This 45min – 1hr daily conditioning route helps me condition both my body and my mountain bike for a wide variety of challenges encountered in desert wilderness and mountain areas. The challenges include hard gravel roads at high speed, dee[ loose gravel, sand, deep dust, traversing desert washes, large rocks, 30mph head and tail winds and much more. I use this course to test and upgrade my mountain bike with such features as advanced shock absorption systems, back carrier rack strategy, repair equipment to bring along, 4X thick tire tubes plus tube liners, handlebar cushioning systems, breaks and other features.
The route is a large circuit in the Centennial Hills and Northern Las Vegas desert area. Views along the way include the La Madre Mountains Wilderness, Mt. Charleston Wilderness, Sheep Range, Fossil Ridge, Gass Peak, Frenchman Mountain, the Las Vegas Strip and more.
Start and end in Centennial Hills within a couple blocks of the very North end of Rainbow Blvd in Las Vegas. There is a parking area for a few cars at this location.
Travel South to Grand Teton St., take a right, then a second right on Buffalo (which changes its name to Silverstone Ave as you turn right). Take a left on Rachel St. and then a right on Durango. Alternately, after you take a left on Rachel take the next right, travel about 1/4th mile then take the first cross street to the left which will dead end in a park with an extensive network of well maintained hiking/running/cycling paths. Take an immediate right onto the first path, then wind around to the left and out the far side of the park. As you turn left you will be bordering the South side of Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. You might take time to ride around the Tule Lake (as pictured in the video and slide show on this page). It’s a large, very beautiful park with fishing, picnicking and other recreational activities.
Head out the main entrance of Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs and as you pass the entrance gate you will be on Brent St. Continue on Brent St., then turn right onto Durango Blvd. Continue on Durango until it ends at Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. You might take time to explore the bad lands and washes at the Fossil Beds and search for fossils. However, you’ll find more fossils more easily around the Fossil Ridge area in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
The “lunatics” part of this loop is all the western and northern direction you have traveled up to now. Often you will be riding against 20-30-mile-per-hour winds!
To continue the mountain bike conditioning loop, take a right at the end of Durango and continue about a block until the street dead ends. Jump a fence to your left, circle around to the right behind a large dirt mount (it’s about 20-30ft high), cross a large wash and ascend the retaining wall on the far side. The angle of incline on this wall is gradual enough to allow you to ride your bike up the wall! At the top of the wall take a left onto a well graded gravel surface power line maintenance road.
This maintenance road is a long, straight stretch heading East. This is the “Lickety Split” part of the loop, often with those same 20-30-mph winds at your back dramatically increasing your speed on this gravel surface. Hold the bike steady, have good shock absorption features built into the seat and front fork and enjoy the wild ride for a few miles!
After a few miles you’ll see a couple red diagonal warning signs cautioning you to end your advance on the power line maintenance road. This is due to that road approaching the Clark County Gun Range. Unless you want to be a target, take a right about 50 yards before reaching the warning signs and head straight South across the desert. Watch to connect with an old dirt road that heads South to your starting point at the end of Rainbow Blvd. The last portion of the road skirts the East border of the Silverstone residential area, so let that complex be a point of reference. In the video on this page I give a better reference point which is a mountain in the distance.
Your route across the desert, though pretty fast due to more tail winds, will also be very bumpy. The old dirt road is neither graded nor maintained. You’ll encounter the sunbaked hardened ruts of 4WD vehicles, lots of bumps and hills and areas of deep loose dry dirt and sand that threaten to bog you down. Hold your handle bars lightly where possible and hope that you engineered excellent shock absorption into your seat and seat post unless you want to jar your brain into the next century with the bumps and vibrations! That said, it’s a thrilling stretch at high speed. After a couple miles you’ll skirt the Eastern edge of Silverstone Estates and come out at the end of Rainbow Blvd.
One wild ride around the Lunatics Lickety Split Loop and you’ll know why I gave it that name. It definitely contains nearly every surface condition I encounter in the mountains and helps me daily tune up my mountain bike and my physical conditioning. When in the mountains I ride with more confidence, skill, control and assurance through a wide variety of conditions due to my daily practice on the Lunatics Lickety Split Loop.