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· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our preparation for the Deathride continued for us with a climb from the Base of Ebbetts Pass at Centerville Flats Camp Ground (if you want to call a bunch of dirt a pit toilet a camp ground) up and over Ebbetts, Pacific Grade, and a final climb up to the Bear Valley Ski Resort. In my opinion, this has got to be one of the prettiest northern Sierra rides that I have done. The views from both Ebbetts and from Pacific Grade are unbelievable and the sheer amount of flowers and alpine scenery often left me breathless . . .well that and the 24% grades up to the top of Pacific Grade and Mosquito Lake. My pictures really don't do it justice and I really, really recommend this ride to anyone who is up in the area and has the time and legs to tackle it.

A quick note on the ride though. There is only potable water located on the lower east side of Ebbetts and at Lake Alpine or Bear Valley. So, 2 bottles will not get you through this ride. I think three would if you left early before the heat. Also, no food except at Bear Valley Village and Lake Alpine. The route we did is 59 miles with just under 8,200' of elevation. But boy is it worth it. http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Centerville-to-Bear-Valley

Starting out my wife was showing what she was going to use to get through the ride :). Centerville Flats is a primitive campground without much to offer except for some somewhat flat places and a lot of dirt. But the trees provide good shade and there are plenty of rocks to sit on. The route starts by going over California State Highway 4 Ebbetts Pass and down into Hermit Valley. The starting point is just beyond Markleeville, CA. There was lots of smoke from California which obscured a good part of the views at first but it drifted away as the day went by.
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Into Hermits Valley and Over Pacific Grade

After reaching the top of Ebbetts at an altitude of 8,730 we dropped down to Hermits Valley at 7,060 before climbing back up and over Pacific Grade to Mosquito Lake. Pacific Grade is at 8,050 and you have to climb up a 24% grade to get there. What's funny about it is that it felt worse going down then going up. I think we were concentrating on avoiding the RV's and cars so much on the climb that we just kind of mindlessly worked our way up it. I guess we were lucky :). From Mosquito Lake we dropped down through some gorgeous forests before climbing up to Bear Valley Ski Resort. Normally people we talk to drop down to the Village, but if you do you miss some of the best views and lunch spots anywhere close. The views from the lower parking lot at the ski resort are incredible. On a clear day it reminds me somewhat of Yosemite.
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Back towards Ebbetts

After eating lunch at the ski resort (we had Joe's girlfriend meet us with lunch :D ) we started our climb back up to the top of Pacific Grade. We were lucky in that thunderstorms had popped up and provided a lot of shade. Bad for photos, but good for the body. The climb back is a lot of fun with some quick roller coaster type rollers and nice breaks between the larger climbs. Mosquito Lake was humming with both people and bugs but the reflections were as great as ever. We watched some kids pull in a eight inch trout before winding our way down the 24% grade back into Hermit Valley.
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Back up and Over the Top

We managed to push our way back up the long 5 mile climb to Ebbetts with sweat pouring off our brows and snarls of pleasure pain on our lips. Of all the climbs, I hate the climb out of Hermit Valley the most. It's scenic, it's nice, it's a pain in the butt! But, talking about good training. After peaking on Ebbetts we roared down the other side back to Centerville where we sat down with ice cold cheap beer and enjoyed the warm afternoon.
 

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Fabulous looking ride. Amazing the difference 1000 miles or so south makes. Around here there are no trees at 8000' (well maybe a few, small hardy ones).
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been as far as the Yukon. And your right, up in your world further north it's crazy how a smaller mountain can actually seem a lot taller based on its alpine growth. We're lucky I think in the scenery we get, but I was pretty much in amazement the whole time I was in Canada and most of the scenery I saw there was just about impossible to beat.
 

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Ridgetop said:
I've been as far as the Yukon. And your right, up in your world further north it's crazy how a smaller mountain can actually seem a lot taller based on its alpine growth. We're lucky I think in the scenery we get, but I was pretty much in amazement the whole time I was in Canada and most of the scenery I saw there was just about impossible to beat.
Even in my neck of the woods, just north of the 49th parallel, the tree line is 'round about 2300 meters or so (give or take, depending on local climate and terrain). I don't think we even have any paved roads in BC over 1800 meters (there are a couple in Alberta, in the Rockies).
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's waiting for you Cooper! :)
 

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Air quality?

I'm coming up from AZ to ride the DeathRide, and my in-laws told me that the Reno Marathon was canceled for air-quality concerns. Should I be worried? The SacBee mentioned some problems down in the valley...

I guess it doesn't really matter - I'm coming, and I'm going to try it. The pictures look beautiful, and not too smoggy... could someone comment?

Thanks,

Nathan
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nathan, the air quality has been bobbing up and down due to the wind currents. Yesterday when we did the ride it started out stinky and smokey but an hour after we started it completely cleared up. The pics of the smoke above are looking straight down into the Deathride Passes and you can see the heavy smoke. But it cleared out quickly. This morning the Reno air is fine but they are predicting lots of evening smoke as the air warms. So, in other words, I wouldn't worry about it too much and I think you'll be fine. I've been commuting in it and the worst I've had is a burning sensation and a lot of snot :).
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's awesome country down in there Ray. I had to really be careful to avoid cars in my photos. There was actually a small army running around the hills for the 4th, but even still it wasn't too bad.
 

· il miglior fabbro
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In 2007, I took a cycling vacation based out of Solvang, northwest of Santa Barbara. It was a fantastic experience. Some of your photos remind me of the scenery, they take me back. Thanks a lot.
 

· Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm getting there MB. This last ride wasn't too difficult for me and I now wish I had thrown in Monitor just for the experience but I think my wife would have slapped me silly.
 
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