What an absolutely gorgeous day for a ride. I started worried I’d be a little chilly at the start, but it was just warm enough to ride without any cool weather gear. Not carrying all that extra gear certainly made the ride that much more enjoyable.
I started things off early with a trip up to the top of Democracy and then started down. I took the time to go out to the Sloan contact station and R37 tank climbs for good measure. From there I set out for Las Vegas Blvd and the M Casino for the official start of the days ride.
I rolled into the M parking lot about 10 minutes before the start which is pretty much what I was shooting for. I was surprised to see so many people out considering the advertised length was 100 miles. Great to see so many riders out to share in the suffering.
The ride started off great, and a little on the fast side. Good ole Trimble wanting to make things spicy straight from the get go. I was actually hanging with him until I received a phone call from Kevin around Southern Highlands and Somerset Hills. I pulled off to return his call and learned he’d been delayed getting to the start and was hoping we hadn’t passed his house yet. I told him to head over to Mountains Edge Park and the group would be through in about 20 minutes. Shortly after hanging up and getting my phone stored away the rest of the group came along. I was able to hang out with them until we got to Mountains Edge Park.
Rolling in to Mountains Edge Park I was again surprised to see even MORE riders ready to roll out for this 100 miles of madness. I had to make a quick bathroom break and had a chance to hang out and visit while others did the same. Soon enough it was time to roll out and I think in total we had close to 30 riders rolling. Not all were going to ride the full 100, but that is still an impressive turn out.
The first scheduled stop was the Terrible’s at DFH and Charleston. Along the way a group of five of us pulled away from the rest of the group along the Blue Diamond climb to NV-159. We turned the corner and never looked back. Believe it was Trimble, Jared, Henry, and I all rolling pretty well together. All took turns on the front and ended up with several PRs for all the effort. I’ll admit I nearly cracked before the Overlook when Trimble and Jared came around me. Struck a few matches to hold their wheels and managed to keep with them. After that I enjoyed the tow for as long as possible until the descent down to DFH. Once that started I pulled around and took a few pulls along with the other guys. The five of us rolled into Terrible’s and started refueling while waiting for the rest of the group.
After a nice 20 minute break we rolled out towards the next scheduled stop of Cliff Shadows and Lone Mountain. Sadly we wouldn’t make it four miles before having to stop.
After clearing the first 180 and approaching the left to cross Summerlin Pkwy I looked up to see riders down. I woahed up and started hollering to let everyone know behind me to stop while also trying to get the attention of the riders who were just ahead. John Reyes took the worst of it, and from his telling he got taken out from behind. Thankfully we had Mark around to assess the situation some and he made the decision to call the paramedics. I’d guess it took close to 20 minutes for them to finally roll up. They were able to gingerly get John loaded onto a gurney, into the ambulance, and off to the hospital. I’d learn later that John’s own suspicions were confirmed, broken collar bone. Thankfully the bike was ok and we managed to stop and save his Garmin/Strava. You know these things are important!
Seeing John laid out on the trail in pain was a somber moment for everyone. I’d go so far as to say it kinda took the wind out of some of our sails. We did continue on once he was loaded up and made our way to Lone Mountain. The plan was to stop at the Terrible’s at the intersection, but I just blew through it. We’d already stopped for 20 minutes and then another 30 a few moments later. Wasn’t thinking anyone needed the break.
The ride across Lone Mountain was nice. Leaving a red light I missed a clip in pretty badly, took a pedal to the shin, and dropped my chain. With a little patience and front derailleur magic I was able to get it back into place without having to stop. Love it when I can pull that off. Did end up with a little puncture wound to mark the day though.
As we approached Craig Ranch Park I started saying my goodbyes. The group was planning on stopping at the convenience store on the corner, but I needed to keep going. My daughter was scheduled to ride in a horse show at Horseman’s Park at 11 and she really wanted me to be there. It would be the first time she was showing her horse. After crossing Camino Al Norte I waved goodbye to the group and put my head down to make the show.
Now I’ve never ridden the Las Vegas Wash trail before, and I can say after this ride I don’t think I’ll ever be inclined to do so again. There certainly were nice parts, but dang the sketchy parts were on another level. Sure I’ve seen similar encampments along the trails in SoCal, but these just felt completely different. In addition, the way some of the bridges over major thorough fares were engineered were awful. Why is there a random chicane half way up one side and another half way down the other side? Then there were the short sections where you rode parallel to the road/sidewalk with a ridiculous three feet of clearance. Just ugh, yeah never again.
While working my way along the wash I had to get the phone out to find the fastest route over to Horseman’s Park. The original route called for a turn onto Vegas Valley to go east to Hollywood. I chose to keep with the trail until Desert Inn. Once on DI I went west to Cabana and then south to Flamingo. DI and Cabana were AWESOME. Smooth new asphalt with generous bike lanes. Thankfully the trip east on Flamingo was a short one and I arrived right as the kiddo was getting things ready to ride!
I took a few minutes to stow my bike in the horse stall being used for storage, put on some shorts and sneakers I’d staged in the wife’s car, and scarfed down some of the goodies they had laying out. As we started walking over to the warm up arena, we saw that the kiddo was already off her horse and walking him out. It seems that her baby boy, he’s only six, was acting all stupid and out of sorts; kicking, bucking, throwing his head, and rearing up. After all the theatrics, the kiddo decided to scratch her ride. She was way to nervous and visibly shaken. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt and we went about getting him put back away. I hung around, visited, and snacked for a few more minutes before I finally said I needed to get rolling. All in all I hung around for 40 minutes before rolling out.
