Post by livingproof on Apr 10, 2015 10:41:11 GMT -7
The trip description makes for a adventuresome week for serious bikers. For sure, bring plenty of water bottles, hydration packs and SPF 50. Do you know what typical daytime temperatures are during the trip? Nice to have a great, air conditioned room at day's end. Your friend/neighbor seems to have a very good grasp on what the group needs to enjoy the experience. Do you plan to do this solo, or, is Lynn making the plunge with you.
I may have posted before about my weeklong supported ride across Iowa, now 20 years ago. Google RAGBRAI, it's the largest organized ride in America. It was a great experience, not sure I'd repeat it as 7 days on a bike gets repetitive. We slept in tents and sleeping bags, my present, and pampered, body would not be happy living that life.
So, go for it! NYC has plenty of hot days to train during the upcoming summer (assuming summer does come this year).
Lynn is not going, she has a granddaughter due to 'arrive' in Austin, TX at about that same time and decided that she would rather be around for that (and for any related questions that might come up where she, as a midwife, might have some knowledge).
In talking about it before it was announced, Glen said his biggest challenge was picking a date where it was cool enough in Vegas and Sedona while still being warm enough in the Grand Canyon.
RAGBRAI. He tried to talk me into riding along when he rode it last year (I think his third time), but I thought 7 straight days might have been too much, and I have refused to sleep in a tent since spending two nights out in a typhoon when I was in VietNam. This was business for him; there are now services with custom semi trailers where you get an air conditioned cubicle to sleep in with showers in the trailer, and you don't have to pack in the morning and it's there waiting for you each night. I don't think he stayed in one, but wanted to see how they worked and were set up. A step up from the companies that take down, transport, and then put up your tent each day.
Nice thing about his ride is that there is a short route and a longer route each day that you can pick based on how you are feeling, and they have a support truck in case the bike (or the rider) break down along the way and can't (or doesn't want to) finish.
For most of his bigger rides there are 100, 62, and 30-40 mile options. For the Ride to Montauk, there is also the 150 mile option that starts in NYC and goes all the way to the other end of Long Island (and he gets a lot of people opt for that). For the Pedal the West ride I think there are only two options each day (and maybe only one route for the Grand Canyon segment), but he will have rest and food stops set up along the way. One of the things I really like about his approach is that he works with local charitable organizations and volunteer fire departments to man rest stops along the way. Simpler for him, easy fund raising for them.
Last Edit: Apr 11, 2015 7:11:47 GMT -7 by JimRatliff
Post by livingproof on Sept 14, 2015 7:21:36 GMT -7
Resurrecting this discussion as the "Pedal the West" ride kick-off is almost here. Did you sign-up and are you on track to go? I'm enjoying the first cool days of fall and don't miss riding in the recent heat wave. I'm hoping you are going, it is a really neat trip, one to remember.
Just got back last Sunday morning, and the trip was really awesome. I had never been to the SouthWest, so the scenery was more my motivation than getting mileage, and I will go again if they run this trip (or something like it) and talk Lynn into going along. A brief summary, 40 bikers total, all meals, lodging, tips, etc included.
Day 0: They picked each person up at the airport as they arrived, shuttled them to the Aria. Bikes had been trucked out and were already there. We had dinner together, rushed a little bit and then walked over to the Bellagio for the Cirque de Soleil show "O" see the Youtube preview below. Wonderful, artistic, but also extremely interesting to me as how they moved all of the stages up and down thru the water. Finally, near the end, they apparently revealed that they had an underwater team of SCUBA divers "assisting". After the show, about half of us gathered our bikes and did a group ride up and down the strip. I really enjoyed this, seeing all the lights and the casinos without having to do much walking; and the temperatures were really good (more about this the next day).
Day 1: Forecast highs in the 100's, actual high wound up being 106. I (and many others) opted for the shortest 23 mile loop. Unfortunately, that included a 3 mile, 1000 foot climb that was beyond me. Well, not really beyond me, I just walked significant parts of it. On the other hand, the ride back was mostly a gradual downhill so not hard riding. But at that temperature, even riding at 20mph just feel hot and oven like. Dinner that night was the restaurant of our choice from the 5 or so that the organizer had selected, so broke into small groups of like minded eaters. Lovely evening. Time to pack, leaving Las Vegas tomorrow.
