Bicyclists rode across Nevada on the 26th Annual OATBRAN Tour, deemed “America’s Loneliest Bike Tour” by bikethewest.com. The longest leg of the race, stretching from Fallon to Austin where riders rest before continuing across the state.
On Sunday, Sept. 24, the bikers began their journey across Nevada from Lake Tahoe on the state line, pedaling their way to the Utah state line down Highway 50. Participants met at the MontBleu Casino near the south shore of Lake Tahoe, where riders received a welcome packet and shared a dinner at the resort.
On Sept. 25, the bike ride kicked off the first leg of the tour from the state line to the city of Fallon. The downhill section of the tour dropped riders from a starting elevation of 7,149 feet to approximately 4,749 feet. On this leg, riders passed through the state capital Carson City, Virginia City and Dayton before finishing in Fallon. The ride to Fallon is a 91-mile stretch, but falls short on the distance required to travel to Austin.
The longest leg of the race is from Fallon to Austin where participants are challenged to complete the 113 miles and includes five climbs that start at approximately 4,700 and go to 5,700 feet in elevation. Austin, the final destination for the riders, on day two of the ride. The Austin Chamber of Commerce provided riders with a meal and overnight accommodations.
The day after the riders took on the longest leg of the ride, they enjoyed the shortest day’s ride. On day three they pedaled 70 miles from Austin to Eureka. The highest climb of the tour began in Austin when riders began their pedal over Austin Summit, cresting at 7,484 feet.
Bike rider Gustavo Moura stated, “It’s a great Ride, rest stops are spread out and located well. The event is very organized and has beautiful scenery.”
The fourth day of the ride took the participants 79 miles down the road from Eureka to Ely while crossing four summits on the way. According to bikethewest.com, riders usually enjoy this leg of the trip as the scenery offers a different view of the loneliest highway.
Day five of the trip is 71 miles from Ely to the Utah Border at the Great Basin National Park. This leg of the journey provides riders more beautiful sights of Nevada, including the glacier field of Wheeler Peak. The first 20 riders were offered a tour of the limestone caverns of the Lehman Caves.
The sixth and final day of the OAT BRAN Tour, bikers loaded their bikes and all their gear into vans, then travelled back the way they came in a return trip to Lake Tahoe. The tour stops at each location a second time.
The OAT BRAN Tour limits the number of participants to 50 riders and each rider pays $1,600 in fees that include six nights with overnight accommodations, security for vehicles parked during the week at Lake Tahoe, 17 meals, ride jerseys, water bottles and full tech support during the trip. The ride is held annually in Sept. with registration and full payment required by the end of August. The OAT BRAN Tour encourages experienced riders to take on the challenge of riding across Nevada.