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Old 05-10-10, 10:49 PM   #1
cornucopia72
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Million dollar mile tandem ride

These are some of our tandem friends on a ride they did today in Central California... my mouth waters and my heart aches...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKUbD...layer_embedded
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Old 05-10-10, 11:37 PM   #2
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Holy Cow! Where is this road?
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Old 05-11-10, 12:15 AM   #3
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Holy Cow! Where is this road?
On the Climb to Kaiser, as you go downhill from Shaver to get to Big Creek, there is a road that goes off to the left and downhill (seen here). That leads down to the San Joaquin River, and the terminus of Million Dollar Road.

Here is a ride at Motion Based that includes the Million Dollar Road (check it out in Google Earth). The start of Million Dollar Road is on Italian Bar Road. You have to go around a gate (perfectly legal), and then the neat thing is there is no traffic except an occasional service vehicle. Last time I was on it, the dam outflow was opened up, and the waterfall was going through the bridge, and we couldn't continue, but it was an impressive sight.

At the end of Million Dollar Road, there is a climb that I've wanted to do, back up to Shaver then up to Tamarack Ridge. This would be 5200 feet, and one of the highest elevation gained climbs in California.
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Old 05-12-10, 05:52 AM   #4
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After seeing the video clip, one of the captains commented: "The scenery is even more spectacular when I don't have to watch the road in front of my bike". Having done that ride ourselves, I completely agree. My stoker thinks that it is more espectacular in real life.
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Old 05-12-10, 08:58 AM   #5
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Last time I was on it, the dam outflow was opened up, and the waterfall was going through the bridge, and we couldn't continue

If you can not continue and have to turn around how much climbing gets added to the ride?
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Old 05-12-10, 10:20 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=chichi
If you can not continue and have to turn around how much climbing gets added to the ride?[/QUOTE]

If you have to turn around at the waterfall (Stevenson Creek) it makes the ride shorter and I would guess a bit less climbing as you miss the 2 very steep miles at the end of the MDM and you miss the climb back up toward Shaver Lake on your way home, although you do have to climb back up Italian Bar Rd. to get out the way you came.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:20 AM   #7
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This is an area of California that I have had a long personal interest in visiting. My father was born in Auberry (I can't imagine that there was much there in 1919!) and relatives have lived in the Fresno/Clovis area since the late 1800's.

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My stoker thinks that it is more espectacular in real life.
My stoker would be absolutely terrified to do this ride.
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Old 05-12-10, 11:37 AM   #8
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Which direction is the ride done clockwise or counter clockwise.

Up 168 at the beginning or at the end of the ride?
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Old 05-12-10, 11:55 AM   #9
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Which direction is the ride done clockwise or counter clockwise.

Up 168 at the beginning or at the end of the ride?
Most people who do the route from Fresno would do a "balloon on a string" sort of route with the string up and back to Auberry and the balloon being the loop above Auberry. That loop is almost always done clockwise---this avoids doing a very steep 2 mile descent at the top of the MDM which would be stressful on a tandem. Doing it clockwise you would descend on 168 from Shaver Lake (same way the Climb to Kaiser comes down).
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Old 05-12-10, 01:35 PM   #10
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Beautiful. Couldn't help but notice the huge rear disc brake on one of the bikes in the pic at the end. Never seen that big of disc on a bike before.
Great descent but wouldn't want to climb back up that mountain/hill.
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Old 05-12-10, 02:15 PM   #11
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If you can not continue and have to turn around how much climbing gets added to the ride?
Million Dollar Road up to the waterfall doesn't really have a lot of climbing/descending, the video makes it look steeper and more harrowing than it actually is.



There is some descent to get to the road if starting in Auberry. But if you continue past the waterfall, and then do the loop to get up to Shaver, them there is some climbing.

Here is a screenshot of the clockwise loop ride starting from Auberry. The ride starts with a climb up Auberry Road, and then turns onto Jose Basin Road, eventually up to 3022 ft. It descends steeply on Italian Bar Road to get to the MDR start gate at 2000 ft. MDR climbs gradually to end at 2574 ft. The climb then starts to Shaver Lake at 5495 ft. Then the ride follows the return of the Climb to Kaiser back to Auberry.


