Fresno Cycling Club 
Desert Tour - March 23 to 28, 2020

   Last fall Ken Herrington, Nancy Dooley, and Brian Brellis put on an inexpensive bike tour from Davis to San Francisco over a five-day period. Everyone seemed to have a great time. Nine cyclists took part and the tour was such a success that we decided to do another one.

   Our next tour is a desert tour, planned for this March from the 23rd to the 28th. We will have an organizational meeting at 6:00 pm on February 12 at Marco’s Pizza in Clovis.

   Here is what we have planned:

    1. We will trailer our bikes down to Indio, CA, and then do a short flat ride on the first day and visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.
    2. On the second day, we will drive to the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park and ride our bikes through this unsung gem of the national park system. We will continue down scenic Box Canyon which has a brand-new road and almost no cars. We will do 2,900 ft of climbing and over twice that much descending on this first full day of cycling. An optional evening activity is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway ride and dine.
    3. On the third day of the tour we drive up to Barstow, and ride a piece of historic Route 66 “The Mother Road” and have lunch at the Bagdad CafĂ©. You can continue to ride along Route 66 or trade your cycling shoes for hiking boots and take an easy 4-mile round trip hike to Amboy Crater. It is a cinder cone that erupted about 10,000 years ago. From there we will regroup and drive the rest of the way to Las Vegas.
    4. No need for SAG drivers on day four. We will cycle from the hotel to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The short loop is 27 miles with 1800 ft of climbing or you can take the extended loop that is 42 miles with 2400 ft of climbing. Both offer the spectacular views of this beautiful area and entry is free with a Scenic America Pass. Las Vegas has plenty of afternoon and evening entertainment options including lots of free activities such as a volcano, a chocolate factory tour, fountains, flamingos, Freemont Street, and the Fall of Atlantis. And, I’ve heard you can gamble there too.
    5. On day five we head toward Death Valley National Park. You have lots of cycling options here. From Salsberry Pass down to Badwater is 43 miles of descending almost 4,000 feet. Badwater through Artist’s Drive is only 17 miles, but has plenty of short spikey climbs. Another 8 miles and 900 feet of climbing gets you to Zabriskie Point. You photographers won’t want to miss that. We will spend our last night of the tour at Furnace Creek. There will be a crescent moon that night and the desert is a great place to so some stargazing.
    6. Day six is a travel day but we might squeeze in some touristy stuff as we hit the road.

   So, here are the overall stats. During five days of cycling, there is up to 288 miles of pedaling, with 9,500 feet of climbing and 17,700 feet of descending. Since we are all cyclists, everyone will probably need to take a turn driving/sagging. We will be at just three different hotels over the five nights and you can really save some money by sharing rooms.

   We will go over all of the logistics at our dinner meeting at Marcos Pizza at Herndon and Armstrong on Wednesday February 12 at 6:00 pm. It’s $100 to reserve your spot. That money goes for gas, snacks and lunches on the road. Most hotels have a breakfast buffet and you are responsible to your own dinners and hotel lodgings. This promises to be another great trip. I hope you can join us.


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