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Thread: Ace of Spades

  1. #1
    Yappy little dog!
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    Ace of Spades

    No, not the song by Motorhead. Vegas! Well, just outside of Las Vegas. I had to do some evening work over the weekend in our data center, my bike flies free on Frontier (well, until June - that's a rant for another time), and a little dessert desert would do me some good.

    First stop was something new for me, Bear's Best. It seems the trail fairies had been busy since my last Vegas ridezvous, so I'd figue I'd press my luck. Let 'em ride, so to speak. Ok, enough bad gambling humor and onto the good stuff.

    My last experience with Las Vegas Cyclery, was not that great. I had rented a bike and well, it was a piece of crap. That's the main reason I brought one with me, instead. Still, I wanted to give them another chance and I busted my CO2 inflater. SO, I needed to get air into my tires anyway. I purchased a new inflater, and chatted up about Bear's Best. Way to turn my bad experience around. Not only did he spend time talking to be about the trail, he gave me a map and suggested I start the ride right from the shop.

    A short ride later next to some really beautiful houses in Summerlin, and I was on my way.



    Once you are on the trail, it's single track all the way. Really nice singletrack! Ok, since I do build trails I have to give a little critique. They need to disperse the tailings and not leave them on the side. Then again, this is the desert and it will probably be a while before it causes any harm.

    The trail is actually in a great location. It is easy to get to, has views on both sides (Red Rocks on one and the strip on the other), plus miles and miles of skinny trail (I doubles over a lot of stuff, but I think I hit at least 20 miles).






    It wasn't crowded at all and maybe it's considered a beginner trail. There were a few tech spots with 2' drops, but for the most part, just fast flowing singletrack. They did a fantastic job of putting a lot of trail into a small space.





    I was like a kid in a candy store here. Riding among some Joshua trees, soaking up the warm sun (yes, sun block was layered on), and just blasting turns and drops. Sometimes you just get the feel on that first pedal crank and this was it.





    It felt like I could ride forever, and I did. Almost five hours! I doubled up on loops because they were just too much fun.









    As it got a little later, more people started showing up. I have to say, some of the friendliest people I have met on the trail. We chatted about best routes, features, and the Broncos.



    Just a great day to be out on the trail.



    Night work went as planned and I got back to the hotel early enough to plan Sunday's ride. I lamented over this one for a week, but I know I chose wisely.

    The last time I road at Red Rocks (a.k.a. Blue Diamond, a.k.a. Cottonwood Canyon), I never made it off of a very small loop. I was told there were many miles of diverse terrain, but never really found it. The maze of trails just kept me going in circles. This time I was determined to plot a course that would provide a nice distance with views and smiles. I even programmed the NORBA race course into my GPS. Still, I stopped at the LBS in Blue Diamond and asked the owner if I had the right track. Again, another great shop guy. He pulled out a map and started highlighting the route in different colors. It reminded me of the days before Google Maps, when you'd go to the AAA office and have them do a Triptik. He was fast with his descriptions and my eyes were starting to glaze over. Turn left at this rock, right at this cactus, left at this glowing orb. The only thing that stuck in my mind was "giant Yucca".

    I started from the shop and headed Southeast. This was a loop, starting and ending at the shop but not on the same trail. Pretty damn cool!

    I found my way to the TH amd the fun just never ended.





    It was still as I remember, a maze of trails. I took many a wrong turn in spiute of having a map and a GPS course. Loops within loops, doubling back, but I kept my focus. I was going to ride as much of this terrain as possible. Onward to find Route 160 and the "tunnels" to South side.





    I circled one scraggy hill trice. It was actually a little technical and I flew off the seat more than once, but no crash.

    I eventually did make it to the tunnels and the "Late Night" parking area. After talking to some of the riders there, they said that the other side had gotten pretty wrecked up in the last few storms. By this point I had done quite a bit of miles and still had plenty more ahead (including Three Miles of Smiles).





