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I didn’t fall. I’m just spending some quality time with the ground.

I want to start by saying that this ride’s title was automatically generated, and I didn’t take a spill on this ride. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for everyone.

Robert had posted this ride a few weeks back and had to reschedule it due to other group rides happening in the valley. Last week, give or take, I chimed in that I would be riding to CraftHaus from my house and doing the full ride. I fired over a text to Joy to recruit her to the dark side, and while awaiting her response I heard from Mark that he wouldn’t be joining me. Then late Friday afternoon I heard back from Joy asking if I was feeling ok after a tough commute on Thursday and still planning on riding to the start at CraftHaus. After a little back and forth we settled on meeting outside her neighborhood at 4:30.

I added a comment to the Adobo Velo event post stating that if I didn’t hear from any others riding from Anthem Hills Park that I was going to take another route effectively bypassing the park. I woke up early Saturday morning and saw no one had chimed in that they were joining us so I rolled on down to Joy’s place. As I rolled into the cul-de-sac that is just outside her neighborhood I came up with a quick route over to CraftHaus while going round-and-round for a couple laps waiting for Joy to show up. Thankfully it was only two loops worth. Too much longer and I would have made myself dizzy.

I decided we’d avoid the hills of Anthem and opted to take the most direct to St. Rose then work our way east to CraftHaus. The two of us made pretty good time considering we weren’t really pushing the pace. Then again that’s what happens when you travel mostly downhill. We rolled into CraftHaus plenty early and found the boys getting themselves ready. Joy and I made the rounds visiting with Robert, Dave, Kant, and Steve for about 15 minutes before we lined up for a quick group picture and rolled out.

The ride over to the River Mountains Loop Trail trailhead on Lake Mead Pkwy just outside the NRA went great. Dave, Joy, and I ended up getting separated from Robert, Kant, and Steve with our quicker pace and bad timing of lights. Think the later three caught both the Boulder Hwy and Lake Mead lights red. Along Lake Mead near Athens we picked up Dennis who was riding over to the start.

We rolled into the trailhead parking lot and had quite a few people getting ready for the long ride north towards Overton. There were plenty of different rides going on. A few riders were only going as far as the Callville Bay turnoff. Others were committed to Redstone. The smallest group, by far, were the poor gluttons riding all the way to Overton and back.

Rolling out along Lake Mead after the group picture we were surprised that the guard shack wasn’t open yet so we were able to roll through without having to dig out park passes. While we were climbing Northshore Rd after Las Vegas Wash the sunrise was awesome. The skies immediately overhead were clear but off in the distance to the north you could see bright reds, oranges, and pinks just kissing the top of the clouds from the sun coming up. It was super cool. As we stopped to regroup at the summit I made it a point to call it out to everyone. Another one of those moments of feeling blessed to live in such a beautiful area and having the ability to get out of town so easily.

Once everyone finished the first big climb we set back off. We were having a pretty good time rolling through the park on that initial mostly downhill stretch. Sure there were a couple rollers, but overall we were moving at a decent clip. I can’t remember who, but someone suggested we form up a pace line and start rotating. I think we had a total of eight riders rotating: Anna, Dave, Dennis, Frank, Joy, Kant, Rick, and I. We were doing okay, barely passable if I’m being totally honest. There was lots of communication going on trying to coach everyone on technique and as we kept going things smoothed out.

Our little group was trucking along and when we came to a descent we’d fan out enjoying the speed. Once back onto a flat we’d regroup and start rotating again. Things were going great until they weren’t. As we were going down one of the descents Joy got tangled up with someone and went down. I’d guess we were less than 15 miles from the trailed head and moving at around 25 MPH when it happened. I was just behind and to their left when it happened. I grabbed a handful of brakes, hollered out for the group to stop, and flipped around.

I came up to Joy and she was lying there on her back conscious, thankfully. As I set my bike down off the road I told her to just stay down and relax for a bit before trying to get up. Pretty quickly the group all rolled in and we started assessing the damage. We had to unclip one of her feet from the bike before getting it off and to the side of the road.

As we talked with her making sure she was ok, she wanted up, refused a hand up, and was on her own two feet without issue. Giving her a once over she didn’t look too worse for wear and chimed in, “Ok guys lets finish the ride.” As we continued to pour over her looking for damage, Stan and Louie rolled up in the SAG wagon.

Someone mentioned, “Hey check her helmet”. I gave it a look over and I saw where both sides had taken a hit and worse yet the front left corner was cracked completely through. It was finished. Of course Joy was having nothing of it and was convinced she was going to continue on. Thankfully we were able to finally convince her that with her helmet as damaged as it was her day was done because it wasn’t safe to go on. She looked at us all, turned toward Stan’s ride and said, “Fine let’s go.”

At this point I could tell she was hot. We gathered up her bike and got it ready for the rack while she pulled up a seat in the back of the car. As we looked it over we saw the left shifter had some road rash, but worse yet the handlebars had come out of alignment with the front wheel. I honestly think even if her helmet wasn’t damaged she wasn’t going to want to ride another 100 miles while holding her bars turned to the left to continue straight. The bike also had a minor brake rub, but that was minor in comparison. We got Thelma all secured on the back, Joy in the front, and we all backed off to let Joy finish getting ready to roll home while talking with Robert and Kant about what had happened. All in all we were sitting there for 15 minutes before we all rolled off and continued the ride.

