Official Charities:   
Shelter Valley Citizen's Corp (Shelter Valley Lunch):  Donation Link 
Imperial Valley Desert Museum (Ocotillo Start/Finish):  Donation Link  
     15th Annual
  Stagecoach Century
     and Time Trials

Sat, Feb 23, 2019

  Ocotillo, CA
(80 mi east of San Diego, just off I-8, Driving Map

Start: 8:00 - 11:00 A.M.

Distances:  26, 50, 73, 84, 90, 100, and 150 miles.

135 Registered Riders

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Stagecoach Century
~~ and ~~
Solo/Team/Tandem Time Trials

Dear Registered Stagecoach Riders,
The Stagecoach stampede rolls  THIS WEEKEND!  Thank You for registering for the  15th Annual 2019 Stagecoach Century Sat, Feb 23, '19, in Ocotillo, CA. 
              Stagecoach Countdown = 4 Days!
        135 Registered Riders / 165 Open Slots 
Stagecoach is a unique event, requiring careful preparation & respect of all participants. This email has final updated information.  It updates the Feb 16th "Rider Instructions" email (reprinted below). Carefully read these important final pre-ride updates & tips. Everything below is also posted on the website.

SAFETY is the top Stagecoach priority. This is not a race! Ride with extreme care, be alert at all times for hazards such as potholes, road debris & sand, wind gusts, riders turning/stopping unexpectedly, vehicle traffic, and rough road surfaces.

Ride your like your life depends upon it, because it does! Point out hazards to other riders, announce your intentions, such as "Stopping!", or "On your left!". Be kind to Vol's & other riders. Never antagonize vehicle drivers, even if they behave aggressively. Keep a cool head out there.

Do your homework! Read all about Stagecoach. As a wise rider once said, "Stagecoach is 99% Mental; the other 99% is Physical". Exactly!  Knowing what to expect vastly improves your odds for success, because it builds confidence. But it's still a gutsy, physically demanding ride. Tricky weather can/will make it much harder.  Read, Study, Prepare!

1. Final Rider Instructions:  The Final Rider Instructions summarize what every rider needs to know and contains a Course Map. All riders must carefully study these instructions before rolling. Any last-minute changes will be posted in the "Latest News" section of the Stagecoach webpage.   Download here.

2. San Diego County Waiver Form:   Download, complete, date & sign. Bring to Packet Pick up and drop in the "Waivers" box. This is a mandatory San Diego County requirement for all Riders/Vol's. Thanks in advance for your compliance. Don't roll until done.

3. Driving Map/Directions: Basic map showing location of Ocotillo, CA. Don't confuse with "Ocotillo Wells", which is over 60 miles away.   Download here. Google Map directions to Ocotillo, CA.   Click here.

4. Rider Levels: The Rider Levels section on the website explains how to ride the course based on different goals & conditioning levels. There's also substantial info about adjusting to varied weather conditions along the course.   Click here.

5. Weather:  The most current  AccuWeather forecast calls for excellent overall conditions: "Mostly Sunny and Cool" Lo 40F, Hi 62F, Winds from SE at 7 - 13 mph. Even with this favorable forecast, the start will be cool/cold, so come prepared with clothing in layers, covering your entire body.  That means at least winter weight arm-warmers, long-sleeve jacket, or vest, full-finger gloves, and toe covers.  See Feb 16 Update (below) for more info on weather & clothing.

Event Director Jim's Tips:  2019 Start Window is 8:00 - 11:00 A.M. For this cold early A.M. start, recommend rolling NLT 8:30 A.M. This allows the sun to rise higher in the sky, improving radiant heat. Temp is about the same, but feels warmer, because sun's rays at a better angle. It's a delicate balance: starting later, means pushing more headwinds riding North. The name of the game at Stagecoach = "Forward Progress!" to give yourself time to finish ahead of time cut-off's. Vital to make mile 45 (Scissors Crossing) before the 12;15 P.M. cut-off. Global course turn-around time is 1:00 P.M, no matter where you are on the course, must be heading South, back to the Start/Finish in Ocotillo. Keep all your warm clothing with you. In Shelter Valley, shutting down for any of the 3 Rest Stops + Lunch Stop, will cause your body to lose heat. Having extra warm gear on board gives you the option to layer back up when you roll, until you warm up again.  During a pre-ride, I once rolled at 6:20 A.M. It was 51F. 3 hrs later, at the turn-around in Shelter Valley (SV), it was 49F! That's because SV is 2,200 ft elev, vs 400 ft in Ocotillo. Avoid camping out at Rest Stops. Fill water bottles, get energy & carbs, then roll baby! The desert is unforgiving if you get behind. Same for lunch in Shelter Valley. The SV Community Center is Warm & Cozy. The Vol's are Awesome, so is the Chili, but it's Polite & Wise to "EAT & RUN!". Even with a short lunch break, when you walk outside, it's gonna feel cold. Take off your outer layers when you enter, then put back on after you walk back outside. With tailwinds & downhills, you'll be in the low deserts about 1 hr later. Down in the Badlands, it could easily, EASILY, be 75F! And suddenly, you'll feel hot! Shed outer layers by Rest Stop 7 (mile 75). Drink lots of water early, middle, and late. Very low humidity promotes dehydration, so stay ahead of it all day!  The desert is the Ultimate Trickster. I've ridden Stagecoach at least 50 times, and it can still mess with me. But the above insider tips will help you push back & stay confident.     

