2020 was not a very event-full year, at least in terms of “real” bike events. Sure, many of us, yours truly included, did some virtual events/tours, and even some racing, but it wasn’t nearly the same as being there with a bunch of riders that were suffering (or not) right along with me.
And the after parties…I really miss those!
SPEAKING OF EVENTS…
AT the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce we’ve continued to work on the 2021 Deathride and are optimistic that we can pull it off. I’m on the periphery if you will — the actual work is being done by our Executive Director, Becky DeForest-Hanson, and our Ride Director, Curtis Fong — so I won’t go into much detail but suffice it to say there’s a good chance IMHO that we’ll be riding those iconic California Alps climbs in July.
WE’VE also been talking with the folks at FulGaz about doing some sort of virtual Deathride in the first quarter of 2021! Something along the lines of the Bay Area Virtual Fondo, perhaps. It would give you veteran Deathriders a chance to do some training in the pain cave prior to the big day. And for any of you who haven’t done the ride you’d get a chance to wet your wheels, so to speak. Remember, we’ve filmed all of the climbs (and some other local rides too) so you’ll be able to experience the real thing…virtually ;-).
BIKE the West’s America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride and Tour de Tahoe are on my list. Well, at least one of them is…And I’m looking forward (admittedly with a bit of trepidation) to my first gravel grinder: Stetina’s Paydirt, in September of 2021.
ON a somewhat tangential note
RECENTLY I participated in a virtual meeting involving several bike coalitions and representatives of Caltrans District 10. Rob Williams, outreach manager at the California Bicycle Coalition (aka CALBIKE) set up and facilitated the meeting, which was primarily focused on us all getting to know each other a bit and devising a plan to work together moving forward.
IT was a great get-together and nice connections, and in several cases, reunions, were made. More on that in a future post.
FOR now though I’d like to direct you to an article that was recently published (Rob was the author, by the way) on Bike Valley to Sierra, entitled “40 Years of Cycling the California Alps.” It’s a nice little missive and besides other data that matta, has links to some other events in District 10, which includes Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
WHAT’S on your list? Feel free to share by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook page.
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Please stay safe and healthy and keep training so we can all kick some passes’ asses next year.
Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in North America, and is the second deepest lake in the United States. The lake is 22 miles long, 12 miles wide and about 72 miles around, with an average depth of 1000 feet! It’s one big ‘ol lake and last Friday one of my riding buddies and I tackled it by bike in the counter-clockwise direction.
The first person, by the way, to name the deepest lake in the U.S. by commenting on our Facebook page, will receive a CA Alps Cycling t-shirt.
Never having ridden around the lake before I wasn’t sure what to expect. Yes I had driven it by car but I never really thought about what it would be like by bike, other than amazingly beautiful and scenic.
Well, as Gomer Pyle would have said: “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”
While it was a beautiful day and the lake seemed a deeper blue than normal, as did the sky (perhaps due to the lack of smoke we had become used to over the last several weeks) it was quite the eye-opener to actually ride it.
Here’s What I Learned
There ain’t a whole lot of room on the shoulder(s). In fact in some sections of road there ain’t any!
Many sections of road are in a state of disrepair with some nasty bits of asphalt (or lack thereof) ready to surprise you. Yeah, our roads in CA could use some work, I know that. Still…
There’s more traffic than I expected. I was thinking it wouldn’t be too bad on a Friday, during the late morning into the afternoon, but I was wrong.
Can you say tourists? This was somewhat of a “doh!” moment certainly and I mention it in order to point out that tourists are doing their job – gawking. They are not looking out for cyclists and in some instances I noticed they weren’t even looking out for themselves.
Okay, you’re right…it’s not just tourists that don’t pay attention.
There are a huge amount of hiking trails to be found in and around and that generates more traffic and more pedestrians.
Many people park on the side of the road either for convenience or due to necessity and that means cyclists need to BOLO for doors!
