I’ve been to Vegas a number of times over the last ten years and I always left wishing I would have ridden in the mountains outside of town. This weekend my wife and I celebrated six wonderful years of marriage. My wife wanted me to get out to the singletrack for a ride this trip to check off that wish list item. I’m a lucky man.
While in Bloomington Cycle & Fitness last weekend talking about our plans for Vegas and mentioning I wanted to ride mountain bikes one day I was pleasantly surprised with a hand written plan for a great time. Turns out one of the mechanics that’s started since I moved was a mechanic in Vegas and knows the lay of the land. I contacted McGhies bike shop and rentals for a guided tour through Cottonwood Trails. We rode twenty miles of the 100 miles available in Vegas.
The folks at McGhies and Rich who was my tour guide were great. Rich turns out is one of the local fast guys. I was looking over Strava time as we drove back to the Vegas strip and I started talking to Rich about the quickest times through some sections and he smiled and nodded his head. Turns out the KOM’s in question are his.
The trails were loose covered hard rock for the most part. Good fun stuff. The tech at Cottonwood was fun and it sounds like there are options for much bigger tech if you’re looking for that.
The Trek Fuel EX7 29er I rode was nice. It pedaled well and the geometry was pretty solid. It’s hard to gauge a bike from one ride but it seemed solid. The KS dropper post was much appreciated. I wouldn’t want to ride for the day without one.
I underestimated the heat. I thought coming from Dallas, Texas I’d be just fine. The biggest difference out here was the sun and heat are unescapable. There’s not a tree around every corner providing shade. We lucked out with some cloud cover for the last hour of the ride which was much appreciated. The lesson I was reminded of is listen to the locals. I requested a later start time of 8:00 am and was kindly informed that starting earlier was recommended. I looked at Rich about an hour and a half into the ride and said he was right about starting earlier.
Overall, I’d highly recommend Cottonwood trails for a place to ride while in Las Vegas. McGhies bike shop and guided tours were great, the accommodation from the guided tour was top-notch. The guided tour was money very well spent over just renting a bike. They picked me up and dropped me off at the hotel on the strip. No questioning which way to take at a trail intersection. Just mile after mile of expertly navigated trails. It was a great experience and something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years.