Last Ride With The Risingssun


New Member
Oct 3, 2013
Las Vegas
Sunday I took my last ride with Risingsunn . He's moving to AZ at the end of the month and Sunday was our last chance to ride together. We decided to ride the River Mountains Loop in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The river loop as we call it was the first ride we took together so we figured it was a fitting place to have our last ride together.

We hit the trail about 11am. The sky was clear and the temperature was about 70 degrees and climbing. Turns out we enjoyed a record high of 81 degrees. This time we rode the loop counter clockwise. Within just a few miles we approached the first of a series of three large hills known to local cyclist's as "The 3 B****'s". These hills are long, steep and curvy. The last time we rode the loop clockwise and the "B's" were hardly noticeable except for the wildly fast downhill's. Its difficult to maintain speed up such steep grades, let alone negotiate the tight turns at the same time. My Rattletrap is a single speed bicycle and Risingsunn's A.C.M.E. MARK 2 is a multi speed, so I swapped out my 36 tooth rear drive sprocket for a 40 tooth and thought I was ready to conquer "the 3 B's". We made it up the first two "B's", but had to peddle. Half way up the third one I was bleeding off speed fast and my engine was bogging badly and it was getting harder and harder to peddle. Opps, stalled the engine... I peddled about another 8 feet and stood on the peddle balanced there for a few seconds with no forward, or should I say upward movement. The weight to angle ratio was to much and I stalled my bicycle too. Had to walk up the last 30 yards. When I got to the top there was Risingsunn, he made it, but he was seriously out of breath. We took a break...

The rest of the loop is also hilly and has lots of tight curves, but no more "B's". We had to peddle a little from time to time, but for the most part we just cruised, back and forth, back and forth. We rode hundreds of yards at a time like Olympic giant slalom racers, left and right, left and right... except of course we had up hill's too. There are also long straight sections where we cruised between 25 and 30 mph, sometimes with rolls. Unfortunately we couldn't go fast enough to hop the front wheel over the rolls in the trail. The A.C.M.E.'s bicycle chain jumped off the front sprocket a few times, but Risingsunn just bent down and fixed it on the fly. What a Trooper... I was suffering from repeated equipment failure, my tool bag kept slipping off the rack and hanging from the seat post by a strap.

We took a short side trip to the boat lunch at Boulder Beach and down a narrow gravel path out on a narrow peninsula to an old abandoned concrete pump house about a hundred feet above the shore line. This is probably the best panoramic view of Lake Mead that your going to find. We hung out there for a while and took in the view. I don't know if I will ever get used to the sight of all that turquoise water in the middle of all that desert. On the ride up from the boat launch I lost sight of Risingsunn in my mirror so I slowed to a crawl and than attempted a U turn, with out warning my front tire washed out on the concrete and I went down fast and hard. I broke my fall with my left hand and bruised the heel of my palm. I'm sure it will be sore for a couple of weeks. A little souvenir to remind me of the ride. Every time it pains me I'll just smile... Tried like heck to get to my feet before Risingsunn caught up to me, but the dam tool bag slid off the rack again and got caught around my leg. I was off balance and hopping backwards on one leg trying not to fall on my ass again when he pulled up... dam I hate when that happens. As soon as I got the bike upright I zip tied the tool bag to the rack. Problem solved...

There is a urban section of the trail that runs alongside a subdivision near the I-93 (great basin hwy) the trail runs through a series of concrete flood washes that have sections with angled walls sort of like but not the same as a bmx half pipe. Its a lot of fun running up and down the walls as we fly down the wash. There is also a series of tunnels along the wash section. Some are two way traffic and some are one way. Either way it is a very enjoyable section of the trail.

There was a lot of traffic on the trail. Both cyclist's and pedestrians. We always make it a point to be friendly, helpful, and respectful around other's and most smile and wave. I was riding an up hill with a blind left hand curve at the top. As I crested the top and into the curve there was a pack of eight cyclist's with there tight colorful little spandex costumes with fancy shoes and sunglasses in close formation taking up the entire trail. They were right in front of me barreling down on me. We all dove to our respective right sides and somehow managed to avoid a tragic collision.

I almost bit the rocky desert again the hard way while braking around a left hand down hill one 80. I was leaning hard while standing up on the outside peddle and dragging my left foot on the trail holding up the handlebars as I slid to close to the outside just barely hanging on. This is how the trail is, full of those blind curves when least expect them. The rest of the ride was more of the same, right left up down back and fourth, hi how are ya, nice outfit, oh your welcome enjoy your day, peddle peddle WOT WOT.

This ride was also a reliability test for the rattletrap. In the past I had always refueled before I ran out simply as a matter of convenience. I wouldn't want to run dry while climbing a hill ya know. My plan was to ride until I ran out of fuel before refueling and settle once and for all what kind of range my bike has. The engine is built for high performance and I guessed that I was getting about 50 mpg. Turns out I'm achieving about 80mpg. Sometimes it's good to be wrong. We suffered no breakdowns, no one got lost and I never did have to refuel. We didn't offend anyone, in fact we may have converted a few to the motorized way of life. It was great! So long Risingsunn gonna miss you bro...


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Nov 24, 2012
Maricopa Arizona
Mass, you definitely have been a good riding companion and a great friend. I just wish that we had met up a bit earlier. I am glad we did this ride, it was nice to finally complete one without any major setbacks.
I learned a lot from you my friend and I really appreciate the time and effort you spent trying to help me get my bike together while my SUV was in the shop.
Perhaps when you the notion you can come down to Phoenix. So far the people are nicer and the pace is less hectic than Vegas. Not to mention the scenery is a hellofa lot better to. I think I could get to like this place.
Anyway Mass, I am sure we will meet again one of these days, either here or there. Perhaps then you will have a ride that can keep up with me! ;-)