Saturday, October 17, 2020

Saturday Morning's Bike Ride To Downtown and The Strip -- Photos Tell The Story

Most days I'm pedaling Red Rock Canyon. But most Saturdays, I hop on my tank-like steel, single-speed Surly Pugsley and cruise down (literally downhill 1,000 feet in elevation) to downtown Las Vegas before meandering on back roads to the Strip.

Downtown and the Strip are two different worlds, old school and new school.

I love the outdoor artwork of downtown, plus the creation of the new Circa hotel-casino. 

From downtown Las Vegas I pedaled on back roads that were parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard. I went by the Las Vegas Academy school, through the Huntridge neighborhood and literally biked through shopping centers east of Las Vegas Blvd.

I biked to The Sphere construction behind the Venetian and Palazzo before checking out the big wheel from the east side.


I made it to the Strip as I waited in the left-turn lane on Flamingo to get to Las Vegas Boulevard. Flamingo the road split Caesars on the right and the Bellagio on the left.

Once on the Strip, I pedaled south and it was great to see the Park MGM marquee with the no smoking message.

It was about 9:30 a.m. or so and the traffic was light. Though, there's always one mean-spirited douche bag motorist who drives a car and hates bicyclists, blaring his horn and acting like a horse's ass.

I always like to check out T-Mobile Arena. During any typical October, this Big Ice House by the Strip would be hosting Vegas Golden Knights NHL games.

But this being the age of COVID-19, the arena's exterior screen shares coronavirus messages.

I biked over to the Raiders stadium, but didn't take a photo. I have taken my share of photos of this palatial domed football playground.

Then it was off to bike west on Hacienda Ave. to Durango and Tropicana and finally to the 215 Beltway Trail that took me home.

Another Bicycle Man field trip and tale in the books.

If you'd like to buy my new book, Bicycle Man, just email me at

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Handske Short-Finger Gloves An Ideal Way To Get A Handle On Bicycling In Warm Months

It's Las Vegas in mid-August when the temperatures quickly zoom from the 80s at sunrise to the 100s by mid-morning.

Bicycling in this type of furnace heat conditions requires clothing that will handle the heat when pedaling.

That's why Bicycle Stories recommends Handske's short-finger bicycle gloves that I wore for the first time today during my daily morning ride on the Red Rock Scenic Drive just outside Las Vegas.

The Handske bike gloves are sleek and light, perfect for the intense heat that Las Vegas is famous for from April to November. They're also ideal for high-humid places like Florida and the other Gulf states.

These gloves have no Velcro straps. 

Just slip them on and off as a single piece of clothing for your hands. There are small tabs on the middle and ring finger sleeves to help you remove the gloves. 

There's also a terry cloth swipe wipe under the thumb that runs to the wrist.

There's no bulky padding that can sometimes shift in the glove material. Keeping it simple, the top panel is a lycra material and the palm grip is silicone. The palm veneer does a nice job gripping your handlebar. 

I asked Handske owner Sam Gallegos why he started the brand. He launched the brand on Kickstarter in 2017 and official got the Handske gloves in front of the media at the Sea Otter festival in April 2018.

"I started the brand for two reasons. In my 20 plus years of cycling journeys, I never found a glove that just fit right. Usually too baggy. And because most were boring colors. Out of that Handske was born to offer a well-fitting glove with attention to detail for certain necessary features and to connect the creativity of artists with the sport," Gallegos told me. "With out our collaborative effeort since our inception, we have worked with over 10 artists from all walks of life."

Handske is based in El Paso, Texas and these short-finger gloves retail for $25.99.

Take a look at these gloves I wore this morning. This is the "Descend" model.

Here's a pic of the Descend model off the Handske website.

They also come in a "Comic" model that is more colorful.

Handske launched the short-finger gloves in a short collection, with new designs in the works for s future release date.

For more information,

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Downtown at Sunrise


This morning I headed to downtown, where in the sunrise light I saw the new Circa hotel-casino illuminated.

