Dear Sturdy Riders,
Thanks for joining the 2011 Stagecoach, on Sat, Jan 15, '11, in Ocotillo, CA. This email has final pre-ride updates and prep tips. Everything below is also posted on the website. The Final Rider Instructions, with a course map, are posted on the website. Any last-minute changes will be posted in the "News" section of the website and on the Fanpage.
Countdown: 4 Days until Stagecoach rolls!
Sponsors: Please visit the Sponsor Corral at the bottom of this email for great deals! Always mention Stagecoach. Be sure to stop by the Ellsworth Bicycles booth on Fri or Sat to register to win a free set of Ellsworth Wheels!
Start Line: Riders may start from 7:05 - 9:00 A.M. The Time Trial riders launch first, from 7:00 - 7:05 A.M. on very tight intervals (less than 30 sec). The rest of the field starts immediately after the last Time Trial rider rolls. Use caution making the turn onto S2 out of the parking lot.
One Bite at a Time: Riding a century in January is uncommon. We congratulate you on accepting the Stagecoach Challenge. It's not an easy ride, we know that. Weather can make it treacherous. Work the course in small bites. An hour at a time. Or, Rest Stop to Rest Stop. Cold, dry desert air can dehydrate you before you know it. Rising afternoon temps will too. Drink and eat at every Rest Stop! Don't exceed your limits. You may safely turn around at any point on the course. Do not compare your June cycling to the January Stagecoach: two different animals! If this is your first Stagecoach, do not focus exclusively on making it to the turnaround. You need to have enough reserves left to ride all the way to the finish. Watch out for eachother, point out obstacles, stay to the right, ride single file, and be safe out there!
a. Final Rider Instructions & Course Map: Please read carefully. Download here.
b. San Diego Waiver Form: Save time at packet pick up! Please print out, complete, date, sign, and bring to Fri/Sat packet pick up. Download here.
c. Driving Map: Basic map showing location of Ocotillo, CA. Download here.
Packet Pick up Details: Friday and Saturday options. Riders may pick up friend's packets with written permission, such as a printed email authorizing release.
a. Fri, Jan 14, '11: Noon - 8:00 P.M. at Host Hotel, Mission Valley Resort, 875 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, CA 92108 (Exit 4A). Riders may register in person. Please bring cash. There is an ATM located in parking lot.
b. Sat, Jan 15, '11: 6:45 - 9:00 A.M. Ocotillo Community Park, 266 West Imperial Hwy, Ocotillo, CA 92259. Riders may register in person. Please bring cash. Restrooms and Portajohns are onsite. Arrival coffee & breakfast bars provided by the Desert Vols of Ocotillo. Donations appreciated. All donations feed less fortunate citizens in Ocotillo.
c. What to do at packet pick up:
* Complete San Diego Waiver and drop in Waiver box
* Locate your Bib # on the rider lists posted
* Join the line for your Bib #
* Have ID ready
* Rider packet contains: Helmet #, wristbands, rider instructions, and map. Rider's also receive Custom Pin and pre-ordered optional items. Medals are given at Finish Line.
Upgrades: Riders may upgrade from Short Course to Long Course on Fri or Sat. Cost is $15.
Host Hotel: Mission Valley Resort offer Stagecoach riders a special $69 p/t rate, based on avail. Click here for details.
Detailed Driving Directions: Here's a link to Mapquest and a basic map showing the location of Ocotillo, CA. Caution: Don't confuse with "Ocotillo Wells", which is about 60 miles away from the Start/Finish!
Ocotillo Exit off Interstate 8: Coming from the coast (west), it's the exit right after the Calexico exit. From the east, it's the Ocotillo/Imperial Hwy exit. Vols will guide you at the offramp.
Restrooms in Ocotillo: 2 Restrooms on the west side of the Community Park Bldg and portajohns at the south end of the parking lot. Hand washing/sanitizing gels are available.