Take a look at this ~8 minute video to get a sense of what I’m “talking” about. This clip starts just after D.L. Bliss State Park and ends just past Emerald Bay. You can catch a glimpse of Fannette Island and I should also mention that there is some “blue language” (hey, that’s appropriate!) about 2/3 of the way through the clip. Color commentary…
Some Other Tidbits
We road it counter-clockwise as I mentioned early on in this post. Why? We thought it safer; you’re on the mountain side not on the lake side (there are some steep drop-offs) so if something goes amiss you won’t have to try and rappel (or get help rappelling) back up.
Plan on somewhere around four (4) hours to complete the loop. Sure, some will be faster and some will be slower. We took the slow-boat approach and so it took us about 4.5 hours.
There is about 4000′ of climbing over the course of the approximately 72 miles of riding. Mostly rollers but there are a couple decent climbs – one from D.L. Bliss State Park towards Emerald Bay (some of this section can be seen on the above video clip) and another from Cave Rock up to the Highway 50/28 intersection.
There are hosted event options (next year) such as America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride and Tour de Tahoe. Check out Bike the West for those.
There are a lot of good grinds around the lake. We stopped at Sonney’s BBQ Shack near Emerald Bay and had the most AMAZING turkey clubs we’ve EVER HAD. I kid you not.
So as I told my family and some friends post-ride, you have to be on your game to do this ride. Unless you stop for the sights I suggest you keep your eye on the ball as there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for boo-boos.
My lawyer would want me to tell you that California Alps Cycling IS NOT responsible for anything that might occur if you decide to ride it yourself. You assume all risk and should realize that cycling, especially in high-traffic areas, is inherently dangerous.
So, with that said, if you do decide to partake in one of the most scenic, and high-on-most-cyclist’s-bucket-lists, rides in the world, be wary, have fun, stop for some grub and take some time to look around (off the bike).
Well, not a forum per se, but work with me here…I’m referring to California Alps Cycling headquarters, which could loosely be defined as a forum.
Webster’s “1b definition” of forum is “a public meeting place for open discussion.” While we haven’t had any public meetings (aka grub and beerfests) recently, we have in the past and we certainly plan to have more in the future. This virus too shall pass…
For you youngsters — admittedly I was only 6 years-old when the movie premiered but I thought it would be good to provide some context — here’s a link to a clip of the movie, and if you’d like to go the extra mile and read the Pittsburgh Current review, click here.
So now that I’ve set the tone, as it were, let’s get to my story of woe. “Whoa” also works in this case, as you’ll see. Read on!
Last Friday, again thanks to Alta Alpina’s Social Distancing Racing Series, I participated in my 7th TT in the last 7 weeks. This was the first climb we did in the series and being a clydesdale (6’2″, 220#) I knew I wasn’t going to be in the top 10, so my goal was to get it done in under an hour; my previous best was 1:10. I rode from HQ so I got in a nice warm up of about 20 miles or so before I hit the grade, a Cat. 1 climb.
As you can see, I was a happy camper post-climb and was stoked to hit my goal. And as it turns out I placed 17th out of 34. Not bad for a fat-boy!
BTW if you haven’t done Kingsbury before you should definitely add it to your list. It’s not as brutal as Monitor or as long as Ebbetts and the views into Carson Valley are amazing! The shoulder is fairly wide as well and the road is pretty clean. Did I mention the descent? It’s a screamer!
After the glide down the grade I was pretty much toast but I figured a little rest, some water and a bit of food would do me, so when I talked to my soigneur (aka wife) from the base of the climb I told her I’d go ahead and ride back.
Here’s where the funny part starts
About 5 miles in on my return trip I wasn’t feeling it. Or maybe I was but in the wrong way. It’s been so long since I bonked I didn’t remember what it felt like and while I don’t think I completely hit the wall I realized I didn’t have another 20 miles in me, especially if I had to do those frickin’ rollers on Hwy. 89!
So, I texted my trusty assistant and asked her to come and get me. I told her where we should meet (Mad Dog Cafe & Market in Woodfords) and that I would keep riding. I also asked her to bring some cold water. About another mile in I realized I wasn’t going to make Mad Dog so I texted her again with another location and wrote that if I wasn’t there that she should just keep driving down Foothill until she saw me. Well, as you can imagine our cell service isn’t the best here in the heart of the Sierra so she didn’t get the complete message.
When I finally made it to our rendezvous-point I went a bit further up the little road then I should have (nature-break needed) and as I came back around THERE SHE WAS! YAY! RESCUED!
BUT She drove right on by!
I whistled (and I have a LOUD whistle), I yelled, I waved. But to no avail. No brake lights, no wave, nothing. So I texted her and told her she passed me and to turn around. I then began riding back towards Kingsbury, albeit much slower than my first leg in the a.m. Still…nada.
Then I called and thankfully she answered. By this time I was truly gassed but at least I had ridden far enough to try and catch her that I got in my half-century.
She turned around and we agreed to meet at another designated point, this time a landmark – Fredricksburg Cemetery. Appropriate, huh?
After a few minutes of waiting and no sag-wagon appearing I checked her out on “Find my iPhone.” What!? She was going the other way! Shit! Wait…No she’s turning around. Here she comes. There she is! With my cold water, too. I was already tasting it.
We laughed as I hung onto the truck and then I asked for the water. No dice! She left so fast she didn’t get that part of the message. “Oy vey” as my dearly departed Grams would say! Thankfully she did have some water though (emergency supplies that we always carry) and that was guzzled down very quickly as you can imagine.
What’s MY moral to the story?
First of all, pick a landmark, Mark, and stay there! Second of all, drink more water you fool. Third…If you’re going to give it full, or close to full gas, on the way up an almost 8 mile ascent with ~2500 feet of climbing, eat more.
I know these things but for some reason in my TT induced haze I forgot them. Don’t be like Mark!
The Alpine Co. Chamber of Commerce, located here in Markleeville, CA, hosts and owns the ride, and this year, as I alluded to back in September, we’ve (full disclosure – I’m on the Board of Directors) decided to up our game, hence the tagline: “Deathride Resurgence.”
We’ve also inked a deal with Alta Alpina Cycling Club to host a training series of approximately five (5) different rides in the Deathride area. This club (it is based in Carson Valley – Lake Tahoe but members, including yours truly, do a lot of riding in Alpine Co.) does a lot of good works in the area (among other things they are one of our “Adopt-a-Highway” neighbors) and also has great experience putting on races and rides of their own, including the Alta Alpina Challenge.
As the only hard-core cyclist on the board, I’ve also been making it my mission to help my colleagues better understand why we cyclists do what we do and why we like what we like; I’ve been able to bring some of what I’ve learned doing organized rides over the years as well as share some insights about the Deathride course and the mountains that we climb.
15000 Feet of Elevation and 5 Categorized Climbs
Like I mentioned above, a change in terminology…We’ll still be climbing both sides of Monitor Pass, both sides of Ebbett’s Pass (albeit not all the way into Bear Valley – keep reading) and the eastern side of Carson Pass. In the past we referred each of these as passes but this year we’ve begun using the UCI lexicon – climbs. Technically, we only climb to three passes, right? We do, however, do five categorized climbs, four of which are hors catégorie (the other is a Cat. 1).
A Renewed Emphasis on Safety
With a strong(er) emphasis on safety this year, including more outreach to neophyte deathriders, we will make the ride even safer. We’re talking hay bales at risky corners (think Cadillac Curve), better signage, more robust outreach to non-riders, course marshals, safety talks and training, SAG and sweep support, HAM radio communications and staggered starts. For you early birds, including this guy, that means no more getting on the course at 3:30 a.m. The ride begins no earlier than 5:00 a.m.; we’ll have groups of riders departing every 15 minutes (you can pick your start time when you register). While we’ve got an excellent safety record, thanks to Curtis and Team, we’ll be even safer this year.
