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Cycling to Zzyzx this time of year: possible? From where?

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Cycling to Zzyzx this time of year: possible? From where?

Old 06-03-19, 06:32 PM
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AndreyT
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Cycling to Zzyzx this time of year: possible? From where?

I've been entertaining the idea of cycling Zzyzx one of these days. Anyone tried it? It appears (judging by Google maps) that the road to Zzyzx from I-15 is passable for a gravel-CX kind of bike. But what about the heat this time of year? Is it survivable if I'll have to ride back in the middle of the day? And what can one use as a starting point (i.e. park a car and continue by bicycle)? Is there any parking spots around I-15 - Zzyzx Road interchange? Or is it a "just park anywhere" kind of area?

Google Maps suggest a zigzagging 21 mile bicycle route from Baker to Zzyzx, which apparently goes through the desert. Is this survivable and/or passable on 32mm tires?

Last edited by AndreyT; 06-03-19 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 06-04-19, 12:25 AM
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Your best bet is really to exit at Zzyzx Road and just cycle south on Zzyzx Road. You could park just off the exit on dirt (there are some informal dirt parking places just off the exit ramps). Or, you could have a kind friend drop you off at Zzyzx Road and return to pick you up later.

Zzyzx Road itself is now mostly paved. It was paved several years ago. They left a short stretch of the road unpaved so that bighorn sheep and other desert animals could cross it (bighorns are often hesitant to cross pavement).

The route Google Maps takes you on seems to involve taking the Old Mojave Road west from Kelbaker Road across Soda Lake. Crossing Soda Lake is tough even in a 4x4. Soda Lake has sand/mud traps that sometimes snare 4x4s, especially after a wet winter. The Soda Lake mud is very corrosive to auto paint and undercarriages, so subjecting your bicycle's drivetrain or frame to it would not be advisable (you'd have no place to wash the corrosive mud off except in Zzyzx, or maybe Baker). I have seen cyclists on I-40 around Baker; it is probably legal to ride I-40, but I doubt you would like to use it to ride from Baker to Zzyzx.
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Old 06-09-19, 08:58 PM
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I have offroaded the Old Mojave Road and crossing Soda Lake was always a part of our route. It would be a cool area to bike and if you can make it to Travelers Monument, take a picture of your bike on the top of the mound.

Watch out though for some of the desert trucks that like to mob the route. Some of them are pushing highway speeds in the dirt.
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Old 06-26-19, 11:29 AM
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I notice that Strava Heat Map highlights some extra unpaved trails that parallel Hwy 15 and reach both Baker and Barstow. But they are highlighted in pedestrian mode only, and go completely dark in bicycling mode. Apparently all cyclists prefer to take Hwy 15 itself, if riding from Baker or Barstow. The highway seems to have a sufficiently wide shoulder.

Last edited by AndreyT; 06-26-19 at 11:46 AM.
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