Monday, September 9, 2013

A ride to Blue Diamond Nevada

Living in Southern Nevada, the riding season seems to be year round except for 2 things - the heat and the wind.  SO far this summer the heat hasn't been as unbearable as it has been in previous years, provided you can get out and ride early enough in the day.  The wind hasn't been a major factor this year either.

Saturday, was even more pleasant than usual for this time of year.  We've been in the midst of some monsoonal flows for the past 4 weeks or so.  This has introduced some humidity, which is unusual for us.  That humidity has also been known to spawn some clouds and even a bit of rain.  Saturday it was clouds which kept the heat of the day down.

Since the clouds were covering the blazing sun, my procrastination Saturday morning didn't have an adverse effect on my ride.  When I rolled out about 11:30, it was only in the low 80's with a 5 to 10 mph NNW wind.

I had decided to depart my house and head out Blue Diamond road to the west.  When I got to the intersection with Highway 159, I decided to follow that towards the town of Blue Diamond.

My objective for the day was to ride an hour away from home, then turn around and head back to home.  Now the interesting thing about this ride is that I am climbing the whole way on the outbound leg.  This has a great benefit in that once I reach the turnaround point, its all downhill back to my house.

I started off with an easy gear and decided to try something a bit different.  Normally I try to crank away at a fairly low cadence and fairly high gear.  This time I decided to start on my middle ring instead of my big ring, and try to keep my cadence up in easier gears just to see how well it went.  The verdict is it went fairly well.  I wasn't nearly as tired in my legs when I got to the turn around, but I was feeling it in the conditioning department as I'm not used to turning high cadence.

Of course the head wind, light as it was helped to keep me cool and slowed me a slight bit as well.

As I approached the one hour mark of the ride I noticed that I was a bit over 8 miles from the house.  Now I was doing some quick math in my head and realized that if I could get past 8.6 miles or so, then I would be covering the distance for the upcoming Viva Bike Vegas ride.  So I went just past the one hour mark to get the distance I wanted and turned around for the glorious downhill ride home.

I do truly appreciate the gravity assist I get on the declines, slight as they might be.  Understand that I'm riding a hybrid with a fairly upright riding position.  This is important because the wind resistance does tend to limit my speed.  I tried to tuck down a bit on some of the steeper downhill sections and managed to get over 28 mph.  It seemed that tucking in gained me 1 to 2 mph just rolling along.  My hour long trip to the turnaround was only 27 minutes or so to get back home.  I even did my second best time from Highway 159 to Fort Apache Rd. according to Strava.

It was a beautiful day to be on the bike and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hope you are able to get out there and ride you bike!