Other Route Options Being Explored
We had hoped to change the route this year to include Pacific Grade, and to remove Carson Pass. Unfortunately due to various concerns from CalTrans, local and state law enforcement, business owners, and others, we were not able to make it happen. Many riders have expressed support for this change and we appreciate that but currently there are so many logistical concerns we decided we needed to move on, at least this year. We’ll continue to work on it with the hopes that we can bring our neighbors to the southwest into the Deathride fold. Wouldn’t it be awesome to ride into Bear Valley or Lake Alpine next year? And, while Carson Pass is beautiful, I personally would much rather do a longer stretch of Highway 4 instead. Have some thoughts on this? Comment on this post or our Facebook page or better yet, bring your fine self and your voice to the ride this year and let us, and others, know how you feel. We’d love to hear from you!
It’s a grueling and painful, yet amazing experience to do the Deathride. I’ve ridden it three (3) times yet only completed all the climbs one time (in 2017). In 2018 I was only able to complete three (3) climbs and last year, while I was the strongest I had ever been, I caught a nasty cough the day before the ride. Still, I was able to complete four (4) climbs: 7.5 hours on the bike, 10,433 feet of elevation and about 83 miles of distance. This year, I’m hoping to PR this bad boy and it would be great if you could join us too. Whether you’re all in and planning on doing all the climbs or doing fewer, I promise you’ll have fun and most importantly, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. And remember, there will be no cars on Monitor or Ebbett’s for most of the day – and that makes for an even more remarkable (dare I say mind-blowing?) experience.
I should also mention that we’re looking to up our game when it comes to food, fun and other amenities. Those things are still a work in progress so stay tuned for further updates but suffice it to say we’ve heard you, and our community, so it’s all on the table and our goal is to impress.
So, if you’ve joined us before, we’d love to have you back and if you haven’t and you’re looking for a world-class ride in a world-class setting, come and check it out. Alpine Co. would love to see you!
Some photos from past Deathrides
I’ll leave you all with some images that I’ve taken from past rides. Enjoy!
Oh and by the way, there’s been some confusion over the years about the relationship between California Alps Cycling and the Deathride. While the ride is near and dear to our (and mine) hearts, and were are both in Markleeville, California Alps Cycling is not affiliated with the Deathride.
It’s been over two (2) years since I’ve been able to ride near the ocean so when I had an opportunity to head to Petaluma for a company BBQ last Friday I brought my bike so I could go for a pedal the next day. I’m lucky enough to work from home but I do make the pilgrimage to our corporate offices several times a year. In this case, not for a board room style meeting, or meetings, but instead for some fresh (and BBQed) oysters, burgers, good beer and great conversation. What a deal!
The next morning it was off to the little town of Marshall, including a trip down memory lane and up the iconic Marshall Wall.
Back in 1998 I did the “Aids Ride”, now called the Aids/LifeCycle, and rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles over the course of a week. I raised some ducats for the cause as well. While training for that event I was introduced to this area north of The City (that’s what natives call San Francisco – don’t call it Frisco, k?). I’ve done a few rides in the area since but it had been quite awhile so I was pretty excited to ride “the wall” (that’s it in the profile above – at the 20 mile mark), and sniff Tomales Bay. The kelp, the sea (er, bay), the oyster farms…All combine for a wonderfully briny sensory experience. Add some fog to the start of the ride and I was in heaven. What a great morning on the bike! Made it back to the hotel in time to pack up, take a quick shower and get out of dodge so I could get home for cocktail time! Below are some images of that first adventure of the weekend, and here’s a little video to check out (including a few more pix) .
Some good grub and conversation awaited me at the Chalet (as we call it – hey we’re in the Alps after all!) thanks to my Mom and wife, and after an evening of story telling it was off to bed so I could get some rest before the next day’s adventure.
