Friday, March 29, 2013

Great Basin Bicycles brings in the ladies!

Last night wifey and I headed down to Great Basin Bicycles for a "ladies night".  Now this could have been a risky venture for Great Basin, since cycling is often an old boys club type of activity.  However, they obviously see the light and know that if you make it available to women and present it from the correct point of view, you can tap into a customer base that is just waiting to turn some peddles.

Just from the turn out I'd say it was way more than worth their while!

So why was it a hit!?  Could be that Rich (the owner) brought in reps from companies like Sugoi to walk through their entire women's line and explain important things like why one chamois is better than another. Might just be that Rich provided amazing appetizers and wine for the women (and some tag a long husbands).  Perhaps it was that he also brought in Reno orthopedics center to talk about exercising geared (pardon the pun) towards cyclist.  Or possibly it was because Rich brought in the women who have built up the Edible Peddle Century event, to tell women they want them on their ride.  My money is on the fact that Rich loves being surrounded by a room full of sporty, athletic women.  He was a blur of handing out drinks, explaining merchandise, and generally just a great host all night long.

I know that's a lot of "Could be's, Perhaps, Possibly, and Might ", but any way you look at it, this was a great event for female cyclists.  They probably like it even more when he concluded the evening by discounting the whole store by 30%!

So, thank you Great Basin Bicycles for helping to get a few more women on the road!  We're a better cycling community with events like this!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

SE Connector Update....w/ Seperated Bike Path!

Last night at the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board Meeting we had a really good presentation (by Garth Oksol - RTC Project Manager) on the status of the SE Connector.  Basically, it's a 6 lane, 45 mph speed limit road with 8 foot shoulders.  Since many people wouldn't want to bike on this road, they have incorporated a 10 foot wide multi-use path (MUP) on the west side of the road (with 2 foot shoulders of aggregate....for runners who don't like the harder surface).  While it does use the cross walks at major intersections, they are planning considering upgrading the cross walks to 10 foot wide formats to accommodate path users.  At bridges path users will be funneled up onto the structure but will get a protected lane (think concrete wall between you and the cars) to ride in!  All in all it looks like they've worked hard to make it usable for all modes of transportation.

Here's some power point slides from the presentation (the blue line work is the MUP).

If you have questions please contact Garth over at RTC.  He's worked on this project for 6 years and can give specifics.  He seems like a good guy who has really listened to the cyclist and runners for inputs on this project.

Thanks for all the hard work on our behalf Garth!

Moab day 5-6

The third day of the Skinny Tire festival was a rest day for use.  Since the dog was around we decided to do some hiking.  We've done most of the hikes before but there were still a few new ones to do, so we figured we might as well finish off the list (along with a few repeats).  It played out like this.

Fisher Towers hike (a repeat, but always awesome).....
On the way in to Fisher Towers....the dog can always find shade!

Certain sections of the trail required "dog portages"!

Still smiling after the portage!

Portal Hike....

Yep, straight up the slick rock for pretty much 1000ft!

Views of Moab and the La Sal Mountains is your reward!
I don't know why I don't have pictures of this....but this "mountain bike" trail is along the edge (like 2 ft from it) of a 1000 ft cliff.  There are signs that warn you 3 riders have died on the trail (well technically they died because the weren't on the trail).  There are also multitudes of signs repeatedly warning you to dismount and walk.  Basically, it got my adrenaline going just hiking up it!  I will not need to revisit this trail for a ride....

The next day was the last day of the Skinny tire festival and back on the bikes....this time it was out Potash road which runs right along the Colorado river and has some amazing Red Rocks!

Yep...pretty terrible scenery!'s as warm as it looks and I'm completely overdressed.

Back at camp enjoying a book and a beverage before dinner!
I'll try to get my act together and finish off the trip pics tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans (Biking and Beer)

I'm sure I mentioned that we're going to be doing Cycle Oregon this after a few warm up rides in Moab last week, we decided some longer rides on the weekend were in order.  We kicked it off last weekend with a ride on the Verdi loop (accompanied by the Preacher and his wife).

Step 1.  Find friends with bikes...who enjoy longer rides.

Step 2.  Make sure to bring wifey!

Step 3.  Try to keep ups with friends and wifey.

Step 4.  Be sure to keep the ride interesting!

Step 5.  Add upper body workout.....

Step 6.  Make sure ride ends with caloric input...preferably in liquid form!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Yet another River Path Closure for the Summer.

