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  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Cowboy Up in the Wind

    It was bound to happen. Our 70 degree weather in Las Vegas came to an end today. Fortunately, we the sunburned Las Vegas desert rats ventured into the elements for a few hours of Cowboy Trail adventuring regardless of the less than perfect weather. We left town to 15 mph winds with the hope of getting into some protected narrow canyons once we hit the trails in Red Rock NCA.

    Well, we weren't too surprised with winds at the trail head from the west at 15 mph sustained with gusts upto 35mph -- according to my Kestrel 2000 Pocket Weather Meter. That's okay, we could use the tail wind as we climb 1500 feet in the 4.5 miles to the overlook to the east. We had 2.5 miles of relatively unmolested climbing bliss as we worked our way up the trail. Pouncing between rocks and step-ups enjoying the 60 degree temps.

    Then it happened. Our trail brutally pulled us out of our narrow canyon climb and drug us onto the exposed southern face of the mountain. Sheesh, did I say something about 15mpg sustained winds --- must not have been me! By the time we hit this section of trail the winds picked up and were blowing a steady 25-30mph with gusts upto 55mph. It was great as long as the trail was crawling Northeast and we had a true direct tail wind. But that was only a few feet at a time. Mostly, the wind quartered us from the rear -- just enough off to make nearly every step-up a challenge by taking control of our front tires when ever we wheelied up a rock face. I have to admit that I wasn't kind to the many little cactus plants that lined the trail (thank-you Stans).

    Reaching the overlook we took a nice break and tried to cower out of the wind while we sucked down Cliff Shot and Hammer Gels. I snapped a few photos of the dust storm raveging Las Vegas and we were back on our way seeking a better or less exposed way down the mountain.

    We found a route going north from the overlook. Very sneaky, that mother nature! We dropped into this little protected bowl on the top of the mountain and cruised down to a really awesome trail along the mesa's edge. 100 feet of vertical exposure only 3 to 5 feet from the trail, and oh yeah, that 30 mph wind encouraging us to try mountain bike base jumping. We didn't give in. Jake did make an attempt to wheelie drop a rock outcropping and was surprised by a sudden gust of wind that ensured a perfect 6 point landing (both feet, both elbows, his chest and his knee). Scott meanwhile was walking down the hill due the flat tire that he couldn't readily fix while fighting the 30 mph wind.

    Jake licked his wounds while Scott fixed his tire in a narrow little canyon with good wind protection while I decided what trail to head out on. We opted for a new trail that cut North (we didn't want to head into the wind and Boneshaker didn't appeal to us either).

    This new trail was absolutely the highlight of the ride. It was a narrow deep canyon with good wind protection and very entertaining terrain. What a blast, we encountered a little slick rock, some small drops, some nice single track and some hike-a-bike sections. Wow! The trail looked to be very newly constructed (man I hope it was legally created) and definately needs some use and the winter rains to beat it in ----- but what a blast. It opened up at the bottom to an incredible view of the Red Rock Canyon.

    Move over Techno, Matty's got a new favorite trail! Maybe next time we'll do it with a little less wind though.

    Here are some photos from our adventure.
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  3. #3
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    Last edited by mattbikeboy; 12-26-2005 at 06:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Good job! Beautiful Pictures!

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. Looks like your ride turned into an "epic" day.
    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  5. #5
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    Wonderful photos. I lived in Vegas nine years.. moved up here to Elko 3 years ago. I do not miss the city, BUT I miss those trails. There are some pretty incredible spots around there. Thanks again for sharing the pics.

  6. #6
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    That dang wind

    I got hit by it pretty hard at bootleg this morning. I saw a accident on the highway on the way back. Most likely the winds causing it. You could barely drive over 65. Matt, sounds like you went down BOB GNARLY trail. That thing is sweet but not well travelled upon.
    the - E - dog

  7. #7
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    Okay one more: Here is the map and Profile from the ride (2076 feet of elevation gain in a 9 mile ride). Eric is right, we did ride Bob Knarly on the way down. It is absolutely an awesome section of trail -- with some of the best views in Southern Nevada.

    mbb
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    Last edited by mattbikeboy; 12-26-2005 at 09:08 PM.

  8. #8
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    I was not begging.

    I was pleading extremely loudly. It was a great ride, and I stretched abilities. Where the wind made me uncertain, I walked. Better walk than bounce down some of the steeper sections. Thanks Matt. It was an epic day.

    Great photos too.

  9. #9
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    Great photos Matt. I love the darkening sky backdrop and the storm-over-Vegas pics. Great ride. I did Bob Gnarley a couple times early on when I was looking for Boneshaker, not knowing that I'd already done it a couple of times. Both are great. Bring armour or skills.

    I think your wind blew in our snow storm. I rode around 9-11:00am yesterday and the blizzard started about 12:30. Just in the nick of time.

  10. #10
    E !
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    I thought the same

    Quote Originally Posted by seegmiller
    I was pleading extremely loudly. It was a great ride, and I stretched abilities. Where the wind made me uncertain, I walked. Better walk than bounce down some of the steeper sections. Thanks Matt. It was an epic day.

    Great photos too.
    That trail pushed my DH ability. I mostly hammer along so when it comes to those big drops and techy DH's i would say that the BOBBO is a perfect mix of both. Hairy enough and you don't really need a full on DH rig. I made it out with 3 limbs bloody and 1 hand gnashed when i went through that canyon. What a blast. I think i'll ride it this weekend!
    the - E - dog

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Great photos Matt. I love the darkening sky backdrop and the storm-over-Vegas pics. Great ride. I did Bob Gnarley a couple times early on when I was looking for Boneshaker, not knowing that I'd already done it a couple of times. Both are great. Bring armour or skills.

    I think your wind blew in our snow storm. I rode around 9-11:00am yesterday and the blizzard started about 12:30. Just in the nick of time.

    It was looking pretty scray behind us along the Spring Mountains. Unfortunately, the clouds dissipated over the valley and we didn't get any rain anywhere in the Vegas area -- just dust storms.

    mbb
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    Last edited by mattbikeboy; 12-28-2005 at 04:56 PM.

  12. #12
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    Wow, brave of you guys to ride in the wind. I was trying to drive on the freeway at about the time the dust storm hit the valley and having quite a difficult time of it

    - Jen.

  13. #13
    Just Joshin' ya!
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    Sick pics! I love those damn trails. Bob Gnarly is an awesome way down if you lack a true DH rig for Boneshaker! Still incredibly challenging without the drops.
    What do we want? TIME TRAVEL! When do want it? THAT'S IRRELEVANT!

  14. #14
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    I was just looking at the pics -- and it is funny how serene they all look. Almost no indication of the gail force winds that were pounding the begeebers out of us except the one picture of the Las Vegas valley from the overlook. Sheesh, I hope it is better on tomorrow's ride.

    mbb

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