Las Vegas Valley bicyclists celebrate new I-11 segment

The pink and orange hues of sunrise faded quickly as Joann Pavlovcak pedaled down a section of Interstate 11 on her electric-blue bike. For once, the road belonged to her.

As part of the newest addition to the federal interstate system, the I-11 segment signals the start of a freeway project expected to someday serve as a major trade route linking the United States, Canada and Mexico. But motorists won’t be allowed on the highway section until Aug. 9.

More than 500 bicyclists ruled the road Saturday morning, pedaling roughly 25 miles on the silky-smooth stretch of freeway from Boulder City’s Veterans’ Memorial Park toward the Colorado River and back.

“There were a lot of riders this morning that have never been on a new road like this,” said Keely Brooks, president of the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition. “It was a new experience for a lot of people.”

Saturday’s ride, which Brooks initially expected to attract just 50 to 80 riders, was hosted by the bike coalition in partnership with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

Just over two hours after Pavlovcak rolled out, the 46-year-old Las Vegas local came to a stop under the shade at Veterans’ Memorial Park. On her tail was Mike Dziedzic.

The two met that morning during the steep, uphill climb on a portion of I-11.

“She already feels like my sister,” Dziedzic said, a big grin swiped across his face. “I was going up the hill and she came up behind me, and I thought, ‘Holy smokes, she’s tough as hell.’ ”

Pavlovcak burst into laughter, shaking her head as she wiped the sweat collecting on her nose bridge.

“So then I tried to get in front of her wheel, but then she got in front of me,” Dziedzic, 46, continued. “So I tried to give it to her again. She won, obviously.”

The pair pushed through the uphill battle, but a support vehicle was available for any riders who needed a little extra help.

Pavlovcak, who moved to Las Vegas just two years ago, said she got her start as a cyclist in the hills of San Francisco. Meanwhile, Dziedzic has been riding since 2009 on Las Vegas roads.

Both agreed that they had never experienced anything quite like Saturday’s ride.

“It’s open road, you know, it’s smooth as butter. You can’t ask for anything better for a riding surface,” Pavlovcak said. “Typically you have bumps in the road here and there, and you’re always keeping an eye out for traffic. You could go as hard as you want on that road because you didn’t have to worry about any traffic, lights or stops.”

Dziedzic, who also is a member of the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition, added, “We’ll never have that experience again.”

Saturday’s ride took months of planning. But early on, Brooks, the bike coalition’s president, said that she knew the ride would offer “a unique opportunity for cyclists in our community.”

”It’s smooth and fast. Our roads here are just amazing,” she said Saturday as riders trickled back into the park. “I-11’s new alignment is pristine. There’s less friction with your wheels so you’re going fast.”

Brooks said she doesn’t know if another opportunity like this will come again. But she said that cyclists can watch for upcoming events hosted by the coalition on their Facebook page at

The $318 million freeway segment, funded by federal and state money along with Clark County’s fuel indexing tax, started construction in 2015 with work split between the Nevada Department of Transportation and the RTC.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like