Blue Diamond to Red Rocks loop (Las Vegas area, NV, USA)

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides' started by Claire Petersky, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. Ride summary:

    Route: Blue Diamond to Red Rocks scenic loop and return
    Distance: approximately 30 miles
    Starting elevation: ~3400 ft
    Highest elevation: 4777 ft
    Weather: mid 90s to lower 100s, winds 5-10 mph variable, mostly from
    the S/SW

    I did this ride two years ago, around the same time of the year. You
    can view the trip report from that ride on rec.bicycles.rides with the
    same title using google.

    This time out, it was not as hot as the last time -- I was really
    struck at how much easier the ride was with the temps in the mid-90s
    rather than the lower 100s. It's still not a two water bottle ride: I
    did the entire thing on 96 oz of water (four 24-oz water bottles) in
    contrast to last time, where I had drained my 70 oz camelbak just from
    the Visitors' Center to the viewpoint half-way along the loop road.
    However, my eyes did not dry out in the same fashion as they did
    before. The desert in general also looked greener -- this descriptor
    of course being relative.

    We got to the rental place ( at 7:45. A
    number of cyclists had gathered outside. I listened to the
    conversation, and it appeared that they were locals who had already
    ridden out to Red Rocks, starting from the city (making it a much
    longer ride) and were now heading home. It appeared that the bike shop
    is a literal watering hole and shade stop for people doing this ride.

    We also saw many more bikes in general this time -- probably only the
    crazies and ignorant tourists are out there when the temps are over
    100, but normal people might ride when it's in the mid-90s. Still, the
    majority of the bikes were heading back while we were heading out, and
    we saw far fewer riders as the morning progressed. By 11:00, when we
    finished up, we did see one set of riders heading out. To my mind,
    that ride is enough of a stress test in the morning coolth -- I
    wouldn't want to do it in the mid-day sun.

    Also, I wanted to note that we have had an excellent experience with
    Bike Outpost. The staff has been friendly and helpful. I got a
    wonderful Specialized Dolce Elite this time -- a special women's frame
    and women's seat, too. It made me think that maybe I really need to
    get a new bike -- this thing just purred up the hills like no one's
    business, and fit pretty well. I highly recommend this shop for
    renting a bike while out in the Vegas area.

    Even though the heat was intense, I really do enjoy desert scenery. It
    is beautiful out there. Since we go out to Las Vegas fairly often to
    see relatives, we're talking about going out and doing this ride in
    Thanksgiving. It'll be not so hot, and maybe we'll have greater
    stamina to do either a longer ride, or try a little singletrack.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    Home of the meditative cyclist: