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  1. #1
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    California Sierra Trail Race.

    I've been working on this little deal for awhile now but it looks like it is finally coming together. The race will be in the tradition of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race, Colorado Trail Race and The Arizona Trail Race. This means self supported multi-day mountain bike racing through remote stretches with the chance to restock at stores/towns every couple of days, Getting beers from the jeepers on the Rubicon will not be held against you .

    As it stands right now the race is 412 miles with around 75,000' of climbing with a start and end point of Auburn, Ca. I think it should go in about 3-5 days at race pace. This type of racing is popular outside of California, so I'm hoping that more local folks will become interested in this format of racing, or aspire to do it as a multi-day adventure outside of racing.

    I'm looking at late July, early August 2012 for an official race date. These thing start slow, but Colorado Trail race had 43 starters this year, with a world class field at that, this years field looks to be even larger. GDMR will be looking at 100 racers this year as they deal with the growth of this type of racing.

    No fee.

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    No prizes, certainly no money.

    No one responsible for you other than yourself.


    The course is pretty set from Auburn to the bottom of Christmas Valley. I've ridden these sections numerous times and have gpx tracks for them.
    The course could go in either direction, but I would think you would come back to Auburn up the 50 corridor.
    I could use some help from there to back to Loon Lake. I've done plenty of riding out there and know there is trail to use, I just don't have GPS tracks for it. So if you have GPS tracks for Cody Creek, Pony Express, Barretts Lake Jeep trail or anything else on the 50 corridor you think would be cool, send them my way. This would help me this year as I scout that area for the complete loop, it would save me a lot of searching around for stuff I rode ten years ago I'll ride the entire route this summer and get a pre-split 10,000 point track set up for everyone to follow.

    So any questions or critiques are more than welcome. Any help on the 50 side would be greatly appreciated and anyone looking to help scout is more than welcome to help me this coming year.

    I've attached the GPX file, anyone who wants to put it into map form here is welcome to do so.

    Thanks to Francis, you can now attach GPX tracks under the upload section, 800 kb file limit, cool!

    You'll need some sort of mapping/gps program to open the file. Garmim Connect will work as well. If you are interested in this type of thing you will need a mapping GPS unit, no cue sheets for this one.Topofusion has a nice free demo version and a really useful pay for use version.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails California Sierra Trail Race.-cstr-map-2-.jpg  

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Sean Allan; 01-05-2011 at 02:22 PM.

  2. #2
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    HOLY JEEZ LOUISE!!!!!

    this sounds freaking awesome!
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  3. #3
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    yeah, that would take me 9-10 days, LOL.

    I guess my gel flask wouldnt last me for that race.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  4. #4
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    Hey Sean

    PM me your e-mail, I can get you the pony express, and hawley grad. Can get you Cody creek also but unless you just need it for the extra mileage, it can probably be skipped.

    Empty Beer can probably help you out in the loon lake/Barretts area.
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  5. #5
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    Oh yea, one super lame thing happened this summer, to catch the beginning of the Pony express, you have to ride like a 1/4 mile of the PCT. This section had never been marked as no bikes on either end. It is now marked as no bikes and there is no legal access to the beginning of the XP at the top of Echo Summit. You could ride down 50 a little ways and just cross country thru the forest to get to it, but it may throw a monkey wrench into any official race. I still ride it without a second though, but it's something to consider.

    Edit to add, forgot I did not need to get to my home computer for this, da

    http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show/114...ss-trail-part1

    http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show/114...ss-trail-part2

    http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/edit/15616-codylake

    Last includes hawley grade which can be taken up from the end of xmas valley, recommend going over the leap instead of down the XP though baby head hell, plus it's much funner and great views from the top of the leap. Problem like I said before is that 1/4 mile section of pct.
    http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6107087
    Last edited by TahoeBC; 01-05-2011 at 03:11 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Wow. I can't see myself competing in something this burly, but it sounds like something I'd love to help with, if you'd like.

    Decisions, decisions on the area between Big Meadow and Wrights Lake Rd. The PCT gets in the way of the goods. But the Pony XP along 50 is probably suitable, although that does eliminate descents on Sayles or Cody, unless you send people up Strawberry OHV first, which would be mean

    I do plan on exploring more in the Crystal Basin this summer, so hopefully I can help you figure this section out. Here's a track from last summer, with notes: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/44852059

    Do the other multi-day races use much pavement?

