Friday, July 3, 2015

Making Friends On The Red Rock Scenic Loop

I dragged myself out of the Summerlin apartment at 6:40 a.m., headed out to Red Rock Canyon and met two cyclists as we entered the BLM Red Rock scenic drive.

I met Chris and Mike at the BLM Red Rock booth. The administration there has become very vigilant in checking out park passes and IDs, with a video camera recently mounted on the main booth aimed at the transaction point.

Chris zoomed up the first five miles to the overlook at 4,771 feet. But Mike and I chatted as we grinded out the 1,100 feet from the park entrance to the overlook.

Mike and I chatted about the local bicycle scene. It was cool to hear that Mike was at the fat tire festival put on by Jared Fisher and Las Vegas Cyclery at the Grand Canyon North Rim two weeks ago  Here's Mike and Chris sitting at the overlook, while another bicyclist joined us.

After the overlook, it was mostly downhill back to SR 159.

The Big Stripe. Do you see the bicyclists.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sharing The Trail With Cars

Just another day on the 215 Beltway trail.

I was cycling on the trail between the Summerlin Parkway and Far Hills Avenue tonight -- and things were a little different.

Only this time, there was a car on the trail. It was nice of him to bike around me.

 Welome to bicycling in Las Vegas.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hat Trick Of Cycling -- Red Rock Loop; Mt. Charleston Fattie; Downtown Urban Cruising

My bicycle pal Kevin Cannon missed the early 6 a.m. road ride in Red Rock Canyon and the scenic drive. I had a lovely road ride with my roadie friend Scott. We pedaled the Red Rock loop and chatted ourselves up the hill to 4,771 feet -- the high point along the Red Rock scenic drive. Kevin didn't get up in time, though he did do some road cycling later in the morning.

But Kevin did come on strong for a mountain bike ride on the Bristlecone Trail on Mt Charleston at 4:30 p.m. and then an urban ride through the urban freak show of downtown Las Vegas.

There's Kevin with my fattie, a Surley Pugsley single-speed, steel-framed, shock-less beast that I muscled up several hundred feet on the Bristlecone, I'm guessing that we were biking around 8,300 feet -- not too shabby when you consider the Las Vegas valley is around 2,100 feet or so.


The Bristlecone Trail loop is about 6.5 miles, with the first 3.5 miles all uphill from the lower Bristlecone parking lot. Above, Kevin is cycling up the wide fire road, while Kevin is descending on a single track in the photo below.

When it's 110 in the valley, it's a pleasant 80 at 8,500 feet on Mount Chraleston.

The Pugsley, then, was off for an urban trek. I met Kevin at 8:10 p.m. at the Review-Journal parking lot and little did we know what awaited -- a homeless guy with a Winnebago on his bicycle, a stop at a quasi-art fundraiser outside with five other people and a bunch of blinking bicyclists in downtown.

An arts woman wanted us to pay $15 each for a "cover" charge to watch a guy sing "Over The Rainbow."

We passed, and pedaled off to Hop Nuts for a beer. I parked the Pugsley inside.

An RJ reporter, Ricky, came over on his bicycle to Hop Nuts and we headed over to the boys at Banger Brewing on the Fremont Street Experience.

Awesome Ride for Roger Saturday

Some outstanding photography by Robert Baker showcasing Saturday's Ride for Roger

Roger was recently struck by a car at a Sahara Avenue intersection in Las Vegas and was hospitalized. Here's a TV news story on Roger's incident. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Day Trip To The Grand Canyon

Few places play bigger than the hype. One of those is the Grand Canyon.

I know some people get bored by the big hole in the earth.

I never do.

One of my favorite things about today was watching people come off the tour buses and see the looks on their faces when they see the canyon for the first time.

They look like kids seeing and tasting candy for the first time.

"Wow" was their most popular word.

I strolled along the famed Bright Angel Trail for a bit, chatting with a park ranger who said there are 10 -- 30 calls for help a year from May to August, ranging from issues such as dizziness and heat stroke to twisted ankles and dehydration.

The condors are also back. The ranger said there about 300 of the giant birds soaring around Grand Canyon.

The rim trail is a great way to get to know the place. It's paved, with some easy access to the edge of the canyon.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Beware The Door Zone

Getting doored is unpleasant when riding a bicycle.

You're just happily pedaling away and whap! A metal car door opens and strikes you and your bicycle and next thing you're on pavement, assessing whether you have a broken collarbone or wrist.

The threat is made worse by well-intentioned road designer who plan bike lanes adjacent to parking spaces.

Like this in Las Vegas.

Take the traffic lane and give yourself room outside the dreaded "door zone."

Also, in Nevada motorists are required under law to move over one traffic lane if there's an extra passing lane when passing a bicyclist.

This can be a problem when you're a bicyclist in a narrow bike lane and cars are passing you in their narrow lanes and buzzing you.

So move over and avoid hitting a bicyclist.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pugsley Visits Rocky Gap Near Red Rock Canyon

Its's a gift to live so close to Red Rock Canyon and the 13-mile scenic loop, which meanders its way into the foothills of the Spring Mountains.

Lots of roadies follow the hilly scenic drive. But there aren't too many mountain bike, off-road opportunities for two-wheelers.

But there is Rocky Gap Road, an aptly-named bone-shaking rattler of a dirt and rock road that is a turn off the main loop and heads toward SR 160 toward Pahrump on the other side of the mountain.

I took my SINGLE-speed Pugsley fattie to check out Rocky Gap late this afternoon.

At the start of Rocky Gap is a fork in the path to take this trail. Bicyclists aren't allowed.

I loved Rocky Gap because it doesn't feel like you're the desert back in this notch of a shake, rattle and roll road.

The single speed can handle paved uphills. But the steepness was challenging.

This doesn't seem like Las Vegas, does it?