    The trails have names, but I never saw the names posted. I think I went up and around Viagra and then Late night. I also went on something called Mustang trail. It was all such a blast, I just say it's one big trail!



    And then, as if out of nowhere, like a last gas sign in the middle of the desert, like the giant W in the movie, "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", and ominous figure arose from the ground.

    The only thing I remembered from the LBS directions.

    If this ain't a giant Yucca, then I'm a Monkey's Uncle.



    More downhill! More fun! A little Bonnie and Clyde.





    And just like I was promised, it went right back to the LBS!

    What a truly great ride!




  2. #2
    clown question, bro
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    Beautiful!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  3. #3
    two wheel whore
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    Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Wish my data center trips were like that!

  4. #4
    007
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    Welcome to my backyard! I can hit bears best right from my garage and its a great trail network.

    I have hit all those trails and agree that the trails out at Blue Diamond/Cottonwood take a bit of exploring to figure out a good loop.

    Glad you enjoyed our dirt. Next time make sure to hit Bootleg. The XC trails are a blast.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  5. #5
    Yappy little dog!
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    Ace of Spades

    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Welcome to my backyard! I can hit bears best right from my garage and its a great trail network.

    I have hit all those trails and agree that the trails out at Blue Diamond/Cottonwood take a bit of exploring to figure out a good loop.

    Glad you enjoyed our dirt. Next time make sure to hit Bootleg. The XC trails are a blast.
    I have hit bootleg many times but it was reported there was a race going on,

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the good old fashion ride report. Loved the commentary and the pictures. Nice work. Like 007 I'm quite familiar with those trails (Nevadan but don't live in Vegas) and was able to enjoy them all over vicariously through your report.

    So did you not end up crossing under the 160 to the Southern network? Dead Horse, Satans Escalator, Three Mile Smile, Badger Pass is one of my favorite loops/loop add ons out there. It would be a shame if they were too washed out to enjoy.

  7. #7
    The 5th knuckle
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    Good stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  8. #8
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Thanks for the good old fashion ride report. Loved the commentary and the pictures. Nice work. Like 007 I'm quite familiar with those trails (Nevadan but don't live in Vegas) and was able to enjoy them all over vicariously through your report.

    So did you not end up crossing under the 160 to the Southern network? Dead Horse, Satans Escalator, Three Mile Smile, Badger Pass is one of my favorite loops/loop add ons out there. It would be a shame if they were too washed out to enjoy.
    When I got to the tunnel, the locals were telling me it wasn't worth it because of the wash outs. Since I was already having a tough time navigating, I took their advice and skipped it. Maybe next time. I'm in Henderson on a semi-frequent basis.

  9. #9
    Gotta pay to play
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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to schnauzers again."
    Can someone +rep him for me?

  10. #10
    Yappy little dog!
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    Glad you liked it.

  11. #11
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    great ride report! Thanks for sharing

  12. #12
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    Great pics and your machine is like a work of art. Love that thing.
    whatever...

  13. #13
    Hermit
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    Some great pics there - looks like you had a blast.

    Gotta say though, as a HUGE Motorhead fan, I was kinda hopin' for some Lemmy...

    Steve Z
    Pedaling when it's dry
    And paddling when it's wet

    My insignificant blog:
    http://swampboy62.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy62 View Post
    Some great pics there - looks like you had a blast.

    Gotta say though, as a HUGE Motorhead fan, I was kinda hopin' for some Lemmy...

    Steve Z
    Hey, I tried.

  15. #15
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    So did you not end up crossing under the 160 to the Southern network? Dead Horse, Satans Escalator, Three Mile Smile, Badger Pass is one of my favorite loops/loop add ons out there. It would be a shame if they were too washed out to enjoy.
    Those sections are fine. When you get to the top of Satan's Escalator and have the option of cutting left, directly over to the 3 Mile Smile or going right, to Red's Meadows and on to Wilson's Tank . . . its the section to the RIGHT, into Red's Meadows, that got pretty trashed. I rode out there in November and it was seriously marred by deep water channels. I've heard that since then, new singletrack has started to form paralleling the old trail, but have not been up there since to check it out.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  16. #16
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    Worth a trip?

