Happy to have finally had the opportunity to do this ride! Last time one of the local groups did this ride I was out of town and had to miss it.
Got an early start to the morning and rolled down to Black Bear Diner on Las Vegas Blvd for some breakfast. One Mini Volcano later I stopped at Starbucks for my usual coffee and rolled out to Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza.
Rolled up just after 8 making me the first to arrive a whopping hour early. This did give me plenty enough time to get changed and ready to ride. I brought my vest and leg and arm warmers, but while I was busy getting ready I noticed how nice it was feeling so I decided to go out with just arm warmers.
Slowly but surely riders started rolling in. We ended up with a decent group of 13 riders of which 5 of us would do the full route to Overton and back while the others would return to the start after White Domes. Was chatting up John, Anna, and Mark and convinced them all to mirror me and forgo the leg warmers. They would all come to thank me later for convincing them to leave the leg warmers in the car.
The ride started out great. I started towards the rear and chatted Mark up some before Dave Burns went by to lead us out. I didn’t want to just let him go up the road alone so I jumped on his wheel. I did a pretty good job of sticking with old Dave until the road started getting steeper. Pretty soon he was out in front of me and when I looked back I was surprised to find myself alone.
That didn’t last long as I bombed down the descent to the entrance. I stopped early to snag a picture at the huge entrance sign. While I was snapping my picture several others blew by. I wrapped up my picture taking and rolled on to the guard shack.
The poor girl working the entrance was already well behind for the day. We rolled past easily a dozen cars waiting to get in. The girl told us to get squared away at the visitor center. We passed on through and pulled right over to the bathroom to wait for everyone else. While waiting I got the head count and paid our entrance fee using the electronic kiosk. I had to use the tour bus option because it wouldn’t allow me to do multiple bike passes. Once everyone rolled in we gathered for a group photo.
Before rolling out to White Domes, I spoke with John about taking the first road to an overlook after the visitor center. He thought it was a good idea but there was some confusion about exactly what I was talking about and I could remember enough of the details. We rolled out anyway and after the Mouse’s Tank Road climb I spotted the turn I was looking for, pointed it out to those behind me, and took the right. The funny thing is that Mark is the only one who made the turn with me! As far as I’m concerned it was everyone else’s loss. The view from the top is absolutely amazing. You can see all the way into Overton from there. Mark and I dawdled around taking pictures for maybe five minutes before continuing on our way out to White Domes.
Mark and I made it over to White Domes pretty quickly. We were riding at a pretty comfortable pace while not putting in too much effort. We rolled up to find everyone hanging out chatting and using the restroom. I took the opportunity to use the facilities myself and then went on to snap some pictures. We were all set to roll out when John ended up getting a puncture! A decent portion of the group was already out ahead of us and didn’t notice us stopped. A group of about six of us hung out and waited for the tire to seal before continuing on.
Our small group rolled into the visitor center to find the early group hanging out. We all talked and made arrangements for those who would be continuing on to Overton and those who would be turning back. The only poor souls who chose to continue on were John, Anna, Dave, Mark and I. The others rolled out after their short break and our group of five only needed to wait for Anna to finish up inside before we rolled on ourselves.
The ride into Overton was uneventful. I did take the time to point out Elephant Rock to everyone, and while there had a brief visit with a couple on a bikepacking trip. From what we could understand they biked from Uruguay and were traveling to New York, then on to Toronto before crossing Canada and eventually to Alaska.
We arrived in Overton to find that Chris Angel’s restaurant was closed. We were just about to resign ourselves to eating McDonald’s when I mentioned I had eaten at The Inside Scoop many years ago and they had food as well as ice cream. I read off a few items from the menu and we decided to roll over there instead. They had a nice outdoor seating area where we parked the bikes and took turns ordering our food. We all had some variation of sandwich wrap, while some had a combo and others didn’t. Overall, it seemed the food was pretty good. With fresh fuel in our stomachs and recharged legs we rolled out.
The ride back was solid. I started by hanging with Dave for much of the climb out of Overton until the climb really pitched up and I had to let him go. Unfortunately for him he dropped a gel while trying to fish his phone out of his pocket and had to stop to grab it allowing me to pass him up. I rolled up to and stopped at the guard shack to show my entrance receipt and Dave came along shortly thereafter. I let the guard know that there were three more cyclists back and that we were all paid for. He said he would wave them through when they came along.
Dave took to pulling me through Valley of Fire. I just latched onto his wheel and held on tight. I did come around just before the turn off for the visitor center. A short while later we decided to stop at Mouse’s Tank Road to wait for John, Anna, and Mark in case they had planned on stopping again. As the three of them rolled up they waved and went right on by! Dave and I jumped back on and set about chasing them down. Dave caught them pretty quickly, and I did as well but it took me a little longer. I was slow to leave because I was chatting with an older lady on an e-bike who was lost. She told me there was nothing I could do to help and that she only needed to find her group. With that I rolled out to try to catch Dave and the other three up the road.
I don’t remember where I caught John, Anna, and Mark, but I don’t think I would have caught Dave if he hadn’t mistakenly made the turn onto Campground Road. After he made the turn he looked back and I hollered to him that we were going straight. That allowed me right back onto his wheel. Dave did gap me for a bit, but somehow I was able to reel him in before the big climb and actually go by. As I hit the top I let out a huge hoot and holler as I enjoyed the fast descent all the way back to the interstate.
In summary, today was an absolutely beautiful day for a ride. Honestly, it was just about perfect for this particular ride as well. The weather was something that continued to come up time and time again during each break. We were really amazed especially considering the forecast for high winds and plummeting temperatures later in the week. I’m glad to finally have this one in the books, and I’m looking forward to doing it again should the opportunity present itself.
30.45 new miles — From Wandrer.earth
Completed 25% of Valley of Fire State Park
Give your activities the names they deserve. – by Bandok.com
Mostly sunny-Sunny, 49°F-70°F, Feels like 55°F-75°F, Humidity 30%-13%, Wind NNW 2mph-ENE 2mph – by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 3%
Headwind: 47% @ 0.7-5mph
Longest Headwind: 32m 37s
Air Speed: 17.9mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END –
Max elevation: 3140 ft
Min elevation: 1305 ft
Total climbing: 5754 ft
Total descent: -5629 ft
Average speed: 20.63 mi/h
Average cadence: 85 RPM
Average heart rate: 148 BPM
Average temperature: 67.64 °F
Total time: 06:26:35