On May 2nd we kicked off Bike Month here in Carson City! In celebration of their three years in business, The Bike Habitat put on the 3rd annual Tour of Carson City. Attendance at this event has grown each year, and this year we had 50 riders that signed in!
After a nice buffet of bagels and cream cheese, cinnamon rolls, assorted fruit, and coffee, riders headed out for a 27 mile ride around the perimeter of Carson City. The ride started out with a fast descent down to Clear Creek and then east across HWY 395 and out to Snyder.
Our first and only incident of Road Rage happened early on the ride while riding up Snyder. West bound traffic was moving along fine, but drivers heading east had to slow slightly to make safe passes around the cyclists. One old lady in a particularly large vehicle got so impatient that she began laying on the horn and shaking her fist. It wasn’t a mere warning honk. It was long, drawn out, bona fide rage. She had plenty of room to pass in the other lane, but the damn cyclists were in HER lane. As the horn continued to blare, we joked that she was probably on her way to church. And before we could finish laughing at our joke, that’s just what she did! She turned left, and parked in her church parking lot.
We had the pleasure of two guest riders from overseas join us for the ride. Carlo Ferrari and Giuliana Repetto are visiting from Italy, and Carlo plans to write a series of travel stories about their bike rides in NV. They got here in the middle of the bad weather last week, so they were very pleased with the sunny and warm weather we had for the ride. They’ve been having a good time here in Northern Nevada, and were quite complimentary of how friendly and helpful the people they’ve met have been. Jeff Potter and I had the opportunity to meet with Carlo, Giuliana, and Bethany from State Tourism on Friday night down at Red’s 395 grill. We discussed the differences in cycling between here and Italy, heard about their Nevada adventures, and we even introduced them to the elixir of the Great Basin, Ichthyosaur India Pale Ale. Carlo and Giuliana have more cycling adventures this week before they have to return home.
After safely delivering the old lady to church, we headed north on Edmonds Drive. This road is typically the busiest road of the whole tour, but traffic seemed to be a little lighter today. Still it was nice to get to the 5th Street Roundabout, and onto Carson River Road where we were treated to peace and quiet and spectacular views for the next several miles.
We left the rolling hills of Deer Run Road, crossed HWY 50, and rode around the north side of Carson City along Arrowhead Drive. Much of this area is an industrial/commercial zone, but it was quiet on this Sunday morning. This gave us plenty of time to check out the views of the peaks above Carson Valley to the South.
My son and I rode the tandem together, so we had a lot of time to talk along the way. We kept an unofficial campaign sign tally of sorts, and came up with our predictions for Carson City’s next Sheriff. If the sheer number of campaign signs is an indicator, Bob Guimont will win by a landslide. The incumbent, Ken Furlong, is either very confident of his track record and name, or had a very small amount in his war chest for advertising. Bob White was the furthest behind with only around four signs spotted. We shall see in the coming months if my son has a career as a political analyst ahead of him!
Once we crossed over 395 to the west side of town, my legs started to feel the weight of the tandem. Charlie and I voted unanimously to skip the final hill climb up Combs Canyon, and took the short cut to Ash Canyon road. We didn’t cut out much distance, only pain. From there it was an easy cruise to King Street and over to Curry Street.
Before we got to the section of Curry Street with the new bike lanes though, we had to ride over Dead Man’s Curve above the Train Museum. It’s narrow, has low visibility, and there’s no shoulder. It was such a relief to get to the new bike lanes, and really made you realize what an asset a complete street is to the community.
The Tour of Carson ends with a climb back up the hill to the Bike Habitat. Thankfully the lure of cookies and other treats was enough to make the push up the final climb! I was real proud of my son, as he pedaled hard all the way to the end and never complained once.
Thanks again to Denis and Viola for another successful event, and congratulations on your three year shop anniversary!