This year the Mount Hamilton Classic road race, Sunday May 29, has a new category.

Quote Originally Posted by Mt. Hamilton Classic
NEW FOR 2011. Race to the Observatory!
Intended for Cat 5ís, recreational riders, low-key hill climbers and cycling enthusiasts. Race to the top of Mt. Hamilton. Weíll track your time so that you can measure up against the Proís! Cat 5/public results will be posted at San Jose registration site. (One day USAC licenses will available for purchase on-site for those w/o current licenses.
Since it is a hill climb, this USAC race seemed to me like something tandems could participate in.

I contacted the race organizer, Ramon Alarcon, President of the SJBC, and asked if tandems were welcome. He stated that tandems were not allowed, but held out some hope.

Quote Originally Posted by Ramon Alarcon
There are some concerns that even though Mt. Hamilton is a hill climb, there are 2 twisty descents. So in that way, itís different than some other hill climbs. As such, there would be some revisions we would have to make to our flyer/permit, but we would make them if they made economic sense. To be honest, Iím leaning against making them just because this is our first year trying to do a race to the top only. I want to make sure we do it well. It will certainly be a learning experience for us and I donít want to overextend in the first year. That said, how may tandems do you realistically think you could get to register for the event through your network? No promises. If it doesnít work out, itíll help us plan better for next year and possibly offer a dedicated tandem field.


Ramon Alarcon
I take this to mean that since there are still plenty of spots open, if a significant tandem contingent indicated interest, there might be a chance we could have a tandem field, and then a yearly USAC tandem event on the Bay Area calendar.

I doubt that Mr. Alarcon's tandem apprehensions are based on tandem experience. Hamilton's descents are not especially formidable, tandems are no slouches at descending, and by the time it occurs the field will be well spread out. Tandems + singles have presented no problems the Low Key Hill Climbs in general or Mt. Hamilton in particular. Two tandems participated in 2010, including our very own uspspro.

It would be neat to have a USAC race in which Northern California tandems could participate. Mount Hamilton's grade is quite moderate, not generally exceeding 6%, and well within many team's ability.

Are other tandem teams interested in participating in the Mt Hamilton Classic Race to the Observatory?

Tandem teams on Mount Hamilton, LKHC 2010: