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Death Valley winter trip (very pic heavy!)

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Death Valley winter trip (very pic heavy!)

Old 12-27-10, 12:39 AM
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Death Valley winter trip (very pic heavy!)

I took a trip to Death Valley with 2 other friends and 3 vintage rides this winter. If you've never been, Death Valley is usually extremely gorgeous in a very solemn way. I say usually, because this year is apparently an El Nino year, and the west coast - including Death Valley, the driest place in the continental United States - received record rainfall . So, we were kept from biking much, and when we did try, we got completely soaked. To make it worse, the 20 mile ride on "Artist's Drive" we went on did not specify that the climb was about 1km in height (and this isn't a constant climb - it's steep hills coupled with steep drops)! We ran out of food and water halfway up the first hill (didn't ration our two bottles worth of water well during the previous few miles...), and it took us nearly 2 hours to finish those grueling hills.

So, in review - 1st day was awesome. 2nd day was decent. 3rd day was not great. But luckily, all the pictures turned out fantastic! And here you are - a hodgepodge of bike, nature, and people pics. Special thanks to southpawboston for providing my Schwinn Voyageur the Sakae CX crankset, and to ColonelJLloyd, who provided me my VO front rack.

Here are some choice pics from the trip. Since this is BF C&V, only bike/C&V related stuff is here, but there are some pretty beautiful pics from our canyon hikes that are also in the web album.


A repost from my teaser post - Christmas colored bikes!


We biked to the sand dunes at sunrise the first day, and it was a gorgeous view. For some reason, I brought my helmet too...


The first thing I thought when I saw the sign was "huh, I guess townie bars aren't allowed in Death Valley".


Ubehebe crater - this was about 1/2 a mile wide, and very well preserved. Shown off here is the Zimbale saddlebag that was my man-purse throughout the trip as well.


Here's a cool C&V one - a real, working Peloton DC generator.
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Old 12-27-10, 12:40 AM
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More pics!


Getting ready to bike on the third day...


Setting out from our campground. Wish I could photoshop those two dumpsters out. EDIT :: wishes do come true.


My Schwinn Voyageur, finally completed for the trip! And now I have to clean and maintain it again...


My friend's Fuji Touring III, with the ever-useful Nigel Smythe Lil' Loafer front rack bag. We're right at the entrance to Artist's Drive here.

Last edited by dashuaigeh; 12-27-10 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 12-27-10, 12:45 AM
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Action shots!


On the road in DV. Topping out on a huge empty road in the middle of nowhere feels GREAT.


Our lovely female companion on her lovely Bridgestone T700.


Almost there.


I'll admit it, we set up a few of these bike action shots. But come on, don't they look cool ?


Parked at a canyon.
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Old 12-27-10, 12:50 AM
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Last bump with pics - miscellaneous and the album link.


Our replica of the Tree of Gondor. Get the BF C&V connection?? Gondor? Lord of the Rings? Elves...Rivendell ? Ok, not quite C&V, but has C&V sensibilities at least.


These two pics represented why the canyons were worth going to, even without being able to bike them. It was a gorgeous place (when not grey and rainy).

The rest of the album is available here, at https://picasaweb.google.com/jchan985...eat=directlink. It only has about half of the pictures edited, so some may look poor quality. A few more (higher quality camera pics) are here at my friend's Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stoven2/sets/).

Thanks for looking!
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Old 12-27-10, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dashuaigeh View Post

Setting out from our campground. Wish I could photoshop those two dumpsters out.
Dumpsters? What dumpsters?
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Old 12-27-10, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Dumpsters? What dumpsters?
WOAH. sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Now to retroactively replace the old pic
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Old 12-27-10, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by dashuaigeh View Post
WOAH. sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Now to retroactively replace the old pic
I can't do that - but you can. Just grab my photo link and edit your post. Replace your link with mine, and viola.

My link:
https://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...IMG_2325-1.jpg
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Old 12-27-10, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
I can't do that - but you can. Just grab my photo link and edit your post. Replace your link with mine, and viola.

My link:
https://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...IMG_2325-1.jpg
Done and done! Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-27-10, 01:38 AM
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Awww, I missed the dumpsters.

I haven't been to Death Valley, but spent considerable time in the Mojave Desert. Neat place. The sky is remarkably dirty at night
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Old 12-27-10, 07:57 AM
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Having sequestered myself in the east my entire life, pictures like these and from other C&V westerners, make me pine for the days of retirement when I can rent a place out west for a few months each year. Each time I return from a trip west, I cannot wait to return.

Thanks for sharing your Death Valley pictures, a place I've yet to visit. Is the crater from a meteor strike or volcanic action?

EDIT: Never mind. I found out the crater is volcanic and the name means "Big Basket in the Rock." Cool!

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Old 12-27-10, 08:14 AM
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Great pics, Jesse!
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Old 12-27-10, 08:19 AM
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Wow dashuaigeh. These are some of the most spectacular biking shots I have ever seen !

(I can't imagine what it is like to ride down a long ribbon of Hwy without getting flattened by an SUV. )
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Old 12-27-10, 09:21 AM
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Given your photo locations I take it you stayed in Furnace Creek, am I right?

We got rained on during the Death Valley Double in October, it was pretty surreal to get rained on in such a place.

The Ubehebe crater is pretty amazing as it is so drastically different than anything else in the northern end of the park. The black sands as you ride in were especially neat to me. Sadly I got there just before dusk and was feeling pretty rough due to the previous 130 miles so I didn't take much time to check it out. Oh well, next year.
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Old 12-27-10, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Wow dashuaigeh. These are some of the most spectacular biking shots I have ever seen !

