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Old 02-11-12, 08:33 PM   #1
Riding Heaven's Highwayson the grand tour
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tehachapi Mtns, Calif.
Bikes: '10 C'Dale Tandem RT2. '07 Trek Tandem T2000, '10 Epic Marathon MTB, '12 Rocky Mountain Element 950 MTB, '95 C'dale R900, "04 Giant DS 2 '07 Kona Jake the Snake, '95 Nishiki Backroads
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Palm Springs Century --- Crazy Day

Note to self..the next time the National Weather Service issues a Severe Weather alert for the Palm Springs area..READ IT!!
Had a 'memorable' day today on the Palm Springs Century course. There are few centuries as cool as this one particularly this time of long as the big winds don't blow and the massive sand fields don't go looking for human flesh to remove from their owner's bodies. Unfortunately, today the winds blew huge and large quantities of sand were relocated throughout the PS area.
Actually it was outrageous only for the first hour or so..shortly after the 6:30 start we hit the worst sand blasting of the day as well as some seriously scary gusting that put all of us on edge in more ways than one. There were more than a few folks walking their rides for a while as well as reports of more than a few grown men crying as their prized paint jobs were being removed from their steads by a clearly ticked off Mother nature.
Once past this first hour, the course changed direction and the wind became our friends for a couple of hours; then as we got to the far southern end of the course and headed back to PS the winds were just normal winter feisty breezes.
All in all a fun early season ride with a little something for everyone. It is always hugely popular for us Tandem riders; we were everywhere you looked. Every brand
imaginable was well represented with notably way more Paketa's than I've seen in the past along with several one-off customs that I was not familiar with. All of which that were being well ridden by their teams. is a great, well supported event, even if a bit crowded at times. If you ever get the chance to ride it, go for it ...just read the Severe Weather Warnings first!!

Bill J
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Old 02-12-12, 07:47 AM   #2
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Wow Bill! You all win a prize for toughness. Everything else will seem tame by comparison. When you are struggling on a future ride you can always pull out the "Remember that day in Palm Springs ......"

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Old 02-12-12, 11:02 AM   #3
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Bill, u da man. We did the "56" mile ride, actually 63 miles (surprise!). We were in our small chainring headed into the wind, but as you say, after the first hour the wind was bearable. We hit 45 mph heading downwind on a very minor grade and that was just coasting.

it's a nice mid-winter ride, but it's almost as though there is no one on the committee who actually does organized rides. Course markings, route sheets and a few other areas could easily be improved. If PS were competing against our typical Norcal spring rides they wouldn't see the ridership that shows up in February. Still, very nice to start the riding season with a getaway.
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Old 02-12-12, 12:13 PM   #4
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Gee, I thought everyone liked riding in winds like this...
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Old 02-12-12, 06:28 PM   #5
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I agree with both Bill and Rick. In the past we have taken our Quad out to the Tour de Palm Springs, but this year I did it on my single with a friend. I remember the wind in other years, but not the sandblasting. We saw several tandems, and a Co-motion Periscope Triple (a dad with two kids) fighting through the sand storm at the top of a bridge over the railroad tracks. It did not help any psychologically that there were some huge construction ditches off to the downwind side of the road. Folks around me discussed that the first 10 miles felt more like 25, but the rest of the ride was actually fabulous.

At the end I stopped to compliment a 10 year old daughter who stoked the full 100 on Lamborgini tandem. I love the SAG stops at Palm Springs which always have live music and tons of food and beverages and volunteers. The routing signage was weak, but the commitment of police at many intersections and traffic cones for lanes separated from cars is first rate in my experience.
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