This time (no offense coastal hills) I was off to do a “real mountain” and I was curious to see what kind of shape the road was in.
I decided to milk it a little and went for a late morning start so I could let it warm up a bit. We’d been getting some thunderstorms recently (and still are) so I didn’t want to get caught on the pass too late in the day, though. Based on the weather forecast I thought I could squeak in my ride after the temps rose but before any chippy weather showed up. It didn’t quite work out the way I had planned, though. Read on.
From Markleeville to the start of the pass is fairly passe’ (ooh, like that pun). The real climbing starts at about mile 11 (from Markleeville, not Monitor Junction), with a pitch of about 10-12% just before Raymond Meadow Creek and the 7000′ mark. I had a great view looking south and could see some fairly ominous clouds forming. I kept telling myself that I could just bail if things got too hairy but I really wanted to get up the pass; it had just opened and I felt it was my duty!
I was excited to see Kinney Reservoir (images 6, 7 and 9 above) but when I came up over the rise, expecting to see a blue alpine lake and the reflection of the surrounding mountains and sky, I was instead greeted by an ice-rink! WTF? The lake was still frozen?! Now the temp had dropped significantly since I started but it was still a very manageable 55 degrees, and so I was surprised yet again, this time by the amount of snow still on the pass. Notice the snowbanks? Many of them were still covering signage and trailheads. In fact, because of that snowy obscurement I arrived at the top faster than I thought I would – I didn’t have those visual cues that I was used to.
I quickly ate a snack at the pass because it appeared that the weather was indeed coming in. Had I blown it and left too late? Would I be caught in a deluge, or worse yet see some lightning? So after an expeditious message to the wife (thanks to my Garmin inReach Mini, a bad-ass piece of equipment, btw) I headed back down the mountain. There was still some gravel and other detritus on the road so I was cautious on the descent and for the first few miles I got lucky – no rain. That changed though as I got to about the 7500′ mark. Down it came. At those speeds, raindrops sting! Thankfully it did let up so I wasn’t too spongy when I got to the homestead.
What a fantastic way to cap off my week! Here’s a few stats from the weekend:
Miles ridden: 90.6 Feet climbed: 7169 Hours on the bike: ~6
I’m hoping you’ve had, or will have, similar weekends of wonder. If you have, or do, and would like to share them by posting up your own adventure on our blog, let me know!
Ride safe and let’s kick some passes’ asses! this summer!
A few of us California Alps Cycling members had signed up but we lost a couple, one to injury and one because he became a new daddy last year and so has not been able to put in the miles.
So, it was just Scott Keno and I representing C.A.C. a week ago Sunday (the ride/race took place on October 28th). I made the trek east from Markleeville and Scott made the trip north from Clovis. We met up Saturday at the Expo where we picked up our bib numbers, timing chips, t-shirts and schwag bag. John and Diana Velez, two hard-core local riders, and friends of Scott’s (and now friends of mine) also came by the Expo, along with their standard poodle, Studly (what a cool dog).
We spent a bit of time checking out the gear at the Assos truck where John, and the Assos boyz, turned me on to some cool bibs (I bought the Equipe and wore them on the ride the next day – man were they commmmffffyyyy). The five (5) of us then bailed from the festival, but not before checking out some TDF history at the Expo’s museum (mouse over the images and the captions will pop-up. Dig that wool jersey!),
TDF Team Classification Trophy 1930 – 1948
Andre Darrigade’s TDF Green Jersey
Jens Voigt’s 2013 TDF Race Worn Jersey
Original TDF Stopwatch (1903 – 1914) and Hugo Koblet’s 1951 TDF Champion Trophy
and headed out for some pub grub and a few cervezas. Later that night, we met up with a couple more friends for some good eats at the Corner Tavern and Grill.
After dinner it was time to get the gear ready, put the chips and numbers on the bikes and our jerseys and get some rest.
