Nevada Magazine visited Southern Nevada to ride mountain bikes to feature our area in an upcoming issue. If you don’t know about Nevada Magazine, they work with the Nevada Division of Tourism to promote our state and the activities, sights, and well being of people and places you can enjoy. Megg Mueller (Managing Editor), Eric Cachinero (Associate Editor) and Ross Loudon (Associate Friend) contacted SNMBA to say they’d like to ride mountain bikes in our area and promote our region as a mountain bike destination. We were pleased to help them with their project! Flying down from Reno, they had to rent some bikes, and with the assistance of Carl and Lifan at Irwin Cycles, they got some Devinci rides which we picked up for them and brought to Latenight since they were coming from Pahrump. An early windy morning didn’t seem like it was going to be good, but after getting on the trail, everything was turing out great!
We set up the bikes, then headed out to the lower tunnel to beat a group of 14 from the Royal Air Force (England) led by Brandon McMurtrey at Broken Spoke. The slow grind and exhausting trek up Badger Pass allowed us to meet up with the RAF and chat for a bit. They were using mountain biking while they were here on an assignment as a team building exercise to learn to work as a group. Our work to get to the top of Badger was paid off by a great decent down the lower half of Red Valley. They all thoroughly enjoyed that trail, “Best I’ve ever ridden” and “Awesome!” were exclaimed! Heading to White Rhino, carefully taking the trail for the less experienced rider, we headed to the upper tunnel to decide which way to head on the north side of the highway. Megg, such a trooper, was experiencing some asthma complications and being off the bike for a very long time, chose to head back to the car to ready the beers, and allow us four to head out to Latenight Trail so Eric could get some great pictures. He took some great action shots of myself, Rich, and Russ, and I even got one of Eric in action in the wash at the end of Latenight. He definitely experienced the power of dual piston brakes!
We ventured along, making sure they enjoyed the scenery and some conversation about what we are doing with the area and how BLM is moving in a more positive direction, comparing their northern region to ours. As a community, we definitely have a long way to go when we hear how connected the mountain bike community is in other areas and how they pull together for a common cause. We spoke of the signage issue, and how this is going to change soon. Also noted how many of the trails need simple love and attention to get them to wear properly and to keep erosion down to a minimum. But, I pointed out, that Cottonwood is one of the primary areas we would send out-of-state riders to without knowing their skill level. It’s safe. You can ride for 5, 10, 40 miles and enjoy many different types of terrain all while knowing if something was to happen to you or your friend, a Jeep road is not far away and that the area is so commonly used, you will not be stranded long before help arrives. Sure, there are other areas with more techy terrain, but for the general mountain biker or one who wants an epic long ride, Cottonwood really is the place to start. There’s just so much to choose from.
After heading toward Landmine Loop from Little Daytona, we headed to BFR to make the turn to go up to the legendary Ducky Trail. Takling the last two hills before Ducky, we collected ourselves and that last bit of energy to check out the infamous tree and that grind back to the car. As we approached Ducky, something was amiss: Ducks. Only 4 ducks were on there. I did not know if was migration season and that these little buggers were flying north for the summer. We know that the BLM has said that they are not taking the ducks and they can stay because of the iconic nature of the tree and it is not causing any undue harm to the tree, so it must be someone with an agenda. We just don’t know. It was kind of a let down to get that “tourist” hyped up on something on the trail I have to show them, something that is so well known, only to show them something so, well, pathetic. They mentioned they had a “shoe tree” in Reno/Tahoe and it became a legend in the area, something parents would tell their kids about. The tree ultimately was cut down. Imagine, tiny plastic ducks, posing no harm, but the limb being cut down instead, or worse, the entire Joshua Tree. I’m not condoning putting the ducks there, but as it happens, it happens, and it should be left alone. Joining SNMBA can give us a bigger voice to speak out on behalf of the trail system, so go here.
At the end of the ride, everyone was very happy and pleased with the ride. Although Cottonwood was the only trail system ridden, it was enough to get a great taste of what Southern Nevada has to offer. Beers were opened, stories were told and recollected (flats included), and the pure enjoyment of the bikes (thank you Irwin Cycles) and weather. We couldn’t have been happier to assist Megg, Russ and Eric and show them around on a good loop, providing information and just building a good friendship. Mountain bikes bring friends together. What a wonderful day!
Thank you again to Megg, Eric and Ross (and Rich Mueller for helping). – Erik Montville, President