Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Barstow Calico KOA Campground
We stopped at the junction to Stoddard Wells Road and we were immediately hit by a sense of doubt. The road ahead looked bumpy. A UPS delivery man drew up and I asked him about the way ahead. He said it was bumpy but there is no loose sand. I checked the map and I estimated it was about 15 miles on this road before joining a more major road. I pushed on but Polly stalled. Drawing on her experiences of following roads which are not well paved, she strongly suggested we turn around and find an alternative route. I disagreed and led us in what turned out to be a hellish several hours
The road deteriorated. The intensity of the desert heat increased and our water levels were quickly falling, despite rationing what we had. There was nothing in sight, just the dusty track we were following and miles of open desert around. The road then became impossible to cycle on. Deep patches of sand made pedalling out of the question and pushing the heavy bikes was draining.
The desperation we suffered is really hard to describe. We inevitably encountered a puncture and Polly took a nasty fall when rolling down hill at speed and hitting a blind spot of sand. We were out of water and resorted to a flask of milk we had left over from breakfast. The heat was approaching the forties and we were really struggling. A tomato we had strangely left in my bar bag quenched the unbearable thirst for another half an hour.
When we finally saw the sealed road, some 21 miles after joining the ill-fated track we thought we had done it. But then came a half mile stretch of track which took us 30 minutes to pass. The sand was now so thick and our energy levels completely empty that we were struggling to push the bikes. We decided that we should dump one bike and both work on pushing the other
With a possible 120 mile stretch ahead tomorrow we needed to find the energy to stock up on cooking fuel and food. It was a tired couple of hours we spent between Food 4 Less and Walmart. It was an even more tired 8 miles out to the campsite which again involved an unplanned detour as we were asked to leave US Marine Territory by a complete A@#Ehole who was unable to display any reasonable communication skills.
Dusty and beaten after 10 hours on the bike and nothing to eat since a measly breakfast before we set out, we checked into the campsite and set up the tent. In doing so we agreed that we needed a day off for recovery before heading for Vegas. Bruised, battered and with pounding heads, there was no way we would be in any state to set off at first light in the morning (5am). We cooked up a great camp meal and sat back under the desert skies to enjoy the stars and reflect on a day which went horribly wrong (I hereby publically apologise to my wife).
Miles Cycled: 45 miles which involved too many pushing through sand