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5/27/15 On The Road

Submitted by Jacob on Wed, 05/27/2015 - 00:00

Crazy day today. It’s always desireable to start the leg off right, and we did so yesterday with the ride to Palmdale. But on top of starting the leg off right, it’s also important to start each day off right, and today was a mess from the beginning. The van didn’t start as we were getting ready to go. We had to wait about 1 hour for roadside assistance and get going. The ride began with a bit of a tailwind, which is good, but my butt and my knees were killing me from the beginning. It’s the ligaments all around my kneecaps, just feels horrible. It’s a sharp, almost shooting pain that I had to deal with all day. I think the problem is that the car trip out here led to keeping my legs bent at an angle for extended peiods. The repetitive stretching out of the ligaments is really stressing them.

People recovering from ACL injuries often begin riding bicycles as part of the last stage of physical therapy, and I never actually injured them, so I’m hoping that it just dissipates. Took an ibuprofen, and just trudged on. The wind shifted to the south rather than the west, but I had a couple stretched going straight north, so even though I could hardly pedal hard, I got some good speed at times.

The second stop is when I realized that I need to really keep the legs stretched out, and thankfully, Marlei and Katie found practically the best spot, an actual green lawn of grass on an incline with a shady tree. It was in the middle of the desert, but in a town called Helendale. Thank goodness for that. Instead of taking my break in the car seat, I got to keep the legs stretched out the entire time.

The van battery died again at that rest stop, but some truckers gave a jump. Trudged on towards Barstow, where we ended the day.

We have quite a quandary ahead of us tomorrow. Technically, only 156-186 miles to go… but trying to figure out if this will be legal or not. I’m researchingtonight and tomorrow morning. If we do google avoid highways to Vegas, it’s 271 miles, which means a planned Friday arrival is nearly impossible. If we do bicycling directions, it’s 186, but it takes us on a few turns that just say “turn slight left” onto roads that do not appear to be paved if they even exist at all. If I jump on I-15, it’s only 156, but if that is against the law, I can get arrested for a felony. A lot of my research seems to point to it being legal, but in my judgement, I think that there is an issue. There are two roads/paths that act as frontage roads, so that there is an “alternate route” which means I cannot ride on the interstate. Talked to a motorcyclist outside the gas station that says that those two roads are the worst roads of all time, and that he deflates his tires considerably to even think about riding on them and that he couldn’t image 23 milimeter tires trying those roads out.

I know that the closer I get to Baker/Nevada, the more certain it is that I-15 is legal to ride on, so I tried to work around this by doing directions to Baker. Any route that doesn’t snake around the Mojave preserve (126 miles when it should be 70-80!) takes me through Fort Irwin, which I cannot cross without military credentials. Rock and a hard place. Looks like I’ll be jumping on I-15 tomorrow and hoping and praying that the sign doesn’t say bicyclists prohibited. It’s gonna be a tough one.

When I did this before in Weed, CA two years ago, I got on I-5 illegally, but I was able to steal a glance at the restricted access sign on the next exit only to discover that I was only committing a crime for about one exit. This is tough. We got a new battery put in, so a lot of stress of our minds. Katie and Marlei are killing it out here, making me sandwiches and shakes. We got the van organized tonight, laundry done, etc etc etc. They took a lot of pictures of me on the road today as well. It is 10:14 pm right now and I’ve been waiting all night to write this down before bed. But the chain needed some fresh (DRY!) lube on it and the tasks and chores just add up.

Denny’s is literally across the street and I actually ended the ride at the hotel today, so we got an easy start, I just hope that this I-15 thing works.


 These are elevation graphs from the ride today.