Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Will drive south for biking; part 1

Drew being the senior captain that he is, gets everyone's first choice for vacation bids: late February.  OK, maybe not our first choice, but with 8 days off together, who's complaining.   We decided to road trip a big loop through parts of the Southwest.

First stop: Saint George to get in a quick pre-ride of next week's mountain bike race course.  It was our first time on dirt since November, and even with rain threatening and chilly weather, we had happy bikes and big smiles.  Also helped that we serendipitously ran into our Buzzard friends and had a tasty dinner with them.

Day 2: the search for more dirt.
Sunday we bolted from soggy Saint George and headed for the Strip.  Las Vegas, Nevada, in the Mojove Desert is where we sought the sun and dirt.

We drove straight for the Blue Diamond trails

and got in a good 3-hour ride to cure our stationary-bike trainer blues.

 Things sure are spiny in this part of the world. Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia.

After the ride, we headed for our hotel.  We got some strange looks as we wheeled our bikes through the casino lobby at Planet Hollywood, but it was fun to stay on the Strip and enjoy a nice meal ...

and wander in the indoor shopping mall.  Everything in Las Vegas is so fake, it is real.

Neither of us likes to gamble. In fact, we think it is a stupid waste of time and money.  But since we had just spent too much on dinner, I decided to try to win some money back with a dollar.  After figuring out how the slot machine works, I put in $0.50 and won $3.25.  That was enough for me.  It took us a while to figure out how to cash out though.

Day 3: Rain and Ride

It rained most of the night and some of Monday, but we did manage to get in a short ride just before it got too dark to navigate the cacti.

Most of the trails were pure sand, but near a place called Muddy Springs, it was super muddy.  Guess we should have figured that out.

That night we gorged like the carnivores we really are at one of those Brazilian steak houses where men wander around the dining room with a large skewer of meat, slicing a hunk off for you if you chose to feed.  We rolled out of there.

Day 4: Time to work on those technical skills
Unbeknown to us, friend Brad had recently moved to Vegas, and through the magic of Facebook, he discovered we were in town.  He and his friend John offered to show us some trails near Red Rock Recreation Area called the Cowboy Trails.  Oh what fun!

That is until Drew fell the wrong way down a rocky slope and came back up with a little less skin.

The trail ends at an overlook with a great view of Las Vegas

The trails were so fun we had to go back and ride them again after Brad and John went home. 

For two mountain bikers who have been snow bound for months, this was a beautiful site indeed.

Good rides deserve to be capped off with good beer, food, and a piezookie at BJ's for dessert.  
Our next post will continue to log the adventure. Stay tuned.


  1. Nice trip! A Pizookie is one of life's great pleasures! If SLC just wasn't so prude, then we could have a restaurant named BJ's too...

    I've always heard Red Rocks is cool... never been though.

  2. When Vegas comes up in conversation, I often blurt out, "I love Vegas!" before quickly following up with, "It has awesome mtn biking..." Almost everyone looks at me funny.

    Looks like a great trip!

  3. Thanks for adding me to "blogs we like." Keep on peddling and I´ll keep hoisting.