Desert ride

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Flatbardave, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    That ride looked very exciting that I wish I can do that. It's just sad that there is no nearby desert here. But this reminds me of my brother who was a horse jockey. When he had an accident on the horse, his therapy was to ride the bike on the sand. We would go to the nearby province where there are beaches and there my brother would ride the bike back and forth every 500 meters. The doctor said that the sand is like a cushion that can improve the joints of the knee and the ankle. So maybe having a desert ride can also give the same benefit to our feet and legs.
     


  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I actually use to own a Condo in Palm Springs back in the day that we rented out during the tourist season, so I stayed in my condo for 2 weeks during the race. After the race my team and I went up Tramway, which is a road that takes you up a mountain to a turn around/parking area where there is a tram that takes you up to Idyllwide which is a small tourist town, but we weren't there to go to the town instead it was about climbing the Tramway road and seeing how fast we could go back down! on the way down I got up to 61 mph according to my bike computer (not sure how accurate those older computers were). The road at the time was a bit rough because the heat tends to crack the surface but I didn't have any issues maintaining control.
     
  3. joahnna mae ma-amo bello

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    Wow I have never seen a desert before but your picture is amazing. I wish I could go and visit one someday. Another is the wind mills at desert are awesome! WE also have some in our place and they are also huge! Always keep hydrated when going for a ride!
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Once you've been to a desert in America and get over the inital wow factor you soon realize that it's very ugly place. It's always brown, sometimes in the spring, if it rains, wild flowers will blanket the desert floor but those are short lived and it's back to being brown. Some people like that kind of thing, I didn't, I prefer seasons, I prefer green vegetation, with trees, after awhile this gets very boring: [​IMG]

    The greenish hue you are seeing is more spring type of coloring, most of the time those green shrubs are brown. The picture below is after a spring of healthy rain.

    [​IMG]

    The flowers are amazing to see considering you could go for a decade or more and never see them, then a lot rain falls one spring and BOOM they're all over the desert floor.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of trees: [​IMG]

    These trees are called Joshua trees, also known as Yucca trees and for good reason.

    [​IMG]

    The above picture is those green shrubs you saw in the first picture after it hasn't rained, this is the way the desert floor looks most of the time, and there are miles and miles of this crap. The whitish area in the background is a dry lake bed, if any substantial rain falls those lake beds fill up with about an inch to 3 inches of water. The largest dry lake bed is home to Edwards Airforce base which uses that flat area as emergency landing areas usually for test planes gone bad, other dry lake beds are used by wind surfers, places to launch ultralight aircraft, etc. Those dry lake beds set up early explorers into thinking there was a lake full of water only to find out when they got closer it was actually dry.

    [​IMG]

    More brown scenery, as is the next. Most of those bushes are thistles, some are goatheads, the thistles (called tumble weeds) and goatheads get blown about by wind. The tumble weeds will actually break loose from their roots and start to roll across the desert depositing thistles all over the place that create new tumble weeds and can puncture tires, the goathead is particulary dangerous to bike tires as well as very painful if you step on one barefooted. Also out here lives a pest called the red fire ant, if you don't watch were you stand and you happen to be standing near where they live or run, they will attack you and you get this painful burning feeling and wonder what the heck is wrong with my leg, only to look down and see few dozen on you. Indians use to stake people over these red ant hills, and let the ants very slowly and very painfully put you to death. The red ants were impossible to rid of in your yard, you could slow them down but you could never eliminate them.

    [​IMG]

    If you look real close at the edge of the brown and the mountains there are some small whitish dots, those are cars and trucks on some highway.

    [​IMG]

    If you look at the road on the left lower side you'll ee what appear to be dirt on the road, that is fine sand that got sprayed up from a vehicle that got stuck in the sand. The sand is so fine that it's very easy to get stuck in it, many cars have accidently gone off the road and the front end will plow into the sand and flip the car over when the person tries to veer back onto the road. There is also sand that will blow across the roadway which in some cases can make it for interesting travel on a bike especially for those that don't know what to do when encountering sand.

    [​IMG]

    This is a desert Tortoise, they live out there and are on the endangered list, you cannot take one home as pet, they are very docile though they will hiss at you but can't bite you. But the guy below can bite you with serious complications, and they are all over the desert floor and in the rocks: [​IMG]

    This guy also lives in the Desert, and they have good size packs they hang out with, they howl, or more correctly scream, all night as they travel about finding food and water, they have been known on a rare occasion steal small babies out of back yards. This one below is a healthy Coyote, must are very scrawny due to lack of food. They're not real smart either, when they see a human they will hide behind a desert bush, except their heads and maybe half of their body may be hidden by the bush, but the rear half and the tail is clearly visible