In a state with an economy built on tourism and gambling, I've always been amused that gambling is called "gaming."

That's why I always enjoy stores that tell it like it like it is -- and what it is is gambling.

I also adored this bike rack on Main Street.

And there was something about this scene that said, "Old economy, new economy."

I began bicycling down las Vegas Boulevard and saw the big Welcome to Las Vegas structure that is being built in front of The Strat.


The Strip was quiet at 7 a.m. Kind of like how it was when so many people were bilking the Strip when it the hotel-casinos were closed in April and May.

Then it was off to the Raiders' new football stadium, which is a massive update from their previous Alamada stadium home.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Bicycling Great Basin National Park -- Most Under-rated National Park In U.S.

It's 113 degrees back in Las Vegas, so here I am climbing the eight percent grade of the Great Basin National park scenic drive.

It was closed earlier in the week for road repairs.

But today, it's back open and I'm working my way up the mountain for a closer peek at Wheeler Peak.

In my bicycle book, Great Basin is the most under-rated and most unheralded national park in the national park portfolio.

It has both Nevada's highest peak at Wheeler soaring more than 13,000 feet tall, while below there are the famed caves that are closed because of the pandemic.

Great Basin can be a little under-rated because it's so isolated, a good five hours north of Las Vegas off US 50 near the Utah border. There's a cluster of homes and a motel, restaurant and post office a few miles from the national park entrance in a community called Baker and that's about it.

But I love Great Basin's raw natural feel, grand vistas and out-of-the-way serene setting.

And of course, it decided to rain as I bicycled up the scenic drive. Not a hard-driving rain, just raindrops and a light pour as I pedaled up the steep grade.

Great Basin is Nevada's only national park. The state has plenty of terrific state parks like Valley of Fire. And to reach Great Basin from Las Vegas, you drive north on US 93 through the spine of Lincoln County, which has a nice collection of state parks at your disposal.

Red Rock outside Las Vegas is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, not the National Parks, while Mount Charleston is run by the US Forestry Service.

I strongly recommend Great Basin as a great get-away.

* * *

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Father's Day and the Story of the Red Rock Notch

This morning on Father's Day the entrance to the Red Rock Scenic Drive was open at 6 a.m. -- not the 8 a.m. start time when the Bureau of Land Management reopened the scenic drive to motorized traffic a few weeks ago.

It was 6:10 a.m. when I was bicycling by the Red Rock entrance off State Route 159. I peered toward the red rock ridge, which has a notch in the middle. I love that notch, which allows beams of lights to shoot through the ridge at daybreak.

Funny, Red Rock has nothing to do with a summer job I worked to afford college. But whenever I see that "notch" in the ridge, I think of the "notch" in the garment patterns I worked on at the Liz Claiborne plant, where I worked with my dad.

I worked with my father for 3 1/2 summers though high school and college, driving the hour back and forth with him from suburban New York to north New Jersey. The Claiborne production plant was not too far from the Giants football stadium in the Joisey swamps.

My dad was a worker bee. Man, he worked in the garment business for many years working long hours every day. I witnessed it.

Julius Cznel survived the Holocaust as a little kid fleeing with his family to Siberia, lived in displaced person camps following World War II and came to the USA at age 14 when he began learning the garment business in school. His last name was changed to Snel when he arrived in the United States.

When Liz Claiborne created her brand and line of women's clothing, Julius Snel was the second person hired in the production house.

He raised three kids outside New York City. And my dad and I bonded well at minor league ballgames in Florida.

Happy Father's Day, Julius. Keep on pedaling.

*    *    *

Read more about bicycling and life by buying Alan Snel's new book Bicycle Man: Life of Journeys. Email to order the book.

Friday, June 19, 2020

A Creative Four Corners: Fremont Street and 9th Avenue in Downtown Las Vegas

This morning, I bicycled to downtown before heading over to Raiders stadium and then back home in Summerlin.

I thought I would photograph the Fremont Street and 9th Avenue intersection at each corner because the artwork is so impressive.

Take a look.

The corner reminded me of my days of covering downtown Las Vegas for the Review-Journal from 2012-16.

And there's Cathy Brook's Hydrant business. Great design.

Also, don't forget, the new book Bicycle Man is out there and available to be purchased.

Enjoy the weekend.

Bicycle Man The Book Is Starting To Hit Local Bike Shops

Retail bicycle stores are busy with bike repairs these days and that was true over at
Bike World, one of the older bike shops in the Las Vegas.

I chatted with Frank, a friendly Bike World worker who bought my new book Bicycle Man for $10 and said he would leave it on the counter to see if people would be interested in reading or buying it.

Bike World at 1901 S. Rainbow Blvd is a throwback bicycle store and Frank told a customer that it would take two weeks before a repair could be made.

More people are bicycling and taking old bikes out of their garages to ride only to see the bikes could use a repair. That's why so many bike shops are busy doing repairs.

Selling books is no easy task. Thank you Summerlin Giant Store for taking a few books to sell and I'm hoping Jared at Las Vegas Cyclery agrees to sell the books at his shop.

If you have a store that would like to sell the book or you would like to buy the book, just email me at

Chris Maathuis at Channel 8 did this incredible report on the book, which is a compilation of 37 years worth of bicycle travel stories, adventures and essays. Take a look:

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Bicycling To Chat With Folks Who Allow You To Smell The Flowers

When I bicycled back and forth on Alta Drive from Summerlin to downtown Las Vegas and back all the time, I always stopped at a house that had roses along a low brick wall lining its front lawn.

I remember chatting with a gentleman by the name of Harry, who happened to be a bicyclist, too, of all things.

Well, just yesterday morning, I bicycled down the big hill of Alta to downtown and stopped to chat with this lady at the house.

I told her I was a bicyclist who long admired the roses lining their front lawn.

And I asked about Harry.

Well, this is Marianne, and she informed me that Harry died a few months ago.

It was sad to hear, but I did tell Marianne that I always enjoyed seeing their blooming rose bushes along Alta Drive, just west of the Rainbow intersection.

Marianne told me she was a retired mathematics teacher who know volunteered at the Assistance League of Las Vegas.

I told her I knew her husband from stopping to chat with him during my Alta Drive bicycle excursions.

It's the beauty of the bicycle -- fantastic human-powered, engine-free transportation with the chance to connect to people on the street.

It's also why I can't bike in groups. I stop to chat with people when I pedal all the time.

And these bicycle adventures are all in my new book, Bicycle Man: Life of Journeys.

Buy a book by emailing me at

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Tifosi's New Sledge Models Rock

I have my new favorite bicycling sunglasses.

To handle the bright sun of Las Vegas and the Western United States, I'm wearing Tifosi's new Sledge model, Crystal Orange with Clarion Blue lens.

The photo above is the sunglasses modeling itself along the famed Red Rock scenic drive outside Las Vegas.

Tifosi's bread-and-butter is its high quality sunglasses that sell for less than triple figures. In this case, the Sledge models are priced in the $69.96-$79.95 range.

I love the orange frame, which feels light but durable on my face. And the large lens surface blocks all harsh sun glare. As you can see, the frame is sturdy enough that it supports my rear view mirror quite nicely.

There are three other Sledge models -- Crystal red with a Clarion Yellow lens, Matte Black with a Smole lens and Matte White with a Smoke lens.

Each option includes two additional shield lenses: a clear lens and Tifosi’s high-contrast AC Red lens. With Sledge, cyclists are equipped with the ideal tint for any lighting condition.

Bicycle Stories recommends the Sledge sunglasses by Tifosi.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Bicycle Stories Recommends Tifosi Optics: High-Quality Bicycling Sunglasses at a Reasonable Price

One of the bummers of the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out the Sea Otter Classic event in Monterey, California this weekend is that I will not be able to visit the Tifosi Optics sunglass booth, where I enjoy chatting with Tifosi reps.

