I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for putting on a terrific event.
Despite the fact that the weather didn't cooperate, it was still a very memorable event.
There were a number of superb callouts, including:
1. Numerous friendly support personnel
2. Mobile SAG were present and very observant throughout the ride
3. Well stocked rest stops (great selection of Hammer products, homemade cookies, fruit, etc...)
4. Email communication leading up to the event was great
5. Course well marked, and the shoulders were clear of debris (one of the cleanest courses I have seen)
6. BEAUTIFUL scenery throughout the entire ride
7. Great lunch
8. Although I didn't finish all 8 passes, I love the regular jersey, the design is very nice
9. I love the whole design your own ride option
Finally, I hope you continue the event and I will certainly look to bringing a number of friends with me next year to enjoy this fantastic ride.
Thank you for a well planned event.
This was my first organized bike ride.
I rode with my 15 year old son on the 27 mile ride of the kid challenge.
I was impressed with the volunteers at the rest stops. They were nice and friendly.
The snacks were great. The orange slices, bananas, melon, cookies and juice were very refreshing. You could not have asked for better weather. It was not too hot and not too cold. Just right. We haven't ridden a lot on roads, mostly mountain bike trails and dirt roads.
Maybe next year we will be ready to tackle one of the passes.
My only comment is that the date should not be the first or second weekend in June. Kid's Fishing Derby and Carson Valley Day parade are competing family activities on those days.
After all the hype and e-mails over the last few months, I thought it would be good to send out a
quick follow-up about yesterday's ride down in Markleeville, put on by our friends down south -- the Alta Alpina Cycling Club. I can only say that if you couldn't attend, you missed what I hope is the start of a new annual tradition.
Obviously, you can't beat the scenery and the close location. Then, you add their amazing ability to organize a ride and pull it off with a smile even in weather that was a bit difficult at times. The rest stops were well stocked and the volunteers were wonderfully helpful. They had tons of motorcycle support to help fix flats and repair anything else, loads of SAG wagons driving around, and all of this was running from something like 3:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night for people who rode up to as many 200 miles. Need I say more!
It was great to see so many Pedalers attend this event. I rode with a couple of our cohorts and ran into a few more after the ride. I also hung out with people from the Bay Area and even Los Angeles, so this ride did reach a pretty wide audience.
With the ability to plan and train for a ride that suits your desires/goals in such a wonderful place with such awesome people, I'm thinking they're onto something. Congratulations to Alta Alpina for putting together a truly top-notch event.
Hey Everybody -
I would like to second everything Heidi reported on the Alta Alpina Challenge. It was a wild and
wooly ride with the weather and the challenge of the passes. I had snow and rain on top of the
passes I did.
But weather notwithstanding, Alta Alpina outdid themselves - great support, great course, spectacular scenery. Michael, Tim et al did a terrific job of pulling this off and I hope it does become an annual event. I also got to ride with folks from LA and the Bay Area as well as Tahoe, Carson, and Reno.
This is a ride to put on your calendars for next year. Congratulations again Alta Alpina on a great event.
Wanted to thank you for this wonderful ride. I took a wrong turn and got on the kid carson had
to double back to get up Kingsbury. Lost an hour getting back on course. Would have made the cut
off time to Ebbets but bailed when my partner came in soaked with hail and rain. Want to make
sure I get signed in for next year though. I had a wonderful time trying to kill myself want to
repeat the performance. Thank you for opening the ride to non-members. Can't wait to try again.
Wayne rider 277
Thank you very much for a fantastic ride on Saturday. I was able to complete the 8 passes and successfully complete my first double. If it were not for the great support at the rest stops and your staff always wanting to lend a hand I don't know if I would have made it through the ride especially with the weather. I will pass the word on to friends that this is a great ride to take part in. Thanks, Dan
Hi, I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for creating the toughest double I have ever
attempted. This was truly a gut-wrenching challenge, particularly the inclement weather issues.
The support, food, people, atmosphere, scenery, and fellow bicyclists were absolutely fantastic.
The only negatives was the near-absolute zero temperatures at the various summits and the
intermittent rain showers, which were quite heavy at the top of the Blue Lakes climb.
I'm sure there were a few glitches for a first time ride, but overall this was one of the
best organized rides I've been on. Thanks again and I hope to see you next year.
Hello, Thank you so much for putting on such an awesome ride. I loved it.
A thousand times more....WELL DONE!!!
Total Ascent = 20,860
miles = 197.2
average elevation = 7,000 (fairly well calibrated)
my time = 17:54
You have created the:
HARDEST (by far...weather, riding at extreme altitude, skill level on the descents (I DID slow way the hell down coming down any wet patches....e.g., 2,000 feet worth of Ebbetts)
MOST BEAUTIFUL (by far...only two blocks of "junk" miles...if you call downtown Markleeville "junk")
Well done again.
ps the inclusion of many wonderful Native Americans was most welcome. it brought us closer to the cultural as well as the natural beauty of that area.
