With each day comes a new challenge. This is true on or off a bike.
Adam and I have been challenged in many ways this year. The weather has been harsh, the traffic has been scary, the mountains tiring, the flats beyond mundane, the winds have carried us backwards, the distance between towns has been expansive, and our minds are forever wandering.
We have faced each of these challenges and conquered them, sometimes more gracefully than others.
But this week, Nevada laid it all out for us. In one 500-mile span, we were expected to face all of these challenges together. Route 50 has been dubbed, "The Loneliest Road in America."
Hmmm ... We're not so sure about the loneliness of the road itself(we we're constantly greeted by trucks, RVs, and motorcycles) but it certainly had a lack of towns and water.
A few days before we reached Route 50, we met up with Mike who is biking to San Francisco and we all decided having more people to conquer this lonely road could only help. So the three of us set out with the highest of spirits. Our first day also happened to be our longest day and we fell into a comfortable rhythm. We found ourselves taking care of each other by yelling, "Car back!" to warn those in front of us to stay out of the middle of the road.
We helped each other when someone got tired by letting them drag behind us, allowing them to be pulled by our wake. And we kept each other company by playing games like, "Name that Movie" or "Guess that Song" to take our mind off the heat and the three passes we had that day. We ended the day, 10 hours and 85 miles later, still smiling.
As the days continued like this, 16 summits later, we found ourselves playing fewer and fewer games, and biking farther and farther apart from each other. But always, the familiar, "Car Back!" warning and another movie line as we passed each other kept us smiling.
I was reminded of the power a friend or a loved one can have in helping you conquer a challenge. Along the way, in the gas stations and historic hotels, you will find booklets on how to survive the loneliest road. The key to surviving? Not one of these booklets, that's for sure. The key, for us at least, was having each other.
Christy and Adam have just crossed the border into California, and were camping in the Sierras Saturday night. To find out more, check out their blog at http://giveabike.blogspot.com/ or their Facebook Page at https:/ /www.facebook.com/giveabike. To see where they are, you can check out this map at Track My Tour. Christy will be writing stories for Patch as she and her husband make their way through the U.S.
Madison Patch is proud to be the Connecticut sponsor for Adam and Christy's trip. If you'd like to sponsor their trip, visit this page on their website.