When Travel Nevada and the Carson City and Ely City Bureau of Tourism put together a crackpot team of cyclists, historians, and trail whisperers to check out some of the trails crisscrossing Nevada’s Highway 50 – you know, the stretch poetically described as “the loneliest road in America” by Life magazine in 1986 – Teal Stetson-Lee was obviously on the list. The six-day trip, known as the “Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip,” was an exploratory effort into embracing mountain bike tourism here in Nevada. We caught up with our original athlete ambassador to hear all about it, and we can tell you this – we’re totally on board with this mountain bike tourism thing.
So How Was It?
In a word – rad. “It was a rad trip,” Teal enthuses. “It really opened my eyes to the incredible mountain bike communities and undiscovered trail networks across Nevada.”
The first leg of the journey was the Tahoe Rim Trail to the newly cut Clear Creek Trail – the alpine lake high in the mountains all the way down to the desert sage. Then the team sped on to the tiny town of Kingston and the Toiyable Crest Trail, a wild ride of crests and passes that started with a Jeep ride to the top of the 5,000-foot Crest. Then the fun really began, as the team raced down not once, but twice. Incidentally, this was Teal’s favorite part of the trip.
“The camaraderie in Kingston with the locals and the high alpine mountain riding was out of this world,” she says. “It was great exploring an area that feels very untouched and remote.”
After a good night’s rest, lunch and a hot springs dip in Eureka, the team turned its attention to Ely. Home to such trails as Powderberry, Slalon, Whore House Hill, and a gem of a run at Cave Lake, this was one of the team’s favorite parts of the trip. The final leg was around Caliente, another tiny little boom-or-bust town laying bets on mountain bikers. The town opened a trail network with the BLM, and the team was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the runs.
And Then There was Cannabis
In between all of that, Teal did what a really great ambassador does – sported her gear, fielded questions, and discussed Kynd products that the team was able to experience first hand. “Cannabis was a big focus of the trip,” she explains. “We chatted about my sponsorship and the support I receive and how it fits with mountain biking, as a whole. Most of the riders on the trip are recreational users but also use cannabis to help with pain and injury recovery. One of my friends on the trip is in her tightly-regulated professional cyclocross race season, and she is strictly avoiding the use of any products, even though the salve, in particular, would be valuable with some of her injuries. I brought a variety of my products for the team to check out: chocolate, vape cartridges and salve.”
And in yet another example of just how small our world can be, Teal shares this tidbit. “In Kingston, I was wearing my KYND shirt and found out that Candice and Chad, the owners of the small bed and breakfast where we stayed, were friends with Mark and knew all about KYND.” It goes to show – if cannabis can make great strides here in Nevada so quickly, mountain bike tourism can do the same. Just ask Teal.
“Nevada is an incredible state with spectacular mountain bike corridors and vast amount of trail building efforts and possibilities,” the pro cyclist says. “Many people underestimate what is available in Nevada, as they drive through on I-80 or Hwy 50 to get from mountain biking in California to riding in Utah and Colorado, but Nevada should never be overlooked. It’s a state filled with magical secrets.”
Sounds pretty rad to us.