6. Time Trial:  An optional component of the  FULL COURSE ONLY is to participate in Solo, Tandem, or Team Time Trials. This involves picking up a timing chip on Sat at the Start Line (New for 2019: Disposable timing chips!) and following all the  TT Rules & Procedures, in order to receive an official time.  ALL RIDERS need to be aware that TT riders will be riding at a much faster pace than average. Especially for 4-Person Teams returning southbound on the course. They will announce  "PASSING!" when overtaking slower riders. Since all riders are required to ride single file, this should be a routine courtesy occurrence. However, in the past, some ride 3 or 4 abreast, against the event rules, and have made passing difficult for Teams & Solo riders reeling in their final 20-25 miles. Please be aware of this and keep cool. If you hear "Passing!" just ease over to the right as far as safely possible. No Stress. No Drama. We're all on the same team. Thanks!

7. Last Chance!  The 2019 Stagecoach Century is likely the end of the trail for this event (in it's present form). With under 300 riders, it's simply not possible to produce Stagecoach at this level. The field size needs to be over 500 to make it all work.  I'm personally asking everyone to take one more shot at encouraging your cycling friends to join you at Stagecoach this weekend. The weather's going to be in the "Excellent/Very Good winter desert riding weather" category, so please put the word out one more time. There's a discount coupon at the bottom of this email.  I encourage you to forward this email, or any of the previous emails, to anyone who may be interested in participating.

8. Event Director Pre-ride Feb 16, '18:

      Strava post:  Click here

9.  2019 Course Final Checks:  All Riders from So. Cal. are probably already aware the rains this winter have been historically high.  Sand, Grit, Potholes, Debris are on every road, including S2.  Ride cautiously and constantly scan ahead for any dangers, and relay them to riders following.  Event Director Jim will do one final course check on Friday morning, after possible rains Thu & Fri.  If any course modifications are necessary, they will be posted on the Stagecoach website.  There's a major flood water crossing point just north of Vallecito County Park, about mile 30. If that's flooded, or un-ridable, it becomes the course turnaround point, then we'll add an additional 20 + 20 mile out-n-back from the Start/Finish to round up a Full Century. Support elements will be re-positioned. Please be flexible out there. We've never had to adjust the course in a total of 16 editions, but it's our Plan B, just in case.

Many Thanks!

~Jim Knight, Event Director

      ~ Reprint of  Feb 16th Rider Update ~

Dear Sturdy Riders,
It's time to EARN YOUR SPURS! Get ready to Saddle up & Kick Start your New Year at Stagecoach! We Thank You for registering for the 15th Annual 2019 Stagecoach Century on Sat, Feb 23, '19, in Ocotillo, CA.  

The Stagecoach Century is a unique event, and requires careful preparation and respect of all participants.  To assist you, carefully read this email containing important pre-ride updates & tips. 

Everything below is also posted on the website.  The Final Rider Instructions summarize what every rider needs to know and contains the Course Map.  All riders must carefully study these instructions before starting.  Any last-minute changes will be posted in the "News" section of the Stagecoach webpage.

All Registered Riders will receive one more Rider Update Email a few days prior to the ride with any final updates, weather forecast, and recommendations.
Stagecoach Countdown = 7 Days!

  We thank all Sponsors, Volunteers, and Affiliates who are essential to making Stagecoach possible. Please visit the Sponsor Corral at the bottom of this email for some great deals!  Always mention Stagecoach, for potential discounts at your bike shop.

Official Charities:  We proudly continue our long term Volunteer associations with the communities of Shelter Valley and Ocotillo as Official Charities for Stagecoach.  These outstanding Non-Profit Community organizations have provided fantastic support for Stagecoach riders since the very beginning.