Thankfully getting back on the original route from Horseman’s Park was a simple task. I’d just go south to Tropicana and then east over to Wetlands which would put me back on course. While I was riding down Stephanie I checked my computer and saw that Caleb was still riding and was only five or so miles away. I thought to myself, “Hey I can catch that. I know they’re going to stop at least twice. I can do this!” and that was my mission over the next 15 miles.
There were a couple times I had to tell myself to quit focusing on the computer, how far back I was, and just ride. That got really hard when I saw that Caleb was stopped. I thought that this would be the first stop at Terrazza park. There had been talk of going down to the lakeside cafe for a break and I’m sure this is where the stopped to regroup and decided between the cafe and Terrible’s on Athens. Not long after Caleb was moving again and I was more determined to catch them. As I turned onto Lake Las Vegas Pkwy I saw that the group was stopped again, and this time I was only two miles out! I really pushed myself hard up that climb and down Lake Mead. I kept looking at the computer hoping Caleb saw that I was coming up and stalling everyone. I crested the hill at Calico Ridge I started looking out towards Terrible’s hoping to catch a glimpse of those bright beautiful yellow jerseys that would signal I’d actually done it, I’d caught them. Boy was I thrilled as I caught glimpse of everyone hanging out! I rolled up quite to the surprise of most everyone there. Thankfully I was able to get a quick ten minute break in before we were off and rolling again.
After crossing Lake Mead I was chatting with Joe and saying I kinda felt bad for the group. I could hear the moaning and complaining about stiff legs after the extended break. I had nothing to complain about because I was still relatively fresh after racing to catch up. I did take the opportunity to sit back for a bit and bring up the rear. It didn’t take long before my legs weren’t having any of it and I started working my way around riders.
As I turned onto Burkholder, I could see the lead group just out ahead of me. I continued to watch them grow smaller and smaller as we climbed toward RMT. I’m surprised I was felling so well on the climb up Burkholer and the RMT past the power station. I figured I’d be a little worse for wear at this point, but the legs were still going strong. Had a nice descent towards the water towers until the impromptu gravel section. I had to woah way up as a significant section of the trail was completely buried in gravel. Hitting it at speed would have been a disaster.
Had a nice cruise up to the UPRR intersection. Was actually surprised when I heard a freewheel behind me and then shortly afterwards Cleiton and Jennifer came around me. I was totally up for following Cleiton’s wheel for a bit. We started down UPRR and blew through the bus stop as no one was there. I stuck with the two of them until just after crossing Horizon. I stopped because Mark was ringing me. I managed to call him back and learned he’d had a flat. I let him know I would wait for him and the couple others with him.
About five minutes later I see Mark, Caleb, Joe, and Jen come rolling up. I mount up and we rode the rest of UPRR all the way to Acacia park. As we passed the park on Las Palmas Entrada it did appear there was a group that had stopped for a quick break. The five of us just kept trucking. We made our way over to a stop at Horizon Ridge and Eastern to allow Joe to fill up his water bottles before the final push back to the M. It was at this point that Jen set off to meet up with a group who we saw rolling by.
With our bottles filled we set off to get this ride done and dusted. I think I deviated some from the planned route. My Garmin wanted me to jump up to Jeffreys and Sunridge Heights before meeting St. Rose. I opted to stick with Horizon Ridge to Seven Hills instead. Really it’s six of one and half dozen of the other.
However, while stopped at a light Joe mentioned he needed a little extra because he was worried Strava would steal a few miles on the upload and leave him short. Knowing crossing St. Rose is a nightmare anyway Mark and I agreed an easy alternative would be to take Starr over to LVB. From there we just went south to Volunteer and back into the M parking lot.
Dropped off Caleb and Joe at their rides and had a nice chit chat and visit for about 20 minutes or so. We did catch Isabelle before she pulled out and was surprised when Tom came rolling in having just finished! Soon enough it was time for Mark and I to say our goodbyes and roll home.
Mark asked that we keep it simple for the final miles home. A quick ride up Volunteer followed by a Hampton climb for old times sake. But be damned if fate had other plans. Almost right out of the M parking lot Mark gets a flat. We take a few minutes and get it all squared away before rolling on. Then he gets ANOTHER ONE less than a mile later! At this point he’s out of tubes, and the only one I have it too big for his small tires. I ring Caleb and he’s already well onto Blue Diamond. I rang Joe, but I think he was on the phone with John Reyes and by the time he called me back he was already home. I offered to have the wife bring the truck down, but Mark would have nothing of it and put in for an Uber. The Uber arrives and we start talking to the guy about putting the bike in the back of his Tesla 3. The driver is all nervous about his lease getting damaged, but we assure him that won’t happen. While Mark is at the trunk taking the front wheel off his bike the dude just TOOK OFF! Mark and my jaws just hit the floor! After picking them up Mark checked the Uber app and it reports that the ride was dropped by the drive and another driver was assigned. Thankfully this dude rolls up and we get Mark and his bike all loaded up without issue.
This left me all by my lonesome to roll up Hampton. I will say I had some thoughts about tacking one some more miles, but decided to just head home instead. Overall today was a great day for a ride. The ride was a great one despite John’s accident and the trek through a more gnarly section of town.
23.27 new miles — From Wandrer.earth
Give your activities the names they deserve. – by Bandok.com
Clear-Sunny, 56°F-80°F, Feels like 57°F-85°F, Humidity 19%-10%, Wind WNW 2mph-NE 4mph – by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 0%
Headwind: 42% @ 0.5-23mph
Longest Headwind: 02h 13m 35s
Air Speed: 18mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 3797 ft
Min elevation: 1457 ft
Total climbing: 6367 ft
Total descent: -6324 ft
Average speed: 20.26 mi/h
Average cadence: 86 RPM
Average heart rate: 151 BPM
Average temperature: 76.82 °F
Total time: 10:31:57
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