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sand this very fine, this stuff is so fine that even with thermosealed windows the wind would make the sand penetrate the seals and there would be a small pile of sand every day on our window sills! and if we had a large wind that sand could stay aloft in the air for about 2 hours after the wind stopped! I once saw it so bad that it looked like I was living on Mars, here's what it looks like coming at you, imagine being inside of it! The first time I experienced that I was out driving, my windshield got pitted up so bad I had to replace it, I found sand that had made it past my car air filter so after that happened I replaced the filter with a KN oil based cotton gauze pleated filter and never had that issue again.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway these are all photos I got off the internet, you can find a lot more, but all that brown I showed is the reason I didn't like it there. I did own a house that had 5 acres out there in the Palmdale Lancaster area, and I had created a small dirt runway from which I flew and ultralight off of, that was fun, but regulations on ultralights prevented me from flying over residential areas, not sure why because if I were to crash and burn on a roof of a house I would die but the house would be fine, yet large aircraft that could take out an entire neighborhood were ok to fly over residential areas...weird.
     
  5. JB Fernandez

    JB Fernandez Member

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    Thanks for the information. But I do have a different experience on sands or dust being scattered on the road. There's this one race that I'm already on the last curve of the track, I lean a little to the side that I am turning then suddenly my tires slip due to it cross a file of sands on the road. I acquired minor injury on my wrist. Anyway, the tires that I am using that time was Maxxis.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Since I lived in a sandy region and knew about the possibility of slipping as you did, I always kept my eyes open for visible sand on the road, as long as the sand isn't visible I always had good traction. This isn't really any different then coming down a mountain road where there is no sand but there is bits of gravel on the side of the road, hit the gravel in a turn and down you could go, so you keep your eyes open for stuff that could make you loose traction.
     
  7. JB Fernandez

    JB Fernandez Member

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    Yeah. I learned from that experience though. I'm just too over confident that time since the location of the race is a urban city. So I assume that the roads is well maintained and in good condition. One reason why I didn't notice the pile of sands is there's a rider in front of me and I am just following his path. But I think his tires has a good grip because he did't fell down, just bubble a little on his handle bar.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Tires can only do so much, in the case of ice, or bits of loose gravel, or in this case sand, there really isn't a tire that will grip well under those conditions, the guy in front may have been better at controlling his bike in those situations then the tires doing anything.

    If you have a mountain bike you should start riding it aggressively off road and get use to how a bike can handle the loose stuff. If you remember the TDF race where Lance Armstrong almost crashed into another rider but instead chose to leave the road and ride across a fielded area, most road riders wouldn't have the skills to pull that stunt off but Lance has had extensive mountain bike riding and that led him to successfully pull that stunt off. Just something to think about if you want to improve your riding skills.

    I'm able to ride a road bike with 23c tires down loose gravel roads, must cyclists I know won't do that, but that's years of mtb riding that's helped me to have that sort of control. I one got away from a police officer on a road bike with 23c by taking off down a loose dirt trail in a mountain forest and rode that trail for about 4 miles going up and down hills before getting back onto a road, never once had to dismount...and didn't get a ticket for running a stop sign!! LOL!!!!
     
  9. Steve5

    Steve5 Member

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    I don't think I could ever do that. Hot weather makes me think twice about cycling. I prefer to ride in cool temperatures. I also easily dehydrate so that's one thing.
     
  10. treecko142

    treecko142 Member

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    I hate dry and hot weather, especially near noon when the sun is out there in full force, which is why I prefer to start biking very early in the morning and then end just about after I ride with a few minutes of sunshine.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying hot weather like I experienced in the Mojave Desert of California is fun, far from it, in fact my performance during those hot rides was way off and my water intake was way up, I had to run with 3 27 ounce insulated bottles of water/Gatorade and a 60 ounce Camelbak full of water.

    I did do an ice trick to keep the water cold, I would mix a 50/50 diluted Gatorade mix and plain water in the fridge for 24 hours, I then put one bottle full of the 50/50 mix in the freezer for 24 hours, upon getting set to leave for the ride I would fill one bottle to the top with ice and fill with the mix, and the other bottle was about 1/2 full of ice and fill with the mix, fill the Camelbak with ice and pour the chilled water into it.

    I then had a cooling scarf which when wet I would place between my head and the helmet and that thing kept my head pretty comfortable though I did have to rewet it about every 1/2 hour when it was over 100 degrees.

    I also only wore a white helmet and a white jersey, and the best jersey I ever found that kept me the coolest was a cheap $12 job that wasn't a bike jersey, not sure what sport it was for, but it had a bunch of about 1/16th inch holes all over it and it fitted a bit loose, but that worked better than a $120 jersey I had; and what's really strange is that the $120 jersey wore out but I still have the $12 Jersey and it's now about 20 years old!

    That's about the only cooling secrets that I have, loose fitting jerseys do keep you cooler than the tight ones because the air is allowed to billow under it keeping your chest and back cooler, sure it's not aerodynamic but when it's 100 degrees plus I seriously doubt aerodynamics is going to the be the most important thing on your mind. And the cooling scarf, the cooling scarf I have is not one of those gel ones, those would take up to much space under the helmet.
     
  12. microtek

    microtek New Member

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    I think it must have been very hard.
     
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