In all honesty from there on the ride was pretty somber. No one likes riding after watching someone go down. It’s even worse when that person has to be taken home because they can’t continue.

We rolled into Overton to find Stan and Louie at the McDonald’s waiting for us. They’d been heroes and picked us up some breakfast including sandwiches, pancakes, and, more importantly, hash browns! It was the talk of the table for sure. We all sat around enjoying our snacks and rest while everyone continued to trickle in. We hung out for about 30 minutes before we cleaned up our messes and rolled out for home. The plan was for Stan and Louie to meet us at Rogers Spring and then again at Northshore Summit Trailhead for support.

For the ride back I was doing pretty good. Dave and Kant eventually left me in their dust, but I stayed ahead of the rest of the group so I didn’t feel too terrible. That’s one of the worst things about riding alone, you don’t have a good gauge of your performance. It seems that no matter what the numbers say you’re convinced you’re only crawling along at a snail’s pace despite the power meter and speed sensor telling you something completely different. I will say that I was going much better than my last attempt at this route where I was probably soft pedaling from the Northshore Summit Trailhead all the way back to the start.

Thankfully the remainder of the ride was uneventful. Had some nice stops at both SAG stops and regrouped with everyone. Each time we left I’d do my best to stay with Dave and Kant while ultimately failing. Exiting Lake Mead through the fee station I decided to go ahead and renew my annual park’s pass. I flipped around, paid up, and then flipped around to head back to the RMLT trailhead parking lot where everyone was set to gather up. I watched as a few of the last riders came in and then either did small loops in the parking lot or went out on the RMLT to add in some extra miles to take them over 110 for the day. Funny times.

After telling everyone goodbye I rolled out over to CraftHaus with Dave, Louie, Kant, Rick, Robert, Stan, and Steve. They were all enjoying a nice beer while we hung out and visited. Too soon it was time for me to be riding home. The sun was getting low and I didn’t know how much life my headlight had in it. I still had another 17 miles and 1,600 feet of climbing to do in order to get home.

The ride home was ok I suppose. Had a couple impatient drivers give me solid scares. Some drivers just love to roll as fast and as long as possible without stopping before their turns. The first was someone eastbound on Horizon Ridge wanting to turn left onto Valle Verde. They were coming into the intersection so hot I didn’t think they were going to stop and even grabbed some brake to make sure I’d be able to stop before entering the intersection. They did eventually decide to stop, but jeez. Then a similar thing happened with a Jeep exiting the Target complex on Green Valley Pkwy. Driver just comes barreling up to the exit and is going so fast you have to seriously wonder if they’re going to stop or not. Oof. Not the best way to end the day.

After those two incidents the remainder of the ride home was uneventful. Rolled up to an empty house and was surprised that I was over 160 for the day, my longest ride to date. I went inside and sat down on the floor to relax a bit before grabbing some food. I sat there for about 10-15 minutes and then started feeling sick. It was kinda touch and go there for a bit, and I was worried I’d be going to bed without any dinner. Then to add insult to injury I started cramping bad. Sure the hamstring cramps were awful but nothing compared to, what I think were, the Sartorius cramps. Those had never cramped before and they’re so small, relatively speaking, it was hard to get a grip on them to massage the cramps out. Thankfully my body snapped out of it, both my stomach and cramps subsided, and I worked my way to the couch to down some salt while my dinner cooked.

Overall a great day of riding. I’m super happy to know that I was able to finish this ride considering last time I bonked hard. Until the day I die I will continue to profess that it was the Liquid IV I added to a water bottle at Redstone on the way out that, for some reason, didn’t agree with my stomach which caused me to stop eating and drinking. Feeling a little more confident to take on a full DC. I certainly know that Robert, Kant, and Dave, the DC gang, have certainly been pushing to get me to do one in February. Who knows maybe it’ll happen.

New bike fund: $32.14 (+$0.29)
0.18 new miles — From
492 vehicles @ 3 per mile, 0.8 per minute, Speeds: 39.6 mph (avg), 71.9 mph (max) —
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by
Mostly cloudy-Mostly clear, 54°F-68°F, Feels like 56°F-67°F, Humidity 70%-35%, Wind SW 2mph-SW 7mph — by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 5.9%
Headwind: 66% @ 2.2-11.8mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 48m 21s
Air Speed: 17.4mph
Temp: 50.5-70.1°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 164.55 mi
Max elevation: 3075 ft
Min elevation: 1223 ft
Total climbing: 10020 ft
Total descent: -10067 ft
Total time: 13:38:13
Published inAdobo VeloCycling

One Comment

  1. […] Distance: 860.62 MilesTotal Ride Time: 50:31:50 (H:M:S)Longest Ride: 164.36 Miles – ‘I didn’t fall. I’m just spending some quality time with the ground.‘Calories Burned: 38,956Total Elevation Gain: 39,042 ftAverage Speed: 17.0 MPHAverage Heart […]

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