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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be a dumb question, but is it feasible to ride across Nevada (Hwy 50, from Ely to Reno) in late June, or will it simply be too hot to be safe? I'm assuming an early start (dawn), with the intention of arriving in Reno in early afternoon.
 

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The earlier the better and cooling vests are very much worth the money.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The earlier the better and cooling vests are very much worth the money.
Mike
Would a wet t-shirt and bandana inside my vented [and uninsulated] Aerostich jacket be adequate?
 

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Would a wet t-shirt and bandana inside my vented [and uninsulated] Aerostich jacket be adequate?
It will be adequate if you want to stop to wet them a lot.

The amount of water absorbed and, subsequently, evaporated out of the vest is several times more than a cotton t-shirt can.

They are not expensive and worth the $$.
 

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You get get a decent 10 dollar sweat shirt and wet that. With a mesh jacket I dried out a wet vest in 80-100 miles in 90-100 degree temps. That's about the distance between communities on Hwy50. Do slow down coming into those little towns, they love to give tickets for 26 in the 25 zone.
It's an interesting ride across 50. Mountain passes and long narrow valleys. I've enjoyed it several times.
The west end near Fallon is a bit of a bore and dirty. But by then you'll be near Reno and the end will be in sight! Seems to be 319 miles across and the speed limit is 70, I think, if not 75. I've done it in July driving a sidecar rig and it was still good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You get get a decent 10 dollar sweat shirt and wet that. With a mesh jacket I dried out a wet vest in 80-100 miles in 90-100 degree temps. That's about the distance between communities on Hwy50. Do slow down coming into those little towns, they love to give tickets for 26 in the 25 zone.
It's an interesting ride across 50. Mountain passes and long narrow valleys. I've enjoyed it several times.
The west end near Fallon is a bit of a bore and dirty. But by then you'll be near Reno and the end will be in sight! Seems to be 319 miles across and the speed limit is 70, I think, if not 75. I've done it in July driving a sidecar rig and it was still good.
Thanks for the suggestion and perspective on the route. I discovered the same thing about cops in small towns in Montana; according to some locals I spoke with, cops more or less ignore your speed on highways (within reason) but can get really aggressive in town.
 

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You can do it, I have a couple times (Arizona, West Texas, Nevada in August). Just stay hydrated and wear sun block.

You can wet your shirt with your canteen as you ride, it will feel terrific... for about 45 seconds, then it will be bone dry.
 

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I've done it many times in all kinds of weather. Take water and use the old wet T-shirt trick if it gets too hot.

Once you get to Ely after going across Utah, most of the rest of the route is above 6000 ft elevation until you get to Fallon, then it's still above 5000 ft, so it really isn't as hot as southern Nevada.

Get an early start from Ely and you'll be in Carson City or Reno before about 3 in the afternoon. Watch out for deer and elk in the twisty parts.

The NHP is in fact devoting a lot more patrol effort to US50 in the last year or two. I crossed it last week twice and saw plenty of patrol activity from both NHP and the county sheriffs along the way. Just keep to the speed limits religiously through towns, and keep it under 10% over the speed limit the rest of the time and you'll be ok. The speed limits go down through the many mountain passes and NHP loves to ticket in those areas, especially.

Anyone who thinks Nevada is a wide-open state for speeding isn't very well informed. Nevada actually ranks number 3 in the nation in per-capita speeding ticket writing. :fineprint:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've done it many times in all kinds of weather. Take water and use the old wet T-shirt trick if it gets too hot.

Once you get to Ely after going across Utah, most of the rest of the route is above 6000 ft elevation until you get to Fallon, then it's still above 5000 ft, so it really isn't as hot as southern Nevada.

Get an early start from Ely and you'll be in Carson City or Reno before about 3 in the afternoon. Watch out for deer and elk in the twisty parts.

The NHP is in fact devoting a lot more patrol effort to US50 in the last year or two. I crossed it last week twice and saw plenty of patrol activity from both NHP and the county sheriffs along the way. Just keep to the speed limits religiously through towns, and keep it under 10% over the speed limit the rest of the time and you'll be ok. The speed limits go down through the many mountain passes and NHP loves to ticket in those areas, especially.

Anyone who thinks Nevada is a wide-open state for speeding isn't very well informed. Nevada actually ranks number 3 in the nation in per-capita speeding ticket writing. :fineprint:
Thanks for the feedback, especially about the elevation and NHP strategy. I seldom go more than 8 mph over the limit on highways as a habit anyway, so I'm not too worried. I'll stay at, or even below, the speed limits in towns, based on your response and another poster's.
 

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As noted, the 'loneliest highway' is a bit of a misnomer. But it is a nice route.

I dunno if it's gonna be all that hot either.... I suppose it depends on gear and what you have survived in the past. I went through 122 deg in Death Valley in July and came out ok.

Personally, I don't think the wet cotton sweatshirt or tee shirt is a good idea. Cotton holds 1.5 times it's own weight in water. Superabsorbant polymer holds 800 times it's weight in water. Get the right gear and you will be smiling the whole way. Here's what I do...

80 deg + --> time for a mesh jacket. Usually I need a tinted shade too because of the sun's glare.

90 deg + --> I pull out my evaporative bandana. Keeping your neck cool means all the blood rushing to your head is cooled, which really helps the body cool down. Usually I put on lip balm too.

100 deg + --> Mesh pants, darker tint sunshade, evaporative vest, and a hydration system. I also use fingerless gloves (that gonna piss some ppl off! :green_lol: )

110 deg + --> I start pouring water on my legs and head at rest stops.

120 deg + --> cripes that hot! Although the evaporative gear kept me going I had to stop every half hour to pour water on my legs and in my boots. The heat coming off the road felt like it was cooking my feet, I bet it was 160 deg + at the road surface.

Northern Nevada isn't gonna get that hot. You will be fine.


evap bandana = $3
MiraCool® Evaporative Cooling Bandanas - Individual Colors: IndustrialSafetyGear.com


evap vest = $31
Amazon.com: Chill-Its 6665 Evaporative Cooling Vest, Gray, Large: Home Improvement



btw- I carry a bag large enough to hydrate the vest, but I've also used restroom sinks and even a stream or a lake. Be sure you dry the evap gear completely before storing it or mold will form.
 

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Would a wet t-shirt and bandana inside my vented [and uninsulated] Aerostich jacket be adequate?
Yes, and make it a long sleeved heavy t-shirt (6oz or better).

Whatever you do, don't wear mesh or you will roast. I made that mistake across west TX - once.

My experience with a cooling vest was dismal at best. It completely blocks air circulation around your torso, there's no cooling on arms and shoulders, it saturates your waistline. I gave it away and went back to the vented jacket and wet T.
 

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There's no bum advice in any of what has been said. I've been the route a number of times and I actually enjoy it. Lots to see and do if you are into that sort of thing.

Stop at the Chamber of Commerce office in Ely and pick up the "Official Highway 50 Survival Challenge" booklet. Get it stamped at one of the participating businesses in Ely, Eureka, Austin, Fallon and Fernley, and you will get a nice enameled pin, a CD audio tour guide to the highway and a certificate. Kinda fun, and it forces you to get off the bike once in a while and stretch.
 
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