1. The course is perfectly laid out. The ride up Woodfords in the morning is great because the
traffic is quite low, whereas at night, it can be quite busy. Also, flying downhill in Woodfords
at night even with lights would be a scary proposition.
2. Riding up and down Monitor at night is fine because of the lack of traffic.
3. That Kinsgbury climb was NOT EASY! That said, it was still a great challenge and quite beautiful.
Thanks again for a truly fantastic challenge. I'm definitely going to have to get into better shape to conquer the altitude and climbing.
I just wanted to get a quick email off to you to pat everyone on the back for doing such a great job on the ride yesterday. Everything about it was fun and exciting. I loved the website, it had a lot of information and fun to browse through. The route was fantastic. I rode in areas I had heard about, but had not seen.
Unfortunately, this year I had to dial it back a notch and do a much easier ride than most. I skipped Kingsbury Grade and, with another rider rode out to the bottom of the grade and met our friends coming back. We rode out and did Luther Pass and Carson Pass, then headed back to the barn (Turtle Rock). A group of us are leaving for Colorado on Thursday for the Bike Tour of Colorado which I know some of your club members have done. I know this because they club members are so nice and friendly and helpful. Anyway, with BTC coming up, I wanted to take it easy.
However, the Wild Sierra Challenge will be on my "must do" list for next year. Don't change a thing! The Hammer products were the icing on the cake. Really appreciated that. I intend to let Hammer know also. The Rest Stops were so perfectly positioned and the people staffing them were awesome. The kids even valet parked my bike at the Emigrant Trail stop.
I had several friends who did the 8 Passes. I drove back to the Bay Area last night and was not there to see who ended up doing what. But I think they all did well. Waiting to hear.
Good job! Despite the weather, we had a great day. See you next year.
Congratulations on doing a GREAT job with this 1st Event. I believe that it will become, with time, a very successful one.
Every obstacle possible has been thrown in your way, including the weather, and you did not give up.
I spoke to a few participants and the common response were: excellent organization, beautiful sceneries, perfect.
I did the 3 passes and enjoyed it.
Thank you all for a great event. I really had a good time and hope to do it again.
Sadly, the illness that I brought with me this time kept me from completing the 8
All the workers and volunteers were excellent and so were the rest stops, all of which I happily used.
Excellent organization, friendly, helpful rest stop staff and great SAG support. Destined to
become a classic.
For the record my Garmin 305 (with battery extender) gave total elevation gain of 21416' and 197.8 miles.
At least 8 or 9(?) GPC members* rode the first edition of the Alta Alpina Challenge last Saturday. Like the Death Ride (=D.R.), this event is held (mostly) in Alpine County and allows riders to climb as many passes as they choose, but it also includes 3 passes not usually included in the D.R. including Kingsbury Grade in Nevada, giving up to a possible 8 total passes (which constitutes a double century). As such, this ride might appeal to many of us who would enjoy doing an organized ride in Alpine County but without the roads crowded by 2500+ riders and the "you gotta do 5 passes" pressure of the D.R.
As many of you may know Alta Alpina formerly ran the D.R., and their considerable experience and talents contributed to making the Challenge one of the best organized and conducted events I've taken part in. Unfortunately, nature did not cooperate, with cloudy skies all day and numerous isolated downpours of cold rain and sleet. I gather that a number of the 250 riders (unofficial count overheard at a rest stop) taking part had to change or shorten their days after getting soaked and chilled. Friday and Sunday were much nicer; like our own Century, the event was hit by an unfortunate day of anomalous bad weather.
However, the organization, on-road support, quality of rest stop food, really just about everything was excellent, and the helpfulness and enthusiasm of the volunteers was extraordinary. Perhaps Micky or Jack will pass along their experiences of rest stop "hospitality" beyond anything I've heard before. Many of the stops had hot food and drink (soup, cocoa, hot dogs) and shelter from wind and rain. During some periods of the day I saw the ubiquitous SAG people more often than any other riders.
I could write more extolling the event but you get the idea; I'd love to see more of us Grizzlies there next year. I'd also like to hear others' impressions, and hope all who took part to pass their comments and evaluations on to Alta Alpina.
Thanks for putting on such a great ride on Saturday! The support and organization were amazing.
I really appreciated the hot soup and hot chocolate on top of the cold summits, and the rest of
the food was outstanding too. The volunteers were unfailingly cheerful and helpful, even as
they endured the chilly conditions.
