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Old 10-31-10, 09:12 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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Ride report: Red Rock Canyon, Nevada (Las Vegas)

Have always wanted to carve some time out of a Las Vegas business trip to get some cycling in, and today I finally did it. Rode 3 hours in the rain in Seattle yesterday, then flew down into the sunshine today and picked up a rented bike (at McGhie's, which I saw recommended here on BF), and headed out to do the Red Rock Canyon Loop.

Some pics:

Headed out town, west on Flamingo Blvd. Bike is a Cannondale Synapse with Shimano 105 components ($40 for the day):



Just past the city limits now, headed out toward Red Rock Canyon. You can see a coupe of cyclists ahead of me -- lots of folks out doing the same route today.



View from the entrance to the 13-mile scenic loop; at this pint I am 10 miles from the bike shop, and (I think) about 1,000 feet elevation higher than where I started:



There is about a 5-mile, 1,000-foot climb after the entrance. Not too steep, just steady. This is looking back down toward the entrance:


Last edited by BengeBoy; 10-31-10 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 10-31-10, 09:13 PM   #2
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Headed back down:







On the way toward the park exit I got a flat -- I think this was my hardest-to-fix-flat ever, requiring 4 attempts:

1. First, I couldn't get air in the spare. I thought the valve was bad, but we discovered when we returned to the shop that the spare tube had a hole in it (maybe I did it when changing tubes?).

2. Luckily I had a patch kit. But the first patch didn't hold (I was using too large a patch).

3. 2nd patch held, but after I put the tire on the bike it started losing air. I took the tire off and inspected the tube and again and found...

4. A second patch on the same original tube (!). Still not sure how it got 2 holes in it; again, maybe I created a hole while remounting the tire on the rim. So I used a 3 rd patch to fix that.

Whew! That was a tough flat.



The loop out to the canyon and back is about 35 miles...I took off down another highway for a bit and then headed back, in all the ride for me was about 40 miles.

Great weather, great ride.

There are at least a couple of stores that do these day rentals w/fairly nice bikes -- the other I looked at was Las Vegas Cyclery, not far away. Both also organize mountain bike rentals out to the same area.

Was a great way to spend a day, will certainly do it again.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 10-31-10 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 10-31-10, 10:35 PM   #3
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Nice ride!

The wife and I were down last January and rented some Mountain Bikes. We had a sweet ride in Cottonwood Canyon just out of town. Highly recommended!

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Old 10-31-10, 11:14 PM   #4
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That sure looks like fun. I am making a mental note of it. Thanks.
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Old 11-01-10, 02:06 AM   #5
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Went mt biking in the red rocks in the spring and had a really great time. It's a beautiful area.
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Old 11-01-10, 05:37 AM   #6
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Nice! Excellent photography!!

(I better learn to change & patch flats . . . yikes)
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Old 11-01-10, 06:27 AM   #7
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Been there, done that (on a mtn bike). Fun ride.
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Old 11-01-10, 08:24 AM   #8
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Thanks, BengeBoy. From where I live, Las Vegas is a one-day drive. I go through a lot on my way to Zion Canyon. I hate the Las Vegas vibe, so I don't usually stay there. Last spring I tried to stay at Valley of Fire State Park, but it was full. I'm going again this spring; it looks like it would be worth my while to get a reservation so I could stay a couple of nights and do this ride. Maybe bring the mountain bike too, and stay an extra day for that.

Nice pics!
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Old 11-01-10, 09:03 AM   #9
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Thanks, BB. I am scheduled to drive down to Redding, CA at Christmas to visit the folks, then on to Vegas for the following week. Red Rock has always been an objective, but have never scheduled enough time (going to shows and stuff). This time fer sure!

But the thing that bothers me about riding in Vegas is the length and timing of the stoplights. Those red lights stay red for a long time, and usually for no reason. Last time I was there, I had started taking straight-thru intersections as right turn-U turn-right turn, since there would usually be no traffic from the cross streets, and I had no intention of ending up in some grimy Vegas jail for running red lights!
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Old 11-01-10, 09:55 AM   #10
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That does it. I'm booking a trip to Vegas for January.
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Old 11-01-10, 01:26 PM   #11
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I want a job like Bengeboy- On a business trip but plenty of time to ride in scenery like that.

