Wolf, whitewater master, has just made it back to Reno after experiencing the Black Rock Desert first hand. The place is a sight to behold filled with nothing but crazy ass folks that think they know how to throw a party. I don’t know how many, but people were saying about 40,000 kooks in the same desert with all their RV’s, art cars, bicycles, moving vans, and golf carts on the same flat desert enjoying the same hot sun all as one tribe.
I didn’t get to find out exactly what they were worshiping on my bike ride out into the desert... whatever it is, it is sic! To be able to endure, for however many days those people spend out there, is remarkable in itself. The fine, salty sand flies everywhere, blasting all in the desert heat. There is no cover or shelter other than what was transported by the Burners to the burn party. It is a logistical marvel on how the event gets put on so successfully. And, I must give mad props to their skills at keeping people much like myself from being able to just walk right in and join the show.
My bike ride was quite a killer adventure in itself for me as I had never rode a bicycle more than 30 miles before, and I was attempting 119 miles in pretty heinous conditions. No shade, food or water... just desert out there, and me cruising on a sweet road bike that I had just purchased from friends in Reno.
After getting lost in Reno in the middle of the day on Monday, I finally made it to the Pyramid Highway and through Sparks. The desert out there is way cool and my bike was fast, so I made good time and was pushing to get as far as I could on day one. I was pretty wasted by the time I made it to Pyramid Lake and took a breather.
So many people were cruising to Burning Man, that I knew I was going the right direction for sure. Cars loaded to the max, working way harder than I was to get out there with all their bottled water and extra bicycles, I could tell those bikes really wanted to be ridden to the The Man rather than carried. My bicycle and I were quickly becoming good friends, as I mastered the shifter knobs and pumped those pedals in my spandex getup. (Note from W.E.T. River Trips; folks the picture is sic... next post, we promise... Wolfe looks pretty good in spandex...)
After my rest at the lake I cruised into Nixon, all pumped to finally be able to get some more water, as I had already drank more than a gallon in my first 5 hours of riding. Here is where all the real Burners were converging, and I tried to not act cooler than them, but it was hard not to in my sick ass outfit and bicycle transporter.
I have greater appreciation for bikers now, but would rather spend life on a bicycle that's partaking in some hedonistic party lifestyle... so yeah, I was feeling pretty righteous. It was good to know that I had ridden my bike this far.
I was tired, so I bought some coffee, filled water bottles, and continued my assault on the BRC via some crazy highway filled with peeps driving way to close to my edge of the world. This white edge is a very thin edge sometimes, and holding my breath, as I was getting passed, became the routine. Semi’s, u-haul’s, and mad trailers were buzzing by me in colorful gasoline powered streams of consciousness.
Right after sunset, on my first day of riding, I was thankful to find a makeshift Indian Taco stand on the side of the road, set-up to accommodate the Burners and their hunger for fry bread. A mom and daughter were running this operation out of an old RV and immediately invited me to stay the night there, as the road was getting increasingly more and more busy and filled with headlights.
I met quite a few Burners here and they helped me to get a better idea of who was going to this festival of desert carnage. It seemed like everyone. Even the ladies who ran the taco stand were going to go this year... their first ever. Veggie powered buses were shuttling in people from Reno, Volkswagon Bugs converted to RV’s, and lots of people who were driving rentals into the party. There was a majority of the people I met from California, but everyone else was from elsewhere. I love Indian Tacos...
More to come... and Wolfe's pic of his spandex outfit... ala Jonny "skirt" ... W.E.T. River Trips