This morning I was debating whether to take State Road 159 through Red Rock Canyon to Blue Diamond or veer off onto the Red Rock Scenic Loop for some serious elevation gain to 4,771 feet.
Turned out that I made the wise decision to hit the Scenic Loop because I got to meet this 70-year-old, fella, Bob, a retired health care worker from Saugerties, NY, 90 miles north of New York City.
I saw Bob's 2003 New York five-boro bike ride jersey, so I figured he was from around metro NY. When we began chatting, he said he was from a small village 90 miles north of New York City.
I said Saugerties and Bob seemed mildly surprised that I identified it since it is a small village in north Ulster County, both on the Hudson River and a gateway town to the mighty Catskills.
Bob was pedaling a Cannondale R300, which is an aluminum road bicycle that is about 20 years old. He had a granny front ring and a cleated shoe to churn out the tough miles from two to five as we chatted and pedaled up the steep grade. His wife was on their son's old road bicycle, a Centurian, I believe.
We chatted away about the Hudson River, Saugerties and the Catskills. Bob is an avid hiker and a member of the 3,500-foot hiking club of the Catskills. He and and his wife are driving across the country via Nashville. He's staying in Summerlin so that a daughter from Phoenix can visit.
Have fun Bob and good strategy to get up so early to bike and beat the famed Vegas heat.