September is here and the heat is finally leaving the Vegas valley. My good buddy, Tom, and I haven’t ridden together for years. He recently picked up a 2017 Husqvarna 501 (the twin to my ’17 KTM 500 EXC-F) and we’ve been itching to get out on the little bikes. I think the last time we rode was back when he had his KLR650 and I was on my XR650L on a rather cold and snowy April weekend in the Spring Mountains.
Has it been that long? Enough of the old days talk, let’s ride!
Tom and I set off Sunday morning to hit some dirt near Goodsprings.
Quickly pounding out the 20-30 miles to get out of town, we rode south down Las Vegas Blvd near Jean.
After about 5 minutes into the dirt road towards Goodsprings, I noticed something was missing.
I rode back a couple miles and luckily I found my GPS laying in the middle of the trail. A little battered and missing the batteries it seemed like it might have survived the fall. Time will tell.
We took a quick side detour. I wanted to give Tom a shot at the hillclimb on my super secret single track trail so we turned off the dirt road and headed into a canyon.
I got to the top of the tough part and waited for Tom.
This hill climb is tricky because it’s steep, offers hardly any traction and it’s right out of a turn which means there’s no run at it.
You can see how steep the hill is in this pic. Tom had some troubles at the tricky spot.
I rode back down to see how he was doing. He was getting tired faster than normal so he took a break to be on the safe side. He wasn’t feeling himself that day.
After we felt good to go, we hit the dirt trail towards Goodsprings.
We pulled into the Pioneer for a bite to eat. The guy who owned the old shitbox out front was sitting on a bench eyeing our bikes. He asked if I had ever seen Fear & Loating in Las Vegas. I said, “hell yeah I have!” He started quoting a line from the movie, “HusqvARNAS, Yamahas…..” I interrupted and finished “…KAWASAKIS, CZ’s, all very very fast”. He said, “hell yeah! hahaha” Tom’s Husqvarna reminded him of the movie.
We sat and had some lunch outside along with some cold ones. The temperature was great in the shade. I ordered a BBQ chicken sammich.
After lunch I asked Tom if he had ever been to the top of Potosi. He hadn’t, so up the mountain we rode!
The views get better and better really quick.
The road, which turns into a dirt trail at the top, is extremely steep. It’s hard not to wheelie when you are on the throttle hard.
As we approached the top, the trail curves around the back side of the mountain. You can see all the way to Sandy Valley and Pahrump at the top.
At the peak is a building and tons of radio towers.
We hiked up a little bit from where we parked so we could to see the view of Vegas.
After taking in the cool breeze and awesome views, we headed back down the mountain. Can you spot Tom?
I love the layers of mountains.
I stopped to wait for Tom so it was selfie time. Like my GoPro mount? I was trying something new. It didn’t work out as well as the method I used on my Toquerville ride.
We took Cottonwood Valley to the 160. This is still one of my favorite trails to go fast on. I really could feel the power gains from my recent Blais Racing ECU tune. It pulls much better in the higher rpm range now. It’s snappier too since I pulled the reed cage and there’s a little more fuel to compensate.
We got to the pass and took a quick break. I always love this view of Redrock.
Looking back the other direction, it was full of color.
Tom’s bike matched the bushes.
We got down to the highway and the Redrock views got even better. From there we took the dreaded asphalt back home. My bum was hurting after that.