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Death Valley Nov '14

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The year before, this trip was just like five of us going to DV for the weekend and having a good time.  Early Nov is a good time before it gets too cold and the days aren't too short yet.  Actually, it was because Chris White, who normally lives in Costa Rica, was going to be in town and wanted to see Death Valley for the first time.  It was Chris and I as well as Mike, Zach and Tim.  I hadn't met Tim before and was a bit leery as I wasn't sure he was going to be able to keep up and given I had listed the ride as "intermediate" or above, but he ended up doing fine.  Not just fine, but actually got a lot better by the end of the trip.  That's some good advice; to try and ride with people you can learn something from; people who are willing to give you feedback rather than just speed off into the dust.

 

Last year's video.  I put Tim's picture as the thumbnail because he really showed up to ride and did not give up.

 

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So this last time I figured it would probably just be a handful of riders again.  But as the weeks went by, more and more started to sign up.  Jeremy LeBreton of AltRider had some time in between a show in Vegas and the show in Long Beach and he asked to come along with a few buddies.  Brad Barker was supposed to go to but because he double books everything, the law of physics simply did not allow him to be in two places at one time.  We ended up with 25 riders!  I also ended up making up a big kettle of chili, which we had for dinner Friday night.  I had planned for 35 but I still broke even on cost, so no big deal.

 

I had certainly made one thing clear up front and that was with such a big group, I was going to split it up into A, B and C based on ability.  There was no way I was going to lead one group of 25 riders or even do the same track with one faster and one slower group.  I posted tracks online prior to the event and offered suggestions on where people could ride given what they were interested in.  Everyone seemed to work with that pretty well (except one).

 

Great views and great light abound in Death Valley National Park.

 

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This doesn't do justice, but the full moon rose over the mountains to the east and just lit the place up like a spotlight

 

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Morning sun

 

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Friday a group of us ended up riding out to the Saline Valley hot springs.  They completely re-habbed the road out there and it's now so good you can take a Prius on it.  Got some good soaking in and then headed back.  Pretty scenic but it was just straight easy dirt roads for the most part.  I did it three years ago and it was considerably more treacherous.

 

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I ended up leading the "A" group Saturday over through Chloride Cliffs, east to NV and then behind a mountain range from Beatty headed north.  We were having an awesome ride (except one).

 

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My new favorite color is dust covered Klim black

 

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