Weather: Forecasts continue to look excellent for weather in Ocotillo on Sat. Accuweather calls for Mostly Sunny, a Hi of 76F and Lo of 41F, winds from the NNE at 4 MPH, gusting to 10 MPH. That's as good as it gets in Jan!
a. Variable conditions: Weather in the desert WILL vary widely. Expect winds to shift around all along the route and to gust in the afternoon. The north end of the course is about 15 degrees cooler than Ocotillo, due to its 2,200 ft el.
b. Morning Chill: Regardless of forecasted high temps, it WILL be cold in the morning. See clothing below.
Clothing: Wearing the right clothing is almost important as drinking plenty of Vitalyte/water, and replacing carbs! Pearl Izumi will be at the Fri and Sat packet pick ups if you need to purchase last-minute high-tech clothing items.
a. Early A.M: It will be cold in the morning. Recommend starting with a high-tech base layer (not cotton!). A jersey, arm and leg warmers, or tights, a wind-breaker, and long-lightwieght/medium weight full finger gloves.
b. Mid morning: Most riders will warm up on the 10 miles to Rest Stop 1, or down below Sweeney Pass in the Carizzo Badlands. Once the sun has come up, you'll feel much better, and may want to remove outer layers.
c. Lunch: Shelter Valley is at mile 42. We recommend riding past the Community Center to the turnaround point before stopping for lunch. While eating lunch, remove outer layers. The main food area is heated. Don't camp out too long! If it's chilly when you start riding, put outer layer back on. You should warm up before Rest Stop 7 (mile 75).
d. Late afternoon: Coming back through the low desert areas south of Agua Caliente and the Badlands, if temps climb you should remove arm/leg warmers, vest, and other outer layers. Be sure to use lip balm and sunscreen on exposed skin. See Rider Levels for many more tips.
Key Time Cut-offs:
12:15 P.M. Scissors Crossing closes (mile 45)
1:00 P.M. All riders must be returning to Ocotillo
1:15 P.M. Lunch in Shelter Valley closes
5:00 P.M. Course officially closes
The time cut-offs are in place to assure riders are done and off S2 by 5:00 P.M. Darkness falls rapidly and temps plunge in the desert at sunset. These deadlines are mandatory. All course support ceases at 5:00 P.M.
Bicycle Maintenance: As posted previously, Stagecoach is no place to take chances on worn bike parts. If in doubt, get a tune-up. Ask your mechanic to replace any questionable parts, especially tubes & tires! Here are some links: San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County. World Cycles and Bike Mobile will have wrenchers at the Start in Ocotillo.
Frequently Asked Questions: Here's the link to learn more about camping, Rest Stop items, parking, etc.
Referrals: Please encourage your friends to join you at Stagecoach. You may pass along promocode "WEST20" to new riders (see coupon below). It's a special $20 discount.
The Producers: Co-Founders Jim Knight & Larry Gitman are passionate cyclists. Unlike some Ride Directors, we are both active distance cyclists. We continue to enjoy improving our cycling skills, fitness levels, as well as upgrading the quality of our cyling events. We would never ask any rider to do something we wouldn't readily do ourselves. Rest assured our Tips & Advice are based on direct, first-hand experience. Feel free to share your experiences at Stagecoach with us after the ride. We look forward to adding to the Rider Levels section with rider feedback.
T-shirts: Optional T-shirts will be available at packet pick-up. A limited quantity of inventory T-shirts will be available for purchase.
Special Jersey Announcement: Our jersey provider has granted a short deadline extension to Fri, Nov 19, for ordering jerseys in the 1st Production Run. These jerseys will be delivered at the event for those who purchase them. The 2011 design is one of our best. See website for more details. To order:
a. Send an email to Jim with your Name, Size and Quantity. Deadline is 4:00 P.M. PST Fri, Nov 19, '10.
b. Mail check (as soon as possible) for $70 to:
ST Promotions, LLC
13143 Kellam Ct, #41
San Diego, CA 92130
Rider Levels: Be sure to check out the section on the website titled "Rider Levels". It's a comprehensive resource for riders to learn about the course. Specific tips and advice are provided for a wide variety of rider levels and objectives. You'll also find a detailed course description and details relating to weather, including past weather data. Future updates will include your comments and suggestions. We strongly recommend reading it.
