assembling our bikes and trailer, which was the worse thing ever and it end up taking two and half hours. Once we started riding matters did not get any better. Trying to ride through downtown Oakland was not so bad, once outside the city we realized we were not going to make it far enough to camp tonight because of all the delays and how long it took to get riding. So we sucked up our pride and grab a hotel room tonight. It will be nice to get all our stuff in order, get a good nights rest, and start riding early. Tomorrow is a new day.
Brett: Today was quite an interesting one to say the least. I never actually went to bed last night and managed to get some much needed sleep on the plane ride here. I met a few interesting folks and chatted it up a bit in the airport. The temperature in Oakland was surprisingly low, about 60 degrees or so. After waiting for Ty to arrive at the bus stop fro about an hour, we assembled our gear which took forever due to some technical difficulties involving my seat post and seat tube. We then proceeded to get lost and ended up in Sketch Ville USA for a while. Because of the lack of possible camp sites, I'm writing this from our room at the Holiday Inn Express in Castro Valley (sounds nice, huh, not!) Looking forward to seeing a tree or two tomorrow. Anyway, tomorrow is expected to bring more scenery and more miles on the old bike. Can't really complain though seeing as we found a decent place to sleep and all of our gear made it through the airports as did we! And the highlight of the day was spotting two jackrabbits and a groundhog in a weird abandoned field by the airport. Leave some lovely words of encouragement, funny rude comments (Charlie), or whatever else you feel like See ya!
|Average Speed||12.6 MPH|
|Riding Time||1 hours 22 mins|
|Altitude Increase||423 feet|
Day 3 (6/3)- Brett: As day 3 comes to a close we will be, once again, spending the night in a hotel. We came through the downtown part of Stockton, CA and decided to stop for the day on the city's outskirts after 67 miles of riding today. We were full of mishaps today with two flats, and a weird trailer problem where the lever connecting it to the bike failed at 35 mph. Some of the day's highlights included seeing some deer on a roadside hill in the morning, riding past some pretty cool wind farms, and getting out of downtown Stockton! Tomorrow should bring more scenery, and place us in a National Forest before dark. We are getting to bed early tonight and will get a good start tomorrow morning. Also, I got a pretty bad sunburn today and am really feeling it now. Ty and I are finishing the evening with the Sox/Yankees game on ESPN. See Ya!
Ty: Today we started off well even though we did all the climbing in the first 25 miles I carried the trailer most of it. Once my legs started to give out Brett took the trailer over the last bit of hills which was a relief. During the climbing there were some many wind farms, I have never really seen anything like it. The descent down the ridge into the valley of California was a bit intense, we both were on the brakes for miles it seemed. The ride was not as enjoyable later in the day passing through a agricultural/ industrial zone until we got to the great city of Stockton, which we cruised through that and grab a cheap hotel at four pm. Both of us wish we could have rode longer but we were unsure if we were going to able to find anywhere farther up the rode. We made decent mileage considering the two flat tires, and disaster with the trailer which burned up a lot of time. Hopefully we can make it to the woods tomorrow and the mountains are not to steep.
|Average Speed||14.0 MPH|
|Riding Time||4 hours 48 mins|
|Altitude Increase||2092 feet|
Day 4 (6/4)- Brett: After leaving Stockton around 9 we headed out toward farming country. The crops in the area seemed to be mainly olives, with some cherry and strawberry fields also along the way. We stopped and snacked on a few roadside cherries which were not quite ripe but very good. The scenery then began to change to grassland hills and cattle ranches. These hills were the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. It was in the high 90's at this point and we met a fellow cyclist who we had been passing and being passed by throughout the day. We never caught his name but he has been traveling cross the country and all over for the past few years. He was an interesting guy who claimed to be interested in pursuing a career in Biochemistry, and looks for new medicinal plants on the roadsides. When we entered the town of Jackson we met a lot of nice people, including a woman who was kind enough to get us AAA maps for our trip's routes. Shortly after Jackson the scenery changed yet again, this time to forests, at last! We were feeling pretty tired at this point, and stopped in Pine Grove, CA and spent the night outside of a Lutheran Church (thanks to the help of a few church members, and the church Pastor). We had a quick dinner and finally headed to sleep, until tomorrow, See Ya!
