“Hell of the West” Spidermonkey Spring Training Camp

It all began with a short trip to visit Dean’s parents in Las Vegas and a visit to J.T’s Bicycle Shop. Next thing we knew 8 spidermonkeys were embarking on a trip to Vegas for spring training. What followed was an epic 5 days of nonstop riding, eating, drinking and FUN!

After taking our private shuttle from the airport to the Fiesta Casino in Henderson (aka blue-haired-oxygen-tank-loose-slots-we-love-locals-hangout), we checked in and then hit the $4.99 all-you-can-eat buffet. We thought that would be the last we’d see of the grand buffet. Next, we picked up two necessities for our trip: player’s cards (aw yeah) and our bikes. We wanted to be fresh for the ride in the morning, so this was our first and last attempt at a good night’s sleep.

Day 1 (link to garmin): up bright and early and on our bikes. J.T. led us to the start where there were about 30 local’s from Green Valley Cyclists and Las Vegas Bike Club ready to show us what Vegas riding was all about. Pretty quickly we were doing lots of climbing and going down massive switch back hills. We were thrilled when we finally reached the Hoover Dam. At this point, we had covered almost 40 miles and 2000 feet of climbing. Hoover Dam was a beautiful place to stop and take pictures and admire the new access bridge recently completed. Little did we know, we were about to climb up another steep climb to admire it from ON the new bridge! It started to occur to us that the Vegas crew might be trying to rip our legs off! We crossed both Hoover Dam bridges twice before finally heading back home. 4 hours, 60 miles and 3750 feet of climbing on our first day! EPIC!

A few miles away from the hotel and we were famished. Fiesta’s $4.99 buffet sounded like a dream come true. Using our VIP passes and player’s cards, we were hooked up with a table right away. At this point, the only thing that would’ve made our lives better is to lay in our bed’s while eating instead of sitting in chairs. But we suffered through and then headed to the ice cold pool where we soaked our legs and piri formis’s.

Vegas Strip here we come! This was Rebecca’s first time! Our experiences included seeing the mall in Cesar’s Palace, mall in Planet Hollywood, Trent gambling, crazy expensive drinks, photo-hand slapping dudes on the street, scantily clad dancers, and dancing water fountains. When it was time to head home, we did it vegas style and stretch limo’d it.

Day 2 (link to garmin): We hit the bikes again vowing that we would not eat at the buffet afterwards. This time, we did the same route but not all the way to Hoover Dam. It was beautiful! We loved it and we loved the group we were riding with. J.T. was the best ride leader ever! He took us on a ride around Las Vegas Lake where Celine Dion lives. We love you Celine! We hope she heard us. This amazing ride was 50 miles and 2500 feet of climbing. Cake!

We just couldn’t resist the all-you-can-eat $4.99 buffet AGAIN! After repeating the ice cold pool, we got ready for our big night on the town. We headed to T(reasure)I(sland) to see the Cirques du Soleil (Mystere). A lot of firsts and the show did not disappoint…incredible! Afterwards, we got into party mode, forgetting that we had to get up for another grueling ride in the morning. Before it was too late, our voice of reason stepped in to save us from ourselves. Thank you voice of reason.

Day 3 (link to garmin): As Liz says, the next day was our “best idea ever!” ride. We drove out to Red Rock and started the ride with JT and a few local riders. It started out uphill…and we were feeling rough. It continued uphill for at least 10 miles. We did everything to try and keep moving. Songs, pushes from Josh, Dave Noda in our heads telling us to pedal full circles, etc. Once we made it to the top of Red Rock (4700 feet), we stopped for a mini celebration. It was downhill from here into Blue Diamond. This ride was such a treat!

Afterwards, we stopped at JT’s Bicycle Shop to return the bikes and down some pizza. We can’t say enough nice things about JT and his shop. Everything exceeded our expectations. He set us up with fantastic bikes, had everything we needed at his bike shop, his bike shop was convenient, he led all the rides for us, and JT himself is top notch! We are so glad we got to know him. Next time you’re in Vegas, we highly recommend stopping by his shop.

After some ice cold pool time, we headed to Dean’s parents for an Okun BBQ. Gil really knows how to BBQ! Pretty quickly the Spidermonkey’s started up a drinking game. We were on cloud 9 and needed to celebrate our 3 days of “Hell of the West” riding. 150 miles of amazing roads, scenery, riding friends and over 10,000 feet of climbing!!! After the BBQ, we headed to Green Valley Ranch and drunk dialed Stewart (as requested). To our delight, the casino had Beer Pong games going and some of us jumped right in. Turns out the Spidermonkey’s are pretty good at Beer Pong with the exception of Josh who says “I can’t play games with balls”.

We had so much fun, we didn’t want it to end. Alas, it was time to leave and what a sad flight home. But what a terrific group of people and a great group of rider’s! Not only did our legs hurt on the way home, but our mouths and stomach’s from so much laughing. You are all amazing people and we can’t wait to do this trip again! Epic!

Pictures here:
Some of our favorite quotes:
Mike: “Do you have a little captain in ya?” (to Dean’s Mother)
Justeen: “That’s the fastest I’ve ever ridden!”
Trent: “This drink tastes like vacation!”
Liz: “I’m taking away all of Josh’s gold stars. And giving them to Justeen.”
Dean: “I wish I could lay down while eating the buffet.”
Vanessa: “On your left! On your left! I need speed!”
Rebecca: “Amazing! Fantastic! Incredible! Awesome!”
Josh: “You’re all dead to me. Except for Trent.”


  1. Sounds awesome for sure!! So jealous…

  2. I am there next year!! this year the timing didn't work out b/c of the new job!

  3. Sounds like you guys had a blast. Did anyone fire a rocket off the Hoover Dam?? Lake Santee Crew is jealous of you guys.

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