The course was as beautiful and challenging as promised. Truly an epic ride and certainly deserving of a spot in the Triple Crown Stage Race rotation.
I agree with everything said here. The ride support was remarkable. The kids even valet
parked our bikes for us when we pulled up to the rest stop on Emigrant Trail. Hot soup on
the top of Carson, just before I descended Carson in the hail. I would like to see this
club and this incredible riding event get the notoriety it deserves. I saw a lot of
people out there from morning till we went home at night and they worked all day long,
putting up with the inclement weather as well. Yet they still were helpful and cheerful.
Highly recommend everyone put this on their ride calender for next year.
How fortunate I was to participate in the Challenge! It was a fantastic experience: my
personal best distance and climb at altitude; but what really struck me was how well organized
and managed the whole event was, from beginning to end.
I have communicated and will continue to communicate my experience to non - participating riding friends of mine to increase turnout next year.
Thank you for such an extraordinary experience!
You guys put on a fantastic ride. I will definitely sign up next year if you offer it.
I turned around before the top of the fifth pass, Ebbetts, because of the rain and snow, but
that was out of your control. The ride support was great. I will spread the word about how
well the ride was organized.
I want to thank you for a fantastic Alta Alpina Challenge Ride/Event experience.
My bay area contingent loved it and we will be returning next year. We are already spreading the word among all our cycling groups and friends.
1. Brenda (who I have not seen in years) rode with us for a time on Diamond Valley Road
2. I experienced Kingsbury and Luther Pass for the first time. I truly enjoyed these passes
3. The fantastic sag support. Roving motorcycles everywhere. When I stopped for various reasons, they were right there for assistance
4. The fabulous rest stops: Hammer products much appreciated; the food; and the drinks; the friendliness of the volunteers and trying to assist us in many ways; bike valet at Emigrant Trail stop
5. The Picture stickers of the passes. I love them so much more than the colored dots
6. The personalized name number plates. It allowed complete strangers to cheer you on from the behind etc.
7. I know due to politics, you had to enforce the times for starting. It is good to know that the doubles riders can start unofficially in order to complete this difficult double in the time constraints
8. The post ride support
9. The option of choosing your own passes
10. Smaller crowds and personalized services
11. No lottery registration in order to ride and support your club
12. I do hope you can keep this as a signature ride for your club!
13. Even though, I live in the Bay area, I would love to join your club. Andrew Farren who stayed with us informed me that this was ok. He is a member and lives in SFO.
14. Meeting the leader and his Junior team on the climb towards Carson. Thank you for the push.
15. The unicycles on Luther Pass
I so enjoy this event over the Death Ride. I have been doing Deathride for the past 9 years and each year it is not the same. Alta's new ride ranks #1.
1. I know now that I could have chosen Ebbetts. I did not think that I could chose as on option as listed for Double. But that is ok. There were so many other options and beauty.
Again, Thank you.
I second the kudos for all the GPC members I saw during the ride. Everyone looked strong with
enough spare energy for the occasional hand waive and communication as we crossed paths throughout
the ride. I really enjoyed the Drive-thru lunch option, which I have to admit at the time was one
of the best sandwiches I remember ever having (the simply thing in life :^).
I wanted to give you some quick feedback on the ride, so that you can continue to improve it.
I missed the cutoff for the decent of Monitor East by 15 minutes, and the guys at the checkpoint were pretty adament about my not continuing, although the SAG driver was more than willing to stick with me, and the riders behind me, until we finished. I probably would have rolled in around 10:30pm. I did have the legs to get back up Monitor, though slowly, and was well prepared with warm clothes.
The cutoff times for 8 passes didn't make a lot of sense to me, especially with the ascent time of Monitor West and the decent time of monitor east being the same, at 7pm.
I should have started much earlier than the 5am start window that you assigned me. Though I finished the DMD in 16:30, the AA has got to be around a 18 hour ride for me, with less than an hour off the bike, which was a challenge with the bad weather. (Probably took one too many hand warming breaks with hot chocolate.) The only people I know who finished started at least by 4am and ealier. It wasn't clear to me, though I should have dug deeper than I did, that starting before 5am was ok.
Also, the rolling lunch wasn't operational when I pulled in, which probably cost me another 10 minutes.
I know you all had pressure from CHP, and of course you wanted this ride come off well and safely. It is just terribly dissapointing to put in all that work, and not get the credit for the double. The idea of designing your own ride is appealing in theory, but I'm not sure that riding 180 miles/17k feet, and not getting anything special for it, will attract that many people. The official ride window needs to be on the order of 20 hours.
Thanks for putting together an otherwise great ride. You certainly can claim bragging rights for the toughest double in the world!
