Specialized Ride 2 Vegas, Day 2

They told me where we were. I could see it on a map. It still didn’t help. It was the most nowhere I’ve been in a while. We seemed to be the only tourists passing through. Hard to say why; it’s beautiful country.

Strava tells me my suffer score for today’s 74-mile ride was a measly 89. I’d buy that if we’d been riding at sea level. But we weren’t. Not by a shot. The whole day was above 5000 feet, which meant that any time I needed to make a surge, I had a quarter of the pedal strokes available before redlining, compared to what I can do back home.

Highlight of the day: talking bike tech with Chris D’Alusio for two hours. I’m shelled, because to talk to him meant taking pulls just as long as his, but it was beyond worth it. His insight into geometry, handling, bike design and how stiffness can both contribute to a bike’s performance or detract from it was nothing short of a revelation. I’ve heard from others he’s a genius, but what he shared with me today was worth taking notes on.

Nic Sims (nearest the camera) is the man riding point for Specialized on the bike magazine front. When it comes to media requests, Nic, shall we say, makes things happen. 

We saw clouds doing things that gave our riding an extra skitch of urgency.

We’re not sure what this was. With the Zip code on it, some thought it might be a post office. Others volunteered a one-room school. Seemed best to get pictures and keep moving.

You can follow the ride on Strava.



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  1. BikeRog

    Your photos remind me of a great quote from a role model of my generation, the late Steve McQueen: “I’d rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.”

  2. Fausto's Schnauzer

    One more thing to note about Chris D’Alusio: Never, ever I mean never-ever try to follow him on a mountain descent! The term “comfortable speed” has a completely different meaning to him.

  3. Mark

    Holy crap, Padraig, you guys (probably) went right past or through my tiny little town! If you went past Axtell, you were on Route 89. Some photographers think it’s the most beautiful road in America, as it goes past or near Sedona, Zion, Bryce, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier.

    If you can’t find Axtell on the map, try looking for Salina, UT, at the intersection of I-70 and Route 89. Head north from there to Gunnison, UT. Axtell is in between the two, but isn’t really anything more than some farms clustered together. I live about 30 miles north in the slightly-larger town of Mount Pleasant, population ~2000. It’s beautiful, but there aren’t that many roads besides 89, and the drivers around here aren’t used to sharing… nor are they used to lycra on adult males.

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