My bicycle wheels are rolling on the smooth tarmac of Red Rock Canyon and the bike chain purrs spinning in a circular motion. Surrounded by chocolate coloured mountains I am in no rush. Time can wait today. This is my first time on a modern road bike.
I have happily hired a road bike from the helpful folks at Pro Wheel Builder. They can be found on the outskirts of Las Vegas and this bike I’ve hired goes like a dream! It glides over the tarmac and the effort needed to pedal up hills is nothing compared to my trusty pink cruiser! I have entered a new world of cycling and I like it!
Red Rock Canyon is a great place to trial the road bike. The canyon has a 13 mile one way loop and the scenery certainly makes up for the lack of distance. The Boyfriend and I seem to be the only two people on bicycles as we slowly pedal into the park. The sky is denim blue with patchy clouds. The sunlight peeks through the cloud and shines on the various brown tones in the layers of rock lighting it up like a sassy window display. It appears to cause a hypnotic effect. The bold reds and browns of the rock have people in their cars stop to curiously explore the nooks and crannies that are on offer.
The Boyfriend soon picks up his pace and disappears in the distance while I enjoy the chance to cruise, perched upon my new style of transport. The layered cake of sandstone hugs the corners of the road. The road begins to undulate and I notice the clouds above gathering at a pace turning from a calm white to an angry grey.
I approach a huge black lump on the side of the road which has me stop for a closer look. To my surprise it is a hairy Tarantula warming its body on the rocks.
Through fear that it might leap at any given moment I quickly carry on. As I round bends and whizz down small dips I feel a chilly drop of rain tickle my skin. I pedal faster hoping to avoid any sudden down pour.
Vehicles whizz by me, they seem to be exiting the park like ants in a hurry. I feel left behind and abandoned. The temperature drops and a cool breeze picks up. A roller blind of mist pulls itself over the mountainous rock and all that is left in view are scraggy stumps and a winding road that will lead me out of the park. The clouds have now raged into a black vortex madly releasing chunky raindrops gulping everything in its path.
The rain is heavy and my cycling gear becomes wet and clings to my skin. I am beginning to get extremely cold and my fingers are slowly going numb. I struggle to grip my handlebars yet I push on as my eyelids flicker rain out of my eyes. I hope that the Boyfriend will come and save the day like some super hero saving a damsel in distress. My wheels spin barreling on and every corner I swoon round the boyfriend isn’t there and the rain won’t let up. Like daggers in my back the rain keeps dropping. I start shivering and my teeth begin to chatter with the cold. I cycle furiously trying to stay warm as I feel like I am in a refrigerator!
Mile 12 and the elation of seeing the camper-van pass me and pull over is something I can’t forget! The boyfriend has come to my rescue and I am so happy! Jumping inside the camper-van I am rattling like a skeleton and dripping mini puddles on the floor . It takes a hot shower, lots of warm clothes, a cup of tea and a few hours to warm my body up after that cycle ride.
The rain continues to fall for the rest of the day – It has been a crazy day! We return the road-bike back to the shop and I am sad to return such a fine specimen. It was such a tiny morsel what road cycling is all about.. Maybe next time I won’t have to rush so much?
Our next stop was the Grand Canyon. We were looking forward to cycling the south rim! unfortunately this was not possible – on our approach to the Grand Canyon the weather once again beat us. We drove into a snow storm that lasted a few days and it hit us with temperatures as low as -16 c. The snow was too deep to cycle in, but it didn’t spoil our captivating views of vastness!