I wear Tifosi sunglasses when I ride my bicycle and take walks and hikes because the company's eyewear is outstanding quality at an affordable price.

In fact, let me show you the collection of Tifosi sunglasses I wear for my outdoor activities.

The Tifosi sunglasses have a variety of styles and one will fit your taste.

They're not as expensive as the super high-end sunglasses, which is why Tifosi is a great deal for the buck.

Bicycle Stories recommends Tifosi and look for its newest sunglasses in May.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Athlos Sports Apparel Pivots To Create Face Covers

Kudos to Dave Manchester for pivoting work at his Athlos sports apparel company to make protective face covers in this age of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I got to know Dave and Athlos at Interbike, the bicycle industry's trade show in Las Vegas. You may recall he created a gorgeous bike jersey featuring and my former dog, Pugsy.

Now, Dave is leveraging the company's resources to help with the supply of masks and to help maintain incomes of Athlos' employees. Check them out:

You can go to the Athlos site here to order up the protective face masks.

Stay safe, be healthy and be vigilant about protecting your health.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Need a Healthy Energy Boost? Try a 3BAR

Today was a stunning day in the metro Las Vegas area and it was also a great day for a solitary bicycle ride in Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas.

I reached for my road bicycle, my helmet and gloves and two 3BAR energy bars that came in Cocoa Crunch and Tropical-Tri flavors.

The 3BARs are the work of Erin DeMarines from Tampa. There are a lot of energy bars to choose from and I'd recommend Erin's 3BARS, which are vegan, soy free, gluten free, wheat free, plant-based and made from organic ingredients.

They fit conveniently in my bike jersey pockets and they're perfect for all type of outdoor activities and indoor workouts.

Take a look. I'm pretty sure Erin's energy bars have never posed in Red Rock Canyon amid such pretty landscape.

As the story goes, Erin used to make her grandmother's cookies for her personal trainer clients until one one day they asked her to make them even healthier. So voila, after many trials, she turned them into the 3BAR.

You can check the 3BAR website here.

I found them tasty without that sweet aftertaste. It's a nice energy boost without that hunger crash afterwards.

Here are retail prices. Erin says the 3BAR is in 50 stores in the Tampa Bay market. And she has been dropping them off at people's houses for "no contact" delivery during these trying coronavirus times.

Bicycle Stories recommends the 3BAR. Get out there and fire up those endorphins. But do it in a solitary fashion or at least maintain a six-foot buffer for physical distancing to stem the spread of COVID-19. And when you do go out there, bring the 3BARS.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Pump Up Your Bike Ride With This Nifty Convenient Mini Bike Pump That Tags Along For The Ride

You know the feeling well. You're bicycling and in that pedaling zen groove, but then you have that nagging signal that the bicycle is just not moving ahead like it should. There's that sinking feeling that one of your tire tubes is leaking air. You stop and inspect the tire and it's growing flat miles from home.

But then you accept it and know things will be OK.

You have a Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump snuggled next to your water bottle cage, or maybe in a jersey rear pocket because it's that small and convenient to carry.

It's a handy tool that can pump your tire tube to a sturdy 90 PSI and get you back pedaling on the road or trail.

I'm old school, so I don't do the cartridges and instead choose to have the small pump secured to my bicycle frame.

It works easily. A small pump hose attachment comes out of the cylinder and all you do is screw one end of the hose to the pump. One hose end can accommodate a Presta valve, while the other end can handle a Schrader valve. So, just use the end you need for your tire tube and use the other end to screw into the pump.

As you can see, it can be carried on your bike with a small attachment that gets connected to the frame via the bolt that locks your water bottle cage onto your bike.

Pro Bike Tool is the name of the company that makes this convenient pump, which has a retail price of $26.49. You can find the pump here.

Bicycle Stories recommends the Mini Bike Pump as a smart tool that can easily come along your ride -- and keep your ride going if you deal with a flat.

For your bike tool needs, here's the website for Pro Bike Tool.