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Old 08-02-09, 08:23 AM   #1
crockett
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Ride report - The Death Ride - a great one

Thought I’d drop a quick ride report and recommendation.

The Death Ride – 130 miles, 5 passes, 15,000 elevation gain – (www.deathride.com).

Great ride, fabulous support – spectacular views – and very tough ride. Pass #3 (Ebbets) has a few short grades >16% (actual state hwy sign says >24%), total climb of this 3rd pass is 10 miles long – with consistent grade >6%, and for a some miles consistently >8% - think of Magnolia in Boulder, then double the length of Magnolia … and this pass climb comes after the first 2 passes climbed which each had consistent grade of 4-8% … and so the 3rd pass at mile 40 in the ride, and with more than 25 total miles already climbed ….ouch. Ebbetts Pass the most beautiful pass of the total 5, but it is also the most technical and potentially dangerous. The other passes have two distinct lanes, separated by a painted divider (i.e. Monitor and Carson are wide enough to have two lanes). Ebbetts, on the other hand, is more accurately described as a 1 & ½ lane, no shoulder, bordered by rock wall on the uphill side and steep drop-off on the downhill side type of twisty jaunt over the mountain. Very much like Independence Pass outside of Aspen. Similarly, the views are stunning, but a little distracting. Making it more difficult is that there is a steady stream of quickly descending riders going downhill while you are struggling with the uphill climb.... and of course, I was trying to stay away from the inside of the numerous hairpin turns which had the most grade ... but doing so was at my constant peril of being killed by a descender who were (typically) going >40mph (I know some who exceeded 55mph on a few straightaways - and I was 50+ on one (and I am a slow, nervous nelly on downhills...)

But… I finished. Weather was close to perfect, spectators lines streets shouting encouragement and ringing cowbells, NO CARS allowed on first 100 miles of ride so it’s peaceful and quiet – If you had to be SAG'ed out, it was on the back of a motorcycle and you had to carry your own bike - or you could be helicoptered out.

The ride is the single biggest economic event for the small mountain towns and the citizen support was amazing and reminded me a little of Iron Horse in Durango-small town fully supportive of great event …

FWIW – by comparison to Triple, I’d say Death Ride is definitely tougher – steeper climbing, longer distance, more elevation gained – and DR can be especially hot (tho, this ride did not match the 100 + temps seen in prior years). Both are great rides – but you got to choose one – since they always occur on the same weekend!

J
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Old 08-02-09, 11:55 AM   #2
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Excellent. Glad you finished and had fun. I am still setting my sights on a faster Triple next year, but I would consider this ride too.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:13 PM   #3
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I also did the Death Ride this year -- it was lousy with Coloradans! I agree, it's harder than the Triple. In fact I was ready to concede that after 4 passes. But definitely fun.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:32 PM   #4
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Howdy, (mr)Howdy! we met on CC's hilll climb ride the week before the DR.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:44 PM   #5
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I have been thinking about riding this one. Hmm...
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Old 08-03-09, 09:19 PM   #6
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I have been thinking about riding this one. Hmm...
Road trip...
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Old 08-03-09, 10:47 PM   #7
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Road trip...
I'm in.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:28 AM   #8
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Road trip report...

Here's what I did... Flew into Sacramento with bike via Southwest (cheap air fare, only charge 50 per bike box -very cheap). Very nice, and small airport. Drove from there to Placerville - halfway point of total drive, and spent a day there touring - beautiful wine country with lots of vineyards to visit and drink at (free wine!). I also played a round of golf - there is also lots of fruit orchards to visit, mines to explore, etc. Next day I drove the back way to Markleeville (ride starting point) so I could see better vistas and drive the 5th pass (Carson).

I was on the austerity plan (be cheap) ... so I rented a bedroom in someone's house. This is common for the ride - and the Markleeville Chamber of Commerce gives you a name of person. I paid 100/night - but there were others in the house paying less (and more) depending on if they were on a bed, couch, or floor.

Day after ride I had to be back in Sacramento for a flight - so I drove back straight thru - this time on the major highway - and it was almost as pretty as drive in ... and only took 2 hours.

Of course, many of the riders stayed in South Lake Tahoe - which is incredibly beautiful - and a wonderful vacation spot - so many riders were combining family vacations with their ride... keeps a happy home if something for everyone....

My .02 - FWTW

J
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Old 08-04-09, 10:51 AM   #9
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Howdy, (mr)Howdy! we met on CC's hilll climb ride the week before the DR.
Ha! I feel like I have just discovered Superman's true identity!
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Old 08-10-09, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote......Pass #3 (Ebbetts) has a few short grades >16% (actual state hwy sign says >24%), total climb of this 3rd pass is 10 miles long – with consistent grade >6%, and for a some miles consistently >8%


Glad you enjoyed the ride. I live and ride here every day. The 24% sign refers to Pacific Grade which is the next summit beyond the Hermit Valley turn around, not Ebbetts.

The road closure is necessary because almost 3000 cyclist are funnels up the same narrow roads in a short span of time, "peaceful" is when you get to ride these roads on any other day than the DR.

Having done both the DR and the TBP several times, I would agree, TBP is easier despite the much higher altitudes. The DR take me about 2 hrs longer.

The DR is a great ride. After 19 years of developing the DR and co-producing it with the Alpine Chamber of C, our club, Alta Alpina, lost our rights to the ride to them.

For an alternative, you might consider the new ride we have developed. The Alta Alpina Challenge: Riding the Wild Sierra. http://www.altaalpina.org/challenge/

It includes all of the DR and more or less if you want including the 8 Pass Challenge which is part of the California Triple Crown Series. The 8 Pass Jersey is one of the toughest to earn anywhere.

We will be making some fun changes for next year......possibly a century with Pacific Grade so you can get that 24% thingy!



Colorado friend Jeff....dancing up Pac Grade!

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Old 08-10-09, 09:54 PM   #11
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8 passes.... uh.... oh boy. There goes the voices in my head again.
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Old 08-10-09, 09:56 PM   #12
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Hey I know that bike! Though I usually view Jeff from a far as he drops me.
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Old 08-10-09, 10:34 PM   #13
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Hey I know that bike! Though I usually view Jeff from a far as he drops me.

Hey DJ...no kidding! You me and everyone else.

Oh yeah, if you can do the TBP from Thornton.......then 8 Passes it will be. And there is that 8 Pass jersey!
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Old 08-13-09, 10:22 AM   #14
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If you're reading this thread you might be interested to know that backcountryoutlet.c*m has FC-R700 compact cranksets on sale now for $104 shipped. I have no interest in the company but this is a good price!
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