Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cycling Adventures

I haven't really had anything exciting to share in awhile, as well as little time to do so. Work and all my classes take up so much time that I am never home anymore to blog about it.

My newest passion is for cycling. After going to Switzerland last summer and seeing how great it was to ride your bike everywhere, I decided I wanted to try it out. The bike I had at the time turned out to be a death trap and so I set out to get a new one. Santa blessed me with an amazing bike and as soon as the rain stopped and the weather warmed up I was off and riding!

I have lived in Vegas for 14 years and it has only been since August that I have started exploring the area. Lack of time, money, and ambition has been mostly to blame for this fact. Recently though I had been feeling quite trapped and with the new friends I've acquired over the past few months I have been able to go exploring.

I have had the best time going for morning rides before work watching the sunrise and the Vegas valley slowly wake up. I love listening to the variety of song birds serenade me as I ride. Cycling allows me to explore at a more leisurely pace then I could do in a car and it allows me to cover more ground than if I walked. It has been amazing fun to find new paths and different places I never knew existed. Riding my bike is so freeing. I love the wind on my face, the sense of adventure, and feeling connected to nature. It is all very euphoric and highly addictive! I go through withdrawals if I don't ride my bike for a few days. Cycling also gives me a sense of accomplishment with every ride my legs get stronger and my endurance grows.

I just got my bike back from a tune up and decided to explore the bike paths around the Wetlands Park. (I can't even tell you how exciting it is to have a wider area to explore now that I got my bike rack for the car!!) As I rode around the perimeter of the park I was able to enjoy seeing a big white stork, a variety of ducks, and some seriously fat fish when I reached the big bridge.

My sweet ride!
View from Wetlands Park bridge where the fat fish are on one side and the plecostomus are on the other.

Plecostomus a plenty!

I always like to inventory the animals I run into and yesterday broke records! I saw 2 vultures, 2 road runners, a few bunnies, 1 huge jack rabbit and a variety of lizard species that were a little too kamikaze for my liking. The ride was amazing and I even stumbled upon the Flamingo bike path that I wasn't even looking for! I rode that until I reached a covered bridge and too much urbanizes for the day. 

Trail marker to Flamingo Arroya 

View of the strip from the bridge.

View from bridge facing north towards Sunrise mountain.

I circled back towards the park and found the path I was looking for that would lead me to Lake Las Vegas. The trail has these amazing hills that are like riding a roller coaster because they have repeated steep slopes and curves. I literally squealed when I rode on them! By far one of my favorite things about the trail! Everything was more than I could have asked for until tragedy struck. As I was climbing a hill that seemed to go straight up, my chain popped off and got itself good and wedged up under the gears. A very nice gentleman stopped to help me and made it ten times worse. I was up in the mountains above Lake Las Vegas and had to walk the 7-8 miles back to my car. By then it was the height of the blazing sun and I was already feeling like I had pushed it too far with being out too long. I was determined to make it to the lake and back though. Thankfully I packed sun tan lotion (which I reapplied twice to prevent too much burning), water, and snacks to keep from getting sick. 

You can barely see the strip in the distance!

I think this is where the Lorax relocated!
 In the end my trip began at 10am and I was able to do 15 miles before my bike died. Walking the 8 miles back to my car only took until 2pm. On my way home I dropped off my bike for its resurrection. I feel a bit beat up today, but can't wait to try it out again soon!

This was after I washed my hands. I love working with my hands and find manicures and those nail sticker things hilarious and a waste. 

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