I just want to say thank you to all of the people who worked to make this ride doable,
especially the wonderful volunteers at the rest stops. I want to say special thinks to
the folks on top of Ebbetts and especially on the Monitor summit. The young lady on top
of Monitor was the most helpful I've ever met on any organized ride and I hope you can
pass on my personal thanks to her and her family that gave me the warm heater and hot
chocolate I needed to finish all 8 passes, I think I may have been close to one of the
Are there going to be results posted anywhere? I would like to see how a few other people I met throughout the day did. Thanks again.
Rico, Rider 298
Ahoy ride director.
My wife and I wanted to do one of the many ride options, mostly Monitor Pass, east and west. The starting time was just too late. If you don't end up riding in thunderstorms it will be very hot coming back up over the east side. It looks like a great concept, kind of a dial-a-ride with a lot of options. Next year maybe you will have enough interest (i.e. probable money) that you will be able to man/woman the rest stops earlier at the various ride options and make them more practical.
Looking forward to next year,
So... the big event is over and it was awesome. I can't even try to put into words how
much fun it was, how well the event was organized, how helpfull everyone was and how
smooth it all went. It made doing the 8 passes so much easier.
The decision to stagger the start for riders doing different numbers of passes and adjust the finishing times too reduce possible conjestion on the final climbs and descents was inspired. A great idea!
It was so good that if you have plans for running this event again next year, save a spot for me will ya!
Tell everyone associated with the event "Thanks" for all their efforts and hardwork - it was greatly appreciated.
See you next year!
Thanks! I am recruiting as many of my club members for next year as possible
-I have 4 committed to start Training in FEB 2010 for our return! Can't
wait. I would mention in your Pre-ride Emails about the potential weather
issues and to repeatedly stress the need to be ready for any weather. It was
FREEZING on Ebbetts - You people are the best as far as pre ride emails. I
hope we can make this Double a success. Any chance it will be in the Stage
Race next year??? I consider the DMD a training ride for this!!!!
I left the start at 3:45AM - (garmin) I think I finished @ 9:30 PM - 17.75 hours....Something like that! Thanks!
I was ahead of the 3 girls until monitor - then the Bonks hit!!!! LoL!!! Awesome ladies!! I will get them next time!!
PS -Hot Food on the west side of Ebbetts saved my ride - great crew.
Coke/caffeine / V8 - from Carson on .....
Thank you for hosting a beautiful, extremely-well supported ride. And being able to camp at the
start was awesome!
I wanted to comment on how well Alta Alpina put on the event. This was my first double and
the volunteers were awesome and were a main reason I was able to complete all 8 passes.
Congratulations on putting on such a great event and I look forward to joining you next year.
You folks did a really nice job of the ride, Saturday. I've talked about it with several of
my Grizzly Peak Cyclists clubbies and we all agreed that it's a ride worth doing again.
A couple of criticisms: 1) The non-beef protein options were pretty meager by the time I got to lunch at TRP. 2) I wish whoever put together your jersey ordering web page knew about apostrophes (men's, women's, not mens, womens...)
Other than that, thanks for a job well done.
What a day...you guys were awesome!!!...Bryce
I really enjoyed it. The organization was excellent. Better weather next time!
I saw a spot on Blue Lakes Rd. where there was a snow bank on the east side of the road
and tire marks of a big tractor and guessed that it might have been the blocked bit,
and that it had been recently cleared. I was so glad the full road was open; I have never
ridden it and haven't traveled it since I was a kid camping with my family, when it was at
least partly (or all) gravel. What a lovely road!
It was nice seeing Brenda twice, on Fredericksburg Rd and near Picketts Junction. That "social" aspect of the ride, seeing everyone at least once, was one of many things I really enjoyed. I talked with Michael B. at the dinner and let him know how much I enjoyed the ride and that I will do my best to get the word out that this is a terrific event that I'm sure many of us GPCers would enjoy doing next year, weather cooperating.
Thanks, it was a great ride, and you guys did a GREAT JOB!
I got rained on 4 times and was pretty wet and cold. I had a rain coat and duct taped my
shoe vents but my long fingered gloves got soaked and my hands got very cold. I did ok I
averaged about 14 mph. Saw Tina who we rode with on one of our rides together. Had a great
time and the support was wonderful.
This was an awesome ride. There were so many details, like the bike racks at the rest stops
that made this such a unique and so well supported ride. I had a great day.
The ride support was remarkable. The kids even valet parked our bikes for us when we pulled up to the rest stop on Emigrant Trail. Hot soup on the top of Carson, just before I descended Carson in the hail. I would like to see this club and this incredible riding event get the notoriety it deserves. I saw a lot of people out there from morning till we went home at night and they worked all day long, putting up with the inclement weather as well. Yet they still were helpful and cheerful. Highly recommend everyone put this on their ride calender for next year.