Biking to the burn

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Biking to the burn

Postby glitteranddust » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:18 pm

No, I'm not suicidal... nor am I a virgin in any sense of the word. Can't tell you if I'm crazy as crazy people seldom know if they're crazy but I reckon my interest in crossing the desert on a bike might qualify me. :twisted:

Anyway, last year I did the stretch of the route from the store in Empire to BRC unsupported without any real issues, despite all the WTF mistakes I made (at least I made the over-prepared burner mistake with water and brought more than I needed for the ride plus the entire week). This year I've already learned a lot of the what not to do. It was definitely a high point of last year for me and so I'd like to start a bit further away make a few days (er, dawn/dusk) trip to the burn.

Does anyone know of a good route, especially through the desert parts before Gerlach? (Once I reach Gerlach, I'm good.) I'm pretty flexible which direction I come in from (preferring to weigh safety, feasibility, and the occasional town/car (just in case) a bit above directness), though I'd love to come in from Lassen if possible because it would be an excellent side trip on my way. I'm pretty certain that I'll have an early pass again this year, so traffic is less of an issue than during the event. Unless other cyclists think it's truly the best route, I'd like to avoid the first stretch of Pyramid Lake because it doesn't feel very safe to me. (I trust my ability to survive in desert more than I trust cars not to hit me I guess.) I'd like to stop in Gerlach rather than just blow right on through. (I'm a sucker for running water and beds.)

Anyway, all suggestions for routes are much appreciated. Also, if you've done this and are want to give me other hints and stuff, I'm all ears. Thanks! :D
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby lemur » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:15 am

be prepared for tons of people saying its DANGEROUS and not to do it and all sorts of other bullshit.



(really i think they just dont want to share the road with bikers.. most people seem that way in normal life.. much less interested in it on this trip for some reason)


..youre not likely to find much help here judging by the past threads whenever this comes up ;-P
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby lemur » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:17 am

with that said i know a few people who do it.. one who does it often and they get by fine... i believe the one who does it often takes the route up toward pyramid lake from reno then round the lake to 447 instead of going through i-80/fernley... the trip is about the same distance either way.. but i think the western part coming from the reno/pyramid lake side is less trafficked
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:26 am

Can you manage all that uphill going over the Sierras?
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby wh..sh » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:45 am

I have to hide this thread from my husband. He will be stirred up if he knows he can ride to BRC!
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby Bob » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:05 am

It's dangerous.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby dragonpilot » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:36 pm

wh..sh wrote:I have to hide this thread from my husband. He will be stirred up if he knows he can ride to BRC!

You're a girl?
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:45 pm

It could happen.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby ygmir » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:49 pm

OED drags concrete blocks on a rope/net/drift line to catch bikers.

dragonpilot wrote:
wh..sh wrote:I have to hide this thread from my husband. He will be stirred up if he knows he can ride to BRC!

You're a girl?


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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:51 pm

Google translate doesn't work on Ygmirish.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby wh..sh » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:02 pm

dragonpilot wrote:
wh..sh wrote:I have to hide this thread from my husband. He will be stirred up if he knows he can ride to BRC!

You're a girl?

All signs say yes.

Sure, I make off-colored, insensitive jokes and don't always step forward to offer cleavage for jello shots. But I am still a girl dammit! Still a girl...
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby wh..sh » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:13 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:Google translate doesn't work on Ygmirish.

paging Fishy...
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby ygmir » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:17 pm

wh..sh wrote:
dragonpilot wrote:
wh..sh wrote:I have to hide this thread from my husband. He will be stirred up if he knows he can ride to BRC!

You're a girl?

All signs say yes.

Sure, I make off-colored, insensitive jokes and don't always step forward to offer cleavage for jello shots. But I am still a girl dammit! Still a girl...

*considers linoleum joke as proof*
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:57 pm

wh..sh wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:Google translate doesn't work on Ygmirish.

paging Fishy...

I knew you were a girl...

And these days "husband" is not much of a determinate of gender of the other spouse.

And I think that the 'revelation' of wh..sh being a girl has caused a testosterone surge in yggy's already fragile brain. He'll be better (and more articulate--if that's what you want to call it) soon.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby ygmir » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:18 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
wh..sh wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:Google translate doesn't work on Ygmirish.

paging Fishy...

I knew you were a girl...

And these days "husband" is not much of a determinate of gender of the other spouse.

And I think that the 'revelation' of wh..sh being a girl has caused a testosterone surge in yggy's already fragile brain. He'll be better (and more articulate--if that's what you want to call it) soon.



hey! wahs the fucici yomena i'l be omro'r atriculated?
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby dragonpilot » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:24 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
wh..sh wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:Google translate doesn't work on Ygmirish.

paging Fishy...

I knew you were a girl...

And these days "husband" is not much of a determinate of gender of the other spouse.


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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby glitteranddust » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:46 pm

lemur wrote:with that said i know a few people who do it.. one who does it often and they get by fine... i believe the one who does it often takes the route up toward pyramid lake from reno then round the lake to 447 instead of going through i-80/fernley... the trip is about the same distance either way.. but i think the western part coming from the reno/pyramid lake side is less trafficked


thanks, i'll definitely take a better look at this route and compare it with the other one i'm considering.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby glitteranddust » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:59 pm

wh..sh wrote:I have to hide this thread from my husband. He will be stirred up if he knows he can ride to BRC!


