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Last weekend some friends and I had planned to head to Las Vegas for some
riding. We figured March would be a good time temperature wise and we found a
weekend that worked with all of our schedules.
The trip was actually going to include a long day trip to St. George Utah as
well so we were very excited to hit some new trails. My father lives in Vegas so
that became our base camp. Although we knew there was plenty of riding to do in
Utah for a 4 day weekend, we also wanted to ride some trails in Vegas too. In a
perfect world I'd stay a week everywhere but this trip would not be that
generous to us.
At any rate, we pull into Vegas around 7:30 Friday evening and unload the car.
After very little discussion, we head towards the strip for a few hours of
entertainment before we hit the trails. Around 11:00, we decide to head back to
the house for some sleep. We'll be getting up at about 7:00 for the riding the
At about 6:30 I begin to smell somebody cooking breakfast. At first I think it's
coming from outside but then I realize it's coming from downstairs (I had a
guest room while two others had the sofas in the living room). Knowing that
neither of the sofa sleepers would start cooking breakfast, I roll downstairs to
find my father happily serving up bacon and eggs. Can't get that kind of service
at Motel 6!
Anyway, we get everything together and head to Boulder City. I'd heard a lot
about this place from the online boards and such but most of what I'd heard was
from the DH crowd. After reviewing the map I knew they had plenty of DH stuff.
But, they also had a wide variety of XC stuff too. Of course, the danger/fear in
riding someplace new is that you do a loop in a direction that would be more fun
going the other way. I made a few inquiries about directions to ride certain
sections and had a plan for the day in place.
As I said, we figured that mid March would be a good time to ride temperature
wise. Well, as luck would have it, the weekend we were there Vegas was seeing
record temperatures! Oh well, there seemed to be a good breeze blowing through
the canyon even at 8:30 in the morning.
We start riding and pick up the trails that were very clearly marked at each
intersection. I immediately notice that the riding, while similar to San Diego,
is also quite different. There are a rocks everywhere but not the same that we
have back home. Back home we have a lot of baby heads all over the place. In
Bootleg Canyon, the trails are essentially covered with sharp, shale like pieces
of rock and the occasional larger lava type rock that you must ride over. These
made climbing challenging at times. I'm glad that the riding I do regularly is
rocky though because out of towners who are used to smooth buff trails will take
some time to adjust.
As you will see from the video, there isn't fock all out there in terms of
vegetation. But, the scenery is quite stunning at the same time. The trails are
all well palnned and thought out. They put care and time into planning where the
trail would go.
The loop we did was to climb Mother to West Leg to Caldera to Boy Scout to Lake
Mead Overlook to River Mt. Trail to Lake View Loops back to the car. We then
went up the main dirt road all the way to the top and picked up Skyline to Girl
Scout for a final descent.
All in all we estimate we did about 26 miles and in the neighborhood of 3,500
feet of climbing. it's 1,000 feet from the parking lot to the top so we did that
twice. the rest was miscellaneous up and down type climbing with one other
sustained climb out of the Caldera valley to the Lake Mead overlook.
There were a couple of mishaps out on the trail as well. I had the first one in
a spectacular low speed uphill dismount. Basically, I was busy sightseeing and
wasn't watching the trail. the trail had a very well defined 4 inch ledge (major
exposure I know!) on the right side and both tires just fell off of it. Smacked
my knee pretty hard. I looked down and saw the flap of skin hanging there. I
thought to myself that it'd be better to yank it off while the knee was still
throbbing so that's what I did. it took a few minutes to work out but it felt
find the rest of the day.
Keith, pictured in the video, seems to have fallen for no reason. He thinks his
chain fell off but we're still not sure what happened. Another buddy endoed on
Skyline later in the day but that was entirely due to fatigue and ability.
Skyline is actually a bit technical he's not the most technically skilled rider
in the group. I didn't get to see it but he said it was pretty exciting.
We didn't get to go as fast as I would have liked and we probably walked a few
more sections than I would have liked too. But, myself and Miles (purple jersey)
are the better riders in the group so I was following him most of the day.
Unfortunately, this was Miles' second ride ever on this bike and only his third
back since his famous half gainer at Carrizo Gorge.Click here if for
some reason you missed that exciting video clip. So, Miles' wrists are
still feeling the effects and he was unable to hit bumps and rolling down/up
transitions at speed. He said that a few times the bumps were so bad that
he felt like he was going to lose his grip on the bars.
All in all though, we did a lot of riding and had a lot of fun. Miles
said that he was pleased that although the wrists were bothering him on the
ride, they didn't seem overly sore after the ride so it seems to be more a
strength thing now. Hopefully they'll only improve as he gets more saddle
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Thread: Bootleg Canyon ~Video~
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