  7. #7
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    Is it illegal to "walk" your bike on the 1/4 mile section pct ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan
    As it stands right now the race is 412 miles with around 75,000' of climbing with a start and end point of Auburn, Ca. I think it should go in about 3-5 days at race pace. This type of racing is popular outside of California, so I'm hoping that more local folks will become interested in this format of racing, or aspire to do it as a multi-day adventure outside of racing.
    I live right near Auburn - am interested.

    There are awesome racing events in Cali, but for some reason it's very disjointed and many people (especially from out of state) don't even know what's going on half the time. MTB'ing is to California as algebra is to Arabs. We need more world class events, and I think your idea is great.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    Oh yea, one super lame thing happened this summer, to catch the beginning of the Pony express, you have to ride like a 1/4 mile of the PCT. This section had never been marked as no bikes on either end. It is now marked as no bikes and there is no legal access to the beginning of the XP at the top of Echo Summit. You could ride down 50 a little ways and just cross country thru the forest to get to it, but it may throw a monkey wrench into any official race. I still ride it without a second though, but it's something to consider.

    Edit to add, forgot I did not need to get to my home computer for this, da

    http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show/114...ss-trail-part1

    http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show/114...ss-trail-part2

    http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show/15616-codylake

    Last includes hawley grade which can be taken up from the end of xmas valley, recommend going over the leap instead of down the XP though baby head hell, plus it's much funner and great views from the top of the leap. Problem like I said before is that 1/4 mile section of pct.
    Sean, as I mentioned on bikepacking.net, great idea and I'd be interested, just the type of ridiculous challenge one needs to take on once and a while! For the PCT problem, one can instruct participants to do a portage I guess (Grand Canyon crossing AZT-style, but instead of a 16 mile, 6000ft down and back up hike, only a quarter mile ).

    If I have some time I'll stitch TahoeBC's and other's gpx tracks together, generate some elevation profiles etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE157
    Is it illegal to "walk" your bike on the 1/4 mile section pct ?

    Yes
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  11. #11
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    wow sean. very cool. I'd love to try and help scout if schedules allow.

    this seems like something I can talk a lot about possibly doing but never actually be strong enough to do haha

    kudos for taking the initiative to fire it up!

  12. #12
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    Thanks All,
    Jeff(s), You two were certainly people I was going to contact for this, I would greatly appreciate any help or guidance you two could give me. El Hombre's help is greatly appreciated as well. Any GPX tracks would be great, it would save me a lot of time on the ground as I can plot some courses this winter and see what they look like come summer.

    I have been on a lot of trails in that area with some friends many years ago( Jeff, you may back country ski with one of them, Steve Sapaco) but my memory of that area is not what it used to be. It's only a small percentage of the race, but it would be nice to find some rideable stuff over there, I can always use dirt roads, but trail is the first priority. It needs to be fairly rideable, I don't want this thing to get CTR like with miles and miles of pushing. It is very rideable to the bottom of X-mas Valley and I'd like to continue that theme.

    The PCT is a problem but certainly not a deal breaker, I've been on that section, but I would like to keep it all legal. Perhaps a trip to El Dorado Forest Service is in order to plead our case for an exception, or new route, not just for this, but for everyone. As nothing about this is "Official", it is low on the priority list, I have no problem having them bushwack for a 1/4 mile.

    Jeff, you could certainly do this, it takes a huge commitment, but you have the skills necessary. Typical races of this nature do about 10-15% pavement, right now I am under 10%. It's nice to have a break every once in a while. After riding your bike for 22 hours straight day after day, back country paved forest roads provide a nice place to zone out a bit.

    I'm undecided on the return from Loon to Auburn, I may take them up the trail along the Rubicon River to Hell Hole instead of the pavement to Ralston Ridge and on to French Meadows. It's been years since I've been on this trail as well, the push up to Hell Hole was tough without a loaded bike.

    Any and all help is welcome. Keep the info coming, it's something that I've been working on for a couple of years, but I want to get it off the ground this year for a 2012 official route. I'm doing CTR this year(pending shoulder surgery) and will be using this route to train on, so fine tuning it will be an adventure

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chairthruster
    ....

    this seems like something I can talk a lot about possibly doing but never actually be strong enough to do haha

    ditto.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chairthruster
    wow sean. very cool. I'd love to try and help scout if schedules allow.

    this seems like something I can talk a lot about possibly doing but never actually be strong enough to do haha

    kudos for taking the initiative to fire it up!
    Matt, would love to have you help, you'll have to find some gears though, not a particularly SS friendly route That being said, some sick pud will do it, and likely fast.....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    ditto.

