Last weekend we set up our booth, as did a bunch of “Christmas Crafters,” at the Magicial Markleeville Christmas Faire. The plan originally was for all of us to set up around town but due to the nasty weather we ended up at Turtle Rock Park instead. No worries…it was a wonderfully cozy time and the pancake breakfast (thanks firefighters) was excellent!
The Faire went from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and while it wasn’t as well attended as it might have been had the weather been more cooperative I was able to have many conversations with both locals and out-of-towners about cycling, cycling equipment and more. I also took the opportunity to put together a little informational piece that I hoped would enlighten non-cyclists on why we do what we do out there. It also addressed several statutes that I felt should be socialized a bit.
Would love to hear what you think about it. Does it need more? Less?
Let me know by either commenting on this page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d prefer to get more into the weeds. Would really appreciate it!
Ride safe and remember to: “Kick Some Passes’ Asses!” whether that be on the bike, skis, snowshoes, running shoes or boots!
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.
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?
First of all, in the interest of full disclosure I must admit I stole the “Here and there” from a San Jose Mercury News sports writer. I can’t remember his name but I always liked how he bounced around with quick bullet points on many different subjects.
So, here’s some “bulletized” news about goings on up here in Markleeville, CA., the heart of the California Alps:
Welcome Mary Ellen Riggs and Jeff Karotkin! Thank you for joining our merry band of troublemakers and we remind you to “ride with passion while honoring the sport of cycling.”
A Week of Mountain Biking
Having had my road bike in the shop last week I was able to show my 29er (and myself) some love by doing a few mountain bike rides. I’ve got about 300 miles on Bullitt (as I’ve named that bike) and about 12,000 miles on Roscoe II (the name for my road bike). I spent the week in the forest, instead of riding around it and it was freakin’ awesome!
A view of the meadow.
Yours truly on the “meadow bridge.”
Here’s a couple more shots of the swallows dancing around and over one of the hot springs at Grover Hot Springs State Park. It’s an amazing place and this a.m., with the steam and the sunrise adding to the vibe, it was extremely chill. I like it…Extremely chill…You can use that if you want to, dude.
Okay, I’m done with the Spicoli impression. Onto the next bullet.
Jerseys, Bibs and Windvests will be in soon
Four to six weeks was the timeline given to me by Castelli. We’re about 2/3 of the way there. Can’t wait to see the new schwag and I hope you feel the same way. By the time we get ’em in we’ll have a way for you to buy them right on this site. And the tees, too. Stay tuned and please tell your cycling and mountain biker buds and budettes too, k? Much appreciated. Just in case you forgot, here’s a few pix:
Bibs. Yup, bibs.
The new jersey. New Jersey?
New Signage in Town
My wife, Mom and I are members of the Markleeville Enhancement Club, which was instrumental in getting our two welcome signs recently refurbished. We held a little dedication ceremony last Saturday. Giving back, or giving to, is such a fantastic feeling.
Check out the shirt I’m wearing (I’m on the far right, kneeling). It’s kinda hard to see but it’s a CAC shirt and on my left chest is our tagline, “Let’s Kick Some Passes’ Asses!” Oh, and that wonderful woman in the tie-dye skirt is our Club Mother, (and my actual mother) January.
A Short Video for Your Viewing Pleasure
I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself right now because I’m hanging out in the SF Bay Area as I write this post.
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.
Welcome new members! We’re so pleased to add the following active members to our merry band of troublemakers:
Thank you all for joining. We look forward to our upcoming adventures together!
We’ve adopted a stretch of Highway 89 (from Camp Markleeville to Turtle Rock)!
As part of our mission, we help the communities in which we live, work and ride and so are very pleased to be able to help keep our local roads clean. We’ll be out doing a bit of litter pick-up later this week. Stay tuned for an after-action report.
Thunderstorms have been a daily ‘thang…
The weather here has been pretty crazy lately with a daily dose of thunderstorms. You can pretty much set your clock by them as they’ve been starting about 2:00 p.m. Yesterday’s storm dumped over a 1/2 an inch in just a few minutes with our weather station showing a rain rate at that time of about 3.84 inches per hour! Be sure to check out our Weather Conditions page regularly for real-time updates.
Jerseys, bibs and shorts will soon be arriving!
Thanks to many of you for your pre-orders. We’re working with Castelli now on finalizing our order and so we’ll soon have your stuff here. Once it’s arrived we’ll reach out to those that have ordered schwag and make final preparations for launch, (okay, shipping but I just liked how that sounded). Oh, and a bit of a surprise…wind vests! Check ’em out: