By Pico Triano
Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Pico Triano
My ride from Truckee in California to Reno didn't take very long so my arrival was quite early in the day. With the help of a map on a gas station wall I located Leroy and Yong's home. They had offered to host my visit while I was in town when I met them in San Jose the previous weekend. We touched bases before I rode back in town to run a few errands of my own.
First order of business was to service my brakes. They'd taken a lot of wear and I didn't have another set of brake pad in my kit any more. I found a bike shop and believe it or not they didn't have brake pads in stock. Mid-eighties coaster brakes were passée and disc brakes were just a novelty. How could you possibly be a serious bicycle shop and not have brake pads. I had to carry on down the road for another shop. They had everything I needed.
I also replaced the cones in my front wheel. There was a flaw in the bearing ride. What caused it I have no idea but those things come back and bite if they aren't taken care of. It didn't take long. While I was there I met a professional gambler taking his granddaughter I think she was to have something done to her bike. Had an interesting conversation with him. He shot craps for a living. Claimed he could go into the casino with twenty bucks and come out with all the money he needed for the week. He said as long as he didn't get greedy the staff wouldn't give him a hard time.
With my bike ship shape for the next couple weeks of the tour, I headed back to my host's place. They were excited to have me over and wanted to make sure I enjoyed the visit. We did so many things that weekend I am at a loss to explain where everything fit in.
First thing they did was take me to the biggest and best smorgasbord in town. While we waited for a table we played the video poker machines. I had a whole fifty cents and said I would stop when it was gone. When they called our table I had a whole dollar. I doubled my money in Reno. I'm sure that qualifies me as some kind of gambling expert. We rolled out of there well and truly stuffed.
We else we did that evening is a little unclear even with the help of the journal I was keeping at the time. Somehow between Friday evening and Saturday evening we did a whole bunch of things. We visited the auto body shop to see if his car was repaired. He'd swerved for a deer slapped the deer on the rear end with the quarter panel and then rolled the car down an embankment. The car was nearly totalled but Leroy and Yong walked away from the wreck unhurt. We spent the weekend driving around in their business pickup truck (Leroy had a professional window washing service business). We drove up to Pyramid Lake to see the natural formed pyramid shaped island. The land along part of the route was open range and every cow that took a step toward the road was putting Leroy's heart rate up. We visited his brother at his apartment at one point and the two of them went to visit his mother in her trailer. We watched an action adventure movie on tape at their home. Keep in mind we went to Sabbath services on Saturday so I'm not sure where everything fit in.
Leroy was a great guy to hang out with and Yong tolerated the two of us with grace. This had to be the most enjoyable weekend on the trip. Early Sunday morning I had to move on with a belly full of food, a head full of memories and just a little short of sleep.
The Rest of this story (Click photos or titles for access)
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.
The story continues with part two in this series. After a few rocky moment at the beginning, I settle in for the long and sometimes winding road.
Third in the series. I get to ride some of the most beautiful coastline in the USA. At times spectacular but challenging.
Crossing the urban sprawl of the San Francisco bay area was quite an experience for this Canadian. It stands in contrast to the rest of my trip.
The Endless Climb
It did seem to go on forever. Riding up hill literally for days on end. Crossing the Sierra Nevada mountain range was not for the faint of heart. The downhill part was the most fun.