Monday, March 31, 2008

Red Rock Canyon & Redness on my Skin

Since returning from Vegas and California what I thought was poison ivy is something a bit more.  I think I was bitten by a spider and/or am allergic to something I was exposed to.  My legs and arms are covered by water filled blisters.  (Not sun burn - but it itches and burns like you wouldn't believe.)  My left ankle is swollen and purple.  I want to go swim but I wouldn't let me in if I was a guard.  It is driving me toward the edge of insanity (trying not to scratch).  I have been soaking in oatmeal bath and cortisone 1% cream which work for about 5 minutes.  I am seeing multiple doctors today (and I probably won't be teaching spinning tonight - I'm not sure how I'd get my leg around without ripping the skin honestly.)  This condition combined with not having been in the office since 3/13...it should make for an interesting day.

To match my red skin...I thought I'd share some of the sights of Red Rock Canyon.  It was a great ride and challenging too.  The climb goes up to 4771 feet above sea level and the mountains around Red Rock had snow on top of them.  The ride starts about three miles beyond where it says "to Las Vegas" on this map.

I just noticed that I didn't get the snow in these shots.  I'll look for a better one.  The ride is 56 miles on the nose from where I left down on W Charleston Road.  I left from the Starbuck's beyond the Red Rock Canyon Resort and Casino.  So basically you leave from the upper right of this map, ride around the loop through the visitor's center down to 160 and then back - skipping the park loop on the return.  When I rode this it was 85 in the valley and 60 at 9 am with very strong winds.  The descent was fun on good roads - the beginning was very technical and I couldn't hold speed around the turns but on the second half of the descent I was "bombing" down in the aerobars on a 6% grade carrying 35 -38 mph and those who have ridden big west coast descents know that I am very cautious until I know the condition of the road (etc); crash badly once on a downhill doing 45+ mph and you'll be the same.  So knowing that...you know there were good roads and wide turns on the bottom.  It was like skiing.  Very fun.  

A big thanks to the guys at Swim, Bike, Run Triathlon Shop in Las Vegas for guidance on where/when to ride and all your help.


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