Death Valley & Vegas

asecondfaster
asecondfaster Posts: 7
edited May 2017 in Road general
Hello cyclists!

I've been to bicycle forums including cervelo forum, and they're pretty much dead so I hope I get some answers here about Death Valley Ride & Las Vegas.

First week of June I am planning to do solo ride through Death Valley from Panamint Springs to Furnace Creek (55 mi) or to Death Valley Junction (85.4 mi) only if I have energy left from heat wave. I would love to hear your experience road cycling through Death Valley in the past, do you have any tips for me? I am planning to start at 6am, it will be 80 degrees warm to 120 in late afternoon. I always carry tubes with me, but tire? Did you carry extra tire? Two water bottle are enough or should I use camelpak ?

After Death Valley, I will be staying in Vegas for 4 days, and I heard Red Rock canyon is great spot for cyclists, what else in Vegas should I check out?

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,096
    You are mental... in summer it is no place for cycling. My recollection is that the asphalt is very rough, so you want to consider big tyres. You will need a lot more water than you think you do.. a camelpack at the very least. Be careful, it is a dangerous place when the sun is high... have you considered doing it at night?
    left the forum March 2023
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 14,326
    Through Death Valley there's basically one road. So you'll be sharing it with rubbernecking drivers.

    I cycled from Boulder City down to the Hoover Dam, then on to Vegas, many, many years ago. Okay, I was on a mtb but it was about 106F on the strip and I don't remember enjoying it very much. I also did a longish ride around Devil's tower in 95-100F temps a few years later. Again, it would be over stating things to call it fun.

    It looks like you live in the Bay Area. Okay, so you'll be used to warmer temps than us Brits, but as Mark Twain pointed out, San Fransisco's not that warm. Do you really appreciate just how inescapably hot 100+F really is? I'm just not sure why you would want to do it this time of year, other than to say you have. Its called Death Valley for a reason.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,253
    Its called Death Valley for a reason.
    Precisely.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Through Death Valley there's basically one road. So you'll be sharing it with rubbernecking drivers.

    I cycled from Boulder City down to the Hoover Dam, then on to Vegas, many, many years ago. Okay, I was on a mtb but it was about 106F on the strip and I don't remember enjoying it very much. I also did a longish ride around Devil's tower in 95-100F temps a few years later. Again, it would be over stating things to call it fun.

    It looks like you live in the Bay Area. Okay, so you'll be used to warmer temps than us Brits, but as Mark Twain pointed out, San Fransisco's not that warm. Do you really appreciate just how inescapably hot 100+F really is? I'm just not sure why you would want to do it this time of year, other than to say you have. Its called Death Valley for a reason.

    Once in a lifetime experience.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,096
    I seriously think you should cross it at night... there is something special about the desert at night... you might even spot the odd animal.
    Best time of the year to head to the Death Valley at daytime is mid to late March, when it is in bloom and the temperatures are bearable.

    Summer and daytime is very high risk of heat stroke... it's a bit foolhardy
    left the forum March 2023
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 14,326
    Through Death Valley there's basically one road. So you'll be sharing it with rubbernecking drivers.

    I cycled from Boulder City down to the Hoover Dam, then on to Vegas, many, many years ago. Okay, I was on a mtb but it was about 106F on the strip and I don't remember enjoying it very much. I also did a longish ride around Devil's tower in 95-100F temps a few years later. Again, it would be over stating things to call it fun.

    It looks like you live in the Bay Area. Okay, so you'll be used to warmer temps than us Brits, but as Mark Twain pointed out, San Fransisco's not that warm. Do you really appreciate just how inescapably hot 100+F really is? I'm just not sure why you would want to do it this time of year, other than to say you have. Its called Death Valley for a reason.

    Once in a lifetime experience.
    Well, that's the risk isn't it?

    Just so you know, its a desert. It looks the same all year round. Do the sensible thing and go in October or something. It will be pleasantly warm.

    If you try to do 4-6 hours in that heat, you simply will not be able to carry enough water, not on that bike anyway. So it would be vital to at least plan your route to go via places you can re-fuel, get water, possibly also get your core temp down. The big thing about 40+celsius temps is that its above body temp, so its more a case of how quickly you heat up than how you cool down. You know, organ damage territory.

    I don't recall there being all that many places to stop, just one, maybe two park centres and a lot of scenery.

    Can you at least have someone follow your route in a car?
  • Flâneur
    Flâneur Posts: 3,081
    Tell the rangers.

    Terrible idea.

    Get a support car to bring the water and everything else. One of the harshest places on earth hence the name
    Stevo 666 wrote: Come on you Scousers! 20/12/2014
    Crudder
    CX
    Toy
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,096
    Even if you can carry enough water, your gut can only absorb roughly one litre per hour, which I don't think is enough to keep you hydrated and cool doing exercise in that kind of heat.

    I went there in early April and the afternoon temperature was a "pleasant" 33 C (the morning was actually quite fresh), my sister went in July and she said it was 50 C
    left the forum March 2023
  • Good advice guys! Probably I will try to cycle 20 miles instead of 50.
  • vinnymarsden
    vinnymarsden Posts: 560
    Did you see the TV programme where James Cracknell started to cycle across the USA (till hit by a bus and permanently damaged).
    I'm sure he did DV , at night with a support vehicle, and still found it tough.It's one of those areas I just simply would not venture, I am all for "pushing the envelope" for some sort of buzz, but to actively put yourself under the real possibility of a life altering experience re injury or long term heat related illnesses is simply not worth it..in my opinion.
    I have cycled in the Grand Teton range, now that was fun, albeit high altitude, it somehow had none of the pitfalls of DV, despite coming off on a VERY rapid downhill descent!
    I have a plan in the next 3yrs to go to Boulder, Colorado and ride up Pikes Peak... not as hot as DV, but the altitude is a real drainer allegedly....anyone done it??
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Did you see the TV programme where James Cracknell started to cycle across the USA (till hit by a bus and permanently damaged).
    I'm sure he did DV , at night with a support vehicle, and still found it tough.It's one of those areas I just simply would not venture, I am all for "pushing the envelope" for some sort of buzz, but to actively put yourself under the real possibility of a life altering experience re injury or long term heat related illnesses is simply not worth it..in my opinion.
    I have cycled in the Grand Teton range, now that was fun, albeit high altitude, it somehow had none of the pitfalls of DV, despite coming off on a VERY rapid downhill descent!
    I have a plan in the next 3yrs to go to Boulder, Colorado and ride up Pikes Peak... not as hot as DV, but the altitude is a real drainer allegedly....anyone done it??

    I've done Mount Evans which is the highest paved road in America at nearly 14300 feet. I didn't notice the altitude but I'd been up at over 5000 feet for a week already. Only did the last 3000 feet or so which is probably a misuse of "only" but you can double the elevation change fairly easily by starting from Idaho Springs. Oddly, the only time I really noticed the altitude was lugging cases up two flights of the Delaware Hotel in Leadville and that's only around 10000 feet!
    Faster than a tent.......