Training: The fall weather has been delightful for riding;
with cool mornings and mild afternoon temps in So Cal. It's important to start building up for the ride now, so that means getting those training rides in. With limited daylight, it can be challenging during the week. But, on the weekends, shoot for rides of 2-4+ hours.
Desert Weather: Co-Founder Jim rode the Stagecoach course on Nov 16. Starting at 6:30 A.M., temp was 45F. Wore a base layer + light arm warmers and was fine the whole way. Finish temps in the 70's, not a cloud in the sky. Mild winds. Let's hope for more of that in Jan!
Previous Stagecoach Weather www.shadowtour.com
2005: Mild temps 50-70 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH, Sunny and Warm 2006: Mild temps 48-65 F, sustained winds 10-12, gusting to 20-25 MPH, Sunny 2007: Cold temps 28-42 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH, gusting to 15 MPH, Overcast/Some Sun 2008: Warm temps 48-74 F, mild winds 3-9 MPH, gusting to 15 MPH, Sunny and Warm 2009: Warm temps 45-82 F, mild winds 3-5 MPH, gusting to 10 MPH, Sunny and Warm 2010: Mild temps 49-74F, mild winds 3 - 5 MPH, gusts to 10 MPH. Sunny and Warm.
Bicycle Maintenance: Stagecoach is no place to take a chance! We highly recommend every rider have their bicycle tuned-up before the ride, along with a thorough safety inspection. If tires are borderline, have them replaced, same for brakes. You'll enjoy your ride more knowing your bike is mechanically ready for the ride. We have begun posting bike shops in San Diego, Orange County, and LA. Some offer Stagecoach riders discounts, so be sure to ask! See sponsor offers below.Referrals: Stagecoach is a unique event in many ways. Our #1 source of new riders comes from previous riders telling their friends. We are very proud of this. For 2011, more than ever, we need your referrals to encourage more riders to accept the Stagecoach challenge by registering. a. Facebook: Below is a link to the Stagecoach Facebook page. We invite you to become a Fan of Stagecoach and invite your friends to join. It's a great way to share stories, post photos, and join discussions.
a. World Cycles: Save 10% off most parts and accessories and save 20% off Tune-ups. Great deals on bikes too. Ask Owner Alex about Coaching and Training systems.
b. Leucadia Cyclery: Mention Stagecoach to receive 10% discount off most parts and accessories, including Tune-ups! Owner Fred is a cool guy with incredible knowledge.
c. Nytro: Special 20% off Tune-ups. Ask for Walt (who will be riding Stagecoach). Please mention ride.
d. Attorney Richard Duquette offers some wise legal advice for riders: "Don't skimp on insurance!". Check out his article on Under/Uninsured Motorists. Richard and wife Kim, are avid cyclists, triathletes, and Stagecoach Vets. Contact Richard at 760-730-0500. Here's his link.
e. Mission Valley Resort: The Host Hotel for Stagecoach is offering riders a special price of $69 plus tax. Click here for more details.
f. Sport Action Photos: New Official photographer, specializing in capturing unique action-oriented rider photos at affordable prices.
g. America by Bicycle: America's #1 fully-supported Coast to Coast Bicycle Touring Co. All crossings offer shorter stages for new-comers. Come by our booth after Stagecoach to learn more!
h. Ellsworth Bicycles: Celebrating 20 years in 2011. Proud Sponsor the 2011 Stagecoach Century. We'll be at Rest Stop #1 helping support your ride. Visit www.ellsworthbikes.comto learn more about our new line-up of Mountain and Road bikes.
Stop by the Ellsworth table on Fri at the Mission Valley Resort, or Sat in Ocotillo to enter to win a set of Ellsworth Wheels! Learn more about Ellsworth road bikes at Hi-Tech Bikes, our local San Diego road shop. See you in Ocotillo!
i. Pearl Izumi: Proud Sponsor of 2011 Stagecoach. Come visit our booth on Fri and Sat for some great Factory Outlet deals on lots of winter cycling clothing and accessories.
Looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday. We'll send a Round up email after the ride.. Let's all take care of eachother out on the course, Safety First, and enjoy your January ride in the desert!
Jim and Larry
Shadow Tour, LLC