Ty: We got on the rode the today around 9 am. And it was hooooot, at some points the road was so rough and hot that it seemed that the tires were sticking to the asphalt. We had to pedal even on the down hills to maintain a pace over ten miles per hour. While out in the sun all day Brett and I came upon quite a few dead rattlesnakes and a man that lived on his bike. To understand this man all you need to know was that it 96 degrees out and he had long sleeves and pants on, pedaling with his bicycle seat backwards, with one water bottle on his bike. He had traveled from Florida, to Texas then up to Oregon then final we crossed paths at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We made a stop in Jackson for some well deserved ice cream and subway. The stop took a while but our legs needs needed it. Plus everyone there at Jackson was so helpful and interested, I would like to pay special thanks to a woman who got us very helpfully maps from triple AAA. Once back on our bike I was surprised that we were able to pedal out another twenty miles all way up to just short of Pioneer. The hills were tough we such a brutal hot morning under our belts. Outside of Pioneer we spotted a Luther Church, they were gracious enough to let us camp on the vacant lot behind the church.
The Day's good: First time panning for gold on the trip! Saw some Deer.
The Day's bad: The hills were tough and tomorrow is looking wayyyyy up.
|Average Speed||12.2 MPH|
|Riding Time||4 hours 39 mins|
|Altitude Increase||3492 feet|
Day 5 (6/5)- Brett: What a day, what a day...Today was all climbing and I'm now dead tired. The views today, however made the tough ascent worth it. We stopped for lunch at the Take and Bake Pizza Company with a very nice couple and shop manager. We then headed out to climb. There's not much to say about our day in the Sierra Nevada's except that the trees were amazing and the views were by far the best I've ever seen. After 4337 ft of altitude increase we decided to call it a night at just over 6500 ft of elevation. We elected to spend the night at the Bear Lake Lodge because of the super low temperatures this evening. There have been a few hail showers tonight and our cabin overlooks the prettiest lake scene I've ever experienced. We plan to wake early tomorrow and catch the sunrise over the mountain tops and the lake. It should be amazing and will hopefully be the highlight of the trip thus far. Time for bed though, and some much needed sleep, in preparation for tomorrows trip through Carson's Pass at 8500 ft in elevation. Until tomorrow, See Ya!
Ty: First off I would like to say that I dead tired so I will probably keep this brief. The mountains are painful, the views are breathtaking. Today was climbing all day, one big mountain. We got a late start today because we had to refill the trailer with food and water at the grocery store in buckhorn. Across the street we had lunch/ breakfast considering it was twelve o'clock. We decided on pizza, a solid choice, considering the owners were great and pizza was even better. Thanks! After that it was onward through the Sierra Nevada's. The trees and cloud provided much needed shelter from the sun. Although once above 4000 feet it started to get chilly, in the 40's most of the day. By the time we were ready to call it a day we had climbed to 6500 feet, by then the cold was unbearable, and our legs were in pain. We decided to start on Bear Lake Reservoir, what a choice, it reminds me of Alaska. The forests up here are gorgeous
The Day's Good: Final in woods. Great views. No flat tires for two days.
The Day's Bad: The cold was tough. Of course the mountain range were climbing.
|Average Speed||7.7 MPH|
|Riding Time||3 hours 18 mins|
|Altitude Increase||4337 feet|
Day 6 (6/6)- Brett: This morning we woke up in our cabin on the shore of bear lake reservoir. There was trace amounts of snow on the ground from the night before, and it was still quite cold out. We had breakfast and walked along the dock for a little before getting the rest of our things together and heading out. The day consisted of mainly climbing until eventually reaching Carson's Pass at around 8,600 ft. There was snow and hail falling pretty steadily the whole day, as the temperature stayed in the low 40's in the morning, and in the mid 30's the remainder of the day. We ate lunch in a public restroom to get out of the cold we headed back out into the freezing cold and carried on. After reaching the pass we were both pretty exhausted, and descended 1,000 feet of so into a small town to warm up and have a quick bite. We then headed another 30 miles, over the Nevada border into Carson City. We got a room in Carson City and are crashing shortly after a long and tough day of ascending. Today was a lot of beautiful views, extreme weather conditions, and exhausting climbing, all bundled into an experience I can't really assess at the moment, but will definitely do so when this trip is over. We also ran into our friend Eric again, who we have seen day after day along the roadsides of California at various points. He's a nice guy and we enjoy seeing him in all the random places we have along the way. Today was so strange...One minute we were in blinding snow watching logging trucks fly past us, the next we are descending into Silver Lake's gorgeous views, then more brutal uphill as the weather steadily worsened at the way up to the pass, the descent down the backside of the pass on iced up roads with steep grades and sharp curves, entering the valley below where we could view the peaks we had just climbed from below, to seeing Carson's Creek which I will be sure to visit again, stopping at a little convenience store to warm up, and ending up on empty foothill road, surrounded by fields and ranches, and ending up all the way in downtown Carson City. Today was something...Until tomorrow, See ya!
Ty: Today was something that can not be put into words. After sleeping on yesterday's ride Brett and I both feel we could not do justice to yesterday by writing. It seems more appropriate to sum the day up in the pictures section of the website. Yesterday was unique.
|Average Speed||computers wouldn't work at the altitudes we were at, but my guess is slow up and fast down, and around 14 on the flats.|
|Riding Time||too long|
|Altitude Increase||0 feet|
Day 7 (6/7)- Ty: This morning was a late start. I had woken up a little earlier then Brett to tie up some loose ends on the website site. We took off around 11:30 and did not get riding till 2. In Carson City we took care off some maintenance on our bikes. Over the mountains, my pedal cleat had wore down so clipping in was becoming more and more impractical. so we tracked down new cleats for my shoes. On Brett's bike we could not access his easiest gear on his bike, so we took care of that problem as well. Once on the road there was a climb outside of Carson City, then it was into the Nevada desert, which consisted off gradual climbs that lead to an easy descent followed by 5-10 miles of flats. The riding was a nice change from the steady climbing of yesterday. There was a bit of a head wind to deal with but nothing to major. Along the way just outside of Fallon we meet a guy named Shane. He has been car-free since 1978. He seemed like he bounced around from place to place with a job and friends in every city he stopped in. We rode into Fallon as the sun was going down, made a quick stop at Wal-mart for food. Then we found a good place to camp tonight in an empty field, and called it a evening.
Today's Good: No hills and I have never been in Nevada before.
Today's Bad: Highway 50 is called the "Loneliest Road in America"
Brett: Today was nice waking up after little extra sleep. After getting
everything together and visiting a couple bike shops we got underway a little
later than we probably should have. Highway 50 was pretty flat for the most
part, although the headwind didn't always make it feel so. We got lunch in
Silver Springs after 35 miles, then headed onward toward Fallon. On the way we
met a really nice guy named Shane who has lived all over the world and toured
around the US since 78. We shared some stories and got some tips from him, and
rode into Fallon together. After stopping to stock up on food for the next
couple of days, we found a pretty decent place to camp in Fallon. We are being
ambitious tomorrow and attempting to reach Austin which is roughly 105 miles
away, (wish us luck!) We also passed Eric again today just outside of Silver
Springs but only said hello as we passed. There really isn't much between towns
here in Nevada, and the though of settling in in Telluride is a nice one. Until
then though we are going to keep on enjoying the open road, and push toward
Colorado. Until tomorrow, See ya!
|Average Speed||14.8 MPH|
|Riding Time||4 hours 12 mins|
|Altitude Increase||754 feet|
Day 8 (6/8)- Brett: Today started out pretty decent as my sleep last night was probably the best of the trip so far. God bless Metro Camping! We headed out around 8:30 after breakfast and paced ourselves nicely. After the first 45 or so we stopped in a small town know for a having the Shoe Tree in it, which was pretty cool. We stopped at a small bar where naval flyboy pilots go to have drinks pretty often. We ran into Shane there who had left camp before we woke. We chatted it up and headed out together. Unfortunately, today brought the first flat in four days, as I was thrown from my bike with the chain somehow coming off. We caught up to Shane and continued the ride toward Austin after repairing the flat. We pushed on and got to Austin just after dark after 113 miles! We met some great folks in town tonight who actually opened up the restaurant for a couple of tired cyclists. After getting cleaned up we hit the bar and met some really funny, good people. We hung out in some kid's motel room next door and argued with some Yankees fans for a while! Now the town's shutting down and we're calling it an eve. Big day ahead of us tomorrow to try and make Eureka. Until then, See ya!
Ty: We woke up at a decent time stopped in a Subway and got ready for a big day. Nevada was nothing but desert but it was not to bad to be honest. I carried the trailer all day today, giving Brett a break since he did very well over Carson's Pass two days ago. The beginning of the day we paced ourselves very well through the barren salt flat deserts. Towards the end of the day we had a bit of a climb over New Pass and up to Austin, which was pretty intense for me. Once in the valley where Austin was there was a beautiful sunset on the mountains ahead. The valley was so vast and seemed endless, especially along the miles of climb at the close of the today. Once in Austin we decided since we had made good mileage today we check out the small town. Everyone down town was very friendly and accommodating. To be honest it probably had been one of my favorite days and nights of the trip so far, filled with good people, great food, breath taking views, and solid riding. Tomorrow, Eureka!
|Average Speed||12.3 MPH|
|Riding Time||9 hours 9mins|
Day 8 (6/8)- Brett: We got off to a fairly late start today, just after 1. After a good breakfast/lunch we began an immediate climb out of the town of Austin which lasted the majority of the first 20 miles or so. There were a lot of trees today which was a nice change of scenery, and we were able to see what appeared to be some controlled burn zones in the National Forest, which were pretty cool. The rest of the day's riding was fairly flat and the climb into Eureka at the end of the day was a little tough, largely in part to our efforts yesterday. We're settling in for a somewhat late night and will be waking early tomorrow to reach Ely, NV, about 74 miles away. Utah will be here before we know it and will bring the largest challenges of the trip. Thanks for all the great encouragement from everyone who's been posting in our guestbook. Off to bed I go, till tomorrow, See Ya!
Ty: Today was another bland day in the Nevada desert. Brett gave me a break from the trailer this morning. Right out of Austin we had to climb 1200 feet in 7 miles. We pedaled over three summits of seven thousand plus feet. The second half of today's ride we picked up the pace to push into Eureka before dark. Both Brett and I were lagging towards the end of the day, because of yesterday. Also it was just tough being in this vast valley being able to see the town six miles ahead and knowing right before you make it into town we would have to push up another mountain range. In Nevada it seems there are several rows of mountain ranges run north to south. So the riding consist of push over a set of mountains followed by vast flat basin, with another mountain range in clear view. It has been satisfying making good time across this state. We are aiming for Ely toward. But for now I am going to post some more photos from the past two days and hit the sheets.
Today's Good: Fairly easy riding.
