The new Nevada bikepacking race follows the path of a prison break in Carson City

It started with slingshots, knives and other handcrafted weapons.

It ended with the largest prison break in the country’s history, an epic gunfight – and a bike race tracing the escape route through Nevada and the Sierra.

On the night of September 17, 1871, inmates at the Nevada State Penitentiary blamed the guard assigned to lock them up for the night. After incapacitating him, they wriggled into a crawl space in the ceiling and headed to the prison’s armory.

The inmates grabbed shotguns, rifles, sixguns and ammunition.

The prison break escalated into total chaos as the prisoners headed for the gates.

The northwest wall of the Nevada State Penitentiary as it appeared in 1875.

By the time the riot was over, 29 convicts had escaped. Two men were dead. Several other men were seriously injured – only one of them was a convict.

The state militia was mobilized out of Virginia City, and citizens were represented in an attempt to capture the convicts. No one was captured that day.