'I have always loved a challenge'
Bob Lindsay notices little things like wind direction and speed or slight changes in the slope of the highway. These things matter because he's using his bike pedals, not the gas pedal, to propel his own weight and 90 pounds of gear cross-country.
On his way from Las Cruces, N.M. to Portland, Ore., he passed through Castle Country last week.
"I didn't know how many more road trips I had left in me," he said during a break between Wellington and Price. He's 66 years old, retired and on Social Security, so he figured he had the time to pedal his way to Oregon and visit a friend there. His friend, a fellow bicycle enthusiast, is 71.
As for stamina, he's still got it. Lindsay has been hooked on bicycling since he made his first long-distance trip 51 years ago on a three speed Raleigh English Racer. His previous record was a trip from Las Cruces to Montana.
He said he's used to doing 50 or 60 miles a day on a bare bike, but for this trip, hauling a trailer and saddle bags loaded with food, water and camping gear, he's content to gain 20.
Weather and slopes can affect that mileage one way or another. On Wednesday, for example, he was between Green River and Woodside when a windstorm hit him right in the face. He pulled off into the boonies and set up camp.
"That was not easy, setting up a two-man tent in that wind," he laughed. But at least the wind dried the rain off his tent quickly. "I haven't seen as much wildlife as I expected, but I did see some antelope yesterday," he added.
Well, there are deer and elk galore on U.S. 6 through Price and Spanish Fork canyons where he's headed next. When told he's facing 23 miles uphill, sometimes at eight percent grade, he shrugged. "If it gets too steep, I just get off and push. I've got no problem with that."
What really concerns him, he said, is the impending journey across the Salt Flats into Nevada. "There's nothing there," he said. He hasn't finalized his route, though, so there could be an alternative to the expanse of desert.
He has time to think about it. He estimates he'll be on the road for at least two more months before getting close to Portland.
"I expect that when I get there, my friend and I will have some stories to swap," he smiled.
Lindsay said this will probably be his last major adventure. When he's done with this, he'll stay closer to home, say, within 500 miles of Las Cruces.
But the voyage ahead is on his mind now. "It's going to be a challenge," he concluded. "I have always loved a challenge."