Friday, August 3, 2007

Between a rock and a hard place....

Today as we rode deeper into the Silver State we started to encounter more and more of the signs that cyclists often dread. Such as:

And also a nice one as we left for the morning that said 'No Services for 57 miles' well the next exit for services was actually our exit for the night in Wells Nevada. As a result we are now out on the road with only the water and food we carry with few unscheduled stops as we make our way across Nevada. This is a little scary at first, but you learn to plan ahead and take a little extra snack and double check you filled your water bottles at lunch. Unfortunately planning ahead doesn't always work. Today as I rode down a part of I-80 that was under construction we narrowly avoided two very large ditches that had been cut across the shoulder, but the third one caught me a little off guard as it didn't have the small paved section, of the first two, nearest the road. As a result I had a few seconds to decide to either A) try to stop (not really a viable option considering speed and distance to the ditch, most likely resulting in a one way ticket over the handle bars) B) swerve into a lane of I-80 which I was unsure if it contained traffic or not or C) attempt to jump said ditch while on bike. I chose option C. Unfortunately option C didn't pan out totally as I had hoped. I gave myself at best 50/50 odds for clearing the ditch since it was just over 3 feet wide. My front wheel made it over easily, but my back wheel didn't quite clear the gap the result:

Needless to say that there is a large non reparable dent in my rear rim and I got to sit on the side of I-80 and wait for leader Jeff to save the day by bringing me a spare rear wheel. I would like to send thanks out to the nice driver who stopped his pickup and offered me a ride as I sat on the side of the road. Its not everyday that someone stops and offers you a ride, especially on an interstate.



Anonymous said...

Wow, Nathan, sorry your foray into flying didn't pan out so well. We're glad you are okay and that nothing more serious happened.
Love, The Melansons

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading about your trip across the United States. However, I couldn't read your entry for today fast enough to see what option you chose to cross the third ditch. I'm glad that you weren't hurt in the process. You can always replace the rim! It sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure. Keep pedaling safely!
Debbie Freed

Jerry said...

Sorry to hear about your accident. Hope things go better for you. Glad that Jeff had an extra back wheel for you to use.

Heather said...

Next time, better bring your cape. Anyway, glad it was your wheel and not your head. Safe travels on the next legs -
Your Favorite Sister
(BTW, your friends at the border make you look so normal...)

Anonymous said...

Oooooooooooooh-that bent rim looks nasty! But I am so glad it was only a rim. You didn't have a good option amongst the 3-you definitely made the best choice. I'm thankful you remained upright and don't have a bruise or scratch to show for the incident. I'm looking forward to seeing Wendover Will myself!

Anonymous said...

i"ll be glad when you will be back safely in Santa Barbara. You did the right thing as usual and came out great. Enjoy the rest of the trip and put the mishap behind you.
Love ya. MeMe

Anonymous said...

Dear Nathan, Glad you weren't hurt. I don't think I am the only parent who looks forward to your you guys head toward the finish line. You are all just amazing.

Anonymous said...


A similar thing happened to me on my trek from Arvada to Illinois back in 1995. I had to continue on because there was no way to communicate with my wife who was off visiting some friends. Had to detach the rear brakes and ride on the dented rim for some 15 miles until reaching the place where my wife and I had agreed to meet.

Anyhow, glad it all worked out for you and that you weren't hurt.

Don Henke