    CHUM, let's do it as a team. You can slap me when I start wanting to quit and go home.

  16. #16
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    Maybe with TAMBA being resurrected right now, we can get a new short trail approved, could be knock out in a day easy.

    Hard to tell from your map but I think the North shore portion of Lake Tahoe could get some adjustments to avoid more pavement.

    Cool project you got there, out of this it should not be to hard to come up with a Lake Tahoe specific loop also for the less than super human folks
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    Maybe with TAMBA being resurrected right now, we can get a new short trail approved, could be knock out in a day easy.

    Hard to tell from your map but I think the North shore portion of Lake Tahoe could get some adjustments to avoid more pavement.

    Cool project you got there, out of this it should not be to hard to come up with a Lake Tahoe specific loop also for the less than super human folks

    Yeah, I'm dropping down 267 to Kings beach. I will likely add some dirt in that area but it will need to come down to Kings Beach as a resupply point, I guess you could go a little off course into Incline for supplies as well. Is there much on the NE side of 267 that would be suitable for this type of thing? I've been down some stuff over there that I would not send a loaded bike down.

  18. #18
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    You can continue on the TRT past 237 and before you get to the Rose Wilderness you can drop down to Kings beach from what I understand. Should be able to avoid Mt Rose Hwy, but you would bypass some of the TRT, I'm not super familiar with those trails over there though, some North shore folks should be able to help out, thinking of secret flume, etc.
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    Yeah I've been on that, I've also been on something that resembled a downhill slalom, I was in way over my head. There are plenty of ways to get down from Brockway, perhaps someone will chime in with the best way down.

    Right now I'm leaning towards going up Mt. Rose Hwy, I want the suffer factor and everything I've been on that went down to Incline from near the top would not be something I'd send a loaded bike up. Remember, most loaded guys are essentially riding DH/AM bikes weight wise.

    Yeah I know, I can hear the DHers right now "ahh dude, I ride my bike up everything", yeah but can you do back to back to back to back 100 mile days on your DH or AM rig? Not many can, so I need to factor stuff like this in. I want this to be a challenge, but doable for someone who has made the commitment.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan
    I want this to be a challenge, but doable for someone who has made the commitment.
    I love the idea, but how many people in the world can do five 15000' hard singletrack days in a row on a loaded bike?

    This race will make plenty of the Tour de France riders say, "Whoa." or the French ones, "Quoi l'enfer pensez-vous M. Allen?"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy
    I love the idea, but how many people in the world can do five 15000' hard singletrack days in a row on a loaded bike?

    This race will make plenty of the Tour de France riders say, "Whoa." or the French ones, "Quoi l'enfer pensez-vous M. Allen?"
    How many?

    Good question. Significantly less than would show up to a 100 or lap race, but that is the point. No hand holding. No aid stations. No one to talk you off of the ledge as you confront the demons that will invariably show up at the most inopportune times.

    I think the amount of people who can physically do the event is much higher than most would think. The mental part is a whole other deal. Logistics and gear are another thing to consider, but those can be tackled pretty easily.

    Most people can do anything they have the desire to. Whether you desire to do something like this is very personal, I just want to provide an avenue for you if you so choose.


    Here's a nice write up from Jefe Branham, multi time CTR finisher and 2007 winner.

    http://www.bikepacking.net/multiday-...orts/2009-ctr/

  22. #22
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    I'm pretty sure there's a dirt road down to the Kings beach area from the Brockway area. Also if your determined to head up mount rose hwy, I've heard there is the old mt rose highway that's reverted mostly to dirt that you can bypass a lot actual road on. I'm pretty sure you can tune this area over time to get rid of a big portion of pavement. Looks to be a fun project
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  23. #23
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    So I don't need to go to colorado?

