YOU’VE seen it at the Deathride. You’ve seen it on our blog. Maybe you noticed it in our photo gallery and you’ve asked yourself: “How do I get me some of that?”
WELL, the wait is over! You can now purchase your California Alps Cycling gear from our new online store!
CASTELLI jerseys, bibs and windvests are available (with some supplies limited) as are our new decals.
AND we’ve got tees, too. No, not those kind of tees! The kind you wear. The kind that are soft and comfy and are perfect for showing off your passion for cycling in the mountains; pre-ride, post-ride or just ‘cuz.
THE gear has been tested extensively, especially the bibs, jerseys and vests. In the cold. In the heat. In the wind. On century rides (including the Deathride). We’ve worn it and in some cases worn it out – in a good way. Cycling clothing does wear out and IMHO good gear wears out before it rips, tears or frays. That’s certainly been my experience.
ADMITTEDLY, our store has been a long time coming. Too long, in fact. Nonetheless I’ve finally gotten off my backside and gotten ‘er done.
NOW it’s your turn.
IDEALLY buy some stuff (you can find the store link on the top right corner) and help us continue to support the cycling cause here in Markleeville.
I’D also like your feedback since I am kinda new at this online store thing. Do you have any suggestions as to how to improve the store? Are the prices right? Is the shipping reasonable? Etc., etc.
Would love to know that you think!
LASTLY, we need to make room for the new Pedal Mafia kits that should be here next month.
AS you may have read in our Deathride Dreaming post in June, we are changing tacks and going with the P.M. kits. They too have been tested. In fact, I just wore one yesterday and they are oh so comfortable.
LOOKING forward to seeing those colors on you! Order away and I promise I’ll get them shipped out to you as fast as possible; more easily done now that our humble little Markleeville Post Office is again open.
THANKS in advance.
Ride on, be safe, stay healthy and to quote Lester Holt: “Take care of yourself, and each other.”
READY to join the Tombstone Club? That’s the name “the ride” has given to those riders who complete the entire course this year.
SAID phrase will be emblazoned on your jersey and you’ll be able to wear your own “mellow johnny” (that’s how my 2017 finisher’s jersey feels to me) for years to come.
I stopped by the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce yesterday to handle some Deathride business (co-signing of a few checks for various vendors) and the team was hard at work putting labels on DR merch and handling some of those other last-mile items.
SPEAKING of final preparations…California Alps Cycling is a Silver Sponsor of the ride this year and I too am getting ready for the event – I’ll be at the exposition on Friday the 16th. As for Saturday…I’m not quite sure what my hours will be.
At the Exposition
WE’LL have our kits for sale – with some deep discounts to be had since new ones are on order – as well as some tees and other goodies.
AND as you’ve likely noticed, we’re making the leap from Castelli to Pedal Mafia. I’ve been wearing the P.M. kit and it’s a cut above I must say – the quality of ASSOS with a better fit, especiallly for those of us who are not of the typical rider physique.
THE thermal jacket (top left) is amazing! I’ve worn it several times, including just yesterday. I left HQ at 6:30 a.m. and it was about 45 degrees. Did a 12.5 mile TT, uphill, so I was sweating pretty well at the turn around. The descent was initially chilly but the jacket was a wicking wonder and by the time I got back down it felt dry. And, it still kept Aeolus at bay. Perfect for riding in the Sierra, or other cold climes.
SADLY, I won’t have the new kits at the Deathride but you will be able to pre-order them.
WHETHER you can give us some of your heard earned ducats or not, please be sure to stop by our booth and have a chat.
New Bling for the Pick-em Up Truck
Yeah, it was time and Mike at Arrowhead Signs in Gardnerville, NV was a master of the install. ‘Twas he that helped me design what we call the “aspen logo” when we first launched California Alps Cycling. He’s also the one that designed this year’s Deathride logo. He’s been a great friend of the Deathride for many years. Thanks Mike!
The Deathride Slacker Ride
WE’RE going to do a MEMBERS ONLY group ride, starting at 8:00 a.m., on the day of the Deathride. I’m calling it “The Deathride Slacker Ride” and am giving it that nom de guerre not because we’re slackers in general but because we’re not doing the entire ride this year.
FOR various reasons (lack o’ fitness, injury, etc.) several of us just don’t have the juice. A ride up Hwy. 4 to Ebbett’s Pass (climb #3 of 6 on the day) will be just fine for our merry band of troublemakers. Please note that you must be registered for the Deathride (and have the requisite bib number) to participate. This mostly because I don’t want to “bandit” the rest and water stops.
AFTERWARDS we’ll head back to town, likely with a stop at the Cutthroat Brewing Company for a cold beverage, and then we’ll park our fine selves in town (or perhaps at Turtle Rock Park) and cheer on those riders that are fit enough to conquer the entire course.
BY the way, if you’re not a member and would like to become one we’d love to have you. It’s an inexpensive way to give back to the Markleeville and Bear Valley communities where we all ride. Go to our Membership page for more information.
Congrats to the Manx Missile
WHAT a stage that was yesterday! I’ve been a fan of Mark Cavendish since his early days but I really didn’t expect THAT! Such fortitude – to come back from years of trials and tribulations and get to “The Tour” is one thing. To win a sprint against some of the best riders in the world. Yowza!
NEXT week I’ll post up some quick tips on four (4) of the six (6) climbs. Perhaps all six (6). I haven’t ridden Pacific Grade yet but am hoping to this weekend.
