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Old 01-04-07, 09:57 AM   #1
mkadam68
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Feedback on Palm Springs Century & Ride

I've seen a bit of feedback on various centuries/organized rides. I'm aiming to complete my first century this year (if I can get my rear wheel problems fixed in time to train a bit more) at the Tour of Palm Springs. Right now, I can ride 60-70 miles no problem (in fact did the Duarte to Baldy 63-miler last weekend--very hard: sore for 3 days) and should be okay for ToPS. I used to do centuries about 9-10 years ago, took time off and then have only been on the bike since August last year. I'm thinking Stagecoach is too soon for me.

Do any of you have experience riding it? What's your review?

I'm also planning on taking one of my sons (probably the 11-year old) to do the 25 or 55 miler. What do y'all think?
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Old 01-04-07, 10:00 AM   #2
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Hey Mark, we had this discussion a month or so ago. Here is the link and I hope it helps: Tour de Palm Springs
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Old 01-04-07, 10:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mkadam68
I've seen a bit of feedback on various centuries/organized rides. I'm aiming to complete my first century this year (if I can get my rear wheel problems fixed in time to train a bit more) at the Tour of Palm Springs. Right now, I can ride 60-70 miles no problem (in fact did the Duarte to Baldy 63-miler last weekend--very hard: sore for 3 days) and should be okay for ToPS. I used to do centuries about 9-10 years ago, took time off and then have only been on the bike since August last year. I'm thinking Stagecoach is too soon for me.

Do any of you have experience riding it? What's your review?

I'm also planning on taking one of my sons (probably the 11-year old) to do the 25 or 55 miler. What do y'all think?

Hey Mark,
Its a pretty easy century....mainly some desert type rollers and some uphill...nothing steep....also a good amount of urban riding thru Indio, Palm Desert,etc...mainly class 2 bike lanes... one sort of bad road after the lunch stop...but only a few miles of that...
I do remember it was really hot and dry...85 degrees and low humidity...I was glad I had my camelbak...even with the rest stops...I had spf 50 on and still got a bit of a sunburn...
You can do this no problem!!
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Old 01-04-07, 10:09 AM   #4
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You can also consider the Borrego Century on the 27th of this month.
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Old 01-04-07, 12:13 PM   #5
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Oops...sorry I didn't see that thread (just scrolled through titles--didn't search).

Thanks.
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Old 01-04-07, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by herbm
12-07-06, 01:03 PM

Thats the best part...meeting someone on the ride...I met up with a guy from Ventura right after lunch..I was solo the first half...
Turns out he is an IT guy...we had a great time...we celebrated when he broke 85 miles which was his previous best...
It made the ride very enjoyable...and made the last half much easier to do!
Hey herb: how is it that 8,000 people ride it and you ride the first half solo? Is this not a mass-start ride or one of those staggered-start rides? Do they have any mass-start centuries in Cali? Coming from New York racing, that's all I'm familiar with.
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Old 01-04-07, 12:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mkadam68
Hey herb: how is it that 8,000 people ride it and you ride the first half solo? Is this not a mass-start ride or one of those staggered-start rides? Do they have any mass-start centuries in Cali?

Lucky???
I started with MarkAj and our friend steve...Steve dropped us in 5 minutes...them mark dropped me..I was basically finding people to draft for a while...but wasnt really hanging with anyone...then after the 50 miler turn off I was really alone...no one seemed to be around...then I hit the lunch (if you can call it that) stop...and decided to see if I could jump in with a group...it worked out nicely..I had a nice time hanging with this guy on the 2nd half..
I am used to riding alone...(cant say anymore due to New years resolution restrictions...),

It was a staggered start...
I hate mass starts...reminds me of the LA Marathon or the Ensenada ride...you walk for 1/2 mile..no likey...
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Old 01-04-07, 12:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mkadam68
Oops...sorry I didn't see that thread (just scrolled through titles--didn't search).

Thanks.
Oh, no worries, Mark. I just figured there were opinions in there that might help your decision that's all. I have given my...um...opinion on this ride, but since some BFers are going, I may relent and go. That would be because I like the riders on here more than I care about the roads in PS!
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Old 01-04-07, 12:41 PM   #9
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Oh, no worries, Mark. I just figured there were opinions in there that might help your decision that's all. I have given my...um...opinion on this ride, but since some BFers are going, I may relent and go. That would be because I like the riders on here more than I care about the roads in PS!

