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Old 01-18-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
humvee OP
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Freezing Flatlanders head to Vegas with a Frommer's

I find Ride reports are an important step in doing research on new places you want to ride. Typically, I'll search for the names of small towns or trails near me to see who has been there, and sometimes I'll even email them and ask for tips or GPS tracks. With that in mind, that's how I'll write this ride report - so folks going after me (not that this ride is groundbreaking by any means) can learn a little something before heading out on their own.

And of course - it's a way you readers can learn just a little about me/us (not that we're anything other than Joe and Jane Average).


Here's the premise of how we got here:

Mid-thirties, 2 kids under age 3, and my wife decided to plan a winter get-away without the kids before her mat-leave was up. Much thanks to the in-laws for offering to babysit for the week.

We talked about Bahamas, Cuba, Costa Rica, etc, and for one reason or another, we weren't smitten with any of those vacation ideas. Along comes the idea of Las Vegas. I hadn't been there since I was 12, and my wife had never been. Let's see....cheap flights, lots to do....Let's do it. As a compromise, we agreed to split up the vacation, so she could plan 3 days, and I could plan 2.

I remembered a great ride report I read a yearago...and it has stuck with me.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...hlight=r1200rt

I think it was time to pull the trigger and do much the same thing...
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
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I had a bike when we met, then didn't have one for a while, and then 3 years ago got a KLR. Except for a few rides for ice cream, she hasn't ridden with me at all.

First things first - we need to get her some gear. Ordered a jacket, helmet, and pants from motorcycle closeouts and was pleased as punch how well did with the sizing.

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Old 01-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Temps aren't exactly tropical in LV in the winter, so I was monitoring the weather closely every day. Highs of 15C, lows of zero. I warned Kendra that it might be cold - but we're gonna rent anyway.

Besides the temp - I had to get a comfy bike for my passenger. She wouldn't be thrilled sitting on a sportbike for 2 days. I rented an R1200RT, just like the other Ride Report, and boy, was it a dream. That bike just begs to be ridden. Renting from Eagle Rider/BMW of Las Vegas was painless (once you get past the cost). Once that was done, it was time to plan some routes and just wait until vacation time.

And then it was time to go...
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:01 PM   #4
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Jan 11 we leave Winnipeg for a direct flight to LV. The check-in gal notices our helmets and immediately says "oh, someone's gonna have some fun!". I grin, and we chat about bikes, she even does her best to get Kendra to relax and tell her she's gonna love it.

The guy beside me on the flight started chatting about LV and asked us our plans. I told him about the bike rental and a guy 2 rows up pipes up

"Ha! Have you checked the weather?!"

Annoyed, I just quote the norms for this time and year and say it's perfect riding weather. Kendra can tell I'm annoyed with the guy for raining on my parade. I keep thinking - that guy has no idea who I am and how much I have planned for this. Idiot.

He gets up during the flight to pee and I see he has an HD shirt on. I giggle to myself and call him a pussy under my breath.



We land, and it's time to unload at the hotel

We stayed at The Venetian. Very nice.


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Old 01-18-2009, 08:04 PM   #5
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Monday morning we grab lunch. Right away I realize my food budget is a little low. This sandwich cost $10.00




FAO Schwartz has some cool toys.



Circular escalators....we don't have those in Winnipeg.




Metro cop, I'm guessing it's a TW200. He wasn't shy about using all 200cc's either.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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Monday we went to the Crazy Horse Paris show. It was decent. You can't go to Vegas without seeing a girlie show.

We also decided to try a buffet. The one at Wynn is spectacular.



Jan 13 it was time to get the bike. A new employee got us setup, so it took a little long...or maybe I was just anxious to get going.

Lots of bikes in the showroom.



And soon we were on our way. I was a little disappointed to get a bike with 29000 miles...but it looked and rode like new.




We headed out towards Primm to the Outlet mall for some shopping.

After 20 minutes I thought to myself...I wonder if this thing has a sixth gear. Voila!

I could write on and on about the bike...but here's a quick summary.
1) Every bike should have a power windshield, heated grips, and heated seats. They are that good.
2) Incredibly smooth. whether going 45 or 95.

Back from Primm with some shoes and clothes...we but her to bed in the dedicated moto parking at the hotel.

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Old 01-18-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
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Wednesday we left at dawn for Red Rock Canyon. I read some good things about the place, and there's a nice 13 mile 1-way loop going through the park. Entrance was $2.00 for motos.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...=11&iwloc=addr

I'm well known for having a bad sense of direction - and it hit us that morning. I was relying on signs to get us there....and they didn't. We went about 10 miles past our exit, then had to fight construction/rush-hour traffic to get back.





