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This Thursday at 10:00 AM.

I would like to do it again sometime on a road bike, but I think this year I will be racing instead at Downieville. Fun time, and you can always sell your ticket if you can't make it.
 

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Bacon!
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After doing it five years in a row I'm done with it. Just too many people and too crazy. Shasta here I come this year.
 

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Ridgetop said:
After doing it five years in a row I'm done with it. Just too many people and too crazy. Shasta here I come this year.
It will be my first year doing it.. Please elaborate on "too crazy" and if you have any useful tips/suggestions I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
 

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danielc said:
It will be my first year doing it.. Please elaborate on "too crazy" and if you have any useful tips/suggestions I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
Monitor Pass won't be an issue. Just make sure you start out by 4:00AM if you can. But, after that Ebbetts is essentially one lane road for both climbs over the passes. There are something like 3,000 riders attempting this set of passes and it is very crowded going up. Well, about 10% of the riders are speed demon roadie pricks who are faster than the majority of the crowd and will be coming DOWN when you are still climbing (unless you are one of them which all I can say is good for you, but be nice please :)). They are going for personal records and what not, so they are flying down as fast as they can screaming "Get the F#ck out of my way you f#ckers!" and other nice stuff like that. In five years of riding I've seen several head on collisions, two people go down due to pot holes + speed, and one guy fall over a cliff when he ran out of energy and just fell over.

My advice is start early. Hang to the side of the roads at all costs unless you are passing. If you are in a group there is a tendency to want to ride side by side. Don't do this. Single file it or you risk a head on from a downhill rider. If you pass make it as quick as you physically can. Don't draft people unless they know you, are forming a line, or you just don't have the energy to pass. This is mainly because on the uphills you'll have people stopping dead in the road. One of our guys rear ended a dude who fell over in front of him (in the direction he was moving to avoid him). If you need to stop yell out that you're stopping and scramble out of the road as fast as you safely and controllably can. When you come to the rest stops on Ebbetts it can be insane. Look for an opening on the side and get over as quick as possible. Top of Ebbetts especially is a traffic jam and people will be screaming at you to get out of the way otherwise (got to keep those personal bests you know :)).

OK, enough of the bad stuff. The ride is fantastic in many ways. Good support, 90% of the riders are very good people there to sweat it out like you are. Scenery is wonderful. Roads aren't bad although been a little chewed up with the storms. If it really was that bad I wouldn't have done it five times in a row. I'm just sick of the crowds at this point and plan on hitting some of the more obscure organized rides this year. I think overall, you'll find yourself really enjoying the ride (at least after it's done and you have a cold beer or three).

Some other hints. Starting out early means a cooler ride back up the east side of Monitor. You'll be able to go faster and won't burn out as much if you can get back over early on. That's why I recommend the 4AM-4:30AM start. When starting the climb up Ebbetts watch for the cattle guard. When you hit it the grade jumps to about 12% very quickly. People will be dropping chains left and right and stopping dead center. Be prepared and chose a line that will avoid any potential pile ups. Descending Monitor is awesome. I've broken 55mph on this with no problem. Just watch for people. Descending Ebbetts is another story. People are climbing, they are erratic, and it is very narrow with low visibility in places. Make sure to remember you are there to have fun and that people are tired and out of it. So, keep your speed at a level that you can control if you need to. The majority of accidents I have seen are in this area. When descending the backside of Ebbetts you can fly but with caveats. It's wider and the pavement appears smoother. Most people climbing up will be out of the way (I say most but keep an eye out). The pavement is deceiving. There are root humps all the way down that can throw you if you aren't careful. They are very hard to spot. I fly down this side like a madman, but just be aware that you may find yourself doing some jumps and jolts on the way down.

As for Carson Pass, the earlier you can get climbing it the better. Thunderstorms have tendency to form up in the afternoon and descending that pass in a hail storm is rather icky.

Also, if you park on the road I recommend leaving a change of clothes in your car. That way when you go by Turtle Rock you can change into a fresh set of bibs/shorts and jersey. You'll feel 100% better. I also keep 2 gallons of water that I pour over myself before changing to energize for the last climb. I also leave some rain gear in the car so if it looks like it is going to rain up to Carson Pass I can throw it into my jersey pockets without having to carry it all day.

Anyway, I don't want to sound discouraging. Smart riding means you'll have a terrific day. If you are in our neck of the woods to do any preride training (I live in Reno/Carson City area) drop me a line and my wife and I will join you. I ride down there quite a bit.

