Singletrack in Sin City – Cottonwood Trails in Las Vegas

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.

After we finished the ride at the McGhies bike shop trailside, we chatted for a bit. Neat little rental shop in a great location.

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.

Ride Data

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Today On A Bike

This week’s been a bit tough for me with a kidney stone, something I deal with once a year or so. I didn’t get a lot of miles in this week because of that but I did manage this relaxing ride at Northshore and a group road ride earlier this week. It was my first time riding my fatbike there. It’s a rough ride on a rigid bike even if it’s got fat tires. Sadly, my titanium fatbike probably doesn’t have a long life with me looking forward. I love it but I don’t think I’ll ride it enough to justify keeping it. I think a hardtail or another Epic would get a lot more use in my normal mountain biking down here in Texas.

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Spring Knoxville MTB Trip

I joined some friends for a spring mountain bike trip this weekend in Knoxville Tennessee. We largely rode the Urban Wilderness trails. It was a fun trip to see some good friends I’ve not seen in a bit. I slept in my Element part of the way from Texas to Tennessee on the drive up to our Air BNB house rental. My element and Ibis are as dependable as ever.

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Putting Tires On Dirt In Texas – Northshore Trails

We’re settling into life in Wylie outside of Dallas Texas now. I took the opportunity yesterday on a beautiful sunny 68ºF Sunday to ride my Ibis HD3 at Northshore trails near Dallas Texas. It’s the trail system that I’d been wanting to ride since moving based on reviews. I only had enough daylight to ride the East loop which makes up about half of the 20 or so miles of singletrack. I’ll be back soon to loop the whole place.

Gathering my stuff took about twenty minutes longer than usual because of the move and it’s been a while.

It was really nice to ride again. The roller coaster of flowy and technical trails were a lot of fun. There was plenty of rock and the trail flowed as well as about anything else I’ve ever pedaled. I had a great time and will be back regularly.

Riding local rocky trails in 70ºF temps in January. That’s something I’ve never typed before.

I met some nice local DORBA members. I wanted to show some of the technical climbs and descents. Here’s a local making his way up a rocky steep climb and he later held my phone to capture me rolling down a section. #itsAlwaysSteeperInRealLife :)

It’s been too long, but now that’s made correct. I’ve got a lot of exploring and riding to start doing every week. I’ve found several mountain bike trail systems and will begin to check them out. I want to ride up and around a lake in my area on my cross bike. The roads are busy enough I’d like to find an out of traffic country loop somewhere. I’m hoping I can make that happen in the coming weeks. I’ll join the big group rides on the road as soon as I can make up my mind on what road bike to buy. (Please Specialized release the 2017 S-Works Tarmac Dura Ace Di2 soon…)

Thanks for continuing to read this thing I started a few years ago. I hope you find some joy out of it in this sometimes crazy but often times wonderful world we’re living in.

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