It seems like they can't help but close a portion of the river path for the best riding times over the last few years.  Here's the latest closure for the building of the Southeast Connector bridge.

Please pass this information on to other bike groups, thanks.
Patrice Echola
1105 Terminal Way, Suite 211
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 335-1904

Dear Stakeholder:

Beginning today, Wednesday, March 20 the pedestrian and bicycle trail along the Truckee River from Spice Island Drive at Cottonwood Park east to Larkin Circle will be closed. The path on Sparks Blvd. from Big Fish Dr. (Legends Mall) south to Greg St. will also be closed. Users will need to use an alternate route.  The Truckee River path will remain closed until mid-Summer 2013.  Attached is a map of the closure.

The closure is needed for the safety of motorists and construction crews as work continues on the RTC’s SouthEast Connector Project. Construction crews will be working with heavy equipment in the area to build the Truckee River Bridge.

For more information please contact the project office at 775-398-5059 or e-mail Responses will be returned by the next business day.  Additional project information is available at

Thank you for your patience and support. We look forward to working with you on this project!

The Project Team

The SouthEast Connector Project is the RTC’s largest local public works project and includes building a regional road from the intersection of Greg Street and Sparks Boulevard south to South Meadows Parkway and Veterans Parkway. The first phase of construction builds the bridge over the Truckee River from Sparks Boulevard to just south of Clean Water Way and is currently under construction. The next phase will build the new roadway from Clean Water Way south to Veterans Parkway.  This phase - approximately 4.5 miles - is still under development, which involves obtaining environmental permits and the design of the roadway facilities.  This is the RTC’s first Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) project and resulted in approximately $6 million in value engineering benefits on the first phase. SouthEast Connector provides a significant economic investment in our community and creates immediate jobs during construction.

Here's the area they're talking about:

Basically from the letter A to the east end of the trail....Hopefully, we'll at least get decent bike facilities on the Southeast Connector for our trouble!? 3-4.

Finally,on to the red rock pictures and riding!  The first morning the ride had actually been rerouted due to the impending SNOW and rain.  The stupid storm we went through had followed us.  It wasn't terrible, but by the end of the day we were riding in sleet and snow.  I was less than amused by this, so there are only a few pictures from that day.

These two pics show the grey far it had only rained a bit.  The real challenge was the dropping temps and snow on the last 15 miles or so!  Please note....this was still an awesome ride and we had fun.  We are still smiling after all!

By day 4 the sky had cleared and we were treated to sunny skies and warmer temps.  From here on out temperatures got warmer and warmer, topping out around 80!  The rides also just kept getting better and better.  This one went out to Fisher Towers with lunch located at a gorgeous local winery complete with a cowboy cooked hamburger!

As you can see, the views were beautiful!

Still cool enough in the morning for jackets!

Wow, are we at the lunch stop already...nope, it's the first aid station then an out and back before the burgers are on the menu.

Here's the morning crew pulling out of the aid station. 

After the aid station the headwinds did kick up a bit (understatement!)....check out the "breeze" blowing snow off the peaks of the La Sal mountains!

More than one person stopped here to contemplate the breeze and admire the views ahead.  It was at the top of a hill just before a nice rolling section.  A good place for a quick break and a picture.

Somewhere near the turn around.  Some folks still coming out and others headed back for a great lunch stop (did I mention as many hamburgers as you can eat and a winery).  Definitely, a tour of torture!

This is how the day ended from me....swimming the dog in the river, a bit of the wine we purchased, the sun disappeared from the canyon walls, all while listening to the Colorado river in the background.  Not a bad day at all!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Moab Adventure....Day 2.

As you saw yesterday, we woke up on day 2 to snow!  I know it wasn't a lot of snow, but it was enough to still be covering the roads.  Anyway, bikes were brushed off and re-stowed in the cagmper (along with the dog) and we were on our way. 

After grabbing some coffee in Eureka we pretty much drove the rest of the day.  We hit another round of snow east of Salina.

And yes, I know I used this pic yesterday to show our "white out blizzard".  I lied, I was too busy trying to drive at that point to request wifey take a picture.  This one wasn't as bad fortunately! 

With the change to Mountain time we rolled in to Moab about 7pm.  Just in time to pick up our registration kit for the Skinny Tire Festival.

