As I mentioned yesterday, we made it back from Vegas safely. We had a great time but I was kind of glad that we only had four days there. By the end of the fourth day, we were ready to vacate and actually spent most of that last day driving around doing sightseeing stuff instead of cruising the strip. Vegas is fun but unless you're into hard core gambling, it can get old quick.
On our itinerary was the aforementioned gambling (which we did little of), some nice dinners, a show or two, some clubbing, a bit of riding for the boys and lots of shopping for the ladies. Mission complete. I'm sure you're all just dying to hear about the two pair of boots that Marcy bought or just how fabulous the show was (pretty darn fabulous) but this blog is about riding and racing so if you want to hear about that stuff you'll need to i-m me and we can kibitz.
My buddy Kevin and I made rough plans before the trip to hit up both Bootleg Canyon and Cottonwood Valley. Originally, we were going to go the guided route but once we found out it was much cheaper to rent the bikes and a car for the whole weekend than it was to do one guided ride we went that route instead. I found a shop on-line that was in Vegas that had rentals. I was happy to see that they had their rentals on-line so I could be sure that our bikes would be ready for pick-up when we got there. WRONG! When we walked into the shop (which was pretty nice) the clerk looked at we sideways when I said that we were in to pick up the two Epic 29'ers. "We only have one 29'er and we just rented it out for the week." WTF? What is the point or reserving the bikes if you don't, I don't know, reserve them for the person? And the fact that the clerk obviously hadn't even known that we were coming in despite the reservations really pissed me off. They offered up two stumpjumper 26'ers instead and since our ride window was slowly closing we took them and headed out for our ride.
Ride number one was to be in Cottonwood. We had a map, a rough route planned out and about 2 1/2 hours of ride time so we were on our merry way. The beginning of the ride was nice but uninspiring (except for the views). It was mostly a slight uphill that would pay dividends later in the ride though.
new englander's legs, white and hairy, and just a peek of white boy pp
After about 40 minutes of riding we came to the begining of our main loop of the day, Dead Horse, and this is where things got interesting. We were soon greeted with snow and muddy trails. Really? We came all the way to the desert in winter to escape snow and mud!!!
Ever the optimists, we pushed on assuming that since the first part of the trail was so dry that we'd soon be out of the snow and back in bidness. Ahem, wrong again.
We spent the next hour, maybe even an hour and a half riding/walking through some pretty nasty conditions but we were too far in to make turning around worth it. To make matters worse, we weren't entirely sure where we were on our map since the trails aren't really well marked. Thankfully I had my gps with us so we were able to find our way and eventually we found what we thought was the trail called "Three Mile Smile". With a name like that it had to be good. After a bit more snow it turned into a bunch of flowey goodness. Eventually, it connected back to our initial trail and we were able to enjoy several miles of slight downhill, no brakes needed, twisty turny good times. Those last two sections saved the day for us. Phew.
Woops, that's it for time today. Bootleg Canyon tomorrow.