Have a great and safe ride and make sure to post a report on how it went.:thumbsup: :D
 

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Bacon!
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nor_cal_rider said:
I signed up again this year...and look forward to seeing you at Shasta!
We're really looking forward to it. Something different! :) Maybe we can arrange to meet before or after the ride. We'll be down a good day or more before the ride.
 

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Ridgetop said:
Anyway, I don't want to sound discouraging. Smart riding means you'll have a terrific day. If you are in our neck of the woods to do any preride training (I live in Reno/Carson City area) drop me a line and my wife and I will join you. I ride down there quite a bit.

Have a great and safe ride and make sure to post a report on how it went.:thumbsup: :D
Wow, thanks for the great report. I will be riding with 3 other guys and a couple of them have done it before, one did it solo last year. We also climb and descend at different speeds so regrouping at rest stops might be interesting. I will definitely push for an early start although the idea of riding at 4am doesn't sound too good :( I'm not an amazing climber but I would say I'm above average.

We haven't figured out the details yet but we're all coming from Portland, OR so a recon ride would be hard to do :)

So it has actually rained on you guys before? That would suck for sure on a descent. I'll try not to be too scared and just to enjoy the ride.

Now I'm just hoping we have good weather in Portland in June so I can get some good training rides in! We didn't see nice sunny days until late July this year.
 

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Bacon!
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I've been rained on in 3 of the 5 rides. Got rained out completely on one of them. 2 inches of water on the road and lightening coming down like artillary all around us. Scary! Other times was hail and quite a bit of rain but didn't stop us. Biggest issue is keeping warm enough coming down from Carson and avoiding being grabbed by SAG teams if they think it is too dangerous. Last couple of years they handed out disposable ponchos. I highly recommend bringing a box of the larget trash bags you can find. They'll probably hand out the ponchos again, but if not, those trash bags make a very good, if not trashy, downhill rain jacket!
 

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Ridgetop said:
I've been rained on in 3 of the 5 rides. Got rained out completely on one of them. 2 inches of water on the road and lightening coming down like artillary all around us. Scary! Other times was hail and quite a bit of rain but didn't stop us. Biggest issue is keeping warm enough coming down from Carson and avoiding being grabbed by SAG teams if they think it is too dangerous. Last couple of years they handed out disposable ponchos. I highly recommend bringing a box of the larget trash bags you can find. They'll probably hand out the ponchos again, but if not, those trash bags make a very good, if not trashy, downhill rain jacket!
Oh man..you got me all worried now. Not only I might get cold but my beautiful shiny new bike is going to get wet and dirty?!?! Hmm..I'm going to pay close attention to the weather in the first week of June..haha!
 

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Ridgetop said:
. I'm just sick of the crowds at this point and plan on hitting some of the more obscure organized rides this year.
Try this one then...... http://www.hayforkcentury.com/ ......

fwiw..... I've also done multiple, consecutive DR's too, and while it's great, I'm more into training there before and after the DR these days.......

I've done Shasta a couple of times as well..... and have found it to be even crazier than the DR..... they don't close the roads so in addition to alot of riders you have the "odd" motor vehicle to contend with..... like the white Lincoln with handicap plates brushing riders with their mirrors, or the good 'ole boys firing off their shotgun amongst the riders (really, I'm not making this up !!!).... Still a great ride though..... :yikes:

Hayfork is very small, way off the beaten path, incredibly well supported (by the Hayfork Rotary).... and the riding !!!!

Lou
 

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East ebbets is one of my favorite descents. It's not so good on the Death Ride. I'm a "roadie prick" so I'm near the front of the ride by that time. I descend fast but safe and stay on my side of the road and don't yell obscenities, but every year there's some idiot on the way up who is tired and pulls off to the left side of the road without bothering to look up the road for oncoming traffic.

I keep my eyes peeled for these Darwin Award candidates but I have had a couple worrisome moments over the years. This year some guy had laid his bike on the downhill side of the road, sideways.

So, please don't do that. Stop on the right side of the road. Also, there can be car traffic on the "closed" road. One year I came around a turn on east Ebbets to see a pickup heading up the road, and a mile or so later, an ambulance.
 

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danielc said:
Oh man..you got me all worried now. Not only I might get cold but my beautiful shiny new bike is going to get wet and dirty?!?! Hmm..I'm going to pay close attention to the weather in the first week of June..haha!
Typical Sierra summer afternoon thunderstorm. It's pretty common for us slower riders to get nailed on the Carson Pass leg, about 3 PM. I've got caught in it 4 of 5 rides. The last time I tried to get down from Carson Pass before it hit, but got pummeled by hail. I was wondering how deep the hail could get before my wheels slipped out. I had to take cover in an aspen grove along with several others. Just part of the fun!

One of Ridgetop's pics on Carson Pass
 
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