Cycling in Vegas

This year, with Andrew, Mark, and Mike covering their angles at Interbike, I’m spending time cycling and blogging Vegas. The Nevada RTC has just completed a 14-mile bike expressway from Vegas to Red Rock Canyon.

A few years ago, Pam and I rode to Red Rock right from our hotel and thoroughly enjoyed it. Off the strip, Vegas has these massive bus lanes that we rode in and miles of bike lanes, signed routes, and shared-use trails. It’s surprising, yes, but Vegas is a bike-friendly town.

Last night, I rode the Strip – not something I’d want to do more than say once, but it was an impromptu, rock-the-bike, longtail parade. Also, all that smut you get in Vegas, the girls-in-your-room cards are delivered by couriers on bikes.



What Stays in Vegas on bikes

Joined a small bike parade tonight, down and around the Strip with Rock the Bike rocking the bike on the ectoplasmic Soul Cycle Chopper.

mark_flyby.jpg

That’s Mark with the Flyby at the Venetian fountains … more photos.



When 29 isn’t enough—36 inch bike tires!

36rs

I rode past Tony on the way home tonight and couldn’t help but turn around to find out more about his bike. It may not be evident from my phone-cam picture, but he’s riding 36 inch wheels. Apparently this is a promo bike from Coker (they make tires, commuting unicycles, and the odd bike among other things). Coker’s apparently fresh out of the Monster Cruiser, Tony’s riding a variant on that from what I can tell.

Tony says he just liked the bike. He rides for exercise on nice days. I can’t blame him, today was lovely in Seattle.



Pedal powered machine contest from Specialized

Tinkerers, start your tinkering! The Innovate or Die – You and up to 4 friends make a machine that “transforms pedaling energy into a new and useful purpose”, then post a 2 minute video on Youtube. Judges from Specialized, Google, and Goodby, Silverstein and Partners (CA based ad agency) will pick a winner based on creativity, design, and environmental impact. Top prize is a cool $5k, plus a bike from Specialized’s new ‘Globe’ line of bikes. You’ve got until December 15th, now go!

Specialized’s new bikes look nice – clean single speed aesthetic, suspension-free frames, disc brakes all around and internally geared hubs on the higher end bikes.

I couldn’t find much mention of what’s to become of your new machine, other than a brief mention that you have to keep it in running condition for a year. The sponsors will, however, be hanging on to the media you submit pretty tightly. Prepare to be remixed if you win.

I’d like to see the them take the next step here – if a winning pedal powered machine really does have some design, environmental and creative chutzpah maybe they could pony up some engineering know-how to do a limited production run?



Tour of Lake Mead

Andrew and WayneThe Tour of Lake Mead was this morning. Formerly called the “hangover ride”, it’s a fully police supported 24mi “down and back” to the visitors center or some place in the park down the hill. I wouldn’t really know - I didn’t have time to look. The “tour” started fast from the gun. I talked to a couple familiar faces who all said to “stay at the front” because there were plenty of bozo’s nursing hangovers and late nights. One guy also offered up $100 cash to the “winner”, but it sounded more joking than legit.

The first 2+ mi was all downhill into a headwind. A number of guys including Leonard Zinn were giving it some gas down the hill. When we flattened out, we didn’t really slow down. People rolled through as most guys at the front appeared to be racers of one flavor or another (or smell in one guy’s case). We were apparently going north of 27mph for most of the effort. After a couple risers, the group was thinning out as the downhill guys were spent. Once we hit the first noticeable climb I found myself drifting back a little, so I punched it to get back to the front just to be safe. 15 seconds later this guy in a AMD/Discovery kit starts telling us to “organize and pull through”. I was sort of surprised because it was all pretty casual until then, so I pulled through, looked back and…poof…we were gone. All of a sudden the massive 200+ people that started was now just about 15 of us driving the front.

Some people cut the turnaround, and our group got a little bigger on the tailwind run back, but as we approached the climb to the start it thinned out again. I rode my own pace up the hill and apparently finished “8th” nursing a rear flat. I didn’t know who the AMD/Discovery guy was until I ran into him at the Shimano Booth. Turns out it was Wayne Stetina - multiple time US National champ, Pan-Am Gold Medalist, yada yada yada. 50+ and still tearing it up.

I’ll post pics if I find any. We had a number of guys shooting us on various points so I imagine the Hugger-Green will show prominently.



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