Vegas baby yeah!
Las Vegas hadn't been somewhere that had particularly appealed to me, but when my friend Caleb moved there to go back
to school for his Masters, I thought it would be fun to visit. After getting rained on in Aptos for a week, it was
great to arrive in the warmth of the desert, especially as I have fond memories of Nevada from touring last year. For my
first ride I went into town and cruised the strip, which was a laugh, though it is hard paying attention to the traffic
with all the bizarre stuff to look at! A very crazy town, but it doesn't pretend to be anything else than what it is: in your
face and over the top. Caleb lives on the east side of the city, so when I did my first longer ride I went out east to
get away from the traffic asap, and rode out to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. I'd recently seen a documentary about the
building of the dam, so it was good to go see it. Riding round the lake on a weekday I had the road all to myself too.
Vegas has been the fastest growing city in the US for some time, and continues to be so - something brought home to me when
I rode across it to get out to the canyons west of the city. Block after block of housing and strip malls, on and on. Plus
it is slightly uphill in that direction - not enough to see, but enough to make it hard work on the bike, and tedious when
you are plugging away from traffic light to traffic light. With all the building though, you have to wonder how long it
will last - Lake Mead was very low for the time of year when I was there, and it is the sole source of water, plus a lot
of the power. It is strange creating this city in the middle of the desert where there shouldn't really be anything.
The red canyons out to the west were very scenic, I found a nice tourist route that wound through them. Even met another
British cycle tourist, who coincidentally was also en route to New Zealand!
Unfortunately Caleb was sick whilst I was there, so wasn't up for quite as much partying as we would have liked, but I took
myself off to explore the strip. Lots of incredible buildings - it would be great fun to be a civil engineer in Vegas! I think
my favourite bit was the fountains outside the Bellagio, which performed to music several times a day.
It was a fun week in Sin City, and to my surprise I would like to go back - I thought I'd be happy just to say I'd been there -
but it is so bizarre and crazily fun that, especially whilst Caleb is still there, I will have to visit again.
New York, New York - all the famous sites in one place! Actually you don't need to travel the world, you can
just visit Vegas, where in addition to New York you can see Egypt, Paris, Venice and many others, all within a few minutes walk!
The contrast of being out in the canyons, only a few miles out of the city:
The strip from afar, spot the pyramid on the right, and the skytower on the left - complete with the world's highest
roller coaster on the top of it!
The fountains at the Bellagio: Rolling out the mist at the start of a daytime performance, and in full swing at night.