Specialized Ride to Vegas – Tears Before Bedtime

Lone Pine, day four of the 2010 Specialized Ride to Vegas. Buoyed by memories of last year's express train South (the first handful rode the 104-mile stage in 3 hours and 47 minutes) today's sandblasting saw the winds exact a little revenge... six and a half hours worth to be exact. It's been a harder ride this year. Today was tough, but not all punishment. Early in the morning they hit the big descent to Bishop in relatively calm air and hit 60 mph in all manner of tucks, bar straddles, under hand aero grips and knee locks. The collective yippee is still out their somewhere picked up by the afternoon's jetstream it's somewhere over the Northwest Territories now. What a difference a year makes.

Specialized Ride to Vegas 2010 Specialized Ride to Vegas 2010

Saturday the group shook off the numbness of a chilly night in tents by tackling 4.5 miles of 18% Sonora Pass just two miles from their cryogenic sleeping bags. After a tiny respite the pass kicked again with another 3.5 miles of 17% (data courtesy of Lee's iBike app). I've never seen anything like it... well actually I have, this year's Tour, Stage 12 Bourg-Peage to Mende ended with the 3.1km Jalabert Climb to the aerodrome, but that thing was an appetizer compared to this beast which just cried out for a chair lift. Our bunch soldiered up and over the 9624 foot summit for a hot wheel track descent (with the occasional wandering cow for interest) to Highway 395 and a right, down to Mammoth. I said down, but what I really meant was IN, because they got clobbered by a hot headwind the whole way. Norcal Bikesport's Glen Fant summed up the day with an emphatic one finger salute at the finish that would have made Mark Cavendish proud.

I'll sign off now. Tomorrow we climb into Death Valley. Trust Specialized's Nic Simms (superman below and I might add one of the greatest living shadow puppeteers) to come up with the perfect summation. If the wind blows tomorrow like it did today... "there will be tears before bedtime." Let's hope not.

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17 Responses to Specialized Ride to Vegas – Tears Before Bedtime

  1. Jon Moss says:

    SUPERMAN! Now that is madness – I like it! Titanium cojones if he did that whilst moving…

    Great shots Michael and glad to hear it’s going well. The weather looks stunning… I’m jealous as we had 24 hours of rain yesterday. Groan.



  2. Mark says:

    Awesome photos Michael – wishing I was with you guys again this year. See you in Vegas!

  3. Darla says:


    Great photos! (Of course.) We’ll see you at the show! Stop by and say hello. :)

    • Hi Darla,

      I’ll definitely drop by to see you all. Looking forward to staying put in one place for a couple of days. Saw the new Phil Wood site, but haven’t had a chance to delve in yet… looking good.


  4. Jordan says:

    What are you shooting with while riding? I have been using a Canon S90.. great pocket cam for rides.

  5. Heather says:

    Great photos Michael and Nic Sims is definitely a “superman”. Love this photo of him.

    Nic’s wife!

    • Hi Heather,

      Nic sure is a force of nature. Quick on the draw with a joke or a good line, he keeps things light and fun as all those miles tick by. He and I seem to have spent much of our youth watching the same films and tv shows… everything from Blue Peter to Where Eagles Dare. Today, at the top of the big climb into Death Valley he started with “Broadsword calling Danny Boy” (the Where Eagles Dare reference). I was probably the only person within 100 miles that got it. It’s been a fun trip, just one day to go.


      • Heather says:

        He is definitely fun to be around! I guess you must be British to have watched Blue Peter and the 1000 things you can do with a piece of double sided sticky tape! Looking forward to seeing your photos again of this trip – wish I could do it but the day with 64 miles of climbing would have probably killed me.

        Hope to meet you sometime!


  6. Brandy says:

    What great pictures! Thank you for sharing! Nic looks amazing in his “superman” pose! I think that it is so cool that all of you ride to interbike every year!
    Be safe on the road and have a great interbike this year!

    • Hi Brandy,

      We got here in one piece Tuesday, everyone safe and sound (and in some cases, amazed at what they accomplished)

      Can’t wait for the next one.


  7. Demostene Romanucci says:

    Congratulations on your new life path. I saw some of your shots in Peleton magazine. Congratulations, again. (My Rapha issues ar e not your fault, but you did, make things “worse.”)

  8. Stephen says:

    Just saw that Specialized put these photos up on their website. Hot!


  9. That was cool, thanks

    I also noticed a couple of other shoots when I checked the link


  10. A tremendous collection of different images from the event. I wish I had just one of these stomach muscles needed in the death defying stunt., sadly I fail the test.


  11. Great superman pose. I do agree the man must have big cojones to do that at any speed!

    BTW what is that orange cruiser moped? Do you have any other pictures or information? Looks like summer fun machine!