Many cyclists that decide to ride across the country end up coming through Carson City to access “The Loneliest Road in America”, HWY 50. Seems like most of them roll through our city early in the AM, making their way to Fallon. On May 26th though, I met a guy rolling a bit slower. His destination for the day, Carson City.
Martin Krieg, having already crossed the country twice on a bicyle, has decided to do it once again. To make it more interesting, he’s doing it on an old-fashioned hi-wheeler! And not just any hi-wheeler. Martin’s bike is a backwards configuration (small wheel up front), an almost exact replica of the 1891 Eagle. The small wheel up front is supposed to keep you from doing a horrible endo. Very important when descending from Spooner Summit! Martin entered Nevada via Echo Summit (yes, riding the whole way), and stayed the night in South Lake Tahoe. On Tuesday morning, he pedaled up Spooner Summit and descended into Carson City.
Martin’s ride began in San Francisco, and will end in Boston. His tour is named the 2009 Mayor’s Ride. Along the way he’ll be calling on mayors of the cities he visits to support the National Bicycle Greenway, a dream of a nationwide network of interconnected bike roads and pathways.
It’s also interesting to point out that this ride marks the 125th anniversary of the first transcontinental bicycle ride on August 4, 1884, ridden by Thomas Stevens. According to wikipedia, Stevens “acquired a black-enameled Columbia 50-inch Standard model penny-farthing with nickel-plated wheels built by the Pope Manufacturing Company of Chicago. Stevens struck out across the country, carrying in his handlebar bag: socks, a spare shirt, a raincoat that doubled as tent and bedroll, and a 38 Smith & Wesson.” It looked like Martin had similar gear, but there was no evidence of a gun holstered anywhere.
I met Martin over on Roop Street, and then we rode to Comma Coffee together. Local cyclist Jesse Richardson was there to greet Martin, and later, an Alta Alpina club member showed up that was giving Martin a place to stay for the night. We got to talk for a bit, and I gave him the Carson City and State of Nevada bicycle route maps. Martin decided to avoid the hills and desolation of route 50. Instead he plans to ride to Reno, and then head east on Interstate 80.
I thought of many questions to ask Martin after I departed. He was carrying so little with him on this unsupported ride. What did he carry with him? Nevada is a big place! Thankfully he has a phone with Internet access, and you can follow his progress via a few internet sources. He’ll also be looking for support along the way, counting on the kindness of strangers for help. He’s going to need it for this journey! Good luck to you, Martin!
Follow Martin’s progress on the web or offer your support: