Category: Rides

The Monday, er Tuesday, After

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:

  1. Five (5) Five-pass Tour finishers including one first timer, Mr. James Hurst
  2. Three (3) Three-pass Tour finishers (myself included)
  3. Funny…Five Five-passers and Three three-passers. Go figure!
  4. 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
  5. 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).

Why are we up so early?
Why are we up so early?

A few other things to mention:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

– Mark

The Deathride (aka The Tour of the California Alps) Cometh!

Yup, it’s that annual right of passage that takes place right here in the little town of Markleeville, this Saturday, July 14th. The 200 or so residents, including yours truly (and my wife and two felines), will soon be joined by a few thousand others.

Thanks to CalTrans (and our local Chamber of Commerce, as well as a bunch of volunteers) the roads are ready, signage is up and most importantly, the port-a-potties are in place.

Oh, and speaking of CalTrans…They’ll be doing a bit of rock etc. clean up on Friday so that the roads are as clear of debris as they can be for Saturday. If you see ’em please be sure to thank them. They do a lot to keep our roads in order.

Road closure sign - Hwy 88 and 89 junction
Yeah, that’s right. No cars until noon. Sweet!

Ebbett's Pass closed sign
And…no cars on Ebbett’s for a good chunk of time, too.

For those of you who’ll be joining me, and other members of California Alps Cycling, we urge you to be safe and obey the rules. Please say thanks to the folks in the town who are supporting (and in some cases, tolerating) us because it is a bit disruptive, you know?

For the locals who are putting up with us and our crazy ways, THANK YOU! WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU!

We invite riders, support crews and residents to stop by our booth tomorrow. We’ll have some cool t-shirts for sale and you can pre-order your Castelli CA Alps kit too.

castelli jersey
The jersey from our CA Alps Cycling kit.

And, we’ll be happy to regale you with stories from last year, give you suggestions and answer any questions that you may have. 

We wish you good luck on your ride and remind you to ride your own ride and remember to have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself. And, when you get to the top of Carson, you can add your name to “the Board” and be memorialized for all time!

victory board_deathride2017
As a Five-Pass Finisher in 2017, I was honored to add my name to “the Board.”

Have a great day on the bike, be safe and Let’s Kick Some Passes’ Asses! ™


Meecha at the Top ‘O Ebbett’s

Yesterday, I left C.A.C. HQ here in Markleeville to hook up with Charlie and James at the top ‘o the pass. They were starting from the Bear Valley side. We all left about 7:30 a.m. and thinking that the mileage for each of us was about the same, 18 miles, we planned on a 9:30 a.m. meet up.

‘Twas a beautiful morning on the pass, with lots of wildflowers (too focused to stop and take pix, my bad) and no wind. The Carson River, Silver Creek and Cascade Creek were all flowing nicely and all crystal clear blue, green and yes, even silver.

Our plan came together nicely. As I rose over the last little crest at about 9:40 a.m. I could see Charlie and James waiting for me; they had just arrived and were snapping some photos. Before heading down, we took a few minutes to do the same.

Thats Charlie and his trusty steed there on the left, and on the right is James and me. The descent into Markleeville was speedy and fun, especially for me, because I knew I wasn’t going back up after lunch, and it was getting a bit toasty.

We all hit the Alps Haus Cafe for some amazing sandwiches and I headed back to HQ to do some much needed chores, while the boyz headed back up the pass and down the south side into Bear Valley.

Beauty day indeed! Thanks for the company, gents.

A Little Jaunt up to Wolf Creek before the Next Snow

Yeah, it’s been a bit snowy and cold here but nothing like the winter of ’16/’17. Funny, reminds me of listening to my grandparents share stories about the old days. One of my grandmothers grew up in Minneapolis and those stories she told about when she was a little girl…

Clearing snow from the back deck of HQ.
I love my snowblower!

Ok, I digress.

As I was saying (or writing to be more precise) it’s been a bit chilly here, and I’m getting tired of blowing snow, so when I had a chance to get out on the road (Zwift is great but there’s no substitute for being outside), I took it.

Just another boring (not!) ride up Ebbett’s way – one of my favorite rides to be sure. The river (East Fork of the Carson) was raging and looked a bit like chocolate milk but the roads were clear (mostly…some bits of ice and snow and of course, water) and the sun was shining.

Here’s a shot of my route and the profile in case any of you want to partake (just be sure to layer up).

Wolf Creek out and back map and profile

When riding in conditions such as these (I’ve seen way worse – oops, there I go again. Digressing…) be sure to take extra care, have the proper gear and double check your bike before you head out. It’s dicey enough without those extra precautions, eh?



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.  

Genoa 1/2 Century

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?

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.