The day of the ride started well. Nice weather – not too cold – and so we didn’t have to wear “the warmers.” I did, though, add a light base under my jersey and wore a neck thingy too. You’d think that since I live in the Sierra that I wouldn’t be such a cold-whimp, but alas, that’s not the case.
The start line a the 2018 t L’Etape California.
A couple pix from the start – That’s Scott doing “the Kilroy” and me chatting with another rider in that image on the right.
We took off with an escort (always cool) about 8:00 a.m. and after just a short bit of flat roads, the climbing started. For those of us doing the 90 mile ride, we had about 8000′ of climbing to look forward to and we did about 7000′ of that in the first 50 miles! As is the usual for L’Etape, the course was a difficult and challenging one but hey, as we’ve all heard, if it was easy, anyone could do it!
This was my third L’Etape and I had a goal of placing in the top 200 riders, a ride time of 6 (six) hours and an elapsed time of under 8 (eight) hours. I felt pretty good about hitting those goals since I was peaking fitness-wise and I had a really strong rider to pull me (and push me, if you get my drift) around the course. And John met us early on and rode with us for part of the course too (that’s him in the middle of the above pic.).
For those of you who haven’t done a L’Etape before then you’re probably not aware that the TDF organization does a bit of timing on certain sections (KOMs) and on this particular ride there were three (3). Now this big boy is never in the top of those standings but it’s always fun to compare myself to others. Scott is a big boy too (not as big as I but not your “typical” rider) but we climb fairly well and always enjoy the looks we get when we pass smaller riders while climbing.
Anyway, as it turns out I was 221st out of 394th on the climbs (cumulatively), 27th (out of 38) in my age group (55-59) and for the “classic challenge” (.3 miles at 12% average but let me tell you there were some 18-20% pitches in there!) I came in 99th out of 207 riders! Overall, I finished 165th so really stoked about that! There were 295 participants on the 90 mile course so I’m pretty happy with that. Time on the bike = 6:14:20 (almost hit my 6 hour goal) and elapsed time was 7:08:01. Click here to see my official results, and click here to see Scott’s. Note: he would have had some much better results if he wasn’t letting me suck his wheel all day long. Well, I did do one good pull towards the end of the ride. Thanks Scott for taking care of me. You are the man!
Hopefully I didn’t bore you with too many stats and such. I was just trying to give all of you, especially those of you who haven’t participated in such an event, a good sense of the day. I’ll leave you with one last picture…
And bid you all a happy Monday and remind you to challenge yourself and ride safe.
Last Saturday, my bud and fellow member Chris joined me for my “55 on my 55th” ride out to Blue Lakes. My wife and I had driven part of the road but when we were there the gate was closed so we couldn’t make it back to the actual lakes. So, when Chris suggested we do something different for my b-day, I thought “yeah, Blue Lakes would be good.”
It was one of those rare days when the stars align and everything comes together. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part any day on the bike is a good day. This day, however, was particulary awesome. The sky was clear and oh so blue, the fall colors
were a colorin’ (yeah, could have used some more reds, I agree), the wind wasn’t bad, and the temperature wasn’t too cold. We did wait until for dust-off until 10 a.m. to give things a chance to warm up. Low 20’s at HQ early in the morn’ but by the time we left we had a balmy 40 degrees or so.
We started the day climbing out of Markleeville — which is the usual for me since either direction I choose is “up” — north towards Woodfords. From there, it was up Carson Pass and into Hope Valley and then a left turn put us on Blue Lakes Road. Traffic was the usual up Carson but once we got to Blue Lakes Road it died out significantly. It was at that point that the day turned from good to amazing.
We did intermission at Lower Blue Lake (just about 28 miles from our starting point) and from there it was just a couple of minor bumps before the long downhill to Woodfords. We were so looking forward to lunch at Sorenson’s Resort (and beer…maybe a couple of beers) but they were packed so no dice there. Tried Hope Valley Cafe but it was cookies only (even with beer that didn’t quite do it for us). The third try was the charm, though and we landed at Mad Dog Cafe in Woodfords for some beers and paninis (The Pioneer for Chris and the Turkey Pesto for me). Lip-smackin’ good those paninis were. And the beer was cold and well…it was beer so happy we were. There is no try, there is only do…Sorry, I have a place in my mind where I go time to time (great Tom Petty song, that one).
