Death Valley Bike Tour in 2022

Here is my blog of the awesome, six-day bike tour with Lizard Head that I did in and near Death Valley in March. Among the adventurous group of 14 guests and 2 guides were my son Gordon, brother Jay, and nephew Brian Cornwell, as well as friends Barb Schreiber and Mike Smolin with whom Mary and I biked in 2007!

I biked EFI (every fricking inch) of the offered rides, and the following itinerary reflects that.

Day 1 (March 13): Red Rock Canyon -> Blue Diamond + Old Spanish Trail -> Shoshone (49 mi & 2,600 ft of climbing)
Day 2 (March 14): Shoshone -> Furnace Creek (77 mi & 3,900 ft)
Day 3 (March 15): Furnace Creek <-> Dante’s View + Furnace Creek <-> Beatty Junction (63 mi & 4,200 ft)
Day 4 (March 16): Mile 12 -> Ubehebe Crater -> Stovepipe Wells (74 mi & 4,300 ft)
Day 5 (March 17): Stovepipe Wells <-> Emigrant Pass (46 mi & 5,400 ft) + 4-mi hike in Mosaic Canyon
Day 6 (March 18): Stovepipe Wells -> Rhyolite (41 mi & 5,300 ft)

This was a very well-photographed tour by me and others, so my blog is longer than usual. Also, check out Annette’s poem at the end.

Enjoy!

  • start of tour
  • bikers in Red Rock Canyon
  • family in Red Rock Canyon
  • bikes on van
  • Wayne and Jay by Amargosa sign
  • puddle in some dry grass
  • Shoshone sign pop 31
  • group in courtyard
  • Barb in a phone booth
  • family in parking lot
  • Gordon Wayne Jay bikes in the air
  • Jay bikes up hill
  • Wayne Gordon Jay with Salsbury pass sign
  • Jay biking in skeleton jersey
  • family with sign
  • badwater pool
  • looking out between the rocks
  • ranch sign
  • Lee Wayne Gordon in front of van
  • 15 percent grade sign
  • tortoise sign
  • Gordon biking
  • Wayne and Gordon at the top of a climb
  • desolate view with mountains
  • flowers
  • historic wagon parts
  • borax works plaque
  • group photo
  • wooden wagons
  • bikes and van and trailer
  • long road
  • crater
  • family at ranger station
  • dust devil
  • Gordon biking with road sign
  • sand dunes
  • parking lot
  • dinner
  • desert road
  • van with bikes and ladder
  • thumbs up at the pass
  • Gordon and Wayne at the pass
  • trail sign
  • family hiking
  • Jay climbing
  • rock arrow
  • Brian and Gordon
  • group stargazing
  • Wayne alone by general store
  • Wayne high speed turn
  • van with bikes
  • Wayne biking up hill
  • desert landscape
  • Gordon and Wayne Daylight Pass
  • Rhyolite sign
  • ruins
  • sign
  • train depot
  • sign
  • group photo

Multi-talented Annette wrote the following poem to commemorate the tour.

A fond memory by Annette Orella

I’m here to tell you all a quick rhyme 
Of a trip by fourteen once upon a time 
To Death Valley they rode
Bicycling their mode
To partake of all possible sweat and grime
 
Of great import were the guests on the trip
Not just anyone can take on this ***blip****
It takes true guts
Or perhaps be a little nuts 
To ride through the desert at a clip

From Oregon came Mike with Barb by his side
Three cross country trips a source of Mike’s pride
But she’s got a new plan
E-biking to catch up to her man
So up the hills her legs won’t be fried 

From San Diego hailed Rebecca and sweet Lou
Up and down the dunes they both flew
Not a pool did they miss
And with push ups found bliss
Through the trip their broad smiles and good karmas grew

From Kansas and San Diego came the clan
Bikers all through and through to a man
Wayne a true EFI
Gordon sturdy and spry
Jay and Brian never opting for the van (at least that’s the way I’m choosing to remember it!)

Next from New York came Patti and Steve
Whose laughter was truly a reprieve
She cranked up each hill
Pulling others by pure will
And keeping all entertained by your leave

Partway through we were joined by Richard and Lee
Sadly only one biker would they be
But Lee carried the flame
Riding hard all the same
While Dear Richard patiently did a look-see

And last but not least Chuck – none too slow 
Whose love for cycling continues to grow
As Annette tries to catch him
His sights never dim
As he continues to go go go go (go go go go go)

Now this story could not be complete 
Without the people who enabled this feat
Our guides were the best
Keeping bellies full, minds at rest 
Peter and Wylie thanks so much – what a week!

You might ask about our intrepid guide Wylie
Of whose praises we sing very highly
On each road he would dash
With tattoos and a stash
Providing care and encouragement kindly

This poem’s not complete without mention of Peter
Jersey born, a man of skills hard to beat(er)
Soft hearted and kind
Helping us out of many a bind
Having him guide was really a treat(er)

Now before we all say goodbye 
And return home with a bit of a sigh
We’ll pack up one last time
Jump on bikes, turn on a dime
And drink in the desert landscape and sky.