I'd say something witty in my comment but instead I think I'll just say anything to comment and keep this as a top post. :twisted:
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby trilobyte » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:39 am

Empire to BRC and SF to BRC seem like massively different, more complicated, and more dangerous adventures. You might want to consider stepping things up gradually - try biking in from Fernley, or at most from Reno. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby fraulein » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:24 am

Alright, I am both a virgin big burner and hopeful of being able to bike into the burn..all the way from Eugene, OR. I've toured before and I'm not going to be alone on this adventure....I'm wondering if you have any advice for someone who is both going to the burn for the first time, and arriving by bike. Maybe we're totally crazy for doing it :roll: , but I figure we're all a little/a lot crazy if we're into the burn culture. We've got friends/family going who can help us by carrying in water and supplies so I'm assuming that will help with part of the adventure. :mrgreen:
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby CapSmashy » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:01 am

fraulein wrote:Alright, I am both a virgin big burner and hopeful of being able to bike into the burn..all the way from Eugene, OR. I've toured before and I'm not going to be alone on this adventure....I'm wondering if you have any advice for someone who is both going to the burn for the first time, and arriving by bike. Maybe we're totally crazy for doing it :roll: , but I figure we're all a little/a lot crazy if we're into the burn culture. We've got friends/family going who can help us by carrying in water and supplies so I'm assuming that will help with part of the adventure. :mrgreen:


Provided you have a support camp so your needs during the event are covered and that you are an experienced tour rider, it should not be too bad of a trip for you. Coming down from the north is usually lighter in terms of traffic coming into the burn, but I think that also really depends on when you are coming. Biking in for opening night would probably be a bad idea though. Narrow, 2 lane blacktop with soft shoulders that pull you off the road into rather steep bar ditches combined with a 20 mile long caravan of cracked out drivers who may or may not be paying enough attention to their surroundings to even notice a person on a bike out there.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby tara » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:47 am

I think it's awesome you want to do this! All the best on your journey!!! :D
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby glitteranddust » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:43 pm

fraulein wrote:Alright, I am both a virgin big burner and hopeful of being able to bike into the burn..all the way from Eugene, OR. I've toured before and I'm not going to be alone on this adventure....I'm wondering if you have any advice for someone who is both going to the burn for the first time, and arriving by bike. Maybe we're totally crazy for doing it :roll: , but I figure we're all a little/a lot crazy if we're into the burn culture. We've got friends/family going who can help us by carrying in water and supplies so I'm assuming that will help with part of the adventure. :mrgreen:


Yeah, I'd really recommend avoiding opening night. The traffic on the road into BRC is dangerous even on the Friday before. If you can tolerate that it may be a lot slower going, I'd recommend riding across open playa (and using the road as a landmark) where possible because probably the most dangerous thing out there is the traffic. No one seems to be expecting a biker and no one really seems to know how to deal if they do come across one. Also, from casually biking around on the roads outside BRC, I've learned that they eat tubes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.... so be prepared for that and bring enough spares.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:22 pm

ygmir wrote:OED drags concrete blocks on a rope/net/drift line to catch bikers.




That was so last year, this year I am attaching a cow killer to the front of my RV.

(the net will still be there in case the fuckers manage to dodge my initial attack)
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby Rice » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:27 pm

glitteranddust wrote:
fraulein wrote:Alright, I am both a virgin big burner and hopeful of being able to bike into the burn..all the way from Eugene, OR. I've toured before and I'm not going to be alone on this adventure....I'm wondering if you have any advice for someone who is both going to the burn for the first time, and arriving by bike. Maybe we're totally crazy for doing it :roll: , but I figure we're all a little/a lot crazy if we're into the burn culture. We've got friends/family going who can help us by carrying in water and supplies so I'm assuming that will help with part of the adventure. :mrgreen:


Yeah, I'd really recommend avoiding opening night. The traffic on the road into BRC is dangerous even on the Friday before. If you can tolerate that it may be a lot slower going, I'd recommend riding across open playa (and using the road as a landmark) where possible because probably the most dangerous thing out there is the traffic. No one seems to be expecting a biker and no one really seems to know how to deal if they do come across one. Also, from casually biking around on the roads outside BRC, I've learned that they eat tubes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.... so be prepared for that and bring enough spares.

Do not ride on the open playa. The BLM has an exclusion zone around Black Rock City. Anyone found off the road or outside the trash fence could get a federal trespassing ticket.

If you rode along the gate road, just outside the road flags you should be ok. Do not cut across.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby CaffeineGirl » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:48 am

fraulein wrote:Alright, I am both a virgin big burner and hopeful of being able to bike into the burn..all the way from Eugene, OR. I've toured before and I'm not going to be alone on this adventure....I'm wondering if you have any advice for someone who is both going to the burn for the first time, and arriving by bike. Maybe we're totally crazy for doing it :roll: , but I figure we're all a little/a lot crazy if we're into the burn culture. We've got friends/family going who can help us by carrying in water and supplies so I'm assuming that will help with part of the adventure. :mrgreen:


The usual route from Eugene to Gerlach is Willamette Pass/K Falls/Alturas/Cedarville/Gerlach. About 400 very hilly/mountainous miles, much of it open range. Most of it is 2 lane, with shoulders that get narrower and narrower until they disappear entirely. Those roads also have lots of large agricultural trucks that go very fast and are not likely to be able to move over for you. Towns are mostly 50 or more miles apart.

Whatever route you are thinking about, please drive it first. Leave your windows open and do not use your air conditioning. Camp on the playa overnight then drive home. Easy to do for a weekend.
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Re: Biking to the burn

Postby EspressoDude » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:55 am

Yes, drive it first. When you do; look for the big dark spots on the road that are not tar. They were cows that were hit by trucks at high speeds, usually at night, but even in the daytime. The roads are not wide enough for two meeting vehicles to pass, plus a bicyclist. The trucks will not slow down for you. They didn't swerve or stop for a cow....for a bicycle....figure your odds. If you are lucky you will hear an air horn behind you and you have about 5 seconds to get off the asphalt. A fair amount of the roads have NO shoulder, well maybe enough for a 4 inch paint line.
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