(I can't imagine what it is like to ride down a long ribbon of Hwy without getting flattened by an SUV. )
In 15 hours/200 miles on a bike down there I was passed by maybe 15 cars and 5 of them were support vehicles.
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Old 12-27-10, 10:33 AM
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Nice pics, thanks for sharing. I've been to Death Valley many times, but never on a bicycle. I need to put that on my short list.
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Old 12-27-10, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Having sequestered myself in the east my entire life, pictures like these and from other C&V westerners, make me pine for the days of retirement when I can rent a place out west for a few months each year. Each time I return from a trip west, I cannot wait to return.
The west coast is quite fantastic, but I've found the midwest holds places that are just as beautiful, and not nearly as crowded. Hope you get a chance to make an extended trip sometime

Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Wow dashuaigeh. These are some of the most spectacular biking shots I have ever seen !

(I can't imagine what it is like to ride down a long ribbon of Hwy without getting flattened by an SUV. )
Thanks, Auchen! Let me tell, you it's exhilarating . Though not so much in the rain.

Originally Posted by anomaly View Post
Given your photo locations I take it you stayed in Furnace Creek, am I right?

We got rained on during the Death Valley Double in October, it was pretty surreal to get rained on in such a place.

The Ubehebe crater is pretty amazing as it is so drastically different than anything else in the northern end of the park. The black sands as you ride in were especially neat to me. Sadly I got there just before dusk and was feeling pretty rough due to the previous 130 miles so I didn't take much time to check it out. Oh well, next year.
Yep, furnace creek - though I'm much more a fan of Stovepipe Wells, honestly. Furnace Creek seemed a bit crowded and busy. The rain is a bit surreal; I went last winter, and it was a gorgeously empty sky. Very dry, clear air. This was such a shock to me this year (blast you global warming, or whatever causes weird weather).

I'm amazed you did 130 miles on bike there. I would have loved to ride up to the Ubehebe, but our female companion wasn't able to make long rides very easily. Did you stay close by, at Mesquite Spring?

Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Nice pics, thanks for sharing. I've been to Death Valley many times, but never on a bicycle. I need to put that on my short list.
My pleasure! It seemed more difficult to get around on a bicycle than I had thought it would be. The park is extremely spread out - next time, I'll budget far more time than just 3 1/2 days, but I was constrained by Christmas this year. If you're coming from around the east coast (NC, I take it?) they do have bike rentals there now, which can save quite a bit of time and trouble if you're willing to shell out the extra cash.

Last edited by dashuaigeh; 12-27-10 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 12-27-10, 04:41 PM
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Thanks for sharing. We just went through a blizzard hear in the New York area, and everything is covered with snow and ice. Seeing some great cycle touring photos was a great diversion, as well as inspiration.
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Old 12-27-10, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleheimer View Post
Thanks for sharing. We just went through a blizzard hear in the New York area, and everything is covered with snow and ice. Seeing some great cycle touring photos was a great diversion, as well as inspiration.
My pleasure, Cycleheimer. Hope the weather lets up soon. Or hope you can find a good set of studded tires to slap on your rides
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Old 12-28-10, 12:12 AM
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Great write up and pics. Even though the weather didn't cooperate, sounds like a wonderful ride. Thanks for posting this!
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Old 12-28-10, 12:19 AM
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I'm jealous. I have wanted to hike DV for quite some time and now I want to bike it. Hmm.... maybe I could hike across the valley to where my bike is parked and ride back.
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Old 12-28-10, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dashuaigeh View Post
I'm amazed you did 130 miles on bike there. I would have loved to ride up to the Ubehebe, but our female companion wasn't able to make long rides very easily. Did you stay close by, at Mesquite Spring?
I haven't seen the Milky Way since I was a young kid, seeing so many stars was phenomenal.

The fall Death Valley Double is 197 miles, actually. Ubehebe was at mile 130, still had to ride back to the Hells Gate turn off, climb Hells Gate then descend back to Furnace Creek. We stayed at the hotel in Furnace Creek as the trip was purely to ride the double century. I plan to make another trip back to do some real site seeing.

Last edited by anomaly; 12-28-10 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-28-10, 07:39 PM
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Very cool trip... you're a decent Photog also.
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Old 12-28-10, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by twobadfish View Post
I'm jealous. I have wanted to hike DV for quite some time and now I want to bike it. Hmm.... maybe I could hike across the valley to where my bike is parked and ride back.
Hahahaha on a serious note, if you don't mind shelling out and riding a modern mtb, it might be worth it to try their rentals (or the ones in Vegas). Lugging my bike on that rack for the entire road trip was almost as harsh as a year of hard riding

Originally Posted by anomaly View Post
I haven't seen the Milky Way since I was a young kid, seeing so many stars was phenomenal.

The fall Death Valley Double is 197 miles, actually. Ubehebe was at mile 130, still had to ride back to the Hells Gate turn off, climb Hells Gate then descend back to Furnace Creek. We stayed at the hotel in Furnace Creek as the trip was purely to ride the double century. I plan to make another trip back to do some real site seeing.
Wow, you biked back in the dark as well? In the middle of a double century? Your name suits you well...

Originally Posted by bennie222 View Post
Very cool trip... you're a decent Photog also.
Haha, thanks, though I'd credit most of that to the valley itself (and Picasa's built in photo editor).
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Old 12-28-10, 11:19 PM
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Beautiful pictures. I rode the Death Valley double century last month, the scenery was amazing, and we did get a little rain at the start. My ride report:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/692347-2010-Death-Valley-Fall-Double-Century-Report

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Old 12-28-10, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
Beautiful pictures. I rode the Death Valley double century last month, the scenery was amazing, and we did get a little rain at the start. My ride report:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/692347-2010-Death-Valley-Fall-Double-Century-Report
Woah. That is awesome. You and anomaly are both beasts on the bicycle. Is this a yearly organized DV ride?
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