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This could be the start of something

Not necessarily the best day for a ride, but despite the winds we made the best out of it.

The day started in the dining room with a nice bowl of my overnight oats, a slice of toast, a glass of milk, and a huge cup of coffee. Pretty standard pre group ride fare. With a full belly I rolled out for Anthem Hills Park to pick up anyone also wanting to start from there. Unfortunately, there was no one there, so I continued on solo.

I made my way over to Las Vegas Blvd and was bummed to see that Cactus had recently been graded starting at Maryland Pkwy and continuing west for I can’t remember how far. The road surface had been decent before, but is now nearly unrideable. I pity the cyclist who attempts it on anything narrower than 28s.

I passed Las Vegas Blvd and pulled over to stop. Adrian had sent me a message the night before saying he would meet me on the corner for the ride over. Thankfully I only waited a few minutes before he rolled up. He had said he would meet me at 6:30 and he showed up a whole one minute late. I couldn’t help giving him a hard time especially considering he was so out of breath. Poor guy put in a serious effort to make it on time. Greatly appreciated to not be late, but I try to wait around for five or so minutes.

As we started making our way across Cactus west of Las Vegas Blvd I got a text from Caleb that he wasn’t going to be able to meet us at Mountain’s Edge Park. I also got a text message from Josh that he was at the park and ready to roll. Didn’t take Adrian and I long to pull up to the park. Now the three of us, Adrian, Josh, and I, hung out for a few minutes in case anyone else rolled up wanting to roll to Pedal & Pour with us. I’d guess we were there for ten minutes tops before we left.

The ride over to Pedal & Pour went great. Once we made the corner onto Fort Apache we could immediately feel the difference with the tail wind. Right around 16 MPH seemed to be the sweet spot where the wind was completely calm. Nothing from ahead and nothing from behind. I was really cool. This tailwind continued for our full run north on Fort Apache until we made our turn onto Maule.

Rolling into Pedal & Pour there was a decent sized group mulling about. Was happy to see some many friendly faces that decided to brave the wind. We had a nice chat and soon enough we were rolling out for Calico Basin and a Red Rock Loop.

On the way out everything was going great. I was feeling really good and took the lead up Hualapai. Turning onto Flamingo Dave came around me and along that brief climb I started to fade. I’d pretty much burned a few too many matches pulling the field and when it came time to climb my legs didn’t want anything to do with it. I did a decent enough job keeping in contact with our small lead group, but wasn’t really able to stay attached to a wheel. Honestly, a pretty normal thing for me once we get to any kind of climb no matter how steep.

Once we turned onto Charleson, we pulled over into a bus stop to wait for the rest of the group to catch up. We didn’t wait terribly long and then rolled out. At first I was behind the group, but I got anxious waiting for them to pick up steam so I pulled out and went around near Sky Vista. Once I cleared the group, I put my head down and rode my ride. I wasn’t trying to be fast, crush it, or anything like that, just doing the pace I was comfortable with. I made the turn onto Calico Basin and only then realized I had a few riders with me. I kept up the same “me” pace all the way to Kraft Mountain trailhead. As we pulled to a stop at the cul-de-sac, good ole Dennis pulls up and says, “I thought about getting out front and taking a pull, but you were doing just fine.” I couldn’t help but chuckle. We hung out until the rest of the group arrived. Robert snapped a couple pictures and we rolled out for Red Rock.

We were surprised to see that Red Rock was actually open. We had talked about the possibility of it being closed due to a government shutdown, but I guess that wouldn’t have happened until Sunday. Either way we made our way through the gate and on to the bathrooms for a quick break before starting the loop.

Overall, the loop went well. It felt like the winds were all over the place. Along the climb to the overlook it felt as if the winds were coming down the mountain into your face at times. Then along the descent after the overlook they felt more like a crosswind. I did pretty well for the first half climb to the overlook. I pulled into the parking lot and the temperature on my Garmin showed 58 degrees. All of us waiting were shivering. Once everyone made it to the top we rolled out and I dropped towards the rear of the field. For one I was chatting it up with Robert about Caleb’s Silver State 508 race, and for two the winds were knocking me around. When the conditions are like that and I feel unstable on the bike I hate being in the front. Last thing I want to happen is to go down in front of someone and take them out as well. Much easier to just roll to the rear and focus on my riding without worrying about anyone else.

