Thursday, December 25, 2014

Cycling The Wetlands And Trying To Avoid The Wind

I realize Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston and Valley of Fire at The Big Three of the Las Vegas area's nature lineup.

But I'm very close to putting the Wetlands Park into the Big Three to make it The Big Four.

It offers so much water and color and inspiring vegetation along the Las Vegas Wash corridor.

I drove with my bicycle to the Wetlands from Summerlin, about a 30-minute drive or so. Parked at the visitors center lot and pedaled away, heading in the direction of Lake Las Vegas.

There's a sweet and smooth paved trail, with lots of dirt trails.

It was way windy, so the Wetlands was a good place to find a riding scene that was a few degrees warmer.

Just take Tropicana Ave east about three miles east of 95 and you'll see the big sign pointing you to go left.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Red Rock Panorama

It was 41 degrees at 6:50am and it was easy to stay inside.

But that hardest pedal stroke is always the first one out the door, and I'm glad I cycled to the Red Rock overlook this morning.

I went on the short trail off the overlook parking lot for the first time in my two years here and thought I'd give the panorama option a shot

Checking The Ranch In Red Rock Canyon

Last Tuesday morning, I biked with my man Anthony to Blue Diamond and stopped at the Spring Mountains Ranch to check the scene.

Dave Does Trader Joe's

No bike racks at Trader Joe's in Downtown Summerlin shopping center?

No problem for Dave.

This fella with the Batman Belt filled with devices and gadgets locks up his chariot along the shopping cart railing.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Windy Conditions Ahead

The cycling conditions have changed overnight -- 70s and no wind Saturday to low 50s and gusty out there on the Red Rock Scenic Loop Sunday morning.

Hit the circuit this morning with pals Scott and Anthony.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pedaling Through The Burbs (Ugh) To Reach The Cyclovia

I realized today why I don't bike from Summerlin on the Vegas valley's west side to Henderson much.

It's because cycling 25-30 miles one-way through pure suburbia, with its boring landscape and fast-moving SUVs and other suburbia vehicles is just not very pleasant.

I pedaled through the valley's ugly southwest sprawl into the Henderson area of more wide streets, ho-hum suburban architecture and fast-moving, impatient drivers to reach the city of Henderson's cyclovia, uh, I mean "stroll and roll."

I met three guys on road bikes a few miles from the closed road and that was the highlight. Here are the three on the closed Paseo Verde Parkway.

Cool old bikes, including a few Schwinn Sting Rays

Monday, November 3, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bicycle Is Beautiful

For massive traffic scenes like the crush of cars around the Life Is Beautiful footprint in downtown Las Vegas today and this weekend, the bicycle is beautiful.

LIB staged a bicycle parking area on Carson just a block or two from the festival gates.

Life Is Beautiful is a super-buffet of diverse acts ranging from Kanye West to Lionel Richie to Pussy Riot offering a discussion to chefs to Oscar Goodman and artists to Ferris wheels and murals, with lots of food and beer and booze all around.

It was a young crowd. with lots of guys with beards and tattoos and gals with multi-color hair, sundresses and Converse sneakers.

Life Is Beautiful -- the art, music, culinary and food festival -- has Tony Hsieh's fingerprints on it everywhere. In fact, I met Tony's San Francisco entrepreneur pal Raj Kapoor who has launched a fitness business and had one of his employees playing guitar. Below, Tony is chatting at a session where he talked about his entrepreneurship ways.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bike Commute And Your Day Automatically Becomes A Winner

Tonight I bicycled home and it's amazing how the day shifts on its axis by simply pedaling a bicycle home from work instead of driving a car.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

From Blinking Man to Pedaling Yentas

Less than seven hours after wrapping up the Blinking Man ride, it was to do some road cycling with the Pedaling Yentas this morning.

 At the Red Rock Scenic Loop overlook, it was selfie time.

Blinking Man Bike Ride Lights Up Downtown -- Again

Blinking man in October is like Halloween on wheels with a strong dash of Burning Man thrown in.

