Our Winter 2015 Team training camp was an awesome way to officially start the 2015 season. Our first ever trip to Death Valley made the training awesome, I really enjoyed it more because even though we were training, riding in Death Valley made it more of an adventure.
Even though the name of the park is Death Valley, it is really, full of Life and Adventure.
Our first ride was one of the best. We rode for the first time our new Marin Stelvio Elite Road Bikes. The Artists Loop was a beautiful ride with a very unique geographical phenomenon, the Artists Pallet. With numerous colors like green, orange, pink, beige and grey. It was so cool! The best part though was having a one way road to enjoy a peaceful ride.
Two days later we rode to Badwater, the lowest place in North America at 282ft below sea level. It was cool because Badwater salt flat was perfectly flat, but right across the road was a sheer cliff, and 282 feet above us on the side of the Clif was a sign that said elevation SEA LEVEL!
Our next ride was Dantes View, the climb was awesome because for the last 4 miles the road wound up a canyon, until the last 1/4 mile where the road changed into a 15 percent grade climb, which I thought was super fun because I love a challenge!
It was Awesome, but my favorite Ride/Adventure had to be Titus Canyon.
The first three miles of the Titus Canyon ride was a gravel road, but things started getting interesting once we entered the canyon! The Titus Canyon Road (one way motorized traffic) was an awesome adventure. While riding up to the canyon you could never guess that there was a canyon, until you get within a 1/4 mile of it. There you could see the mouth of the canyon which was maybe 40ft wide. The first 1.5 miles were the best, the park named it the narrows, and you can see why. The average width was probably 25ft with sheer 500ft cliff walls on each side ( hence the one way traffic ) and it was so fun. Especially coming down as we were catching and passing all the Jeeps and SUV’s ahead of us, it was a blast! As we rode up cars passed us going down, as we went up, they shouted encouragements like, “Your doing awesome”, and “You guys are amazing, that looks hard”! People cheered for us when we rode past through the whole ride. Halfway up the canyon we saw some Indian petroglyphs of Big Horn Sheep and other carvings.
Another three miles was an abandoned mine shaft, which was cool to check out and look at. There was also a tailings pile which was exciting to ride down becease of the steepness and scree! After that we rode past an abandoned mining camp, ghost town which we passed by because the highest point of our ride was getting near. The highest point on our ride was Red Pass at around 5,5000ft high. With a 5,5000ft decent you can imagine we were flying down the road. It was perfect for our new Marin Attack Trail C-XT9 Enduro Mountain Bike! It took us 3:30 to climb time Titus Canyon and we descended it in 1:00. That was awesome!
In the short amount of time we were off our bikes we continued our awesome adventure. On our very first day in Death Valley we had just walked out of the visitor center and saw a Coyote taking a stroll through the parking lot, apparently he forgot where he parked his car!!! The next morning just after we ate breakfast the morning maid service (aka Blackbirds) came to clean up our camp of crumbs we dropped, they came each morning at 8:15 to clean up our camp. One morning Dad was cooking eggs and accidentally spilled the eggs and later when we came back from our early morning run they were gone! They acted like they hadn’t eaten in months, even though they came through everyone’s camp, scavenged and ate food each morning!
At night we heard numerous Coyotes howlin’ at the Moon, one night one was only 20 -30ft away from our tent, Nye was so tired he didn’t even here it, amazingly! It was amazing how many Coyotes there were, on one ride we saw some walking down the side of the road only about 5ft away from us! When we were leaving we stopped at Scotty’s Castle, a Mansion at the north end of the park we saw two more Coyotes beggin’ or more likely stealin’ someone lunch! It just goes to prove that Death Valley is REALLY full if life!
If you or your family is going on a vacation or looking for a place to ride or train don’t go somewhere you’ve been before, go somewhere where you can find an adventure, you won’t regret It!