Let me catch you up on the recent happenings of Ride Ataxia:
In the past couple of months we have been busy trying to figure out how this next ride is going to work. First of all we need a route so about a month ago my friend Cole and I drove to Las Vegas to check out possible routes for the 2008 ride:
Memorial Day Weekend:
We left Sacramento at 330pm on Friday afternoon. Our plans were to drive down I-5 and over to Lake Havasu where we would meet our San Diego friends Meghan and Dana for a couple days of fun in the sun. Then we would continue on to Vegas and up through the western part of Nevada and then west near Tahoe back home. So we got in the car at 330. We soon realized that it was going to take more than 8 hours to get to Havasu so we decidedd that it was not a good idea to try to make it all the way that night. So I called my friend Ben who lives in Bakersfield. Ben told me that he was not going to be there that weekend but he could make a call and see if we could stay with his Mom (Kathy) for a night. A couple minnutes later Ben called back and gave us directions to Kathy's place, "there's a key under the mat, just make yourselves at home, call me if you need anything." Wow, we got hooked up! We arrived to a note on the door from Kathy that said "Welcome Kyle, make yourself at home. Eat and drink anything, I'll be home at around 11pm." Sweet, thanks Kathy.
Cole and I had never been to Bakersfield so we figured we had better check it out. So we went into town to get something to eat. When we returned, Kathy was home watching a movie so we came in and she offered us a beer and we chatted for a while before we hit the hay.
In the morning, Cole and I took showers and stumbled into the kitchen where Kathy was making pancakes and sausage. Like a true loving Mother she wanted to feed us before sending us on our way. So we ate many pancakes and jabbered a while.
When it was time for us to go, Kathy had us bring in our ice chest. She loaded it to the brim with snacks and drinks. Thanks Kathy, it was nice to meet you, maybe we will be back when we make the trip on bikes.
So we were on our way to Lake Havasu...another 4 hours in the car, hooray, but we had some good tunes and the time passed quickly. When we arrived at Havasu we called Meghan and Dana, no answer. So we decided to check out the scene while we were waiting for a call back...Havasu is crazy! So many people, boats and booze, quite entertaining.
We wandered around a little while longer and still hadn't heard from anyone so we decided to just head for VEGAS!
We left Havasu at about 830pm and arrived in Vegas at about 1030. We did not have any reservations and it was Memorial Day weekend so the place was packed. We drove around for at least an hour trying to find a hotel room and finally found a room at a dumpy place on the strip that cost us an arm and a leg but we had a place to sleep.So we enjoyed a couple of days in Vegas...Everybody knows what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but I will give you a peak:
Late night at the casinos.
Recovering: watching golf on our single fuzzy channel 12 inch screen. Our room had green shag carpet held down by duct tape in spots. The door did not shut without applying some serious shoulder weight, the shower drained very slowly and it smelled like nobody had been in the room for about 2 years. I guess thats what you get when you don't plan ahead...next time.
Chilling poolside at the Flamingo (site of the 2008 NAF annual membership meeting)
Cole getting crazy on the dance floor...I guess that's why they call him Crazy Cole.
After a couple crazy days and nights in Vegas it was time to hit the road again.
We left Vegas on Highway 95 going north through Western Nevada. We soon realized that there is absolutely nothing out there and the shoulders are nonexistant at times..this was not a good bike route. So we crossed into California and headed north up highway 395. 395 is really sweet, great scenery and it is relatively level, decent shoulders and did I mention the scenery. However, the elevation on 395 is about 3,000 to 5,000 ft and in March at that elevation we could run into some nasty temperatures and weather.
Recap: I-5 is a major freeway carrying much of the North-South traffic in California and though it is legal to ride this route, it would be no fun and pretty dangerous. Nevada is empty desert with no shoulder. The elevation on Highway 395 will likely present some nasty weather...So we came home empty handed.
That was about two months ago and since then we have been working on a different game plan: a route through the valley. This plan will produce a route that will give us decent weather and traffic conditions. A draft of the route should be ready in a couple weeks.
Next Post: More updates, a lot has happened in the past couple of months.