Tour04 Day 13 Carson City to Fallon, NV

Fairview Drive, Carson city

Leaving Carson City was easy. The folks at my motel showed me how to route to avoid Carson City traffic. I rode Fairview Drive from near my motel to US 50, about 5 miles, in order to avoid riding through downtown Carson City. It was a peaceful start to a, mostly, peaceful day. US 50, the loneliest highway in the US, wasn't at all lonely, but at least it had a good bike lane.

US50 leaving Carson City and its bike lane sign at the top of the hill

Riding out of town required climbing a few hundred foot hill. the first of many ridges US 50 crosses on its way across Nevada. The climb was gentle enough to be done in my middle ring at about 8 mph. On this climb, as on many later climbs, the wind was a significant factor. Mostly it was a head wind today since most of the riding was heading north-northeast. The wind, at least for the first half of todays ride, was light and highly variable. My climbing speed could vary from 7.5 to 10 mph on a single climb, not because the slope varied, but because the wind did. Heat was not a problem for most of this day's riding because of the low humidity and the headwind.

US 50, seven miles from Carson City

My first stop was Dayton Nevada which is about ten miles from Carson City. Unlike most of US 50 in Nevada. the first 35 miles east of Carson City has fairly regularly spaced services. Then there is a 30 mile gag to Fallon. then there is a 44 mile gap to Middlegate, a fourteen mile gap to Cold springs, and a 48 mile gap, which includes a pass, to Austin. It does get lonely out there!

Leaving Dayton, Heading for Silver Springs

I picked up a liter of Pepsi and a Fried apple pie at Dayton, and rode on towards Sliver Springs, the last place I could stop before Fallon. Riding was pretty good, except when the headwind picked up, and I was able to average about 12.5 mph.

The shoulder had two sets of rumble strips, and old, gentle one that was two or three feet wide and a new, nasty, one that was a foot wide. The nasty one was cut on top of the outer part of the gentle one, but the shoulder was six feet wide so there was a three foot wide 'bike lane' outside the rumble strips.

Climbing US 50 - note the rumble strips

A long and straight road

Looking back at the mountains

I stopped after about 25 miles, and two hours, to snack by the side of the road. I drank some Pepsi and ate the fried apple pie. It is hard to find a place to stop out here since there nothing along the road but sand, small rocks, litter, and sagebrush. I stopped were there was a fence a short distance from the road and some mail boxes mounted in a concrete base. I leaned my bike against the fence and sat on the concrete.

Leaving Silver Springs

A not so straight road with a very small shoulder

When I arrived in Silver Springs, I was not impressed. there were two places I could eat. One of them was a Casino - there are lots of those out here - with a cafe and the other was a Pizza place. At the Pizza place, I could keep an eye on my bike while I ate, so I stopped there. Service was slow and the food wasn't very good, but it was good enough to get me on down the road. the restroom was also nice since there is absolutely no cover for peeing alongside this road.

US 50 shoulder for 16 miles

Riding was not as good for the 17 miles from Silver Springs to where US 50 joins US 50A for the last 9 miles into Fallon. At first there was only a small - six inch - shoulder, then there was a three foot shoulder, which had half a foot of usable shoulder inside of two and a half feet of rumble strip ruined shoulder! That combined with pretty steady heawinds, increasing traffic, and more hills, made riding less fun after Silver Springs. Things improved for a while on the the last stretch into Fallon, but construction for the last few miles into town made the riding less fun. Drivers, with very few exceptions, were great all day. No horn blowing, no yelling, and no close passing.

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