Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mountain Biking near Joshua Tree

You may have noticed our mountain bikes in some of the Joshua Tree pictures.

While bikes are only allowed on the roads in the park, I scoped out some entertaining-looking riding just off the edges, using the useful MTB Project app.

Sector 6 was the first area to explore.  Also known as the Desert View Conservation Area, this is a small patch of land nestled adjacent to the park only a couple of miles from the Black Rock Campground where we stayed the first couple of nights.  It is covered in a maze of delightful singletrack and dirt roads, which we naturally had to explor the first day we were there to shake off the experience of all the crowds at the poppy reserve.

Doesn't Chad look happy?

Nim's definitely skilled and strong enough to ride a reasonable length with me,

although she did decide that she didn't like sand pits, leading the grimace on her face toward the end of the ride.  That might have also had something to do with the minor route mishap that led to contemplation of rough hike-a-bike over big boulders too...

We rode there pretty late in the afternoon, leading to nice late afternoon light, a rising full moon (above) and long bike shadows (below).

A few days later, we decided to circumnavigate Bartlett Mountain on the north end of town.  This loop was mostly dirt roads, which led me to argue to Nim that there might be less sand.

Lack of sand was not fully the case, which led to some dirty looks even on the non-sandy parts.

But it was pretty, and there were flowers!

Mt San Gorgonio still had snow on it, which seemed so very unlikely in the warm sunshine.

A desert mariposa lily, which are pretty rare according to the local hikers we ran into.  One section of the mountain was covered with them.

After a well-deserved reward of icy-cold popsicles, my peoples passed out at the campground.  Riding sand in the heat is hard work!

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