Sunday, April 26, 2015

Too Windy To Bike The Loop, So Let's Hoof It

It was way too windy to roll out the bicycle and pedal amid the Sunday morning blustery conditions.

But it was also crisp and clear -- a typical Nevada day, with the winds blowing at 20 mph thrown in there.

I was not going to be denied Red Rock Canyon -- and the Loop -- so I laced up the Nikes, put on my bike jersey below a long-sleeve cotton shirt to hold my camera and phone and drove to the Red Rock visitors center,

I started at the visitors center and walked two miles west on SR 159 to hoof the loop backwards. It was a 14-mile stroll in 3:38, reaching a peak of 4,774 and gaining elevation of 1,409 feet.

Strava documented the walk here.

The views were amazing because the vista angles were new. I always bike the one-way circuit coming in the opposite direction, so I adored the reverse angle looks at Red Rock.

Let's go walking! We're leaving the Red Rock visitors center.

Now, we're walking two miles on SR 159.

And time to turn right and start walking on the Loop. Not a soul in the parking lot at the exit.

Let's walk it!

The views say it all.

Down to my final mile -- looking back.

Back at the visitors center -- a lovely 14-mile walk,

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bicycling On The Ceiling

This was a first for me.

Bicycle storage on the ceiling.

That's what happens when your home is 170 square feet.

Downtown Project is renovating a 315-unit apartment complex in downtown Las Vegas.

And the ceiling bike racks will come in handy in these small rooms.

I'll Be Back, Valley of Fire

About eight hours after getting home from the Blinking Man bike ride in down town Las Vegas, it was off to Valley of Fire with my road bicycle pal Scott.

Scott has not ridden Valley of Fire on a bicycle, and he was in for a treat.

Valley of Fire early on a Sunday morning is ideal -- great light, few cars on the narrow two-lane road and a cal, quiet aura to the red rock formations.

We biked about 32 miles and gained elevation of about 3,050 feet along the hilly, roller-coaster terrain.

The state park is only a buck per bicyclist, so we parked about five miles from the Valley of Fire entrance and cycled up a hill, crossed a ridge and then swooped into the valley of red rock.


The landscape is stunning -- people drive on these roads with passengers hanging out windows and snapping away at photos.

An incredible day -- I'm always left wondering why I don't come here more to ride a bicycle. We're heading out of the valley here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

You Say You Want A Revolution

Well, it was that annual special night in April when a mob of bicyclists dressed in colorful costumes and pedaling lit-up human-powered vehicles take over a few roads in downtown Las Vegas between bar stops for frivolity and laughter.

The Beatles theme ride that started from the Huntridge Tavern parking lot attracted a bicycle with a Yellow Submarine profile, guys dressed as Paul, John or Ringo and a battalion of psychedelic hippie types.

I'd say at least 500 people began the evening pedaling from the Huntridge neighborhood to The Bunkhouse off Fremont Street.

We rolled at about 5 mph, with Beatles music wafting in the air from bicycles. The whole scene is kind of a rolling Burning Man, with people laughing and joking and socializing with ease.

I broke out the fattie Pugsley with its wheels lit up in red lights. I thought my tires were fattie, then I saw this Bad Boy.


This fella won best cowboy beard.

A year ago, I was the sole Review-Journal writer at the event. Then in October, I dragged my photographer friend Kevin Cannon to Blinking Man.

And then tonight, Kevin recruited a whole gaggle of newsroom folks, including Adam, Wesley, Kimberly and Ricardo. Even photographer Sam Morris was on the scene with a camera mounted on his bicycle.

Here we are bicycling from the RJ newsroom to the staging location in Huntridge.

As usual, Kathleen Kahr D'esposito and her son, Graham, did an amazing job organizing the ride and leading a giant blob of bicyclists meandering through downtown.

I hope the ride continues.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Desert Colors Have Sprung

Bicycling through Red Rock Canyon provides an amazing setting to soak up the splashes of colors exploding all around.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Looks Like Red Rock Loop Adding Bridge Over Wash

When you're pedaling on SR 159 to the Red Rock Loop and on the loop itself, it's no telling who you might bump into.

This morning, I was bicycling about two miles shy of the Loop entrance when a guy on a Giant hybrid asked me for an Allen wrench because he was borrowing his friend's bike and the seat needed to be raised.

I just so happens I keep a wrench tool in my seat bag and it took only a few minutes to raise his saddle and make his ride more comfortable.

We chatted and I learned Brendan lived in Brooklyn with his wife and two kids and was visiting a friend in Summerlin who worked on finance at the Wynn.

We bicycled together into the Loop, chatting about New York City and his bike commutes over the Brooklyn Bridge to his book publishing job in Manhattan.

He biked the first mile up the hill and took a break at the Calico parking lot just after mile one.

We said so long and I hoped he was able to do the Loop on a hybrid with no cleated shoes.

Around mile 3, there's some construction and it looks like the BLM is building a bridge over a wash.

At the overlook near Mile 5 my bicycle pal Scott was on a two-wheeler -- his BMX motorcycle.

We caught up for about 15 minutes, before I pedaled off on an incredible day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cruisers Hit the Streets Of Las Vegas

They came from California and Idaho, and Denver and Detroit, too.

Low rider cruisers descended on downtown Las Vegas Friday night for a bike ride down Main Street, with hundreds of bicyclists pedaling colorful and lit-up two-wheelers.

Many were handmade, like this beauty with fiberglass fenders.

This was another amazing masterpiece.

This trike was a beauty.

Check out this rig pumping out loud music.

Also filed a quick report for the Review-Journal.

It's an annual pilgrimage for these cruisers, who plan to hit the streets on Saturday, too.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Downtown Bicycling In Las Vegas

There's no better way to get to know a city than by bicycling it.

On Friday night, I biked over to First Friday in Las Vegas -- a massive street mash up of arts, food and music in the art district.

I was hoping to see David Levy, an active Las Vegas bicycle guy who runs a cool bike valet -- or so I thought.

But couldn't find neither David nor the bike valet, so I pedaled around and bumped into a bunch of fixie riders.

They bike every Monday night, leaving from The Beat around 7:45 pm to bike around Las Vegas for about 15 miles. I think they call themselves Smash Brothers or something like that.

On Saturday night, it was back to downtown Las Vegas to bike with Kevin Cannon, photo editor at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

We pedaled around downtown, over to Container Park, then over to the art district and back to the Container Park.

Kevin met a motorcycle biker-church guy to help him tighten his bike seat post.

We biked back to the Container Park area, where Kevin took a seat at The Market and enjoyed the view.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Dead Birds On Beltway Trail Between Sahara and Town Center

When a closed two-mile section of the 215 Western Beltway Trail re-opened last month, I saw dead birds on the gravel off the trail.

This morning, I biked the trail and saw eight dead birds between the Sahara and Town Center section of the 215 beltway trail.

I plan to submit this to the city of Las Vegas and see what its response it.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Marking Passover In The Desert (Literally)

To mark Passover, I headed for the desert.

We have the best desert in the biz near Las Vegas -- Death Valley, home of the world-record highest temperature -- a toasty 134 degrees.

I thought bicycling in the Death Valley desert environs would be a Snel version of the Jewish exodus remembered every spring at Passover.

I found my way to bicycling on Artist Drive, about nine miles from the Furnace visitors center. The colors were stunning and inspiring and explained why they call this one-way loop "Artist Drive."