Pico's Cycling - Tales of the Road is an online cycling magazine. It is intended for writers and riders who want to share their on the road cycling stories and pictures. Submissions that follow our guideline are gratefully appreciated. See the appropriate page in the site menu. Will publish the best of the best each month. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @PicosCycling.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Endless Climb

By Pico Triano
Photos: Pico Triano

The ride from the San Francisco Bay area to Sacramento was a pleasant roll through rich farmland. A field of sunflowers that stretch out as far as I could see and then the same thing with tomatoes. The field of tomatoes had been partly worked over by an automatic picking machine, which destroys the plants and misses quite a few of the tomatoes. I feasted on them for lunch.

Sacramento isn't a very big city but I went straight through the heart of it, right past the state capitol buildings. I didn't take any pictures. At the time I was more concerned about not missing any turns or getting run over.

After leaving the city civilization started thinning out again. I picked up I-80 and continued heading east. That road and I were together for most of the rest of the trip. Wide paved shoulders made it surprisingly bicycle friendly. At the same time the riding got more difficult because the road climbed steadily.

My bike was a twelve speed touring bike without a super low gear range. I was able to pedal up the steady incline but every once in awhile I would get off and walk. Built up quite a bit of tension in my leg muscles and that seemed to help. It seemed to go on forever and I developed a preoccupation with photographing elevation signs. I don't know why I get so much incentive from numbers. Give me, great scenery, an odometer and elevation signs and I'm a happy rider.

The gold rush town of Auburn was an interesting sight along the way. The rest was mostly mountains, trees and the ever present I-80. Finally that Thursday I reached the crest at Donner Summit. The top had a small roadside park and I had the man in charge there take a photo of me. He said he'd never seen a cyclist ride over the top like that before. I didn't understand why not. Seemed like the logical route to me.

From there is was all down hill all the way to Reno, Nevada. It was not very physically challenging. I camped out amoung the trees alongside the freeway right close to Truckee. That night I had an epic nosebleed. Not sure the reason for that. Might have been the elevation, the climate change or a combination of the two. Once staunched I was done with it, so I wasn't particularly concerned.

The following day I arrived in town early and once I'd located Leroy and Yong's home I had a lot of time to kill before anyone got home to say hello. That was the start of a whirlwind weekend that to this day I can't quite figure out how we squeezed everything in. I arrived on Friday and left Sunday morning. There didn't seem to be enough hours or evenings.

More Stories From This Tour (Photos and titles are clickable links)

It Begins

Leaving on my first big tour. This is part one in the series. The trip begins in Pasadena, California. I head straight to the Pacific coast and then north.

Finding My Rhythm

The story continues with part two in this series. After a few rocky moments at the beginning I settle in for the long and sometimes winding road.

Scenic Rollercoaster

Third in the series. I get to ride some of the most beautiful coastline in the USA. At times spectacular but challenging.

Through the Urban Jungle

Last month's instalment of this story has me crossing the urban sprawl of the San Francisco Bay area. Quite an experience for this Canadian.

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