Day 2: Another day with highs forecast in the 100's; actual high was 105, one guy record 112 on his Garmin bike computer. There is a dedicated bike/pedestrian trail from the edge of town all of the way to Hoover Dam. Due to the weather, the organizer adjusted and offered a shorter route that started closer to Lake Mead. A neat ride through the desert with some switchbacks and a tunnel. However, the ride from the trail down to Hoover Dam is really steep (if I remember, 1500 feet in a mile and a half). Given the heat and yesterday's experience, I opted not to go. Pretty disappointed, this was one of the things I wanted to see. The biggest problem, from what I heard, is that once you get down to the dam level, there was no way for them to pick us up other than to go back up that nasty hill. One of the riders had a heat event, EMT's could get down to her, but one of the staff had to walk down and walk her bike back out. Many other turned around on the way, and arrived back at the rest stop in wobbly state. However, all were able to continue the trip.
Next we headed for the local ariport for a charter flight to the Grand Canyon that flew over Lake Mead and parts of the Grand Canyon. Little, 20 passenger turbo props, and everyone that wanted got to spend a little time up in the cockpit. We would arrive well before the bikes and luggage made the 4 hour drive.
At this point, I'm pretty bummed by the trip, but the hot weather is gone. Temps at the Grand Canyon this time of year will be completely different, less than 40 at breakfast getting into the mid 70's.
Last Edit: Oct 9, 2015 19:37:52 GMT -7 by JimRatliff
I'm splitting the post at this point, because as bad as the first two days wound up being, the next two days were twice as wonderful.
Day 3: Got up, bike clothes on, the van's took us the 7 miles to the Grand Canyon where we had breakfast overlooking the canyon. Weather is beautiful, low 40's at 8am, clear blue sky. My first time here, and pictures don't begin to capture the morning grandeur. I took some pictures, just like everyone else, but they don't do it justice. What I liked most was that the pedestrian/bike trail runs right along the edge of the south rim, so we had several miles of riding where the canyon was a persistent part of the view. For some reason, this struck me even more than just going to a viewing point, then getting back on the road. After that ended, there were still viewing areas that were only a mile or so off the road, so all morning you kept running into other members of the ride depending on who was fast and how much time they spent at the viewing areas. My favorite was Grand View, where I got a picture that included the "mighty" Colorado river meandering down below.
Rest stop at Desert View, and then another amazing part of the ride. The ride from the Canyon rim down to Cameron? was a 33 mile downhill. There might be a 1/2 mile easy up after every 5 miles or so, but the vast majority of the ride was 25-40 mph all the way, and the road was pretty straight, pedaling completely optional. In fact, it was a little bit monotonous and boring.
Lunch, and then loaded on the charter bus for the ride to the Flagstaff hotel. Bags were there ahead of us, bikes would arrive later.
Day 4: Left Flagstaff headed for Sedona. I had heard about the "red rocks" of Sedona, but didn't know much else about what to expect of the ride. When quizzed, the organizer would only say that the route was pretty easy, rolling for a while, and then a pretty steep hill. What he didn't really connect for us was that 10 miles out of Flagstaff we would see a road sign that said "Caution - 7% Grade for the Next 3 miles" with a twisty picture of switchbacks as we dropped from the rim of Red Rock Canyon down into the Canyon. What fun. I wish I could get those kind of angles on my skis. I finally had to slow down in the switchbacks because I caught up with a pickup truck, and that was probably a good thing before I let my exuberence get me in trouble. After that 3 miles, the canyon continued a downslope for the next 15 or so miles, with temperatures cool enought that it would feel good to come out of the shadows of the hills and into the sunlight. Lunch was at the SlideRock State Park, where the creek (I think Oak Creek) has cut narrow grooves through the sandstone that people use like a water slide. And, needless to say, tremendous scenery all around.
As I told someone, the "dessert" of these two days erased the memory of the gruel and porridge of the first two days of unseasonable hot weather. Normal for late September is mid 80's with occasional highs in the 90's. This year was 15 degrees more than that. Glen says next time he will make the ride at least a week later, if not two.
From there, it was only 6-7 miles the rest of the way down the canyon to Sedona. Tomorrow, most people head for the airports and home.
Day5-10: I, however, had worked out a deal with the organizer to drive the 26' Penske Freightliner full of bikes and support equipment back to New York, with agreed upon stops in Colorado Springs to visit my son/daughter-in-law and 3 grandsons, and then an overnight drive to Wichita, KS to have dinner with my sister and 90 year old mother. A great visit in both places, and then the boring part of the drive the rest of the way back.
Last Edit: Oct 9, 2015 15:28:36 GMT -7 by JimRatliff
Post by livingproof on Oct 10, 2015 9:24:24 GMT -7
Jim, Thanks for the update,and, the trip sounds an adventure. When I ski the west, I always promise myself that I will nothing that is stupid. I'm thinking your decisions in the Nevada heat were solidly in line with not being stupid. Those heat numbers are off the chart, forget the low humidity, it's insane to try to climb in those conditions. I suck at climbing and it gets worse with each passing year.
