Riding $230 bike from LA to Vegas

Is only a bit over two hundred bucks sufficient for a road bike which would survive some 300 miles trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas? This was also our concern purchasing second-hand cycling machines from a very nice fellow based in LA.

Actually the selection was relatively broad. After several trials we decided to go for a black-yellow Centurion LeMans RS and a white Trek 1100. The second one, with its aluminium frame, looked more modern than the really old-fashioned muffed-steel Centurion. Both were very nice, though, and we were happy about the final price we negotiated – $230 a piece.

There are at least three different routes you can choose from going by bike from LA to Vegas. Very important to know is that in California and Nevada it is allowed to ride on a highway as long as there is no alternative road. And since there are not that many of them in the desert, big portion of the distance you cover being passed by cars and big trucks going at their highway speeds. At the beginning the safety feeling is probably not high but we got used to it quite quickly.

Being enthusiasts but not very experienced cyclists our goal was to reach Vegas in 48 hours. Breaking 24h would likely be doable for a strong athlete but would require riding during the night which we wanted to avoid. After a small crash and loss of a few hours we did experience it going down-hill along I15 from the Molycorp Mountain Pass to Primm. This section was a bit crazy as we did not have any proper front lights.

Bikes were perfect, though. Just two flat tires at the beginning and no other failures till Vegas. We were really sad getting rid of them although it was for a very good cause – a charitable auction.

It is easy to spend five, ten, if not twenty times what we paid for the bikes. Certainly you might get better equipment but our trip to Vegas proved us again that the equipment is not only what matters.