Today's Bad: More desert.
|Average Speed||12.6 MPH|
|Riding Time||5 hours 35mins|
Day 9 (6/9)- Brett: Today began with a big breakfast and the feeling of a nice nights sleep under my belt. The road out of Eureka was a steep climb with pretty strong head winds. That was pretty much the theme of the day, strong winds! Headwinds and Cross winds were pretty bad toady, coming in 30+ mph gusts. It was hard at times to even stay on the roads on some of the quicker descents. After a pretty good pasta and soup lunch we cooked with our trusty JetBoil stove, we were in a little better mood and continued on. Toward the end of the day we got lucky with a little tail wind and had a nice downhill stretch into Ely. The rest of the night has been pretty uneventful, other than getting a ride from a County Sheriff to the other side of Ely i to get food since there's nothing open after 9 in Nevada, (other than bars and casinos). Tomorrow we will cross into Utah, which brings us that much closer to Telluride. Until tomorrow, See Ya!
Ty: Today was just frustrating. Right out of town we had nothing but a tough climbing through Windfall Canyon. Once done with the climb the descent down the mountain was not all that pleasant. The winds were terrible, so much so that it was uncomfortable to go down the hill at any more then fifteen miles per hour. Once in the valley the winds were a steady twenty miles per hour with gust over thirty. It was frustrating only being able to push out eight miles an hour over the flat. The wind were mentally exhausting. After a good deal of climbing and being fed up with the gusty wind we decided to stop for a solid lunch, and switched up bikes. All day the winds blew north to south until last the twenty miles. Actually after our last climb to Robinson Summit, we cruised across the next valley with a steady tail wind averaging twenty three miles per hour across the four mile span. After a tough ride in the morning it was very comforting that for the first time in four days we did not have a steady climb into town late in the day. Once in Ely we tried to find some food, which was impossible so I just ate some granola I had in the trailer and am now calling it a night. Tomorrow it is Utah!! Last state till Colorado!
Today's Good: One day closer to Telluride
Today's Bad: The wind was awful.
|Average Speed||12.4 MPH|
|Riding Time||6 hours 16mins|
Day 10 (6/10)- Ty: Today started with a stop at the local market in
Ely for some fresh fruits, bars, and dry foods. Then we headed out of Ely which
opened up into what I would described as a mountain praire. There was actually
lake in the middle of the valley, something we havn't seen since the Silver Lake
in the Sierra Nevadas, it was a nice change of pace.
After we climbed two passes one just over 7000 feet and the other over 7500 feet. The second one which happened to be the smaller of the two gave us the most trouble. Once of the second awful pass we dropped over 2000 feet into the Great Basin and now are camped on the Utah and Nevada border. Where we are camped out tonight is gorgeous, there are mountains on all side, each range is very unique compared to the others. I am excited to wake up in this place tomorrow. We are going to pack up step over the border and cross off another state on our way to Telluride. Both Brett and I are happy that we are leaving Nevada. The desert was getting to be a bit much. I dont think Utah is going to bring a more forgiving landscape but at least it will be a change. And change is always good in my book. So for now goodnight. Tomorrow we are Utah bound!
Today's Good: Our campsite.
Today's Bad: The second climb
Brett- Today we got off to a decent start and after a trip to the market and a quick bite we were underway. The riding out of Ely was pretty flat for the first 17 or so, before hitting the day's first bit of climbing. After that pass there was a bit of downhill, and a windy flat where a car had flipped and camping gear was everywhere. The wreck was pretty bad and we both hope everyone involved ended up ok. We continued on a couple of miles or so before hitting our next climb which turned out to be quite miserable. We finished the mountain ascent exhausted and coasted down to a long flat stretch that lead into Border, NV. We had a nice dinner and shower at a public rest area sort of place. We are camped out about 50 yards from the Utah border, and will start tomorrow in a new state. We are shooting for the town of Delta tomorrow, which is 88 miles away. We are getting to bed fairly early tonight to ensure we can do just that. Telluride is fast approaching and we are right on pace to be there when we need to be. We are hoping for more nice views similar to those we saw today, especially at our camp site in Great Basin National Park. Until tomorrow, See ya!
