Sunday, March 22, 2015

Following The Flowy And Rocky Trails In Red Rock Canyon

Sunday's version of the Red Rock Fat Tire Festival was a relaxed day of breakfast of French toast and fruit to fuel a 12.8 mile ride along flowy and sometimes rocky trails in Cottonwood Valley outside Blue Diamond, a tiny community of 300 people or so 25 miles west of the Strip.

About a dozen of us on a variety of fat tire bikes -- I used the single-speed, shock-less Surly Pugsley, of course -- followed our fearless leader, expert mountain biker and pedaling marathon man Jared Fisher, owner of Las Vegas Cyclery and Escape Adventures.

Jared has pedaled every inch of every trail outside Blue Diamond, where he lives his wife Heather and four kids.

Our motley bike crew included two couples from San Diego, a guy visiting a convention on the Strip from British Columbia, another friendly dude from the Twin Cities of Minnesota, a couple of local roadies and Jared's pals, Rob and Brian, who offered tips and were the sweepers.

There's Jared in story-telling mode. He has a million amusing tales, including about his attempt to cross a raging flood water along a Cottonwood trail that ended with his the fast-moving waters plucking his 50-pound mountain bike away from his body and sending it downstream, He ended finding the bike, but it needed a serious overhaul, as the day's mountain bikers listened with rapt attention.

The trails moved up and down, sometimes offering flowy and smooth single-track notches amid the desert landscape of prickly plants and just blooming plants. Sometimes, the trails offered rocky and jagged gardens of small boulders

This is an amazing time of year in the desert because the flashes of color are popping up everywhere.

The Pugsley is an amazing bicycle. I biked from my apartment to Blue Diamond with my bike pal Scott, riding the 14 miles on pavement and pushing the single-speed fattie at a nice clip. Scott was nice enough to bike a little slower, so we yapped away on the State Road 159 shoulder to Blue Diamond.

Then, it was off to the trails as Scott pedaled back to Summerlin.

The Pugsley's overs-sized tires make it feel as if you're floating above the ground, as close to flying as you can get.

We followed the trails on a loop that circled around a ridge on Blue Diamond's north side, and we headed back to Blue Diamond we followed a super camel-humped section of ups and downs, before dive-bombing toward 159 and another sandy trail back to the park.

Great ride and great scenery with a fine bunch of bikers who shared a love for enjoying the outdoors of Las Vegas that you never see in the movies or the TV commercials hyping Vegas.


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