Sunday, October 25, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Climbing out of Blue Diamond on a
Canondale Trigger with red
rocks in the background.
Don't forget Viagra.

It was Thursday afternoon at the Aria resort in Las Vegas. The week had started with a customer dinner on Sunday night and had been non-stop since then. Sessions, meetings, dinners, drinks, nightclubs, and casinos. Rinse wash and repeat for four days. I'm not complaining but seriously too much of anything is too much for me and that was a little much. Plus I had been staring at the desert and the Red Rock mountains in the distance all week from my gilded cage on The Strip, wondering what adventures might await.

So it was Thursday afternoon and the last session was over. I was barefoot in my room when the text message finally arrived. "I'm in front of the casino. White Ford Focus with a Super Fly on the back."

Byron, my savior, had arrived. He was a professional mountain bike guide from McGhie's Bike Shop. He was here to pick me up, drive me to Blue Diamond (population 200 where the general store is also the Sheriff's office), get me my demo bike, and lead me into the desert to be cleansed in dirt and dust and sweat.

The riding was, how shall I say this, incredible. The mountains are massive and the distances are vast. East Coast riding is usually in mature forest where you can see the trail for tens of yards. In the desert you can see the trail under your wheels snaking off into the distance for a mile or more. The vegetation is yucca and joshua trees and all sorts of crazy cactus bushes. Dust and sand and rocks with strange shades of yellow, red, and sometimes green (minerals I presume). The trail names tell the story pretty well: Landmine Loop, Badger Pass Loop, Mustang Trails, Viagra, Old Spanish Trail, Rubber Ducky, White Rhino, and Dead Horse Loop.
Two thousand year old yucca tree

The first 8 miles or so was a long gentle climb, almost imperceptible but it was steadily adding up to some altitude which meant the ride back on Viagra was fast. 25 mph doesn't sound like much but I assure you when your on a curvy gravely singletrack threading the needle between cactus bushes and yucca trees (think pointy swords on a tree) is it plenty fast. And as the miles racked up I was getting the hang of the full suspension, letting it soak up the rock gardens instead of picking my way through them.

The last time I rode here about six years ago, it started a thought process that culminated into an 8 guy 5 day mountain bike odyssey from Durango Colorado to Moab Utah. Now the wheels are turning again. So much to ride, so little time!

In closing I want to send some props to Amy at McGhie's. She does an incredible job running their mountain bike guide business. It was flawless from beginning to end. All I had to do was show up in front of the casino with my biking clothes and turn some pedals in the desert, her team did the rest. I will definitely be back and you should too.

Byron's Strava summary


"It’s opener, out there, in the wide open air"
     -- Dr Seuss

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Popeapalooza ("85 seconds from Downingtown to The Delaware")

Sorry no music or editing.

Just 85 seconds of time lapse from Downingtown to The Deleware.