Written by: Steve Maliszeski
It has been an immense day of activities with many changes—both old and new.
Just over a week ago many of us cyclists met as strangers and have become friends through time riding, nights in churches, doing chores and sharing meals. Today we changed from the old to the new!
Four of the riders who started with us in San Francisco are departing today, and tomorrow leaving a hole in the group which will eventually be filled by new riders who will join our cycling family for a short while. We have especially become accustomed to the members of our chore teams, which rotate duties each week throughout the trip. Since today completes our first full week of the journey, we are now excitedly awaiting our groups’ new duties for the upcoming week.
We also finished going through California, our first state, after approximately 300 miles and are now spending the night in Fernley, Nevada. In the process we completed crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains, descending 5,000 feet into the valley on a windy road with spectacular views of the snow capped mountains and the grasslands far below.
The valley gave a new environment of dry, rolling pastureland after spending time in the thick forests and high snow-covered mountains of California. One state down, eleven remain to be conquered.
The past few weeks of riding has sent us to small towns and remote locations where communication is limited, or non-existent, and there are all types of weather. But our support team has been there for us the entire way with all of our gear and providing food, water and enjoyable company at the rest stops.
On a more personal note, one of my hopes during the trip was to exceed 50 mph on my bicycle. Today I got the opportunity with the assistance of 20 mph sustained winds with super gusts pushing us northeast and a downhill, and I reached 50.8 mph!