    I'm planning on the CTR for early august, but will gladly bail out to to do this. What a great route you made!. Although I've riddin countless PCT miles I'd gladly carry my bike a mile to stay on the right side of the law(for this race!). In reality though a short jaunt on the PCT is no big deal, except for the PR factor. But come-on! it's a strip of dirt in the woods, not a felony!
    I rode 1700+( in 15 days) miles of the Tour Divide Race in 2009. The time-line Sean layed out is very realistic. The resupply options are huge as are the chances for single track shredding. This route will be really high on the fun factor
    The Auburn Area (start and finish) is gonna be hot, hot,hot.
    Sean Allen, the sooner you declare a date the sooner I can declare that I'm in.
    Keep up the good work
    great route!
    P.S. Racers should follow the route that is determined ( by the leaders)....NO whining. If you don't like the route...don't race.
    I hope you post this on both the endurance forum and the So Cal forum. It is a world class route, as anyone who rides in the Tahoe area will know.

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    Been thinking...

    I think you need to start leaving Amanda hints and messages about how I should be doing this next year. I'm tempted...but she's the only one to put me over the top. It would be THE only thing i'd do in 2012 that is for sure.

    PS, saw the new Anthem hanging out in front of ABW this afternoon, from the road couldn't tell if it was a 29er or not...but pretty bike! Let me know when you get yours so i can ride it!
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  25. #25
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    Wow neat idea. I have been fantasizing about doing the Continental Divide race, but whoo wee the logistics...here's one in our own backyard! I think this is an entire MTBE race season in one event.

    Attached is a GPX file with the entire route glued together. I ran an elevation correction on GPS Visualizer and that should all be 100%.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    What an amazing ride this would be. I could do this in 3-5 days; just not at a race pace. Damn

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TubeSSnapper
    I'm planning on the CTR for early august, but will gladly bail out to to do this. What a great route you made!. Although I've riddin countless PCT miles I'd gladly carry my bike a mile to stay on the right side of the law(for this race!). In reality though a short jaunt on the PCT is no big deal, except for the PR factor. But come-on! it's a strip of dirt in the woods, not a felony!
    I rode 1700+( in 15 days) miles of the Tour Divide Race in 2009. The time-line Sean layed out is very realistic. The resupply options are huge as are the chances for single track shredding. This route will be really high on the fun factor
    The Auburn Area (start and finish) is gonna be hot, hot,hot.
    Sean Allen, the sooner you declare a date the sooner I can declare that I'm in.
    Keep up the good work
    great route!
    P.S. Racers should follow the route that is determined ( by the leaders)....NO whining. If you don't like the route...don't race.
    I hope you post this on both the endurance forum and the So Cal forum. It is a world class route, as anyone who rides in the Tahoe area will know.
    I'm in for CTR this year as well, assuming I can get some shoulder surgery done pretty quick. This will certainly be on for 2012 though, I promise.

  28. #28
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    Plugged MonkeyDawg gpx file into mtbguru and came up with this ugly profile



    Total Ascent (ft) 73825

    http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show/16014-cstr-full
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  29. #29
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    Here's the route on a live map...
    if you zoom in, you'll notice the resolution isn't great (track is downsampled)... that's because we never thought folks would come up with such monstrous tracks . I'll see if we can tweak things to accommodate higher res.
    <iframe src="http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/iframe/15991?width=980px&height=800px&type=3" width="1000px" height="885px" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0"></iframe>

    Here's the same but with other tracks in our (public) db overlayed...
    <iframe src="http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/iframe/15991?width=980px&height=800px&type=7" width="1000px" height="885px" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0"></iframe>

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    Also if you're determined to head up mount rose hwy, I've heard there is the old mt rose highway that's reverted mostly to dirt that you can bypass a lot actual road on.
    Yes. If you continue across HWY 431 from Fairview Blvd., you can cut out a chunk of pavement on the way to Tahoe Meadows. It's listed as SR431 on most maps (including Google). It's tougher than climbing on the highway, but not much.

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    Furnace Creek 508 would be a light training ride compared to this race (with only 35,000 ft climbing)!

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    Ouch !!!

    Sean, ride of a life time.

    TahoeBC , I think some reddish hue might be a more appropriate on the graphic. That cool green is totally false advertising.

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    Sorry to bring up a month and a half old thread, but I was just wondering how planning for this is going?

    I'll be up in the area a few times this summer, and will ride the route (maybe not the race this year, but i'd ride the route this summer) if we can get coordinates set up.

    Let me know if I can help in any way!