|Average Speed||12.6 MPH|
|Riding Time||5 hours|
Day 11 (6/11)-
Brett- Today got off to a great start! We woke up at Great Basin and packed up while listening to some Peter Tosh and burning some inscence. The majority of the day was pretty flat and there were some nice downhills through the canyons. At the valley floor it was 103 degrees with no shady spots, so we ate our lunch roadside in that lovely heat. Along highway 50 a wonderful man from Modesto, CA pulled over and gave us each 2 cold bottles of water. What a guy! We rode on and arrived in Delta around 7. For dinner we found a great little cafe that had amazing shakes, and homemade pies. We stopped in at the local market and stocked up on sun block and food for tomorrow. We are now unwinding to a little music before bed. Until tomrrow, See ya!
Ty- Today began perfectly, music, outdoors, and a beautiful morning. The ride out of the Great Basin was solid, a steady climb but it was pleasant. Once 15 miles out there was a steep climb right under 1200 vertical feet, but to be honest it was enjoyable. Later in the day the terrain flattened out. Although by lunch time the sun was relentless and the temperature was only climbing. We stopped to make some noodles and grab a bar or two for lunch. Once we pushed off again the temperature was miserable. In the valley the rock walls seemed like the sides of a oven the temperature soared to over a hundred degrees, that's just hot. We were later blessed with some clouds, cooler temperatures, and a very welcomed visitor. A man from Modesto, CA pulled over and offered us each a cold water. I could not have asked for anything else at the moment, the cold water was just perfect. The rest of ride into Delta was flat, thank goodness. We made decent time getting into town a little after seven o'clock. Dinner was just amazing, huge portion, reasonable prices, and all of it was homemade. Just good stuff. Tomorrow we are trying to venture all the way to Mt. Pleasant and we have some climbing ahead of us, wish us lucky. Goodnight.
|Average Speed||12.5 MPH|
|Riding Time||7 hours 8 mins|
Day 12 (6/12)
Ty- We did a tough 80 miles today, it hurt tomorrow will only hurt more. We started off going a decent chlip out of Delta, Utah. Till about 15 minutes down the road I got a flat on Brett's bicycle, rear tire. We had not had a flat for three or four days so I guees I saw it coming. But what I didnt see coming is that it wont take three or four patch tries to final get the the tire inflated and rolling again, setting us back an hour and half. We rolled into Nehpi after going up and over a small range of mountains. There we had a delicious and massive mexican meal and met a man that would later offer us a job sell Giant Little Ladders, the pay was tempting, and the town he lived in, Nephi was gorgeous. We continued out of town to climb a little more.
Brett- Today we woke up in Delta and had breakfast at the same great cafe we had dinner at the night before. We headed out at a decent hour intending to make it to the small town of Mount Pleasent. The first 12 miles went great until we got a flat. We spent forever and a day attempting to patch tube after tube with little to no success. When one finally held the tube blew around 110psi and both of our ears were ringing. After another patch attemp we finally were able to get going again after over an hour of that nonsense. The riding from that point on was pretty good, a lot of up and down mostly, and we stopped for a break at 35 miles or so. After finishing our break and getting 3 miles down the road I realized that my gloves weren't on my hands, so I had to make the trip back to find them. I found the gloves, luckily, and we headed on untill reaching the town of Nemphi.I had enchiladas for lunch, which were great, and we ate with a nice gentleman from the area who gave us quite a few tips on routes through the area. The ride form Nemphi to Mount Pleasent was less than enjoyable, although the views were really nice. We were happy to be able to get a warm meal in town, arriving at 10 p.m. exactly. We ate and are now camped out in a nice park in town. I hope I live in a town with a park as nice as this when I have my own house some day. Tomorrow is going to be a lot of uphill and a good night's rest will be well needed. Until, tomorrow, See Ya!
|Average Speed||12.3 MPH|
|Riding Time||6 hours 34 mins|