Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hazardous Conditions Close Red Rock Scenic Loop

I went to bike the Red Rock Scenic Loop.

But it's closed.

Hazardous conditions.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Henry Brean got the story behind these "hazardous conditions." His story is here and seems there was a little misunderstanding and not hazardous conditions that closed the popular 13-mile loop.

Here's a passage from Henry's story:

Kirsten Cannon, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Southern Nevada, said the visitor center was closed at 8 a.m. "due to lack of power." The Scenic Drive was shut down about two hours later because of a "misunderstanding about what areas should be closed during a power outage," Cannon said in an email.
Power was restored later in the day, but the decision was made to keep the area closed because staff and volunteers already had been sent home.

Riding The Red Rock Loop

The Red Rock Scenic Loop is one of the nicest roads to bike on when the feds are not doing road work on it.

Here, the famed Turchinator of Summerlin -- Kevin Turchin -- joined my friend Scott and I for a ride on the Loop.

Pedaling Autumn Colors in Las Vegas

Autumn colors arrive here in the Las Vegas area in November, usually the mid or toward the end of the month.

Here are the colors along SR 159 near Blue Diamond, about 15 miles west of where I live.

Sniffing News Via Bicycle

As a newspaper writer, I use my bicycle all the time to detect and find news.

A few days ago, I was biking with my friend Kevin, who is a photographer, and we met Dave Mason changing the gallon prices as a gas station on Westcliff in Las Vegas.


Go Julius Go

It's not every day that my dad, Julius, is pedaling a hefty steel single-speed Surly Pugsley.

But there he was in Las Vegas, pedaling the beast on the 215 beltway trail near my home.

On The Day Before Thanksgiving, Let's Say Hi To Little Red Rocks

Apologies to my good riding friend Jared Fisher of Las Vegas Cyclery. On most Wednesday mornings I ride with Jared. But this morning the legs said head to Little Red Rocks.

And that's what I did.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Vets Pedal With Pride During R2R Event In Vegas

Need a jolt of inspiration?

You should have pedaled Saturday morning with the injured war veterans who were among the 800 bicyclists in the Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride down the Strip and on the roads of Las Vegas.

Ride 2 Recovery stages these community bicycle rides to raise money and awareness about the plight of the injured veteran, who use the bicycle and also recumbent cycles fashioned specifically to accommodate their war injury. Ride 2 Recovery, based in  Calabasas, Calif., has held previous rides in Las Vegas during the Interbike national bicycle trade show and also an off-road mountain bike ride outside Blue Diamond. 

Every pedaling wounded warrior had a powerful story Saturday.

Consider retired Air Force MSgt. Christopher "Aggie" Aguilera who lost five buddies when his military helicopter crashed in 2010. Aguilera was severely burned and critically injured and eventually would have his left leg amputated in June 2013.

But there was Aguilera at the front of the group of bicyclists in his recumbent cycle to help start the ride at the festival grounds across from the Luxor on the Strip. There were rides of 20, 40 and 70 miles that began and ended at the festival site owned by MGM Resorts International.

Aguilera recalled the dark days trying to recover after the helicopter crash.

"I was trying to survive while my friends were dead. I was in a dark place," he told the bicyclists before the ride. "I'm in a much better place than where I was five years ago."

Regrettably, not all veterans recover as well as Aguilera.

Veteran Lou Norris of Las Vegas said he was biking Saturday to bring attention to the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day. Norris wore a bike jersey with the number, "22," on his back to remind people of the suicide problem.

"All these people are here to celebrate vets and help the vets," Norris said. He noted he enjoys the bicycle comradery of the Ride 2 Recovery events.

Most of the bicyclists were local residents who wanted to donate their money to the veterans' cause. They were inspired by many scenes of veterans pushing other veterans up some of the bicycle course hills.


Joe Rajchel, 55, of Henderson pedaled a Trek hybrid bicycle and joined his wife Carol and son Joe to honor the memory of his father, who was a World War II veteran.

"What the veterans did was something meaningful," Rajchel said.
Bicycling was a great way to honor the recovering vets, he said.

"It's a form of exercise that anyone can do," he said. "You don't have to be an athlete."