Santa Rosa - Villanueva Statepark
It´s usually forbidden to ride your bike on an Interstate. And honestly: As a cyclist you don´t wanna do it anyway. They are super busy, loud, dirty and bear more risk than lonesome backroads. But if you find yourself in the middle of the desert with no other road as far as the eye can see, there is simply no other option than to join the party. And today was the day: Interstate 40, bring it on!
Other cyclists warned us before that Interstates were tube killers. You are supposed to use the service lane or shoulder of the road on the very right. Unless you wanna set your life an early end it´s in fact the only option not being run over by cars or trucks. The tradeoff: Tons of shredded tires, glass and junk. Sometimes you feel more like a slalom racer than and cyclist. Sounds fun. Not.
We Austrians are said to be good skiers and slalom racers. Yet this track was too long and tricky. We had not less than 5 flats on 135km, which is indeed ridiculous as we managed to ride almost 3000km with the same amount of flats before. Mr. Oizo´s "Flat Beat" was one of my long time favorite tracks. I haven´t played it for a long time. After fixing flat #5 it was in my head again. Loud and clear. From now on with a whole different meaning...
Besides that I 40 had another surprise up its sleeve: I used to ride my roadbike in the mountains every now and then, so I´m kind of used to uphill tracks. This part of the Interstate however constantly climbs for more than 100km! The increase in altitude is so smooth although - you hardly recognize it. On the way up many bikers, cars and even big trucks honked for us, waved their arms or just gave us a thumbs up which is super encouraging!
Reaching the top of the mountain - 2150 meters above sea - after an 5 hours uphill ride is satisfying on its own, being rewarded with an absolutely gorgeous outook on the underlying valley and the setting sun is simply indescribably beautiful!
L & B
PS.: Don't forget, we are supporting Wings For Life with our adventure. Every € or $ you donate is going directly into spinal cord injury research. Please donate here! Thank you!