During the Pedal & Pour Friendsgiving ride I was chatting with Jeans McGee, aka Dave Burns, and he’d mentioned that we were really close to the gun range. Since that conversation the gun range ride was in my mind. I sent a text over to Robert about it and he asked me to post it. I did and wasn’t expecting much considering it was so last minute and still during the holiday weekend. I was quite surprised when seven people signed up.
As I was posting the Facebook event details I reached out to Joy to see if she was going to ride or not. When she said she wanted to ride, I followed that up with asking if she wanted to ride to the start despite the forecast cold temperatures. I was pretty stoked when she said she definitely wanted to ride over. I reviewed some previous rides to West Tech and figured it’d take us maybe two hours to get there. We agreed to meet up outside her neighborhood at 5:45.
I woke up early in the morning to get some breakfast before heading out. I was bummed at again finding no half and half for my morning coffee so I skipped it and took a caffeine pill instead. I went back and forth thinking about what to wear. Temperatures were in the mid-30s to start and not forecast to get much into the 60s. I went with full bib pants, a wool short-sleeve baselayer, and thermal jacket. I checked the reviews on the jacket and several mentioned the baselayer and jacket combination were good down to at least 37 degrees. I rolled out maybe five minutes later than I hoped.
The ride down to Joy’s place went really quick. We rode over to Bicentennial Pkwy and went west to catch Via Inspirada to Las Vegas Blvd. It didn’t take long before I realized I was extremely over dressed. Before reaching Las Vegas Blvd I could tell my baselayer was completely soaked through. Thankfully, being wool, it could be completely soaked and still maintain some warming properties. For the most part being soaked in sweat would be a thing for the entire ride.
Our ride over to West Tech was uneventful. We passed by the parking lot maybe 20-30 minutes early so we rolled on by. We didn’t go far and stopped at the Dunkin Donuts just across the way from the parking lot. Both Joy and I needed a quick stop for a restroom before starting out the “official” ride.
After our bathroom break, we rolled back over to the West Tech parking lot to meet up with the other Adobos. Overall, we had one person who changed their RSVP on Facebook and didn’t make it. However, we had two more people show up who weren’t on the Facebook RSVP. We ended up with a solid group of riders. The riders who showed up were: Joe, Dave, Robert, Joy, Anna, Stu, Henry, and Moose. We set out about five minutes late, which isn’t too bad.
Rolling up Desert Foothills we started hitting wind almost right away. It started kinda mild, but then as the day went on it got worse and worse. By the time we were descending Reverance I was getting tossed around pretty good. I rode my brakes down for much of the Reverance descent, and then again on the Lone Mountain descent which was even worse. At one point I even told Stu to avoid riding anywhere near the inside of me because I was worried I was going to get blown into him. Definitely sketch at points, thankfully it wasn’t anything brake management couldn’t handle. It was kinda disappointing to watch everyone riding off into the distance while I was falling behind. Thankfully red lights are the great group ride equalizer and I was able to catch up at each one.
When I’d posted the ride idea, Kant chimed in that Elkhorn was under construction and to avoid it by taking either Grand Teton or Farm. With that in mind, on Friday the wife and I drove out to scout the route. Choosing between Grand Teton and Farm, I decided to go with Farm. Grand Teton had some construction on the westbound side at Buffalo that I wanted to avoid on the return trip. I also thought staying consistent with one road would be better than riding Grand Teton east and then returning west on Farm. Thankfully Farm worked out great and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Riding up to the top of the gun range was tough. We were riding into a steady wind out of the north-northwest and you could certainly feel it banging you around. Then when we made the last west turn the winds were now straight on into your face. However, when we made the final round-a-bout to go back east to the end it was a complete tail wind. It was crazy to be doing 20+ MPH and nearly zero watts. Quite an odd experience.
The ride back was a blast. Sure some of the westbound sections were troublesome with the partial headwinds. However, when we turned south it was amazing! We climbed Elkhorn to Fort Apache where we stopped to wait for Robert and Joe to catch up. I knew that Robert would be going north on Fort Apache in order to get some miles in, but we all were kinda nervous about Joe being so far back. The guy hasn’t put on many miles in the past few weeks due to his back and we thought maybe he was hurting or otherwise bonking. When he rolled up he confessed that he was rolling with Robert and didn’t realize that Robert was going to go his own way at Fort Apache. Ultimately, Joe was happy that we waited for him and even had to answer a few quick text messages before we continued on.
As we started riding along Fort Apache things started getting insane. With a healthy wind at our backs we were easily flying at 30+ MPH. It was an absolute blast to go so fast while doing so little work.
This pretty much continued on all the way back to the West Tech parking lot. We did make a change for the return route at Lake Mead and Reverance. Instead of continuing straight onto Desert Foothills, we turn right onto Lake Mead to go up and around. Recently Desert Foothills has seen an increase in vehicle traffic and is now a one way from south-to-north. This meant if we continued south we’d be riding against traffic with no bike lane. Definitely not an ideal situation, so I’d planned for this in advance with out little detour to the west. It involved a little more climbing than we’re accustomed to for this route, but the additional safety was worth the trade off.
Once at West Tech, everyone started getting their stuff together to head home. I had already told Joy that, at the least, the two of us would be stopping at Pedal & Pour along the way home for a break. I extended the invitation to everyone there and was pleasantly surprised when a solid group decided they’d drive down to Pedal & Pout to hang out. Dave even agreed to ride down considering he’d ridden to West Tech for the start.
The ride down to Pedal & Pour was a quick one. The three of us; Dave, Joy, and I, were just cruising. Dave got out in front and pulled us for a majority of the way. I pulled out in front after we made the turn onto Hualapai and we continued head to tail all the way to Pedal & Pour.
At Pedal & Pour our group; Joe, Henry, Anna, Dave, Joy, and I, all hung out enjoying some coffee and food. I had a cinnamon roll with a cold brew and Coke. Just the perfect amount of food to help fuel me for the rest of the ride home. Joy was thrilled that she gotta see her girl Thelma at the shop before we left. We all joked that it was like seeing a sick relative in the hospital. Too soon, Dave was getting ready to roll out and I looked at the time and was surprised that it was already 1:00 in the afternoon! I filled up my water bottles and then Joy and I took off.
The ride back was pretty nice. We had a decent tailwind for most of the ride home. It made for a quick and relatively easy ride home. Definitely a nice change of pace.
Overall today was another great ride despite being over dressed. If I stopped for too long I’d start getting cold because I was in wet clothes, but once I got moving again I warmed up quite nicely. For sure in the future I don’t think that thermal jacket will come out until the deep winter with much colder sustained temperatures. I’m also happy that I felt so good considering I’d done a century just a few days before.
New bike fund: $33.26 (+$0.00)
6.16 new miles — From Wandrer.earth
556 vehicles @ 4.9 per mile, 1.4 per minute, Speeds: 34.9 mph (avg), 65.0 mph (max) — MyBikeTraffic.com
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by Bandok.com
Clear-Sunny, 43°F-56°F, Feels like 42°F-57°F, Humidity 41%-23%, Wind NW 5mph-N 8mph — by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 4.2%
Headwind: 54% @ 5.7-13.7mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 13m 13s
Air Speed: 16.9mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 3443 ft
Min elevation: 2219 ft
Total climbing: 5644 ft
Total descent: -5642 ft
Average speed: 19.25 mi/h
Total time: 09:01:57