Day 5: Nipton to Laughlin

Old Bidness:

Yesterday I bitched that the 50 mile ride from Baker to Nipton was the hardest 50 miles I’d ever?ridden. ?Actually, only 40 of those miles were uphill through the Mojave. ?The other 10 miles were?downhill. ?(And yeah, still through the Mojave).

The last six miles I spent on Interstate 15, before I turned off onto Nipton Road, were rather exhilarating:


Somebody?took issue with her old Pa’s dinner last night:

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Yeah, not sure how that?orange?made it in there. ?But I heeded my youngest’s advice and went for something a lot more nutritious this evening:

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My good friend Preacher Ben had an explanation about this video and picture:

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This is in regard to your Day 2 post with the airplanes on the horizon. I know, I’m a couple days behind.

Anyway, by the video it looks like you were just north of Victorville on National Trails Highway, next to the Vulcan Materials Company. If that’s the case, then the planes you saw to your left were actually at Southern California Logistics Airport, formerly George AFB until 1992. They’re all just sitting out there, nice and neat, in a commercial boneyard at the end of the runway. There’s gotta be like 100-150 planes sitting out there. Google map coordinates 34.611587, -117.378574.

I found an article from the LA Times describing it. articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/15/business/fi-boneyard15

We’ve already established I’m a nerd. No need to bring it up.

Keep it up – you’ve got more than just one old man praying for you.

Thank you, Ben! ?Keep those prayers coming!


New Bidness:

I’ve been keeping an eye on Laughlin, NV for over two months. ?Not a single time has the high temperature in Laughlin been less than 100. ?Usually the temperatures are between 104 and 110. ?(It’s 9:56PM on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. ?The temp outside?right now?is 104.)

After that glorious descent into Nipton, I knew that I’d have to even the scales. ?As far down as I came into the valley, I’d have to go back up. ?So I got an early start, knowing I had 60+ miles to do, that the first 10 to 12 were going to be a climb again, and knowing that Laughlin starts roasting around 10AM.

I was out of the Hotel Nipton at 5:30AM and started my climb.

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Today’s in-flight movies: ?Top Gun and Patton:

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Had to finally stop watching ‘cuz the sun was oh-so-bright.

I wasn’t even 4 miles into the climb when I came across this lovely morale booster:

IMG_20150908_062326Goodbye California! ?It’s been real.

Around the middle of my morning climb, I found myself here:

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Maybe the guardrail should have been weight tested before I sat my fat ass down on it.

I stayed on Nipton Road until the Nevada State Line. ?I followed whatever NV route number until I got to Searchlight, NV.

What is it about being out west that makes people want to buy jerky?

What is it about being out west that makes people want to buy jerky?

Very first place I stopped in Searchlight. ?It had it all. ?Why go anywhere else? ?Food. Gambling. ?Gas.

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From Searchlight I got on US 95. ?Saw this interesting rest stop:

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Gotta tell you, I have a “thing” for US 23 and US 40. ?Damn, but those are some?fine?roads to ride. ?(40 gets a little stupid in PA and 23 runs off with an Interstate in TN where you can’t follow if you’re pedaling, but other than that, I loves me some 23 / 40!)

However, my heart has been stolen. ?US 95 might just be the?best?surface I’ve?ever?ridden on. ?Well maintained. ?Beautiful lines of sight. ?I swear, it’s built to better standards than some of the Interstates. ?I thoroughly enjoyed my 20 something miles on this road.

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Now, the route I left US 95 for to truck over to Laughlin — NV-163 — well, it was a well-maintained road, also, but . . .

. . . it was climb-climb-climb all over again. ?When I turned onto 163 I only had about 20 miles to go. ?Since this was going on:

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I’d have preferred to get that last 20 miles done as quickly as possible. ?No such luck. ?The doggone road went straight up for at least four miles, at a 5% grade, knocking me back down to between 4 and 5 MPH.

At the top of that four mile climb, though, I saw this sign which made my heart sing:

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Even as I was doing a little happy dance down the “steep down grades,” God reminded me that He likes to see me work at shit. ?About five miles into the promised “gravity-suck” He started throwing in?uphills.

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Yo, God. You do know I’m not really from Krypton, right? ?I just use that line to get girls.

Laughlin is like a junior varsity Las Vegas:

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I did get a kick out of this sign:

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Note what’s attached to the bottom of the sign under the word “dinner” on the marquee. Good to know the casinos recognize Krispy Kreme as legal tender!

I’m staying here at the Pioneer Hotel and Casino:

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The reviews of the place are just?scathing. ?But my room is clean, air conditioned, complete with a bath (Oh, thank GOD, a BATH so I can soak my old bones!) . . . and it’s only $19 a night. ?I’ve no complaints.

In fact, I’m strongly considering taking a day off tomorrow. ?While today was?officially?the fifth day of the ride, I had four other riding days on the front of those five days. ?A 60+ mile day in Los Angeles, and then I rode all three days in Hawaii. ?Today marks the?ninth?riding day in a row.

My next stop is Kingman, AZ. ?It’s only 36 miles away, but the first ten miles of that I have to climb nearly 4000 feet. ?Not sure I’ve got that in me for tomorrow. ?My body is telling me, “Dude, you’re 57, not?27.

Just like in Nipton, Laughlin’s in a valley. ?And if you ride?down?to get to a place, ya gotta even the scales by riding back?up?if you want to get out. ?Here are a couple of videos recording the final 6 mile descent into Laughlin. ?They are boring as hell . . . and I’m saying that having actually ridden it!

Ok, maybe the second one isn’t quite as boring. ?I sped up the video 6X. ?So you can pretend that instead of coming down hill at a sedate 30 MPH, I was kicking it at 180 MPH.


Today’s Stats:

Started: 5:30 AM

Finished: 3:30 PM

Starting temperature: 84.

Distance: 62.21 miles.

Average speed: 10.17 MPH.

Maximum speed: 44.9 MPH

Total riding time: 6:03:40

Cumulative mileage: 318.58 miles. Average daily distance: 63.716 miles.