Maybe Extort will volunteer to carry you over the bumpy parts!!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:21 PM   #10
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Maybe Extort will volunteer to carry you over the bumpy parts!!
I wouldn't mind being in his lap over the bumpy parts, that's for sure. Now, I have been really behaved lately...I just couldn't resist this one. Blame Herb! He set me up!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:30 PM   #11
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I can get access to a resort timeshare in Palm Springs if someone might wanna do this ride and needs a place to stay....

I've thought about doing the ride but as of now, Im not in the shape I wanna be in to be able to long rides.... but im working on it
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Old 01-04-07, 01:31 PM   #12
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Mark:

It's not neccessary to ride a century before doing a century. Keep up a good base (at least 50 - 60 miles per week which can include spin classes) between now and then with one long ride (60 - 70 miles) thrown in and you should be able to do Palm Springs without problem. It's a matter of pacing and nutrition. Know what your body needs to perform. Don't skip on the sag stops and eating. I recommend stopping at all the sags after 40 miles but not long, just enough time to fuel and use the facilities if neccessary.

I've done a bunch of centuries - other than just getting out and riding I've never trained. Of course I never done a sub 6 hours century either. My best time was 7 1/2 hours, but I never felt bad and was OK to ride the next day.

Re PS - you start when you want to start but since it gets dark early in February start as soon as possible since you don't know how long it will take. It will be cold so wear layers. Last time I did the ride it started out around 40 degrees and was 80 by lunch but by the time I finished got dool again. I was never ever alone during my ride although I statred out with friends. Everyone has to ride their own pace and I would fall in with this group or that. Alot of people do this as a first time century so look for "buddies" to hang with. Be sure to chat up folks at the sag stops. Just by nature, you'll start riding in a groupof peopl who will all ride at your pace off and on.

Another recommendation - if you can use wider tires say at least 25's and lower air pressure to 100 - the roads can be very bumpy and uncomfortable!

Good luck - have fun!!!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by merider1
I wouldn't mind being in his lap over the bumpy parts, that's for sure. Now, I have been really behaved lately...I just couldn't resist this one. Blame Herb! He set me up!
Just don't forget to forget to wear your chamois!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:32 PM   #14
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Thanks, Neccros. That is really nice of you. I've been offered a place to stay by a very sweet BFer, so I'm good, but others may just love that idea!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:34 PM   #15
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Just don't forget to forget to wear your chamois!
I'm holding my tongue on this one...I don't want to get this thread shut down.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:36 PM   #16
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Thanks, Neccros. That is really nice of you. I've been offered a place to stay by a very sweet BFer, so I'm good, but others may just love that idea!
EDIT: I'm a DA and mixed this ride with Borrego. I may need a place to stay actually!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:36 PM   #17
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I'm holding my tongue on this one...I don't want to get this thread shut down.
Yeah I was gonna say... when did it become NC-17!!?!!
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Old 01-04-07, 01:41 PM   #18
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Well *IF* I can get into shape enough for the ride, I will reserve a room, but it may cost a little... everything from a studio that sleeps 2 people up to I beleive they have 2-3 bedroom condos that can sleep 6-8 people....

http://www.worldmarktheclub.com/resorts/ps/ This is the Palm Springs location....
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Old 01-04-07, 02:03 PM   #19
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I've done it the past three years. It was my very first century back in '04. It's not really a mass start, but they let about 100 (maybe more) go at a time, and then let them get spread out. My advice is to wait 15 or 20 minutes and let the bulk of riders get out before you. It will make the first couple of miles less stressful.

Be sure to hit all the SAG stops. You don't have to stay long, but it's nice to have a little food and fill up your bottles. It's also a good idea to do a little stretching.

Don't think of this as a 100 mile ride. Think in terms of four 20 to 30 mile rides strung together. Keep telling yourself that you just have to make it to the next rest stop.

The bad road is Airport Road in Thermal. What I did was ride on the left (wrong) shoulder. Not much traffic on that road. It was about 85 degrees last year and I got a flat on that road. I walked my bike to a shady spot and changed the tube there.

