Then you find you're back in Vegas... (23 oct 12)
...with a handle in your hand
Set out from Las Vegas toward Joshua Tree.
Discovered a hole in my tire.
Found a nice bike store near the airport and got a Specialized 26" touring tire - $44 but worth it.
2320 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV
They also sold me an allegedly 'thorn-proof' inner tube, which is indeed very tough. I probably won't have a problem with that rear tire for a while.
The rear wheel is another matter. I rode against a strong southerly wind, mostly in first gear, on what Google tells me is the route to the Mojave Desert. Eventually, you have to get on a freeway, but it's legal for a short stretch, apparently. Anyway, I never got to the freeway, because a spoke broke on my rear wheel. This wheel takes all the weight. Once you've lost one spoke, you'll lose others. There are no bike stores between Vegas and Twenty Nine Palms, 180 miles away. So...
You find you're back in Vegas...
I haven't got a 'handle in my hand' though, like the old Steely Dan song says. If there's one temptation I can resist, it's gambling.
There's also an issue with the chain rubbing against something, but I can't figure out where, because when I'm riding the bike, I can't see what the chain is doing (it's very long on a recumbent).
So - back in Vegas - the Emerald Suites on S Las Vegas Blvd. - highly recommended - tomorrow back to a bike store, then continue the journey.
9145 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV
Next day - went to the bike store and got a new spoke. Put the thorn-proof tube and tire back on, and set off. After about a mile, psssss.... hole in tube. Of course! I'd forgotten to put the tape around the inside of the tube back on the wheel, the tape which prevents the spoke ends from piercing the tube. I'd discovered one thing which can puncture a thorn-proof tube - a spoke. So... back to the bike store. Found the tape hanging up where I'd left it. Fixed the tube, replaced the tire, pumped it up. Pssss.... After three attempts, realized that you can't fix a thorn-proof tire with an ordinary repair kit. So I bought two ordinary tubes instead. I also fixed the chain-rubbing problem with some zip-ties, and set off. By this time, it was getting late, and the southerly wind was strong again, so I spent yet another night in Vegas. Just about to set off, on the morning of Oct. 24...
You go back, Jack, do it again...