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I am a 2nd year cyclist and I have done a couple centuries and would like to do the Death Ride this year. How tough is it? Is it a great ride?
 

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not yet

I havent done it but hear its really good
Besides any ride with the word Death right in it....... it HAS to be good :)
 

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Coco Puff
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jm73 said:
I am a 2nd year cyclist and I have done a couple centuries and would like to do the Death Ride this year. How tough is it? Is it a great ride?
It's a beautiful ride. Quite a bit of climbing at fairly high altitude, but you are able to back out after any number of passes if you need to. It's lottery entry, so good luck on getting in.
 

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I did it a few years ago, all the passes, it was the hardestt ride I've ever done! FYI, I race Expert MTB , 45+ Road, average 10 hours a week on the bike. I will also say it was the bes organized cycling event I have ever done! The volunteers were amazing. They take your bike at the rest stop and fill your water bottles while you sit and eat. Lots of people cheering you on. I would highly reccomend it!
 

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jm73 said:
I am a 2nd year cyclist and I have done a couple centuries and would like to do the Death Ride this year. How tough is it? Is it a great ride?
I've done it several times. It's hard, but it's doable. I think you would be surprised at how many people complete all 5 passes. If you have done centuries in a reasonable amount of time, you can do the Death Ride. You should have plenty of time to train for it. Obviously do a lot of climbing, but just as important is saddle time. A strong rider is going to spend 9 or more hours on the bike, and lots of people take up to 14 hours to finish it. Don't worry about the alititude. It will most likely affect you, but I think most people adjust very quickly and it isn't much of a factor.
 

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Bacon!
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You can do it with some prep

I'm lucky in that I live about 1/2 hour away and can practice at altitude. If you are from a low altitude it is going to be harder for you. My suggestion, if you can afford to, make a vacation out of it and spend 2 days or so getting a little more acclimated before the ride. Enjoy Tahoe, do some light hiking etc.

Besides that, it's difficult but far from impossible. Part of the group I ride with (or at least hope to this year) is seventy years old. He completes five passes but takes 12 hours to do it. Slow but determined. The big thing is eat lots, pace yourself, and have fun. If you live near any good mountains practice riding up and down them. Even if it's the same mountain three times in a row. At least it'll get you a feeling for what it's like. For me, the worst part is my sore a$$ afterward. Normally when I ride the passes before the actual ride I only do 2 at a time and am not used to climbing up hills for that long of a period.
 

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I've done it a couple of times. A few thoughts. Stay on top of eating/drinking. Last time I did it, I did an all liquid approach and had a watch set to beep every 20 mins to remind me to drink. I went through a large bottle of Sustained Energy every hour which I also supplemented with Hammer Gel for additional calories. If you've done some centuries you probably already have an eating/drinking routine that works for you. The point is simply that on the Death Ride, you will have to be a little more on top of it that you might on a normal century ride. If you get behind on caloric intake, the terrain late in the ride (headwind with climbing) isn't very forgiving. Also, for your first time, you'll probably want to have a "bail out" gear that you can spin up a steep climb even if your legs are cooked. If you have a triple you're fine. You can easily make a double work fine with a larger cassette. You can go up to 30 on a Shimano road derailleur and 32 or 34 with a mountain derailleur. If you need info on how to make that work, you can post a message in the wrenching forum and someone can let you know how to make it work. Finally, it is typically windy getting from the 4th to the fifth pass. Once you make the left turn toward Carson pass at Woodfords, you are likely to have a pretty good wind in your face for quite awhile before you ever hit the Carson climb. Realizing this ahead of time and setting expectations made the second year much easier than the first for me - YMMV. Bottom line is that the Death Ride is definitely doable for someone who has done rides of 100 miles.
 

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Done the route, but not the ride. Friends love it...

I live an hour or so away, and I've done all the passes and most of the route 40 or 50 miles at a time, but not the organized ride. Several friends have ridden it, one of them five or six times, and they all say it's the best-organized and -run ride they've done.
Plenty of climbing, of course. Despite its reputation, though, I know people who say it's not even the toughest ride in the area. There's another one a couple of weeks earlier in the Sierra (from Quincy or Chester or somewhere; can't remember) that's supposed to be harder to finish.
 

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Yeah!

jm73 said:
I am a 2nd year cyclist and I have done a couple centuries and would like to do the Death Ride this year. How tough is it? Is it a great ride?
I did the Death Ride last year. It was my first season on a road bike, after 10 years of mountain biking. I got a decent used road bike (steel/ultegra LeMond Zurich) and joined Team In Training.

Started training in February, and by the time of the Death Ride in July we'd done 8 century rides. Built up the mileage (and vertical per ride) fairly slowly. First Century was in May, and then every Saturday was a 100+ mile ride.

So, yeah, it's certainly doable for a "2nd year" cyclist, as long as you get in several 100+ mile rides. The things to get used to are the length of time in the saddle (all day), and doing LOTS of climbing - in the last two months you should have several rides with 10,000+ ft of climbing in the day.

The key not to race - just know what is a decent uphill pace that you can maintain. The course is 5 climbs of about 2000-3000' each, each roughly 10 miles of continuous climbing. At a "moderate" pace the climbs are "only" about an hour to 1:15. Only one relatively flat section from lunch to Woodfords to begin climbing up to Carson Pass, the last pass.

The ride itself is spectacular. Fantastic support - more rest stops than you need. Beautiful scenery. Harshest part is the 5:30am start. We stayed at South Lake Tahoe, so had to be up about 3:30 to eat, load up & get there in time.

I'd do it again this year if we didn't just have our 2nd child last month (so not much riding for me now).
 

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You don't have to do all 5 passes.

There are several bailout points. I suggest doing 3 or 4 double-metric centuries, and maybe an easy double like Davis or Solvang.

Has anybody heard from them yet?
 

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Yup, I did my first Deathride back in 88, did the 93 and the 04 editions. It's a long day in the saddle with climbs that go on and on but it is well supported and the terrain you ride through is fantastic. The lottery closes for it at the end of the month if you're considering it (active.com). If the centuries you completed were full of climbs and you did them in reasonable comfort, I'd say the Deathride would suit you. If they were flat and gave you trouble, best to get another year in or consider doing a 4 pass ride on your first attempt. I'll have to miss this year's but will try to make the 07 edition. Good luck.
 

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I have done it the last 2 years it's not a hard ride just long. My only advice is too not take too long of breaks and eat and drink from start till you stop. The 1st year I bonked up Carson and that was horrible. Still finished it in a hair over 9 hours. Last year I did better with the eating but had a some rear wheel issues but still managed an 8:20 total time ride.
 
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