Once we had our swag bags and numbers in hand we headed out in the dark to get a camp site.  We've been to Moab enough to have stayed in most of the campgrounds, but we tried out a new one this trip.  Big Bend....right on the Colorado river (about 8 miles out of Moab).  Turned out to be a gem with a site right on the river (God knows the dog loves this)!

Here's the view out the back door of the camper the next morning.  We took a little time to play with the dog before getting ready to head out for the first day of 4 days or skinny tire riding.

So that's day 2 into the morning of day 3.  Sorry, it wasn't more exciting.....but I swear, tomorrow pictures of red rocks and bicycles are coming!!

Help us get a new mountain bike trail!

Just saw this over at Poedunks.  If we vote for it enough Bell helmets will give us $$$ to build a sweet new mountain bike trail.  Take the time to go vote for it!!!  If you click the link below it should take you to the facebook page for the vote.  We're in the flow category.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Banff Mountain Film Festival is next Tuesday!

From Nevada Land Trust:

Banff Film Festival Returns March 26

New reception for VIP ticket-holders features Banff Photographs

It’s hard for me to believe that the twelfth annual Truckee Meadows tour of the Banff Mountain Film Festival is rapidly approaching, and it will be here on Tuesday, March 26! This return engagement will once again be held in Sparks at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in the Rose Ballroom from 7-10 p.m.
One of the most amazing things about the Banff Mountain Film Festival is just how memorable the films are.  Some of them really stick with you-for years.  If you asked what my favorite Banff film is of all time - and it would be hard to give just one - I’d say it was a 1993 film about a family fishing with their cormorants on China’s Lijang River.  Since Nevada Land Trust made it onto the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour in 2002, it’s not uncommon during Banff season for the discussion of favorites and memorable films from years past – particularly among the incredible volunteers and sponsors who help make the evening happen.  Last year it was the crocodile and a situation that was hard to shake.  Before that it might be the crazy base jumping film, or even the caribou migrating to Anwar NWR, or the guy who walked across Australia.
We have staff still chuckling about some of the lighter moments, like the search and rescue cats, or the guys that approached backyard trampolines with an out-of-bounds elite climber-type intensity.  You hear it in the audience too – from the collective gasps, or the applause response – and you have a hint which ones will stick.
The Banff Mountain Film festival is our largest annual fundraising event, bringing in much-needed funds to help pay for land protection and restoration projects throughout the year.  Dollars raised come from event ticket sales, raffle tickets, sponsor donations, and, new this year, a special Nevada Land Trust membership promotion the night of the event.  Look for details on the tables and at the NLT booth – and take a moment to meet some of the artists that will be featured at the July art event!
This year we are adding a new VIP reception for Banff sponsors and VIP ticket holders from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in Pavilion A on the second floor of John Ascuaga’s Nugget.  VIP tables are located directly in front of the Nugget Rose Ballroom’s largest video screen.  In addition to the premier center seating, VIP ticket holders will enjoy drinks and hearty hors d'oeuvres and a special display of winning photos from the 2012 Banff Mountain Photography Competition – the first time we’ve brought it in.
Our staff and board sincerely thank the amazing sponsors, raffle donors, volunteers, and of course, our great audience for making this event possible.  I wonder…what are the films we’ll be talking about next year?  See you on the 26th!

Tickets available through John Ascuaga's Nugget ( or 775-356-3300)

or REI 775-828-9090.

$20 in advance /$25 day of event.

VIP reserved seats $53

– Becky Stock

Moab, the 1!

Last Thursday at around 3-4 pm we (wife, me, and the dog) made my break for it.  The truck was loaded the day before, including the camper, bikes, and enough gear to stage an outdoor assault on a small country!  For the record, it's amazing what a small truck will handle with some suspension upgrades.

I'd been watching the weather all day and it looked great.  We left work with sunshine, temperatures in the 60's, and light winds.  Jump ahead about an hour as we tool along highway 50 out near Sand Mountain.....temperatures are dropping the the rain is starting.  About 45 minutes later, "spring break" is a misnomer and it's snowing (hard)!

As darkness fell, it turned into a complete blizzard/white-out.  We were plugging along at an amazing top speed of 35 mph because you couldn't even see the center line.....just the rumble strip divots through the snow covering the road!  By now we were just about to Austin, and with the weather it had taken the better part of 4 hours.  We gave up and decided to camp for the night and get an early start the next day.  It looked a little something like this:

Definitely time to call it a night.  A beer and then bed!

