It was with mixed emotions and tender bottoms that the four Nevada Appeal adventurers completed their circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe on Thursday.
Plagued with a series of flat tires, photographer K.M. Cannon battled frustration on the final leg of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
"My spirits were kind of down with all the flat tires," he said. "I'm a little discouraged."
He managed a smile, however, when explaining how people have pulled together to help with his bike troubles. After breaking the front shocks on the second day, Appeal reporter Geoff Dornan offered his bike and Rob Smith, owner of the Carson City bike shop, The Bike Smith, repaired Cannon's bike for free. His teammates, including driver Don Quilici and wife Elaine, have also helped in times of need.
"I feel like everybody is trying to make this work for us," Cannon said. "That feels good."
Finishing the first two challenges on the list was enough to make copy editor Karl Horeis forget posterior pains brought on by four days of mountain biking.
"I feel really good," he said. "I feel stronger than I have in days. We've had some sore spots and it's gotten painful to sit on the bicycle but it feels really good to finish the Rim Trail because it took us four days. It's definitely the biggest challenge overall."
The next difficult challenge, Horeis said, will be the 35-mile Ruby Crest Trail over the Ruby Mountains.
"It's going to be pretty brutal," he said.
But sportswriter Jeremy Evans said he is looking forward to the remaining challenges.
"I'm excited to see the rest of Nevada," he said. "I can't wait to get out there and see what Nevada's really like. I definitely want to see the Rubies."
And he's looking forward to stepping off of his bike.
"I'm glad to be done with the mountain biking," he said. "I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the sound of the spokes. I'm sick of everything."
Appeal graphic artist Terrence Gallagher joined Cannon, Horeis, Evans and photographer Rick Gunn for a portion of the final day on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
"It was cool," he said. "We got up early and got rolling. It's a serious challenge and they're stepping up."
They will hit the third and fourth challenges today sand boarding down Sand Mountain and dirt boarding across the Black Rock Desert.
The challenges are part of the 'Nevada: Bring it On' campaign set up by the Nevada Commission on Tourism to draw outdoor enthusiasts to the state.
Quote of the day: "Elaine. She's an angel," photographer K.M. Cannon on a key member, the cook, of the support crew.
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