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US 50 across Nevada

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US 50 across Nevada

Old 08-04-12, 03:39 PM
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US 50 across Nevada

Plan to ride from Jacksonville, FL to west coast next Spring; across FL and AL, up MS Delta, across AR, N across OK and KS, NW across NE, thru Badlands of SD, NW across MT, across northern ID, follow the Columbia River over to the coast, down OR and CA coast to SF; then east back to Mobile, AL. I have my route planned to SF and am looking at options for riding east. I would like to cross NV and then mid-state UT, S to Four Corners region, then across New MM, TX, OK, AR, LA, and MS to Mobile.

I have driven U.S. 50 across NV. I will be camping all the way, and my concerns about NV and UT are the distances between sources of water and food.

My other thought is to take Trans AM route across OR and then S across UT to the Four Corners region. Thoughts about the U.S. 50 route across NV? I remember driving over 100 miles once before I came to a store. I hate riding with a Camelback. I could make 100 miles on 1.5 gallons of water. Would I find water within that range? Thanks
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Old 08-04-12, 03:47 PM
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US 50 is on the Adventure Cycling "Western Express" route. I don't have personal experience riding it, but IIRC there are two or three days with 85ish miles between water resupply points. Lots of info on the map if you buy it, lots of journals on crazyguyonabike. People do it, you do have to be careful. I would NOT do that mid summer, fall and spring would be much better. It does snow there in winter, as well.
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Old 08-04-12, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by woodysroad View Post
I could make 100 miles on 1.5 gallons of water. Would I find water within that range? Thanks
My journal from when I rode it: http://www.mvermeulen.com/nevada/index.htm

Longest gaps I had between water stops was - UT/NV state line to Hinckley (83 miles) and Eureka to Ely (77 miles) and Austin to Eureka (70 miles). I started early in the day to avoid some of the heat.
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Old 08-05-12, 05:29 AM
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Are you going to camp in the towns at the parks, or outside of town in the sagebrush? Riding town to town you'd be fine.

If you're brush camping, I'd up my capacity by another gallon or even two to top off in the afternoons, so you can start the morning off with full bottles and camelbak.

There's usually no place to get water between the towns - man it is desolate between Utah and Fallon - but there are drivers that will stop and give you water if you do run out and hold up an empty bottle out in the desert. It's not that much worse than some places in the great plains, lots of miles between anything.
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Old 08-05-12, 09:08 AM
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Check out the posts already here on US 50 / Western Express.
Also, go over to Crazyguyonabike and search the many good journals.
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Old 08-05-12, 06:43 PM
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It depends on how much heat you can take if you can make it in mid-summer. Usually the humidity is very low, and that allows the temps to drop to comfortable levels at night.

What route are you taking across the Sierra? I would not recommend 50 from Placerville to Tahoe. The only time I drove it, it had heavy traffic and no shoulders. The next pass south is much better, along the Mormon Emigrant Trail Rd and/or US 88 (Warning: the MET has no water, streams, or services along its 35-mile climb from 3000 to 8000 feet, maybe 88 would be a better uphill choice.

Taking the Donner Pass route (i-80) has lots of campgrounds and services along the way, but you need a clearly marked map, there's a lot of turns on surface/frontage roads with "bonus" extra steep climbs in the lower elevations, and you ride on the freeway shoulder for some sections. North of Donner, taking 49 over Yuba Pass has some winding climbs and descents, but rivers, campgrounds, and quaint small Gold Rush towns to get supplies, then one can take 89 south to Tahoe and 50.

My real favorite pass would be Hwy 4, south of 88. There's two state parks with hike and bike sites along the route to Tahoe, Calaveras Big Trees and Grover Hot Springs, and the scenery is fantastic. There are streams and lakes along the route once the road gets off the big ridgetop it follows all the way up from the Gold country, once past Bear Valley, and some general stores along the route. Be warned that this has the most difficult climbs and winding descents of all the passes I've listed, and there's a maybe 30 mile stretch between Lake Alpine and Silver Creek campground with no piped water or any services--but with the most spectacular scenery, though.

Last edited by stevepusser; 08-05-12 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 08-07-12, 05:08 PM
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Don't worry about water in UT/NV....after KS and OK you will die from boredom....and remember 50 in NV is called "The Loneliest Road" for a reason..... Have a great trip.
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