About 250 bicyclists wearing rainbow-themed wear and with bicycles lit up like rolling flashing Christmas trees roamed downtown Las Vegas, dropping by bars like the Bunkhouse and the Bier Garden at the Plaza hotel.

Everyone was dressed for the occasion.

Even Kevin Cannon popped in to soak up the fun.

Everyone wore their finery for the event.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Downtown Summerlin Lacks Downtown Bicycle Parking

It was about 9:30 a.m. today and Paul the friendly staffer at the Trader Joe's customer service counter said I was the third person this morning who inquired about why there were no bicycle racks in front of the upscale grocery.

The fact there was no bicycle parking countered the store's very marketing and interior mural, which showed a Summerlin Red Rock bicycle scene and actual bicycles.

In fact, as I bicycled around Downtown Summerlin I found hardly any bicycle parking.

Most of the Downtown Summerlin event guys in yellow shirts didn't even know where the bicycle parking was located.

Finally, I found it. This massive suburban $450 million shopping center dubbed "Downtown Summerlin" had about a dozen brown metal sticks coming out of the ground to lock up bicycles next to a parking garage.

It's located on the far side of the parking garage, with hardly any pedestrian traffic, so bike thieves with tools can do quick work and steal the bikes with no sets of eyes near the spot.

With hardly anyone knowing about the bike racks, the bicyclists visiting the shopping center locked their bikes where they could find space.

What's a shame about Downtown Summerlin not being bicycle friendly is that across the 215 highway is a regional bike trail used by hundreds of bicyclists every day. And I saw people biking around the shopping center like these folks.

The reason some people snicker at the "Downtown Summerlin" moniker is that the shopping center lacks authentic downtown features, such as bicycle racks scattered around the businesses and storefronts like most real downtowns. Even downtown Las Vegas has bike racks.

Check out this cool Huntridge bike rack -- why can't "Downtown Summerlin" have similar bike racks scattered throughout its shopping area?

What's sad is that Howard Hughes markets Summerlin as a bicycle town and uses bicycle images to sell homes  yet its signature shopping area with "Downtown" in its title doesn't have a clue how practical bicycles can be to get people to the stores.

Even one store at the shopping center named Clarks uses the imagery of bicycling to show how hip the place is.

The funny thing is that as I was biking around this morning I met a guy named Larry who said he was with Howard Hughes. I believe his name was Lawrence S. Witko, Howard Hughes West Coast director of leasing. He was hanging with another Howard Hughes exec and I told them the shopping area would benefit from more bicycle racks.

They seemed amenable to the idea, and I hope the Howard Hughes folks installs bicycle racks scattered around the place. It's good business and would show that bicycling is more than just a recreational pursuit in Summerlin -- it's also practical transportation.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Escape Adventures Let's Bicyclists Escape Aria

Escape Adventures had  a big assignment -- lead a bike tour for more than 50 bicyclists visiting Vegas for a conference and enjoying an afternoon at the Red Rock Scenic Loop some 20 miles west of the Strip.

First, the bikes are set up.

Then, let's ride up those first five miles.

And celebrate reaching the top at the Loop overlook.

How To Pedal The Strip

When bicycling the Strip, always take the lane, stack up behind traffic and don't bike to the right of the cars unless you want to absorb a right hook.

Anthony here shows how it's done.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

80-year-old Bicyclist Pedaling Red Rock Canyon Every Day

It's a daily ritual for John, an 80-year-old retired truck driver from Detroit who pedals a super-heavy Schwinn Ranger mountain bike.

He starts at his home near Sahara and Town Center and he pedals all the way up Charleston Blvd/State Road 159 to near the Red Rock Visitors Center.

He bikes seven miles all up hill, gaining in elevation from about 2,900 feet to 3,500 feet. Then it's a ride back to his home.

Check out his homemade bike gloves -- he cut off the finger ends from a pair of cheap garden gloves.

He pedals about 5 mph, but it doesn't matter how fast you go because he gets where he needs to go just like everyone else cycling their road bicycles while wearing snazzy kits.