Author Archives: Anna

Flat tire on New Zealand trip

I’ll never forget that flat tire when we went on our first cycling tour in New Zealand a number of years ago. Prior to that one month-long trip, we were complete newbies to touring – and the art of bike maintenance!

When we got the flat, instead of replacing the inner tube, we patched the outside of the tire, which to no surprise had little useful effect. Eventually, we figured it out – after spending 2 hours on the side of the road that is.

Well, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve come a long way since then. And we’ve had to repair a lot more than flat tires. Much of our expertise comes from touring, because when you’re stuck on the side of the road with nothing else to do but puzzle over why your bike is making strange sounds or not moving at all, you had better well figure it out. Continue reading

Spooner Summit

Day #70
Miles Covered Since Fallon: 94
Miles Traveled Since Beginning: 3,504
Where We Are: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Day Overview: As we climbed up to 7,000+ feet at the Spooner Summit we looked back at the vast desert behind us and waved goodbye.

We’ve been traveling through the open spaces of Wyoming, Utah and Nevada for several weeks, so when we finally reached the dense forest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we had to exhale a little bit and savor the greenery. After all, there’s nothing like taking a break under a sweet-smelling Ponderosa Pine or riding through a shady stretch of road after almost a month of desert exposure. Continue reading

Pony Express Recruiting

Day #67
Miles Covered Since Austin: 110
Hours on The Road: 11
Miles Traveled Since Beginning: 3,412
Where We Are: Fallon, NV

Day Overview: We’ve seen signs for the Pony Express everywhere, particularly on Hwy 50 in Nevada. We’ve both heard the term before, and each of us pretended that we knew what this Pony Express thing was, until we asked one another for the definition and responded with blank stares and thoughtful groans.

After consulting a few sources, here’s what we found: The Pony Express was a fast mail service that operated between 1860 and 1861 between St. Joseph, Missouri and San Francisco, California. The mail was delivered by horseback riders. Each rider would stop at a designated station, all located about 5 to 30 miles apart, where they could refuel with food, sleep and hop on a new horse. It took 10 days to traverse this distance! Not too shabby for 1860. Continue reading

Not Expecting Much

Traveling on a bicycle makes you susceptible to encounters that are nothing short of serendipitous… and perhaps even a bit unusual. One of these encounters in Salt Lake City really drove this point home for us.

As we were making our way into the big city on I-80, we saw a car pulled over in the shoulder, with smoke coming out from under the hood. We stopped to see if there was anything we could do to help, not that we could offer much. I mean, we were already the sheepish-looking pair riding around with two trailers bungeed together – we were probably better off asking the guy if he had a spare trailer tire in his trunk. Continue reading

Posing with Holland Bikers

Day #65
Miles Covered Since Eureka, NV: 70
Hours on The Road: 8
Miles Traveled Since Beginning: 3,302
Where We Are: Austin, NV

Day Overview: Throughout the 3,000 mile stretch of America that we’ve traveled prior to today, we haven’t once encountered other cross-country cyclists. We had high hopes for a while, and then eventually gave up. Where were they all hiding? I mean I know we took a round-about route, and the country is big and all, but come on bikers – where are your weary legs and your shiny panniers!?

But, it just so happens that the Loneliest Road in America isn’t so lonely after all – not for bikers anyway. Today we hit the jackpot – twice! Continue reading