Best I ever managed was borrowing a bike from the porter at a Hotel in Yorkshire to ride up a hill at the back of the hotel. 40 lb Old Raleigh with 2 of the 3 gears working and no brakes.
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Old 11-01-10, 01:42 PM   #12
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I want a job like Bengeboy- On a business trip but plenty of time to ride in scenery like that.

Best I ever managed was borrowing a bike from the porter at a Hotel in Yorkshire to ride up a hill at the back of the hotel. 40 lb Old Raleigh with 2 of the 3 gears working and no brakes.
It's a good thing you don't need brakes riding up a hill!!
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Old 11-01-10, 02:23 PM   #13
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Great report and pics.
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Old 11-01-10, 03:17 PM   #14
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It's a good thing you don't need brakes riding up a hill!!
There was the return trip though
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Old 11-01-10, 04:51 PM   #15
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Great pics! Looks like a great time.

Thanks for taking the time to share.
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Old 11-01-10, 07:06 PM   #16
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What a beautiful place to ride
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Old 11-01-10, 07:16 PM   #17
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There was the return trip though
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Old 11-01-10, 07:39 PM   #18
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Not a lot of water in that landscape. How was the wind?
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Old 11-01-10, 07:49 PM   #19
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Not a lot of water in that landscape. How was the wind?
Very little wind at all; not enough to have any real impact on the ride.
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Old 11-01-10, 08:09 PM   #20
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Very nice looking ride! Totally different from either AR or LA. Closest I've been to anything like that is the hill country in Texas.

I would love to do a ride like that, but I would worry about running low on H2O.
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Old 11-01-10, 09:35 PM   #21
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Who are the other riders in photo #2? Were there many other cyclists on the road - either to the canyon or in the park?
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Old 11-01-10, 10:47 PM   #22
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Fun stuff. I've had so much trouble with bike fit (I finally have it down great), I would be afraid to rent a bike and try to get it right for a 40 mile ride. I do have all the measurements, so maybe I coulde make it happen.
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Old 11-02-10, 12:08 AM   #23
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Who are the other riders in photo #2? Were there many other cyclists on the road - either to the canyon or in the park?

There were a fair number of riders out when I was riding -- I saw several dozen, at least. The weather really was perfect for a ride, I figured everybody was out enjoying the weather after surviving a hot summer.
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Old 11-02-10, 12:12 AM   #24
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Fun stuff. I've had so much trouble with bike fit (I finally have it down great), I would be afraid to rent a bike and try to get it right for a 40 mile ride. I do have all the measurements, so maybe I coulde make it happen.
You know, I worry about that kind of thing, too - but as I was riding I kept reflecting on how much fun it was just to jump on someone else's bike and go. It's amazing that if you're just motivated for fun you don't worry about stuff as much and you just jump on the bike and go. The reach was a little longer than I wanted it to be...didn't really like the angle of the handlebars...I probably could have raised the seat 1/16th of an inch...and the saddle wasn't to my liking. But it didn't really matter; I wasn't super comfortable toward the end of the ride, but I didn't feel beat up. I think maybe we're all pickier about our own stuff than a bike we borrow.
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Old 11-02-10, 11:25 AM   #25
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Viva Bike Vegas Century 008..jpgIMG00050-20101009-1&.jpgIMG00048-20101009-1&.jpg

Welcome to my neighborhood. That is a great place to Road ride. Great scenery, I'm gonna post a couple of pics from the Vivabikevegas ride by Red Rocks. Sorry to hear about your flat adventure. Sounds like to good tire wrangling experience, and practice makes perfect?!?

You can also bike to the new bridge crossing the Colorado river below Hoover Dam. It is 900 feet above the river. Pretty awesome sight. just an idea for the next trip.
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