This ride was inspired by nothing more than to answer the question, “Where does this road go?” I had ridden the paved portions of the ride many times and had always turned around where the pavement ends knowing all too well Nevada’s back roads are no place for narrow road bike tires. Although the dirt road portion of this ride was only about 10 miles the answers it provided were well worth the trek.
In an earlier post I wrote about riding through Hungry Valley which had a similar start through Reno’s northern neighbor Lemmon Valley-Golden Valley. This ride was one ridge to the west. This time the starting point was Antelope Valley, separated from Lemmon Valley by a quick climb on Matterhorn Drive between Juniper and Coyote Ridges. I had ventured west on Antelope Valley Rd once before on a cyclocross bike to endure a true gravel-grinder that I have vowed not to repeat without mountain bike width tires. This passage west completes a loop back to Red Rock Rd on the south side of Fred’s Mountain.
The dirt road at the north end of Antelope Valley Road was well marked with a BLM sign welcoming you to public lands as well as giving distances to landmarks ahead. What was most surprising to me were the street signs at dirt road junctions in what was otherwise open-range BLM grazing lands. Other than a small group of shooters and a few isolated we were alone out here. This area is known as Bedell Flats south of the Dogskin Mountains. We left the dirt roads for some moto singletrack that took us across open pasture that eventually yielded to waist high sagebrush.
There were plenty of open roads that would take us away from Reno but we returned on Bird Springs Road. The sea of sagebrush was broken by a forest of juniper as we passed by the BLM managed Sand Hills OHV area. Bird Springs Road landed us on Red Rock Road which provided a well known route back to Reno. This trip was a great introduction to the Bedell Flats area north of Reno. To link Hungry Valley to Bedell Flats to Pyramid Lake and beyond is a great possibility.
Route taken is here: http://tpks.ws/EjVr