Anyway, those six (6) miles from Woodfords to Markleeville were made just that much more pleasant because of our full stomachs (burp) and those IPAs (belch). Okay, I hear those of you who have ridden those bumps before groaning now but really, it WAS much more pleasant!
I’ll leave you with a few stats and a link to my Relive video.
Distance: 55.4 miles
Elevation gain: 4511 feet
Time on the bike: 4:00:35
Average speed: 13.8 mph
Eleven (11) Cat 4s and two (2) Cat 2s
Relive video: Click here.
For those of you on Strava, login and check out the full ride here. Make the trek soon or you’ll miss what’s left of the colors and the not too chilly weather.
Remember, you can check out the weather and air quality here in the heart of the California Alps right on this site.
See you soon and feel free to contact me if you’d like any suggestions or need any help.
Happy Friday-eve to you! I hope you’re looking forward to some labor this weekend. I’ve got some work to do on the homestead and will certainly get in a ride or two. Fall is fast approaching here in the California Alps and then we’ll be dealing with that white stuff so if you can schedule a Sierra adventure now’s the time!
Anyway, as I wrote several posts ago, I’d provide some D.R. numbers as soon I could and here they are!
Drum roll please.
As you can see, the numbers are pretty close to last year’s, with the particulary notable exception of first-time riders and that very welcome 75% decline in hospital transports.
I had a conversation with Teresa Burkhauser, Director of the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, a couple weeks prior to the Deathride. She was concerned about the continual decline in numbers and we were brainstorming some ideas. Some of these are hers and some are mine. For your consideration, loyal reader:
Promote the 1-pass, 2-pass, 3-pass, 4-pass and 5-pass approach. I.E. There is no shame in finishing just 1, 2 etc. passes. Are some riders were thinking it’s all or nothing?
Since there are more events now overall, that is likely having an effect on the D.R. numbers. Riders can find comporable events closer to their homes and so don’t need to travel as far to get that Deathride “bang.” You think?
Add timed sections or KOMs. Riders would need transponders of some sort but IMHO this would add some motivation and bragging rights. Perhaps give out medals or trophies, too?
Charge more and make it more of a Gran Fondo type of event with mass starts, timed sections or KOMs (see #3 above) and really good food?
Host a camp for first timers or inexperienced riders (I mentioned this in that post awhile back)? I talked with quite a few riders on the Friday before the ride and many of them were not aware of things like: starting early (and with lights) if you’re doing all five passes; using a sack-back to carry your cold weather gear for the descents; and bringing your own food so you’re body isn’t shocked by strange input.
A gear drop. Full disclosure…We’re (California Alps Cycling, that is) thinking of doing that next year since we have done it for our posse a couple times. What would be a fair price do you think?
Happy Tuesday morning Deathriders! I hope you are doing well, not too sore and brimming with fluids now that you’ve had a couple days to rest and recuperate. We hosted eight (8) riders here at California Alps Cycling . That number includes me – I don’t know, can you host yourself?
Anyway, our tally is as follows:
Five (5) Five-pass Tour finishers including one first timer, Mr. James Hurst
Three (3) Three-pass Tour finishers (myself included)
Funny…Five Five-passers and Three three-passers. Go figure!
Two (2) of our legacy members, Scott Keno and Shane Trotter, were some of the first to sign the board at the top of Carson and the boyz also earned some cups – check out their Strava profiles (see the CAC membership page) if you’re so inclined
Congrats to all!
How did you do? Share your comments on this post and let us know!