    Nice photos. Would you say this is worth a trip if you weren't in the area? I hate driving straight back home from Phoenix and perhaps this could serve as a stopping point along the way. How many miles of trail? I've done Bootleg a couple of times and it isn't my style. Always looking for long XC rides.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to schnauzers again."
    Can someone +rep him for me?
    You bet. Great pics. Great thread. Thank You.

  18. #18
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    Nice photos. Would you say this is worth a trip if you weren't in the area? I hate driving straight back home from Phoenix and perhaps this could serve as a stopping point along the way. How many miles of trail? I've done Bootleg a couple of times and it isn't my style. Always looking for long XC rides.
    You can easily get in a 25+ mile XC ride at Cottonwood/Blue Diamond. And there are (much) longer routes too (there's an out and back thats close to 50 miles round trip), though I'm not as familiar with them and can't comment on those rides. I'd consider this worth a stop at least once on your way through. You will most definitely want a guide though, as its not terribly easy to follow based on a map.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  19. #19
    Fishing/ Biking
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    Great pics and great write up. It's neat to see local trails thru the eyes of visitors. Not that I'm an old hag out here, but have been on most of those trails and they are all great fun. Cottonwood definitely has a lot of miles to cover, you can pedal forever. There are lots of turns and a local will keep you on track, but they all come back around, it's hard to get truly lost. (007- HA HA!) I'm always looking for an excuse to drive to that side of town, next time hit me up and I'll follow you around!
    Live to Fish, now Love to Ride

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Those sections are fine. When you get to the top of Satan's Escalator and have the option of cutting left, directly over to the 3 Mile Smile or going right, to Red's Meadows and on to Wilson's Tank . . . its the section to the RIGHT, into Red's Meadows, that got pretty trashed. I rode out there in November and it was seriously marred by deep water channels. I've heard that since then, new singletrack has started to form paralleling the old trail, but have not been up there since to check it out.
    A year ago last fall (2012) when I rode out there, Badger Pass had been gutted/rutted by some freak gully washing down pours but I could see where some folks were already doing some restorative and rerouting type work to get it back in shape. And that section you're talking about South of Satan's Escalator has been an erosion problem for years. Too bad. (Man was it fun when I first rode it about 10 years ago though).

    Just realized it's been over a year since I've ridden over on that side of town. Gotta get back.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to schnauzers again."
    Can someone +rep him for me?
    Yeah me too: "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to schnauzers again." Rep worthy stuff though. Thanks for sharing.

  22. #22
    pin it
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    Awesome pics and ride report
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  23. #23
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    great report
    almost makes Vegas worth visiting
    Team Van Go

  24. #24
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    Nice photos. Would you say this is worth a trip if you weren't in the area? I hate driving straight back home from Phoenix and perhaps this could serve as a stopping point along the way. How many miles of trail? I've done Bootleg a couple of times and it isn't my style. Always looking for long XC rides.
    Definitely, worth a trip. I know you like the 40+ mile routes. You can probably get close to that if you do all the inner loops and outer loops. Heck do this and Bear's Best in the same day (they are not far apart) and you've hit the miles.

  25. #25
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailtrash View Post
    great report
    almost makes Vegas worth visiting
    I get you. The gambling thing is certainly not my bag. I have an office in Henderson plus my data center is in North LV, so I do get out there often. I avoid the casinos like the plague, but I do partake in the buffets. Ride to eat, eat to ride . I also like checking out the celeb restaurants when I am there. Still haven't found one as great as the chefs they purport to be. Other than that, I don't make eye contact with anyone in those establishments, bring a high powered mini blacklight with me, and I buy a bucket of bleach to hose down my hotel room.

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