Looks like Furnace Creek won't even reach Furnace Creek, since Death Valley will be "closed" due to the failure of your Congress to pass the budget. Evidently, because Death Valley will be "closed," the 508 will not be able to race thru Death Valley,but will instead have to race an out and back course between Santa Clarita and Trona.
What I want to know is, are there actually gates that keep traffic out of Death Valley? One of the reroutes due to washouts (Furnace Creek to Shoshone) runs thru Death Valley Junction on a major highway, which I would think would still be open. Not only this, but many of the rules regarding following at night and level of reflectorization to me are just downright stupid and unnecessary, but are required by the folks who run Death Valley. (Aside: the Hoodoo 500 does not require follow cars to ALWAYS be with the rider at night.) So with the authorities sitting unpaid at home, what's to keep the race from just going thru Death Valley anyway? Is Kostman worried about support or safety? I'm willing to take the risk.
Not only this, but I was talking with a friend who had ridden over many of the "washed out" sections of Death Valley eariler in September, and he says they are perfectly rideable, you just have to slow down to go over the gravel-covered dips and the places where an inch of borax covers the paved road. And this is on a road bike with 23mm tires and carbon wheels. Hell, I'd even ride over the dirt detour just past Trona, and I'm on a fixie with 23mm tires! He was riding the "closed" sections, and he said it was great, with absolutely no car traffic to contend with!
The last email I received from Adventure Corps REALLY tried to sell us on the 356-mile out and back route! (356 miles is not eve 600 km, so it wouldn't even qualify for a randonneur series!) Most of the reasons were pretty vapid. I'm pretty annoyed that I paid $500 and I won't be able to set the 60+ fixed gear record! Plus I've got a motel reservation in 29 Palms. I wonder if there is a way to link the Trona out-and-back with a route that runs directly from there to 29 Palms? Have they considered ALL the options? Hmmm...
Luis (Dharma Dog)