I don't think I'll be doing the ride this year. I'm starting to have an aversion to the huge number of riders at the Tour de Palm Springs. Don't get me wrong, the ride is well supported and is relatively easy, elevation-wise. The rest stops are well stocked and the volunteers are very friendly. It's a good first century.
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Old 01-04-07, 02:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by merider1
Oh, no worries, Mark. I just figured there were opinions in there that might help your decision that's all. I have given my...um...opinion on this ride, but since some BFers are going, I may relent and go. That would be because I like the riders on here more than I care about the roads in PS!
So M.E., it looks like your going to do this ride. This is going to be my February century. I'm not spending the night there, I'll be driving out in the morning. Since you are kinda on the way, going through the Valley instead of taking the 210 all the way, you can ride with me.

For recovery on Sunday, we could do that little 60-70 mile loop that we were talking about that includes Latigo Canyon. Those two rides that close together would be good training for Butterfield.
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Old 01-04-07, 02:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbm
It was a staggered start...
I hate mass starts...reminds me of the LA Marathon or the Ensenada ride...you walk for 1/2 mile..no likey...
I kind of have a goal-oriented nature: I need something to shoot for. And that's always easier when others are helping. In cycling, this manifests itself as a competitive streak. At PS I'd like to find myself with a "train" of individuals working in a paceline to ride the ride as fast as possible (as long as I can hold up). Is this possible given the staggered start?

In 1988 and 1990, I did the "Assault on Mt. Mitchell" ride--a mass start ride with about 1,500 riders--and found myself in this type of paceline environment. I'd love to be able to do this again.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:11 PM   #22
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So M.E., it looks like your going to do this ride. This is going to be my February century. I'm not spending the night there, I'll be driving out in the morning. Since you are kinda on the way, going through the Valley instead of taking the 210 all the way, you can ride with me.

For recovery on Sunday, we could do that little 60-70 mile loop that we were talking about that includes Latigo Canyon. Those two rides that close together would be good training for Butterfield.
If I don't spend the night, I'd love to carpool with you, Lee! But isn't that kind of a far drive in the morning! Loop for recovery? Sure, why not, PS is pretty flat in terms of centuries.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:42 PM   #23
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I kind of have a goal-oriented nature: I need something to shoot for. And that's always easier when others are helping. In cycling, this manifests itself as a competitive streak. At PS I'd like to find myself with a "train" of individuals working in a paceline to ride the ride as fast as possible (as long as I can hold up). Is this possible given the staggered start?

In 1988 and 1990, I did the "Assault on Mt. Mitchell" ride--a mass start ride with about 1,500 riders--and found myself in this type of paceline environment. I'd love to be able to do this again.

I would think you could jump onto a pace line...there were some..I saw them from a distance..and got passed by a few!
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Old 01-04-07, 03:45 PM   #24
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If I don't spend the night, I'd love to carpool with you, Lee! But isn't that kind of a far drive in the morning! Loop for recovery? Sure, why not, PS is pretty flat in terms of centuries.
This will be my 5th year in a row doing this ride, with the exception of 1 year, I have driven out in the morning of the ride every year. Yes, you have to get up early, but I would rather sleep in my own bed.

The one time I spent the nite in Palm Springs, I had to deal with the traffic, get dinner, checked into the hotel, registration, etc. By the time I got to bed, got up in the morning and put my bags in the car, I had the same amount of sleep as I had at home.

Palm Springs and Solvang are the limits for an early morning drive. That being said I already have my hotel reserved for the Solvang Double both Friday and Saturday nite.

Glad to hear your up for the Latigo loop on the Sunday after Palm Springs.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:49 PM   #25
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Look for the "Teams in Training" if I recall there were many groups of them and they are usually very nice about you tagging along in a paceline.

Alot of folks do this ride so you shouldn't have any problems being alone for long stretches. Even towards the end of the ride, I still had other cyclists all around me. Just make sure to ask if it's OK to paceline - always the polite thing to do.

And I agree with Isits... think of the ride in terms of 5 - 20 mile rides, amazingly the finish line shows up in no time!

PS: I've also driven out day of... it's not a bad drive took me 1 1/2 hrs from OC. I can't sleep in a motel so I rather sleep in my own bed if even for a few hours. I left just before 5:30 and was riding by 7:30 giving me plenty of daylight. I'm never that tired after a century so driving home same day is not a problem for me.
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