The next morning.

Beautiful low lying clouds for the first few hours and a perfect new coat of snow!
So that's the lead in for the first day.  Tune in tomorrow for day 2....more snow and finally Moab Red rocks!

River path progress!

So while I was off gallivanting around Moab, some real improvements were made along the river path.  Now, it's not really the "path" per say, but improvements are improvements.  A local iron works company (can't remember their name) donated this....materials, labor, everything!

If you want to check it out it's just off East 2nd street.  It got the upgrade and attention because so many people are parking over here (by the automobile museum) and use the river path (and the bridge above it) to get to the baseball games.  So at least the stadium is giving back to Reno indirectly!

It used to be a wooden thing built from railroad ties and 2x6's for the railing.  In recent years the railing had collapsed and it was more dangerous than functional.  I have a picture somewhere I wanted to post for a before and after but after digging for it for 10 minutes I gave up!

So if you don't think things are looking up for Reno, you just have to look around a little bit.  The walking and biking facilities are growing every day, and Reno gets a bit friendlier for all of us living here!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Moab Teaser.

Ok, Shockingly I'm behind at work since I've been gone for 10 (glorious) days.  So I'm not really in a good place to put together a real post.  Here's a pretty picture to set up a real post in the near future!

It took me most of the week but apparently, I've figured out the panorama setting on my new camera! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Stuff is Coming....we're back from Moab!

I know it's been dead around here.  10 days in Moab will do that to a blog.  I promise, as soon as I sort the photos (and recover) it will be up here.  There was mega biking with the Skinny Tire Festival and a ton of other stuff that needs attention and write ups!  So check back tomorrow and get ready for red rock pictures!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A car that watches out for Bicycles!

Sorry, the link only works sometimes....if it doesn't, just google it!

Well, since locally (and nationally) drivers seem to be continuing to mow down pedestrians (and bikes) this Volvo advancement is a welcome addition.  I still can't help but notice the huge in dash navigation / communication system.  You know it has a map that draws their eyes off the road, a satellite radio with hundreds of channels to manage, and a cell phone application that they mess with while driving!  Heck, the new Ford Fusion actually has a texting application in it's navigation system.

With all this, you know the driver's attention isn't focused on the road at least some of the time.  So I guess since it's completely "unreasonable" to just ask drivers to drive, the cars better start watching for us pedestrians and bikes!

All sarcasm aside, this is an awesome technology advancement.  Hopefully it will be standard in all vehicles in the near future.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nation Bicycle Transportation Summit.

I just stole this from Bike Portland, who is attending the conference in Washington D.C.  It's a great way to look at the money we spend here in Reno!

 So all credit for the article below goes to Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland.

$30 million in transportation funds could buy you one measly mile of street widening or...
(Image: League of American Bicyclists)

Bicycling offers American towns and cities a huge return on investment; but one of its benefits that often gets overlooked in debates over spending choices is just how good a value it is from an infrastructure spending standpoint. Compared to costly highway and transit projects, creating bikeways that can efficiently move thousands of people through our towns and cities is extremely affordable.
Coverage from Washington D.C.
made possible by:
We learned just how affordable in a breakout session at the National Bike Summit on Tuesday titled, Bicycling Means Business: Getting the Facts Straight. League of American Bicyclists' Policy Director Darren Flusche shared a presentation that included a series of slides under the heading of "What will $30 million buy?" I thought it was a great way to conceptualize the affordability of bicycling, as well as give important context to the trade-offs we make when we spend money on road widening projects.
The $30 million number was also interesting to me because that's about what Oregon will have to pay each year (for 30 years) to repay the proposed loans for the I-5 freeway widening and bridge replacement mega-project (a.k.a. the CRC, but don't get me started).
As shared by Flusche, for $30 million we can either have one mile of freeway widening or...
0.5 miles of new MAX light rail line (OK, I threw this one in just for fun),
MAX Type 4 cars crossing 185th
or 600 miles of quality bike lanes,
or 100 miles of sidewalks,
or 300 miles of buffered bike lanes,
or 120 miles of bike boulevards,
or 30 miles of bike trails,
or 20 miles of physically separated cycle tracks,
or 2,000 rapid flash beacons,
I realize transportation investment is not always an either/or proposition. But as we face budget challenges, we need to stretch our dollars as far as they can possibly go. And it just so happens that investing in bikeways is the best transportation ROI out there.