Yup, you got it we rode bikes. I’m not one to celebrate my own birth. It’s always seemed just a little on the jaded side which is why I don’t advertise it when it’s about to happen and the only people who usually end up telling me happy birthday are my closest friends and family. Facebook won’t tell you when Moose! Knuckler is going to turn 27 again, so don’t expect it. I bring this up because it’s the only reason that our bike rides this weekend were of any significance.
When I first started dating KB, I found it a little odd that she didn’t just celebrate her befday on her befday. No, it was a month long celebration. At first it felt like there was nothing I could ever do to make sure she felt celebrated enough, but dammit I was up for the challenge. I mean what could be so bad about trying to make sure that my favorite biking, climbing, camping, whatevering partner felt like she was special. That should be a month long celebration, it should be all year.
While many of you may think that it is I pushing her to do things, the contrary is true. I’m the one that would cuddle up in bed with a good bottle of bourbon and be happy and more or less helpless if it weren’t for her. So yes, it was KB’s befday this weekend and we knocked it out of some park, not sure which one, but it was sent.
Of course, most parties aren’t much if there are just empty chairs or in our case empty bike saddles. The Alliance is always expanding and we’ve added some amazing peeps over the years and kept some good ones that have been there from the beginning and KB’s Befday was a mix of all.
As things go, this is the most planning I had done for a trip in ages. I had maps printed (that we never used), a gpx file on my watch so I could follow the course (which by not following we did the hardest Cowboy Trail loop ever) and we even had a reservation for a campground. That’s about as un-hobo as I have been in years. I almost forgot, we even stopped and got tons of booze before hand (of the which we barely drank any).
The plan, as mentioned we did have one, was to meet at Mcghies in Blue Diamond at 11 AM on Saturday, Vegas time. See we did plan. And from there ride everything that we possibly could in the Cottonwood Trail Network. The goals was for at least 25 miles which if you have ridden in BD you know is pretty easy to do. There’s not a lot of steep climbing and things are what I would describe as “forget your riding and pedal” riding.
KB and I had kind of planned on doing a big outer loop crossing the highway and doing everything that we usually don’t. We ended up not crossing the highway, got lost trying to get to Black Velvet, rode it backwards and then finished out the backside that no one thought existed except her. This put us around 12-14 miles, I can’t remember.
We ended up back at the parking lot ready for some beer. This is when this happened.
As the Alliance tends to do things, an impromptu drinking party erupted in the parking lot. Luckily, this is Nevada so no one cared. We drank some beer and had some snacks. For some of us the stoke to ride had not yet been extinguished and we headed back out for another loop on Hurl.
As this is a yearly thing, we discovered Hurl last year when the loop was coming to an end and some of us wanted some more riding. And without anyone knowing how or why, there was a sign that said Hurl. KB and I quite enjoyed the little loop so this year, when we wanted more, we headed out to find it again.
Which we did. After the climb and kick ass descent we added a little section back to the top of the first climb and then back to the parking lot where the party was still going strong. We knew it was going strong because we could hear laughter a few blocks away. A few more beers were had and we departed for our respective sleeping spots. KB and I have developed a bit of an aversion to hotels/casinos/houses over the years. So we headed to the campground where we knew there would be clean air and sunshine. Both things we quite enjoy.
We then reconvened at the Yard House for more beer, food, laughter and people watching.
Day two started out with a camp fire which was pretty much the same way day one ended. We had surprisingly horrible phone service at our campsite. I normally would be pretty excited about that, but in this case it made it a bit hard to communicate where, what and when for riding. Our original plan was Cowboy Trails because we hadn’t been there since like 2010.
Seeing that we didn’t know these trails nearly as well, I loaded the map on the watch and we began our trip. Almost immediately it said we were off course. I chalked this up to different devices and inaccurate gpx files. Unfortunately or fortunately, we were not on the trail. We ended up riding/walking up some of the nastiest trail I’ve been on in a while. Loose, steep and, in some places, unrideable.
We began going right every change we got as that was the direction the gps was telling us the trail we wanted to be on was. This led us away from the lefts that would have gotten us off the horse trail and on a great looking climb. We know this because once we found our trail, we could see the ones we had missed looking for it.
We had some good riding with plenty of climbing. And then, we accidentally left the trail and ended up taking the straight up the fucking hill route to the top. It was at this point that I was feeling bad that I had no idea where the trails were at.
We regrouped, figured out that we had just barely missed the turn but we could just follow the dirt road to the top for a view and our beer stop.
After the beer stop, we realized we had only done about half of the loop and we were a couple of hours in. There was only one way home so we headed that way. That way promptly brought us to another spot that we were off trail. We backtracked found our trail which was the faintest tracks through a rock garden, but it took us to the intersection of Bob Gnarly and the outer loop.
It was obvious that there would be some walking on Bob, but we also knew it was shorter. We went down Bob.
It was steep, loose and, well, gnarly. I enjoyed, but there was plenty of walking by those who probably didn’t. After seeing where the big loop came back in, we were all plenty happy that we had chosen the good vibes of Bob.
We had another beer in the parking lot and then it was time for food.
Happy Befday, Babe!
P. L. and R.