Last night was our third annual BARTA night ride. It's the time of year around here that you either ride at 5:00am or 8:00pm and this our attempt at escaping the oppressive Las Vegas heat and boy has it been hot lately with temps near 115 degrees forcast all weekend.
As I rolled out of my driveway at 6:30 pm last night I took a quick temperature reading from my trusty little Kestrel weather meter. It reported a temp of 107.3 and a max wind speed of 3 mph. You know it can't be good when the weather gauge gives you a radio station number as a temp. Luckily after meeting up with the Desperado's and heading up the hill to the start point the temp dropped 13 degrees by start time.
In the three years we've been hosting this summer night ride we've always had a decent turn out of 6 to 8 riders. Last night we started out with 13 riders with another arriving late and caught the group by the time we reached the top of our climb. Did I mention that it is hot around these parts in the summer? Just checking. Luckily the temperatures were very pleasant as long as we were riding in the canyons. As soon as we rolled into the plains and valleys the temp jumped back up 5 or 6 degrees.
Anyway, we rolled up the hill with several stops to regroup. We had a pretty good group with most riders able to keep up. I was shewed out of the way at one point for going too slow -- man talk about no respect.
We did have a couple of guys riding with those nifty little Cateye LED lights (not so good on the trail by the way -- I've had to return to the trailhead using mine on several occasions when my legs outlasted my trusty old Niterider and they can be pretty sketchy on dirt roads -- let alone singletrack).
I tried taking many photos and only a few actually turned out pretty cool. My camera isn't the quickest in taking photos of moving riders in no light situations. I had to trash bin at least half of my photos for various reasons including blatant missing of target subjects, blurry white specs of riders lights in the distance and several nice photos of pitch black nothingness. At least a few did turn out relatively well!
Our nice group ride ended with 10-12 miles of riding and nearly 1600 feet of climbing with no major incidents beyond a couple of flats, at least one light dying (jmitchell had a spare to share -- thanks James) and a spill or two. After the ride sodas and some beer was available for the hot and tired riders.
One additional note to riders -- when I ask for a couple of minutes lead so I can get to a photo position, give me a couple of minutes! I'm not the fastest at getting my camera out and doing it in the dark is even slower.
1. Temperature at the 8:00pm start
2. The group minus our one latecomer
3. jmitchell climbing Badger Pass
5. Descending the BARTA connection