Living in Nevada means you can cycle down the main boulevards of Las Vegas, Reno, and other cities that dot our state’s landscape – kaleidoscopes of colors and sounds and excitement. Or, if you’re more into the beauty of nature, grab your rugged off-road bicycle and hit Nevada’s bike trail system for some spectacular views in the peace and quiet of the back country.
There are parks to bike with the kids, and family-friendly nature trails that’ll get you and the kids out to see the beauty of Nevada’s pristine natural sights – views that only the adventurous ever get to see. The diversity of our state’s terrain makes it possible to see the city sights and bright lights at night and be miles from civilization the next morning.
Nevada Loves Cyclists, and Cyclists Love Nevada
The Nevada state government encourages biking, and the state Legislature even created a Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board to: “promote programs and facilities for the safe use of bicycles and pedestrian safety in this State, and advise appropriate agencies of the State on policies, programs and facilities for the safe use of bicycles and pedestrian safety.”
Jeff Mason knows the territory and what Nevada has to offer cyclists. Based in northern Nevada, he is an IT professional at the Nevada Department of Administration, biking adviser to Nevada Department of Tourism, and biking enthusiast.
He agreed to share information about all the biking opportunities in Nevada: everything from biking trails for the family in urban and park areas to long-distance mountain bike races for hardcore cycling enthusiasts.
Mason just returned from taking a three-day day bike trip to Mammoth Lakes in northern California. He owns several different bikes, and chooses which one to ride depending on whether he’s on the road or in the mountains. “Nevada is great for riding your bike down your driveway and into the mountains, like Lake Tahoe, without needing to drive your car to get there,” he explained.
Mason said family biking has become increasing popular. “Cities are developing bike trails so families can explore local sights. Carson City is developing bridges and paths along the Carson River to better tie together local monuments and sites,” he said. “Work continues on the Tahoe-Pyramid Bike Trail, from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. It follows the Truckee River and is a mix of road and dirt trails.”
The state’s tourism agency encourages Nevada residents and visitors to try “bike packing.” “It’s like back packing, but with a bike,” explained Mason. “It’s a multi-day, off-road adventure into the wilderness…..on your bike…using a map.”
“Nevada has many low-traffic paved roads that make for good biking,” he added. “You can take a ride through ghost towns like Berlin, located in Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. As you explore, look for hot springs or mountain creeks.”
Epic Rides across the Silver State
A very popular event takes place this year from September 25 to October 1. This six-day adventure is an annual bike ride across Highway 51, nicknamed “The Loneliest Highway.” Click here to read about the 25th Annual “OATBRAN – America’s Loneliest Bike Tour.”
Next May is the Comstock EPIC race, which crosses Nevada from Utah to California – a 513-mile route incorporating 15 mountain passes. The Comstock EPIC challenges racers’ strength, endurance, navigation skills and water/food supply strategy as they cross the Great Basin unsupported. Mason said, “This event is great for the local economy of central Nevada and fills up the hotels.” For more information on this race, visit www.mtbikenevada.com.
Biking for the Rest of Us
You may not be ready for a multi-day endurance race, but here are some online resources to help you get started on a day trip or leisurely afternoon ride:
A listing of some of the best mountain bike trails in Nevada: http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/best_trails.php?new_state_id=409
This website shows urban trails perfect for family outings:
If you’re looking for family-friendly bike trails in southern Nevada, this website will make sure the whole family has a great day:
www.bicyclenevada.com is a website developed by the Nevada Department of Transportation with information on safe biking practices and sharing the road with autos.
Fall is a great time to get out and explore your neighborhood or your city on a bike, and Nevada offers lots of options for longer trips. Check out these resources and start biking today.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.
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