[The Outdoor Issue]

In Downtown, relaxing is as easy as riding a bike

Downtown is the asphalt equivalent of a Zen garden.
Photo: Geoff Carter

The Valley has some great bike trails. If I wanted, I could ride Henderson’s Wetlands trail, which winds through striking desert greenery. Or pedal to Red Rock, like the lunatics I see sweating their way up the Canyon road on weekends. The Valley boasts miles of bike-friendly trails and roads, which you can find with a free map available at rtcsnv.com/cycling/bike-route-trails-map. Just don’t expect to see me on them. Forgive the pun, but that’s not the way I roll.

For me, bike riding isn’t a way to punish the body for past transgressions. (Those transgressions will continue, by the way, as long as Pizza Rock’s happy hour is still a thing.) I ride my coaster bike—a 1964 Schwinn Typhoon, with lots of what antiquing nerds call “patina”—not for my physical health, but to calm myself down. And Downtown, with its glassy-smooth and surprisingly under-trafficked streets, is the asphalt equivalent of a Zen garden.

During the warm months, I join group evening rides roughly every other week. Sometimes there are a few dozen of us riding a circuitous route from the Huntridge neighborhood, to the Arts District, then to the Fremont Street Experience (timing it so we can stop under the canopy during one of the light shows), to Fremont East and its environs (the Bunkhouse, usually), then back to the Huntridge Tavern, all in one big, LCD-lit pack. Or sometimes it’s just a few of us, riding the streets of “Lawyers’ Row”—bordered by Charleston Boulevard, Maryland Parkway, Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard—which are almost always empty of cars.

RTC now offers Downtown bike share (rtcbikeshare.bcycle.com), just $8 for a 24-hour rental. That ride won’t take you through wild desert, or turn your thighs into twin piledrivers. But you will have fun, and you might even see me, smiling all Zen-like as I ride by and wave.

Photo of Geoff Carter

Geoff Carter

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