Click here to check out our photo gallery including a bunch of pix I took during the day. By the way, if you’d like to share some of your images, send ’em to me via email. Note: images sent our way are ours to use as we see fit (we won’t photoshop ’em or do anything too crazy, honest).
A few other things to mention:
We’ve received seven (7) membership requests (thank you!) and as soon as we’re done processing ’em we’ll add you to our CAC membership page. If you’d like to be a member, we’d love to have you join too!
For those of you who pre-ordered jerseys, bibs or full kits, we’ll let you know when they’re in and get them shipped your way promptly thereafter.
We’ll be getting our merchandise catalog on the site soon. We had quite a few riders interested in our “Let’s Kick Some Passes’ Asses!™” signs and so we plan on offering those for sale as well. Alas, one of them was taken home by someone without permission. Hopefully it brings back good memories and they don’t use it as a frisbee or sumfin.
Later in the week, or early next, we’ll get some of that “data that matta” from the Alpine Chamber and CalTrans add publish a post.
Interested in a Deathride cycling camp or clinic? Good, because next year we’re going to offer one! We talked to so many neophyte riders and we have so many experienced ones here at C.A.C. so we thought: “why not put them together?”
A big shout out to all of the amazing volunteers, motos, medics, CHP officers, CalTransers and anyone else who pitched in to keep us safe and happy. THANK YOU!
Last, but certainly not least, we want to thank you for stopping by our booth and being a part of one of the greatest cycling events on the planet! See you soon. Ride safely!
One of my favorite things to do here in the CA Alps is to visit the little town of Genoa. It has a dusty, musty, rusty ol’ watering hole, named after the town, and it’s the oldest bar in Nevada; a few great restaurants/cafes, some antiquing and a nice little park, Mormon Station, for picnicing. It’s definitely worth some time and the bloody marys, and the cold beer, at the Genoa Bar can make for a nice little diversion – not necessarily on the bike but hey, to each his/her own, I guess. I’ve been known to partake in a beer or two during a ride. Haven’t tried a “BM” yet but I think I may just have to get that a whirl.
Okay, to make it an even better day, ride to Genoa! From CAC HQ here in Markleeville, it’s 55 miles and about 3000 feet of climbing. And, if you time it right (head out early a.m., NLT 9) so you’re coming back with the wind. Even then, no promises. The wind gets to whipping out in Carson Valley, especially in the area in and around “the mesa.”
So that’s my route, on this somewhat chilly February day. From CAC HQ, up to Woodfords, Diamond Valley, Foothill, yada, yada, yada. Click here for my ride profile etc. (thanks Strava) and you’ll see what I did for your fine-self. OK?
…from the Genoa Country Store.
Here’s me, at the midpoint (last year…it was a bit warmer),
getting my bear-claw groove going at the Genoa Country Store.
As I mentioned, part of this ride includes Diamond Valley, Foothill Rd. and Emigrant Trail. You can add or deduct all or part for a shorter, or less hilly, or both, version of the ride. Diamond Valley, where Snowshoe Thompson (see my December 2017 post) lived, is a fun little diversion, but can be windy (windy’s somewhat redundant here in the Eastern Sierra, I’ve learned). Emigrant Trail, especially coming from Genoa, is a nice little kicker and if you haven’t done the ride from Markleeville to Woodfords than you’ll learn that those little rollers aren’t so little.
The altitude in Markleeville is about 5600′ and it’s about 4500′ in Genoa. Temps can vary, as always, depending on time of year but I’ve found that the typical weather apps are pretty good. Wind is generally stronger in the afternoon and generally comes from the West or Northwest. It can scream down those eastern faces so BOLO (be on the lookout) there. In the summertime, thunderstorms can develop quickly and drop a shitload of water in a short time so heads up there as well.
My lawyer told me I need to tell you this too: Please check to make sure that any trails, roads, hikes etc. that you use are suited to your skill set. CAC is not responsible for any injuries. Any information provided on this website is subject to change and CAC is not responsible for the accuracy of that information.