Day 4: Baker to Nipton

Hardest damned 50 miles I’ve?ever?biked.

The first 18.83 miles were all?uphill. ?Between a 4% and a 6% grade.

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On the old road bike I could knock out 20 miles in 90 minutes. ?With the touring bike, that’s slid back to a solid two hours. ?Today it took nearly 5 hours to make that first nearly 19 mile ascent.

After a roughly 4 mile drop, then it was on to another climb. ?The second climb was somewhere around 10 more miles. ?At least the second climb was a more gentle grade. ?Only about 3%

I was on I-15 for 40 miles of the 50 I rode. ?In addition to the climb, I was right smack in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

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The heat sapped my strength. ?I was constantly stopping to drink water. ?In fact, I’d emptied my Camelbak before I’d reached 9 miles. ?Ran out of the second filling of it before I reached the 18 mile point. ?I forced myself to not refill it a third time until I’d reached 22 miles.

I was really?worried about the water supply. ?If I was already into the last third of my water with another 28ish miles to go, then I was in trouble.

My original plans were to ride in the dark through all the towns that bordered the Mojave. ?But this morning, I bailed on getting up early. ?My body must have needed it. ?Now that decision to sleep was going to bite me in the ass big time.

Fortunately, a couple of real-life “Get Out Of Jail Cards” showed up. ?The first one, about the 21 mile point, was a California rest stop. ?The next, a mile further down the road, a Shell gas station.

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I stopped at the Shell, spent?way?more money on lunch / ice than I had hoped. ?But at that point, quite frankly, I would have paid?double?that just to refill my water bottles.


Honest to God, there was just nothing to look at today. ?I knew days like this would come. ?Just didn’t expect it on the 4th day. ?I imagine tomorrow’s ride to Laughlin will be more of the same.

But some pix for you all the same:

The sun?fried?my legs. ?Can you tell where the sandal straps are and where the biking shorts bottom out?

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Figured since my tablet wasn’t going anything during the daytime, I might as well put it to use. ?I’ve got over 60 movies on the device. ?Even with its super AMOLED bright screen, it was no match for the mid-day sun, though. ?That’s ok. ?I was more listening to the movies than watching them. ?All of the movies I’ve seen a zillion times. ?I could quote all the lines to all those movies.

I made it through Cool Hand Luke, A Few Good Men, King Ralph, and Arthur.

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The Hotel Nipton where I’m staying:

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It also features a “trading post”:

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And a restaurant. ?Which was, of course, closed.

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With the restaurant closed, I had to buy provisions for dinner from the Trading Post:

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The train tracks are right there next to the hotel:

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In fact, in the rooms include a complimentary set of ear-plugs:

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I’m staying in the Clara Bow room:

20150907_205818Just so I wouldn’t have to Google Clara Bow, there was a display on the wall:

20150907_210926The room itself. ?Since there isn’t any other hotels in the area, it was the priciest one I’ll be staying during the?entire?trip. ?(The one in Laughlin, NV, tomorrow night, is the least expensive.)

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I met the most delightful couple from the UK. ?It’s their third trip to the United States. ?Richard and Susan. ?Very nice folks who wound up in Nipton pretty much the same way I did: ?found it on those Interweb thingys the kids are all talking about.

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When I announced to the very sweet lady who checked me in that I was?planning to depart at 3AM, I asked her about ice for my bottles / Camelbak.

She got her “significant other,” James, to drop off a cooler with ice in it.

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James told me they’d known each other since the 9th grade and had been together for the last four years. ?”And in all that time, I still haven’t found anything to argue with her about.”

Nipton:

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Gorgeous sunset:

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Today’s Stats:

Started: ?7:30 AM

Finished: ?5:30 PM

Starting temperature: ?84.

Distance: ?50.38 miles.

Average speed: ?7.5 MPH.

Maximum speed: ?44.03 MPH

Total?riding time: ?6:41:05

Cumulative mileage: ?256.37 miles. ?Average daily distance: ?64.0925 miles.