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I have never ridden up slug gulch, missed the turnoff last year so I really can not compare the two. I thought overall Hale road rocked except for the downhill portion. Getting to the real climb was very dangerous, huge potholes everywhere, slow inexperienced riders trying to find the smoothest route down mixed with fast speed demons who thought this was a race weaving though everyone.
The uphill portion was very tough but satisfying. It was mostly shaded and those steep section really gave my legs a workout. What are your thoughts and impressions?
 

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The new route sucks...

rollinrob said:
I have never ridden up slug gulch, missed the turnoff last year so I really can not compare the two. I thought overall Hale road rocked except for the downhill portion. Getting to the real climb was very dangerous, huge potholes everywhere, slow inexperienced riders trying to find the smoothest route down mixed with fast speed demons who thought this was a race weaving though everyone.
The uphill portion was very tough but satisfying. It was mostly shaded and those steep section really gave my legs a workout. What are your thoughts and impressions?
The new route substituted 20 miles of inferno for cool forests and vineyards. I won't do the ride again unless they change it back.
 

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I agree with robwh9 - I did the metric last year and was really looking forward to this year including Slug Gulch. These are my top 3 complaints:

1) Hale Rd descent
2) Last 20 miles especially the last 7 being ALL UPHILL
3) Bike traffic going up and down the same road with cars, not a good combo

Everything else was great. The support, the CHP, the volunteers.

However, if they do not change the route back to the way it was in 2005, I will not particiapte again.
 

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Inferior...

The new route was definitely lacking - but I thought that it was just the last 10 miles that really stunk. Even on short notice, I'm surprised that they could not find a better route for the full century. If I'd been confident in my directions, I'd have short-cutted back to the fairgrounds.

Slug Gulch (in my recollection ) was steeper, shorter, shadier, smoother, and had a full rest stop at the top. Much more satisfying. In honesty, I was in better condition last year, so the shorter part might be my imagination. I doubt that I'd ride the Sierra again, unless they can give some assurance that the route will be more like the old one.

my 2 cents...
 

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Hale Road

This was my first century ride and I have never ridden Slug Gulch so My comments are just on Hale Road. Hale was nice and shaded, the rough downhill section was brutal so rough I had a tough time braking. The water crossing was interesting :D The climbs were steep and with many false summits. Sounds like I was lucky to get through there early (before noon) as I only saw a few other riders on Hale. I left the fair grounds at 6:00 and returned just before 1:00, anyone on this forum I was psooibly ridding with?
 
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