Between studying for space craft physics exams, designing new experiments, and grading undergrad papers, Josh (Schooled You) Schoolcraft, Julian (Out on a Limb) Lim, and I had to miss Moab Muni Fest this year… so we took our frustrations out on a web of famous mountain biking trails dubbed Bootleg Canyon (http://www.bootlegcanyon.org) in Boulder City, Nevada. (One less day, one third the distance, and free room and board, thanks to my connections :D)
It’s only 30 minutes from the strip. It’s set up much like a ski resort. For a small fee, a driver will shuttle you up the fire road to the top. (You may want to put your helmet on for that drive.) From there, you can choose between a handful of different trailheads, most of which subdivide into more trail options as you continue down. The shortest route is under an hour. But you can choose routes several times longer than that. But if that’s not enough for you, get back on the shuttle and take a second run. The shuttle driver says he’ll pick you up just about anywhere. If you like what you see, you can even pitch a tent there over night!
That said, the terrain is enough to keep you interested for days. There are smooth, XC routes that newbies can handle, but also some truly death-defying sections that even the great Josh Witchcraft had to think twice about. There are shuttering steeps, razor sharps, meaty slabs, and some shale so loose that you’re constantly planning for bailouts. There’s even a view of Lake Mead. So if you’re ever passing through Vegas, it makes an excellent detour.
Of course, we wish we could have hung out with all you guys at Moab this year! But Bootleg turned out to be a pretty sweet alternative. And here are the pics to prove it…
(Still don’t know how to display photos in the text. Help wanted!)
The shorts are a form of misdirection. People can’t even see the unicycle!
Life got in the way of Moab this year, but the alternative worked out great. The technical challenge was top tier, and we’ll be back for sure - there were several trails in the DH section we didn’t check out, plus a few lines that I want another crack at. Those sharp rocks provided many “think twice” moments, but thankfully the only thing that sprung a leak on them was my tire.
Big thanks to Eyal for the connections (it’s like the mafia, only less illegal) and the great company! J-Lim provided many moments of hilarity, I should add…
Bootleg Canyon is great. I nearly died on Diva. It was worth it though. Afterwards I got to talking to a guy on a fixed-gear mountain bike. He was idling as we talked. It turned out he worked for Cirque de Soleil–training their cyclists and unicyclists.