Love to see the Grand Canyon as you did, never been there, it's on the bucket list.
I smiled at your trip home drive. Neat that you got to see your family, and, got everybody's bike back to NY.
Time to think skiing, the Elk demo day is about 75 days away!
Post by JimRatliff on Oct 10, 2015 10:38:32 GMT -7
I enjoyed the adventure, but have also been looking forward to ski season. In fact, I just bought a new pair of Head Rev 85's as my 'tweener' ski in between the 66mm waist slalom ski and the 101mm waisted Ski Logik.
I don't think we'll be at the Elk demo day however. We're doing the Harb Short Turns camp Jan. 11-15th.
Last Edit: Oct 10, 2015 10:39:17 GMT -7 by JimRatliff
livingproof: Philly is an ice rink this morning, freezing rain over very cold streets. Weather is putting a dent into my ski season.
Jan 5, 2014 9:39:28 GMT -7
Deleted: LP - we had a three-day ice storm here just before Christmas, so I know well what you're dealing with. Not fun. Hope there's no damage in Philly. Take care.
Jan 5, 2014 20:23:02 GMT -7
livingproof: Philly weather warm fog last night, 8 inches of new snow = history! 8 degrees F tomorrow morning. Should be some great local boilerplate!
Jan 6, 2014 7:42:34 GMT -7
meput: - 22° F the other morning. +54° today. Forcast 0° tonight. Temperature rollercoaster at my home. The 'loaf got RAIN with the warm up. Looking forward to skiing on shaved ice
Jan 6, 2014 16:28:43 GMT -7
Deleted: Same story here...25 cm snow last night, some more freezing rain, and now there's 80 km/hr winds and -25 C temps. Wind chill is pushing -40 C. Supposed to continue all day tomorrow too. Whacky weather.
Jan 6, 2014 20:52:30 GMT -7
ToddW: -20° F on the drive up to VT on Friday. Freezing rain and heavy fog Sunday night made for an 8 hour return trip. Record low at home this morning. 40s and rain by Friday. What's up with the weather?
Jan 7, 2014 18:04:52 GMT -7
Deleted: Polar vortex is back. -26 C this morning. Will need a block heater in the car if this keeps up. Poor thing barely cranked this morning.
Jan 22, 2014 7:30:05 GMT -7
JimRatliff: Polar Vortex??? Is that the new Head all-mountain carving ski I've been hearing so much about?
Jan 22, 2014 9:04:03 GMT -7
JimRatliff: That's pretty chilly. 7F (-13C) in Central Park. Glad you didn't send the real cold air down.
Jan 22, 2014 9:04:58 GMT -7
JimRatliff: OK, but I still think "Polar Vortex" and "Polar Express" could be the start of a great family of ski names.
Jan 22, 2014 10:45:22 GMT -7
Deleted: I like it! Blizzard should take those on. Fits with their name. Easier to say than "Viva Ultrasonic Full Suspension IQ", or some such ridiculousness. Who can remember all that?
Jan 22, 2014 20:29:13 GMT -7
livingproof: Another round of Philly area snow....we're ground zero this season. Please start sending any future storms north.
Mar 2, 2014 8:15:55 GMT -7
Deleted: Neverending winter here in Ontario. More snow last night. Cold temps coming this week. Word on the street is that some local ski hills may be open until May. Remarkable and unprecedented.
Mar 22, 2014 9:03:22 GMT -7
superbman: we were supposed to make it to next weekend, but they put out that we're closing tomorrow. Bummer.
Mar 28, 2014 9:06:50 GMT -7
JimRatliff: I think most local places here are closing as well. Yesterday was last at Elk.
Mar 30, 2014 4:17:15 GMT -7
livingproof: My Blue Mtn home is planning to open next weekend (closed midweek). Spring temps are finally here, not sure if I'll make a final trip.
Mar 30, 2014 6:00:04 GMT -7
ToddW: Surefire way to scare away family skiers, from the Killington conditions page: "Expect huge bumps on Superstar for the Killington Triathlon."
May 2, 2014 13:22:58 GMT -7
JimRatliff: I just wanted to wish all a Happy Holidays. Amazing how quickly Christmas follows Thanksgiving.
Dec 13, 2014 14:53:23 GMT -7
superbman: I was looking at the reviews on real skiers for the Kastle FX 85 and FX 85HP…both interested me greatly, how similar are these to the FX 84 (if you have skied both..or is the 85 the 84??)
Sept 13, 2015 14:52:00 GMT -7