Last edited by Ritterview; 05-12-10 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 05-12-10, 04:38 PM   #12
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Awesome video. Not trying to hijack the thread but I'll go on record as saying Climb To Kaiser was wayyyy harder than the Death Ride. Not that anyone asked....
When I did it in 2003, it was because it was the first year I didn't get in the DR and I was P.O'd because it was the first year of the lottery for DR. So I decided to do C2K instead. Whoa! Great ride but damnnnnn!
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Old 05-12-10, 05:29 PM   #13
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Awesome video. Not trying to hijack the thread but I'll go on record as saying Climb To Kaiser was wayyyy harder than the Death Ride. Not that anyone asked....
When I did it in 2003, it was because it was the first year I didn't get in the DR and I was P.O'd because it was the first year of the lottery for DR. So I decided to do C2K instead. Whoa! Great ride but damnnnnn!
If Nietzsche is right, the cure for whats been ailing you wouldn't be from Kaiser Permanente, but the Climb to.
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Old 05-12-10, 06:40 PM   #14
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Nice ride! I almost wet my pants just watching it. I felt better reading the description that there is no traffic. Still, the sand/ gravel was a bit scary. Imagine coming around a corner and seeing that there with that cliff on the side! Yikes!

Thanks for the thrills!
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Old 05-12-10, 11:03 PM   #15
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I'll be posting more rides here:

http://web.me.com/tomalperin/escapad...l/Journal.html

I just put up some video from a spring tour to the coast and will be adding the Solvang Spring Double and part of another ride we did recently. The climbing wasn't that bad for MDM, it's just the sheer drop to the left that gives that impression. The entire ride would have been 7000 to 8000 feet of climbing had rain not turned us back though according to our estimates. We had already started to climb when we decided to cut the ride short. The video coming back down with the road slick with water looks pretty scary too.

Just added riding in the rain as well.

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Old 03-21-15, 11:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
These are some of our tandem friends on a ride they did today in Central California... my mouth waters and my heart aches...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKUbD...layer_embedded
I had to bump thread. Thank you for sharing. In this vid., are we seeing from the gate to the falls?
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Old 03-22-15, 07:20 AM   #17
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Yes. We missed that particular ride because I was nursing a bad fall/injury. We have done it only a couple of times
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Old 07-09-15, 09:08 AM   #18
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Yes. We missed that particular ride because I was nursing a bad fall/injury. We have done it only a couple of times
Thanks for the reply. Would you please give me simple directions from Fresno? Also while I have you here, if we have a support vehicle, could we not enter this ride from the (Shaver lake?) high side and just enjoy the descent? Thanks again for any and all help you can give us.
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Old 07-09-15, 10:15 AM   #19
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Thanks for the reply. Would you please give me simple directions from Fresno? Also while I have you here, if we have a support vehicle, could we not enter this ride from the (Shaver lake?) high side and just enjoy the descent? Thanks again for any and all help you can give us.
Here is a strava link for ride some friends of ours did that started a few miles outside Auberry and included the Million Dollar Mile:

https://www.strava.com/activities/319960612

The Million Dollar Mile begins at about mile 15 of ride described and is about 13 miles long. There is a gate at both ends that you need lift bike over/around so support vehicle could not go through. Also not sure how much you would "enjoy" the descent because the top couple of miles is very steep (but, of course, tough to go up it too). If the Strava Map is hard to follow here is a summary of the turns from Auberry: continue on Auberry Road up the hill above Auberry and after a couple of miles turn left on Jose Basin Road, then go about 9 miles and turn left on Italian Bar Rd and go down about 3 miles until you see gated road on the right. Stop and go over the gate and you are there. After the gate at the top end, you can turn right and go up to Shaver Lake and back via highway 168 if you want.
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Old 07-09-15, 01:07 PM   #20
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I agree with Nick. Starting the ride in Shaver, or at the top, will not be a fun descent. Take plenty of water if you decide to do it. Last time we did it we were with a slower/stop and smell the roses group and the whole group ran out of water No fun
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Old 07-09-15, 06:18 PM   #21
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Thanks everyone.
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