My Name Is Fritz

Written By Fritz Ifert-Miller

Day 69 - I'm an idiot

Distance: 70.67 mi | Ride Time: about 6 hours | Elevation Gain: 629.5 ft | Avg Heartrate: 123.4 bpm

This morning we left Brad and Stacey’s with the goal of reaching Gardnerville. This would leave us strategically positioned for an assault on the three passes preceding Mono Lake Basin and Tioga Pass. After a breakfast with Tom, Luke, Ollie and Jonathan, we gathered in the living room for a group photo before tending to our morning preparations. Afterwards, we departed in groups: the brits, Jonathan, and then Gen and I. With plenty of daylight and clear forecasts, we were excited to put another big day under our belts. As we pedaled away from Brad’s house, a rainbow arched overhead and we joked that our California pot of gold awaited.

In little time we had our first stop--a bathroom break at the Lahontan State Park Reservoir. Another 2 miles down the road and we decided it was time for a second breakfast, so we went to the roadside casino for some pancakes. Putting away food has been a constant effort on this trip. Rarely does a day go by when we don’t eat 4-5 full meals and supplement those with bars and other snacks. When it came time to pay, I reached for my wallet. I keep all of my valuables in my front bag and it was not in its usual place. I tore the contents out of the bag assuming it had slid beneath other items.

No wallet.

I gave Gen a pitiful look of concern. Maybe it was in my pants pockets from the night before?

I went outside to check my pants pockets.

No wallet.

I went through my other panniers, upending and scattering each in turn.

No wallet.

I returned to Gen and informed her of my predicament. She thought about where we had seen the wallet last. I knew that I had used it at CVS to buy the tail light batteries and I hadn’t seen it since. Thinking maybe I left it on the counter at CVS in Fallon, I looked up the number and gave them a ring.

No wallet.

No one had seen or turned in my wallet at the store. Maybe it was still at Brad’s house and had fallen out when I was getting the camera for the group photo? I called Brad who promptly searched the room we had slept in and the living room and the kitchen. All of the places the wallet could have been.

No wallet.

It became apparent that my wallet had gone from missing to permanently lost. Brad called the Fallon Police Department and asked them to inform him if anyone turned in the wallet. Regardless, my situation for the rest of the trip was certain. I would have no driver’s license, no debit card, and no health insurance card. The money in particular was going to be problematic if I was asking Gen to pay for everything and then settling up at the end of the trip.

Annoyed that I could have been so stupid as to have lost something so critical, I told Gen c’est la vie, and hopped back on the bike. I knew I could probably get a replacement bank card somehow and I hoped the other two items would not be deal-breakers for the remainder of the trip.

With relative ease we pedaled into Carson City, our official deviation point from the Western Express. Jonathan had reached it earlier in the day and continued to Lake Tahoe. We were bound to hook south along 395 to stay in Nevada just a little while longer.

 Storm clouds once again began their daily process of gathering in the afternoon sky and we took the opportunity to go to In-N-Out Burger in Carson City for lunch before going to Bank of America to get a replacement bank card.

The bank officer was bemused by my unusual predicament requesting a debit card while having absolutely no proof of identification. After a rigorous game of 20 questions wherein I recited my Social Security Number, my date of birth, my current and previous billing address, the number of my lost bank card and the number of my driver’s license, all from memory; she relented and granted me a temporary card while the replacement was processed to be mailed to Connecticut.

With money once again accessible we went to Starbucks to check the developing weather system. The skies had continued to darken, and it was beginning to look like reaching Gardnerville was a challenging prospect. The radar showed a small local system that was moving fast but the possibility of staying in Carson City with a Warm Showers host proved too tempting to resist. We biked back 6 miles into Carson City proper and met Flynn who greeted us in the driveway.

Flynn runs a recycling, reclamation and resale operation of other individuals' discarded belongings. His garage and backyard played host to over 150 bicycles in various states of operability. He took us on a historical tour of all the bicycles he owned and where they came from and what peculiarities they possessed.

Afterwards, we had Domino’s Pizza with Flynn, his wife Savannah, and Aria, while watching Whose Line is it Anyway. Passing out quickly on the couch, we were eager to get rest for our big day tomorrow.

Also, Genny's tanlines are out of control at this point.

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