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    Looks like a great ride!
    There are plenty of routes from Brockway back down to Kings Beach, sorry I don't have any GPS tracks but the routes wouldn't be difficult to find. Right where the TRT crosses 267 there is a fireroad that is flat for awhile and then drops down. I just don't remember the exact route.
    For climbing up to the TRT from Incline, definitely use Old Mt Rose, it was once paved but hasn't been maintained in years. After Fairview, which is lightly traveled, it's closed to traffic. I used to climb it all the time when I worked up there. It's much better than the actual highway. There are some other trails there but for this ride, you don't want to climb them.
    How do you plan to get through Spooner State Park between North Canyon and 50? The TRT continues to 50 but it's not open to bikes (unless that has changed in the last year?) You can go down North Canyon, but that's no fun because it's all road. Max at Flume Trail Bikes might be able to help with some logistics in the park.

  35. #35
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    Sean, done any more exploring? Still planning this for 2012? I'm interested.

    Morgan

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    Good Bump Morgan...

    my random thoughts during TS 100 included the WS runners are insane...and what would it be like hitting that part of the course after over 200 miles of multi day riding in the California Sierra Trail race! )

    I think the higher portion on the Tahoe Rim is probably just opening up...so I imagine Sean and Mary will be doing some camping soon.
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    Also interested

    Quote Originally Posted by morganfletcher View Post
    Sean, done any more exploring? Still planning this for 2012? I'm interested.

    Morgan
    I would also be interested.

    Richard

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    yeah, interested here too.
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    I'm on it....

    Middle of next month I hope to have a seamless GPX track. I've done the first 50....8500' of climbing and that's the easiest portion by far. Done many other sections to familiarize myself with some stuff I haven't ridden in years as well, I just need to get a continuous track with some route notes and mileage as the course will cross itself in a couple of spots and I don't want there to be any confusion. .

    And Roger, you'll hit the upper TS 100 course with over 400 miles in your legs

    2012 it is!

  40. #40
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    I'm definitely interested in hearing how this progresses.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    yeah, interested here too.
    On Single Speed??




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    bump

    Sean, any more news on this? Tis the season to think of ridiculous challenges for the upcoming year...

    I guess you'd just need an established route/gpx file and at least one rider lining up for this to happen?

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    I'd singlespeed that...but I'm kinda worried about bears, mountain lions, and tweakers.

  44. #44
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    The route is done and GPS'ed save for a little 6 mile section from Barrett Lake Jeep Trail to Van Vleck Staging area. I'll need to get that done up and get a cue sheet together for some of the route crossings and we're good to go.
    Late Aug early Sept for your planning needs
    Between 490 and 510 miles is what I believe it's going to come in at. Should fall in under 5 days by someone fast. I hope to be on the line for the inaugural wandering/race through the Sierras!
    If we get an early spring I'll have a full route GPS that I can use by late May.

  45. #45
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    ..."Between 490 and 510 miles is what I believe it's going to come in at. Should fall in under 5 days by someone fast." Freakin' nutballs !! (Yeah, I wish I could go)

    So Sean, what percentage of the route is above 7,000' ? Rough guess.

  46. #46
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    David,
    I would say only about 25-30% would be above 7000. A much larger percentage, perhaps 60-75% might be above 6000 though. Not a big problem unless you live in a tsunami warning zone

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    I would say only about 25-30% would be above 7000. A much larger percentage, perhaps 60-75% might be above 6000 though. Not a big problem unless you live in a tsunami warning zone
    You don't even get over 6k' until after the first 100mi. Plenty of time to acclimate.

    I'm going to start training this weekend. I can usually average 5mph, so that's about 4 days 4 hours for me.

  48. #48
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    Well, I'm not in one; but I can see one from here.
    I'd say ten days would be cause for celebration.
    That's after the doc says I can ride hard again.
    And after I get back to yearly mileage totals in the thousands;
    as opposed to the too few hundreds I rode last year.

    Maybe I'll come up and heckle then ride some plush downhill.

  49. #49
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    Did it go? Or will it?

    Hey, no recent updates on this. Did you guys do it? Or are you planning on it in 2013? I am two time partial comlpleter of the Divide and would love to jump on board with this thing. I too have been tossing the idea around in my head but have done way less work than you guys! Anyway, lemme know, I want in to race/ride/plan...
    Pete

  50. #50
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    Was there a race? If it's delayed until 2013, I will be very interested in it. Is there a mailing list or facebook page or something I can express interest at so I am kept in the loop?

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