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Old 01-18-2009, 08:34 PM   #8
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Next we headed for Pahrump for breakfast. Kendra teared up when I asked her how it was going....She was cold.

I carried some hot-shots for just this event - and she eagerly took them. After breakfast at McD's, we headed for Furnace Creek via Shoshone and badwater.

Everyone says Death Valley resembles the surface of the moon or Mars...it doesn't really hit you until you see it. Barren, but beautiful at the same time. The roads ain't bad either.











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Old 01-19-2009, 01:51 AM   #9
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I rented from BMW Las Vegas 2 years ago. Nice set up, but I agree...a bit pricey. That said you get a BMW luxury touring machine...I rented the 1200GS. I went well over the daily mileage allowance but it was still worth the additional cost.
Mark which exit (I think it was Rainbow) you need to return the bike...I missed by one and remember it was a bit of a pain to backtrack (morning traffic). Odds are you'll only do this trip once, so go for it and enjoy.

PS: Check the tire pressure and suspension settings. After riding 2 days I realized pressure was too low and susp. too soft with luggage, and you're 2-up. If you had a new rental guy it's possible he didn't check, mine didn't.

Not sure what your touring plans are but if you have time you might want to go to Zion Canyon...quite beautiful and not too far.

If your wife is cold maybe pickup or borrow an electric vest from BMW. Plugs into the socket and she'll be happy. If you see a bike store you can usu. pick a vest up for ~100 US (cheaper than BMW, just as good).

My tips from doing the similar trip in Feb (also colder than I thought): Check the weather map and don't force your itinerary. Go where it is warm. Maybe a quick trip to Arizona is warmer than Nevada? You simply head south to Hoover Dam, go to Kingman and then down to Sedona. Watch out for the Grand Canyon though, get's VERY cold up there in/around Flagstaff and possible snow. Not worth it IMHO. Sedona will be your best bet. East of Phoenix is some great riding in the mountains, but check the weather carefully (I rode in hail, sleet, snow, then sunshine). Stay out of Phoenix proper...nothing there for riders. The area around Tucson is great and generally warmer. Near Tucson there are some interesting places (Sabino Canyon, Sajuaro Natl Park, Mt Kitt Observatory, Bisbee etc.).

Enjoy...my driveway is covered in 2" of ice, -4 C, wet rain and snow...

Cdn living in Switzerland...
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:14 AM   #10
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You should have invited that guy on the plane to the Icebreaker!
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:53 AM   #11
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You picked a good year to escape Winterpeg with the -40C I've been hearing about Looks like a good sun filled escape! Thanks for sharing it
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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Sedona is just S. of Flagstaff and it is cold in the winter. I would not ride to Sedona in the winter unless it is a 60 degree day.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:26 PM   #13
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Hey Humvee looks like you and wife had a blast.... did I mention my new BMER comes with heated grips (so they tell me).... no power windshied though.

Lets get together for lunch.... the later part of this week is good for me. PM me to set a time and place.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:38 PM   #14
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escape winter...

Cool bike...thanks for putting up the RR...I hope to get south also, but by the time I get there...the worst of the winter will be done...
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:28 PM   #15
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Everyone thinks I'm done the report...but I still have a day to go. Darn kids taking up all my time again


OK, Our last day started with a ride up I15, past the air force base where the fighters where flying, and on to Logandale. We often pick up a Frommer's guide before trips, and Frommer's recommended a small mom+pop ice cream shop/deli in Overton for lunch. They were right-on. Friendly service and great food.



After Overton there's a small plateau with a great view where a bunch of RVers were parked. I'd love to try something like that when I retire. Miles and miles of trails to explore right out your door, no taxes, and close enough to a nice town for food, gas, and gear. Makes me wonder who decides to setup for the winter here. I wish I had taken a picture.

Here we start my favorite part of the trip. Valley of Fire and the road down to Hoover was amazing. Words won't do it justice, and neither will my pictures. Head on down if you ever have the opportunity.











And then on to Hoover Dam. It's crowded and busy...and not all that much to see. I'd skip this next time, but my wife had wished we parked and walked around a bit (we were low on time and had to get the rental back).



New highway to avoid forcing drivers to cross on the dam itself.



and so concludes my ride report. I'll be back and rent again.

Question for the locals. Are there any real rules in Death Valley? Can I just park my car and go for an overnight hike anywhere? I'd love to do that sometime, just walk up some of the hills and setup camp...you just can do that were I'm from cause it's just too much bush+forest to really wander.

I'll finish off with some beauties. Miss USA, or maybe Miss Universe was taking place in LV, we got a shot of them parading out for some interviews and photo shoots.

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