Wow, it’s been a while! Here’s a rundown of the trip this week.

Tuesday: Greg, Andrew, Alice, Anton, and Morgan conquered Ebbett’s Pass and met up with me at a campground on Highway 4. Merriment ensued.

Wednesday: We sailed down next to the Carson River, stopping for second breakfast in Markleeville.


We also met a solo bike tourist from Alaska who was traveling along the Sierra Cascades route. Back home he builds snow bikes, and he showed off his derailleur-free chainring that he shifts by hand when he hits a steep climb. After Luther Pass nearly killed me, we heard about an alternative route from a local that got us off the highway and onto an old, very overgrown road that inspired much post-apocalyptic daydreaming.

Lost highway

At the end of the road, who should jog past but Shane, the guy who had saved me two days earlier from turning into a sun-baked husk! He was happy to see that I was still alive and well.

We then descended upon Lake Tahoe and Greg and Anton ate all their ice cream.

Thursday: Morgan left us to go run up a mountain, and we pressed onward after breakfast, where we met a seventy-three-year-old cyclist who had been on the US cycling team in the 1972 Olympics! We stopped for a dunk in the lake before meandering along the Truckee River and camping at Donner Lake.

What lies beneath

Friday: Andrew peeled off the pack as well to head down to Oroville, as we changed our original trajectory and headed up Highway 89 to the town of Graeagle. It was packed with folks gearing up for an epic Fourth of July weekend extravaganza. We set up camp by the Feather River and then went to the town barn dance to attempt to blend in with the locals.


Saturday: Greg and I bid Alice and Anton a hearty farewell / Auf Wiedersehen, and decided to take a lazy day. In Graeagle, a Civil War reenactment society was out in full dress, and we stuck around to see the ensuing battle.


We then found a vacancy at a motel in Portola, and headed up there. Along the way we found a tiny brewery inside a roadside resort – Eureka Peak Brewing Company. The owner-brewer didn’t yet have a license to sell beer for off site consumption, which was a shame because his Lavender Witbier was amazing.

And now, we’re enjoying the luxury of air conditioning, trashy television, and a real bed!

Outta Cali

OK… Where were we….

After leaving Portola, Erin and I decided to take the scenic/shortcut route up towards Susanville, through the Plumas national forest, along a mixture of dirt, gravel, and deteriorated pavement. Luckily, it was not a repeat of the ill-fated Ball Mountain road fiasco of last year’s tour (which resulted in us pushing our bikes up six miles of sand and Nick’s bottom bracket evacuating itself). Instead, we were treated to some really gorgeous wide open valleys and practically no traffic at all – maybe 10 cars over 30 miles. The 2000 foot descent on gravel at 10% grade at the end was a bit hairy, though. 

It’s all downhill from here!
You can see Nevada from here!

Erin decided to take a shortcut out of Susanville, hitching a ride up to the next campground (and possibly landing a book deal in the process). I took the slow route, riding through yet another series of gorgeous valleys interspersed by amazing vistas. We were clearly out of the Sierras by then, as the climbs were now in the 500 to 1000 foot range (as opposed to being three times that).

Mount Shasta from afar

We then had a pretty easy riding through rolling terrain into Alturas (which had a Thai restaurant!), and a similar ride into Lakeview today. It’s amazing how quickly you can chew up 50 miles when there’s not much elevation involved.


Tomorrow, we veer west towards Klamath Falls – we’ve got just over 100 miles to go!

Last day!

The recum-bum and I are on the final leg of our journey. Similarly to last year, as soon as we entered Oregon, the weather did a 180 – yesterday’s ride was overcast and in the low seventies, with occasional drizzle. We were warned by two different people about the two passes we would have to cross, but they turned out to be little more than bumps in the road compared to what we’ve been through. Also, it should be noted that I ate an entire 16″ pizza by myself. About two miles from our camping spot, the skies opened up, and we set up the tent in the pouring rain – the first rain of the whole trip. The person running the tiny store we’re having breakfast at just told us that it’s forecast to snow up in the hills tonight!

We’re about 50 miles from Klamath Falls, most of which should be on a bike path!

Wide open spaces
The view from our tent after the rain