“Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.” -James E Starrs
With Tonopah behind me I was cruising along comfortably and the road conditions became much more forgiving. It was going to be another beautiful ride.
It was the first time in several days that I rode into a city—in the remote desert the distance between “metro” areas is vast. In my excitement it didn’t occur to me that I wasn’t supposed to be greeted by civilization. I was climbing well and in my element. It was bliss.
My support vehicle caught up after a bit more than 2 hours and 44-miles. That’s when it occurred to me—I tried to stay positive. The route from Tonopah to Alamo, NV only had two turns and I made a wrong one.
It is a known fact among anyone who knows me, my sense of direction is horrible. It has been said that I’m lucky to be born on an island where when I’m lost I only get 10 or so miles out of my way before I hit the water. My detour on this day was 40-miles.
That sums it up! I tried to stay positive. We will get through this. After a strategy meeting with the support team we decided to travel back to the place where the mistake was made and get back at it. It was going to be a long day.
I’m a firm believer that things happen in life for a reason. Not destiny, or a diving power, but a little karma or mojo maybe. When we approached the right road it didn’t look right and Jim sauntered over to stop us. When I told him I would be riding through he replied, “You can try but I’ll catch you and beat the crap out of you.” I think he was joking but I didn’t want to find out. I was trying to stay positive.
Or the supernatural, and I was back on track with only the long open road and the free-range cattle to keep me company. No cars and the wind was taking it easy on me. Things were looking up.
The final climb of the day was gradual and steady. It was a stinger coming at 95-miles for a long three miles. I was looking forward to the long descent into Alamo, the destination for the day and the end of an unnecessarily eventful day.
Right up until I crested the Queen City Summit and settled in for the downhill to find a cranking headwind that wouldn’t allow me to go over 18 mph. I has plenty of time to think of the significance of the area in advancing aeronautical technology. I passed several signs warning of low flying planes. Maverick is going to give me a fly-by at any moment. Nope, no one came to my rescue, including the support crew.
They were celebrating a job well-done without concern of my whereabouts—only joking (I couldn’t do it without them.)
The look on my face and the road in the distance tell the story. When I finally rolled in to Alamo, NV I was satisfied knowing that I had persevered and learned a few valuable lessons in the process.
The Little Al’e’Inn was a unique and interesting place where the people were the only thing more colorful than the decor. Earthlings are very welcome!
An outdoor shower was the only option; as far as I’m concerned, it should always be. I was happy to get out of my kit, and as I walked across the lot, I heard “cat calls” from the several generations of workers at the inn, all family, urging me to “Take it all off!” The loudest from the 90-plus matriarch of the group, who explained, “We don’t get to see much like that around here.”
One of my goals for the journey is to experience the parts of the country that few people seek. I’ll never forget the Al’e’Inn.
I know how you feel li’l buddy! I hope you snap back into shape for the ride tomorrow.
About the DIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Six—Jason Bretz
JB is a classic case of “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” I was introduced to Jason Bretz during the DIRT Sunday morning XLR ride where he deftly leads the group and the banter. My randon text comment was met with a, “Hey Schwenny!” It has seemed to stick and that’s fine—I’ve been called much worse.
Since that time I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know JB on a more personal basis. He is a generous, caring, and compassionate family man and it comes out in the article I wrote about his son entitled, “The Day Zwifter Jason Bretz’s 11-year-old Son Became a Better Cyclist Than Him.”
Here is what Jason had to say—”DIRT has been a great help in keeping me active. It’s developed into many friendships with a smaller group that I look forward to seeing/ riding with every day!”
Amount Raised to Date—$1,627
Thank you, JB!
Now off to Caliente, NV!
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit, and through its work and the pages of this site, Chris is committed to helping others with his bike. His gain cave is located on the North Fork of Long Island where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two college student children.