Nevada Route Deviations

There are two major route deviations in Nevada: one near Mile 1588 (to Ely) and one near Nile 1737 (to Eureka). These add nearly 100 miles to the original Pony Express Route, and are designed to give riders options for food and water. Following are general comments about this section from Jan Bennett (who mapped the rout) and Tim Tait. More specific details are in the Route Reports for the two mile markers listed above.

From Jan

“Once you leave Salt Lake City there is no food resupply directly along the route until you hit Austin, NV, nearly 400 miles away.”

From Tim:

“[Y]ou’ll want to hit every store stop you can get your hands on out here. It’s slow rolling in an unforgiving environment. The elevation profile is deceiving. Pace will be much lower than expected. I was working on a unloaded rig, on single day legs, and was barely averaging 15mph. . . .

I think it would be safe to say be prepared for some significant swings from that 10 mph average, for large sections. There are sections out here that just scream, especially with a tail wind, and there are sections that will absolutely crawl due to sand or large gravel… or because of massive headwinds… and how those sections stack up end up changing ETAs and time between sections/services. Frustration on miles of washboards can make for a start/stop strategy that you might not have been prepared for. In terms of water, Utah is scorching hot in the summer time. Temps in Salt Lake are regularly in the 100’s in late July/early August. Most of the west desert isn’t high enough elevation to get you into much cooler temperatures than that. Winds will strip all the fluid out of you. Me personally, in the hottest parts of the summer, I would plan on 1.25-1.5 liters/hour of cycling, and I am on the lighter side of water consumption. For pespective, I ride the west desert in March-May, and then typically don’t go back until September/October.