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POSTED 11:09 AM, OCTOBER 13, 2019, BY ASSOCIATED PRESS,
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Jan Bennett endured food poisoning, hail and near misses with tornado weather on her solo bicycle ride across the entire 2,220-mile (3,572-kilometer) Pony Express Trail from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California.
The former cycling road racer from Dallas, who made the trip as part of her effort to map out a bike-packing route along the historic trail knew it wouldn’t be easy.
But she wasn’t fully prepared for her toughest challenge yet in a remote piece of terrain in northern Nevada, where the climb was too steep and rough to ride and water was scarce.
More than 1,700 miles (2,735 kilometers) into the ride out of Missouri last year, she realized just how alone she was in a canyon north of Eureka.
“It was a little bit of a gut check,” Bennett told the Reno Gazette Journal in a recent interview.
“It is in the middle of a really remote section of route,” she said. “I had the moment of, ‘If something happens out here, I am kind of screwed’.”
As she slowly pushed her bike up the steep incline, she remembered an old piece of advice about endurance riding.
“If you have to cry, cry while you are moving,” Bennett said. “If you cry on the side of the road you still have to get up and cover that area...”
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