STAY tuned for that as well as the 411 on the weather and the fishing.
UNTIL then, stay safe, ride with passion and “Go Cav!”
Having spent most of my life cycling in the San Francisco Bay Area I was very accustomed to the conditions there and so was well prepared when I hit the road. When we moved up to Markleeville in the winter of 2016, though, I quickly learned that what worked “in the flats” did not necessarily translate to the Sierra Nevada.
Several months ago I posted an article entitled “Climbing Mountain Passes – 5 Key Things to Know.” This follow-up post expands on that one a bit with some more specific recommendations.
Sure, most experienced cyclists carry some sort of mini-tool, a patch-kit, Co2 cartridges, etc. but it’s important to have some redundancy where you can. Some examples:
Two (2) tubes instead of one. I was bombing down Hwy. 4 a couple years back and hit a pothole. I double flatted and had only one (1) tube. The patches I had wouldn’t work as the holes were too big; had to call for extraction.
Tire boot, duct tape (or both). I don’t carry an extra tire but I do have a tire bootand some duct tape wrapped around an old toothbrush handle. On one particularly frigid morning I put the duct tape around my fingertips – the gloves I had were not doing the trick.
Chain pin. Ideally you’re checking your chain wear regularly but even then, ca-ca occurs. I learned this the hard way, too. A pin in my chain starting coming out while on a ride (I hadn’t checked my chain in awhile) and I couldn’t get it fully inserted with the chain tool. Again, I had to call for extraction.
Sat-com. Speaking of calling for extraction…How do you do that with no cell service? I mentioned this in that “Climbing Mountain Passes” post, too but it bears repeating: cell service is basically non-existent in the mountains. Now that’s not to say I don’t carry my cell, I do, but having a device like the Garmin inReach Mini will allow you to communicate with “your person” when you are out of cell range, and its SOS feature could save your life. The monthly subscription for the basic plan is relatively inexpensive (about $12.00 a month).
Identification and dinero. I hope this one is a no-brainer for most of you yet I’ve heard of some who don’t carry one or the other. Not only do I carry my driver’s license but I also carry my medical insurance card, my debit card and some green. And, speaking of redundancy, I wear a Road iD. In my case, just the ID itself, on the band of my Garmin fenix.
Footwear and Clothing
Foul weather in the mountains is not always cold, or stormy weather IMHO. Heat and sun can also foul up a good ride. Here’s a bunch of suggestions:
Cycling boots. No, I’m not referring to those lycra-type shoe or toe covers. I’m talking full on, waterproof, boots. With sleet, rain, mud and road spray I’ve found that shoe covers just don’t cut it. I invested in a pair of Sidi Gore-Tex Cycling Shoes (ankle-high boots, really) and my feet don’t get cold or wet.
Neck gaiter/tube. I’ve got several types of these, some lighter, like Buff’s and some heavier, like Castelli’s Arrivo 3 Thermo Head Thingy. Keeping that neck warm is key to keeping those colds away and it can be used for the noggin as well. Once, when I forgot my vest, I stashed it under the front of my jersey to help ward off the winds a little during a descent.
Vest or jacket. When you head out from 5000′ and it’s 85 degrees it’s easy to forget that it can often be 20-30 degrees colder at the top of thatclimb. A vest or jacket, especially if you can strap it to your bike somewhere so you can save some pocket room, can make the difference between a shivering descent and one that is much more comfy.
Extra gloves and hat/cap. First, let me say that I’m a dripper; one of those “two-towels under the spin bike kinda guys” so when I’m doing long climbs things can get a bit schweaty. I’ve learned to carry an extra set of gloves, cap and oftentimes an extra gaiter, and will exchange the sweat-soaked pieces for the drier ones once I reach the summit.
Climbing bibs (or shorts) and jersey. Like I wrote at the start of this paragraph, in my book foul weather isn’t always cold or wet (or snow). It can also include heat (or wind). I’m a Castelli devotee and so I went with their Superleggera bibshort and Climber’s 3.0 jersey. I climbed Hwy. 4 to Ebbetts Pass last week, when it was a tad warm, and what a huge difference those items made! So much so that I checked my shorts a few times to make sure they hadn’t split at the seams. Nope, just the material doing its job. Breezy!
Having an understanding of regular weather patterns, e.g. daily t’storms, regular wind patterns, is helpful when cycling in the California Alps (and other locals for that matter).
Get some intel. from a local rider, club or bike shop so that you know that right now, for example, up Tahoe way daily thunderstorms are a regular thing. Getting caught on Carson Pass during a hailstorm isn’t pretty. Just ask our friend James Hurst who experienced just that on the Deathride a couple years ago.
Check the forecast before you head out and prepare for the worst-case scenario. I like Weather Underground, in large part because they have a network of folks all over the country who have personal weather stations. That allows you to get weather data closer to where you are or will be. Yup, we have a weather station here at HQ so you can get Markleeville weather realtime.
Know what to do if the shit hits the fan. Are there places to shelter? What do you do if a thunderstorm (and the associated lightning) happens where/while you’re exposed on some mountain road?
The Scouts have it right. Be prepared. Or said another way, plan for the worst and hope for the best. Having the right equipment, understanding and addressing footwear and clothing options, and getting a handle on the weather are all key to having a good ride or perhaps avoiding catastrophe when you are cycling — or gravel riding, or mountain biking, or hiking, or backpacking, or 4-wheeling, or fishing…
Okay, you get the idea. Gear up, be ready, be aware, and enjoy the day!