We regrouped again at the exit and set sights on Cottonwood Station. At first I was doing well hanging with a lead group, but again the winds and tired legs got the best of me and I had to back out. Then around the Bonnie Springs turn, the second group picked me up and I was able to hang with them for the rest of the ride into Cottonwood Station.

Once Shadow was all squared away I went inside and snagged a cinnamon roll and iced cold brew before heading out to the patio to hang out with the rest of the crowd. As I enjoyed my cinnamon roll, Dave came out and was bummed that I’d snagged the last one. Then Merri was surprised when I let it be known that this was my first time to stop at Cottonwood Station. Any other time I’d been with a group we just passed through town and never stopped. For me it was quite the treat!

With full bellies, we snapped another group picture and then mounted up for the return ride to Pedal & Pour. I got hooked up with the same group who had been up front for most of the ride and we started rotating all the way back to Fort Apache. Thankfully it was a little more dialed down and I think that was because we were all being impacted by the now crosswinds along Blue Diamond. Once again on Fort Apache we got to enjoy a nice tailwind all the way to Maule and Pedal & Pour.

Pretty soon the rest of the group rolled in. Several riders had bailed along the way to head home, including Adrian, while others had driven to the start. I hung out with Josh and then Dave and Robert invited us to enjoy a beer at the neighboring PTs. I turned down the beer but would join them for a Coke instead.

The four of us hung out chit chatting for just over an hour. Honestly both Josh and I weren’t really looking forward to the ride back in the winds. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hang around PTs forever and all of us said our goodbyes and headed out.

Josh and I opted to skip returning to Mountains Edge via Fort Apache and instead rode east along Warm Springs. We’d then work our way through some neighborhoods to come out onto Buffalo. I was familiar with some of the streets that Josh was leading me down, but there were others that I’d never been on before.

As we started down Buffalo, the two of us took turns taking the front and the brunt of the headwind. Thankfully the winds had died down a little and had become more consistent and not so gusty. Josh complimented me on taking a few pulls and even mentioned that I was “back”. I had to admit that I have this weird way of recovering really well if I can get off my feet. The hour break at PTs had really breathed new life into my legs for the rest of my ride.

Josh and I said our goodbyes near Jones and Somerset Hills. He would make the turn east and I would continue south. Now solo I started to think about a route that would take me over 100 for the day. I didn’t want to just ride south along Las Vegas Blvd and then turn around like I did last weekend. I settled on taking Starr east and continuing straight transitioning to Raiders Way and Via Inspirada before returning north along Las Vegas Blvd. As I made my way along Via Inspirada I was again surprised by how good I felt considering how many miles I had logged already. I did play it smart and stuck with my plan and not tacking on even more miles. Eventually rolled up to the house with just a hair over 100 and feeling good. Better than rolling in feeling completely smoked.

Overall feeling pretty good today. Had a great time riding and hanging out with the gang. I was particularly impressed with Cottonwood Station and would love to take the wife out there sometime. Not entirely sure she’d like it, but I’ll never know if I don’t give her the chance to try it. Would love to make more stops out there, but I’ll admit it was a little pricey. Then again that is what you get when you’re the only operation in town. I do know Josh went to the local store for snacks, but I would bet their prices are inflated compared to their “in-town” competition.

New bike fund: $27.90 (+$0.03)
2.55 new miles — From
504 vehicles @ 5 per mile, 1.4 per minute, Speeds: 38.2 mph (avg), 74.9 mph (max) — by
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by
Partly cloudy-Cloudy, 74°F-76°F, Feels like 71°F-76°F, Humidity 24%-27%, Wind S 6mph-SSW 9mph — by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 2.1%
Headwind: 44% @ 9.7-21.9mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 19m 33s
Air Speed: 18.6mph
Temp: 69.1-72.8°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 101.73 mi
Max elevation: 4711 ft
Min elevation: 2314 ft
Total climbing: 5383 ft
Total descent: -5372 ft
Total time: 09:24:18
Published inAdobo VeloCycling

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