For the 15th Annual Stagecoach, we wish to showcase & reward Volunteers from Ocotillo (Start/Finish) and Shelter Valley (Turnaround point).  Below are their special Donation links.  Please Donate to support their community projects. 

          Desert Museum (Ocotillo):  Donate Now
          Shelter Valley Citizen's Corp:  Donate Now

Chip Timing: 
CEP Timing is returning to Stagecoach.  Full Century riders have the option (free) to receive a timing chip on Sat in Ocotillo at the Timing Booth.  Only the 100-mi course will be timed.  Riders must have their wristbands validated at the turnaround point (at mile 50), past Shelter Valley.  NEW FOR 2019:  Disposable Timing Chips will be issued by CEP Timing at the Timing Booth located in the Finish area. When approaching the Finish Line inside the Ocotillo Community Park, SLOW ALL THE WAY DOWN before making a safe Left turn from S2 into the park.  Listen to Volunteers and STOP, if instructed.  STOP immediately after crossing the Finish timing mat (which will be marked).  USE EXTREME CAUTION ENTERING THE FINISH AREA!    

Start Time:  NEW FOR 2019:  Later Roll Times! 
On Sat, Time Trial riders (Team & Solo) launch first, from 8:00-8:10 A.M. on tight intervals (less than 30 sec). The rest of the field starts immediately after the last Time Trial rider rolls from 8:10 - 11:00 A.M.  Use extra care making the turn onto S2 out of the parking lot.  Please note, the mandatory event turn-around time is 1:00 P.M.  At that time, all riders must be returning southbound to the Finish in Ocotillo. Please plan your start time accordingly! 

One Bite at a Time:
  Recognize that riding a century in February is unique. We congratulate you on accepting the Stagecoach Challenge.  It's not an easy century, and weather can make it treacherous.  Plan your ride, and ride your plan!  Take it in small bites, Rest Stop to Rest Stop, or even hour-to-hour.  Cold, dry desert air can dehydrate you before you know it. Rising afternoon temps will take a toll too. Drink and eat at every Rest Stop! Don't exceed your limits. You may safely turn around at any point on the course.  Don't compare your June cycling to a February Stagecoach, they're  two different animals. If this is your first Stagecoach, avoid fixation on making it to the turnaround. You need to have enough reserves to ride all the way back to the Finish. Watch out for each other, point out obstacles, stay to the right, ride single file, and be safe out there!   

Key Stagecoach Century Information:

    a.  Final Rider Instructions & Course Map:  Please study carefully.  Read on website, or 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.  Directions: Basic driving map for Ocotillo, CA.  See Google Maps Directions (don't confuse with "Ocotillo Wells" which is over 60 miles away).

    d.  Rider Levels:  No-nonsense advice & tips for a variety of Stagecoach rider levels, Click here.

Packet Pick up Details:  Friday and Saturday options.  Riders may pick up friends' packets with written permission, such as a printed email authorizing release.

     a.  Fri, Feb 22, '19:  3:00 - 8:00 P.M. at Ocotillo Community Park (Start/Finish) in Ocotillo located at 266 West Imperial Highway, Ocotillo, CA 92259 (map it). Riders may register in-person, Cash/Credit Card.  

     b.  Sat, Feb 23, '19:  7:00 - 11:00 A.M. Ocotillo Community Park, 266 West Imperial Hwy, Ocotillo, CA  92259 (map it). Riders may register in-person. Cash or Credit. Portajohns available onsite. Arrival coffee & breakfast is provided by Ocotillo Volunteers. Donations are much appreciated & support the Desert Museum.

     c.  What to do at packet pick up:

      *  Complete San Diego Waiver & drop in Waiver Box
      *  Locate your Bib # on the posted Rider Lists
      *  Have ID ready
      *  Pick up Rider Packet
      *  Pick up Timing Chips (on Sat) for Optional TT
      *  Rider packet contains:  Helmet #, wristbands, Rider Instructions, and Course Strip Map.  Riders also receive a Custom Pin & any 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.

Detailed Driving Directions:  Here's a link to Googlemaps and a basic map showing the location of Ocotillo, CA.  Caution:  Do not confuse with "Ocotillo Wells", which is about 60 miles away from the Start/Finish!

Ocotillo Exit off Interstate 8:  From the west, it's the Ocotillo exit right after the Calexico exit.  From the east, it's the Ocotillo/Imperial Hwy exit. Vol's/signs will guide you from the freeway exit to the Ocotillo Community Park approximately 2 miles north on S2. 

Restrooms in Ocotillo:  Portajohns will be positioned at the south end of the parking lot at the Ocotillo Community Park.  Sanitizing gels are available. If operational, two restrooms are available on the west side of the Community Park building.

Weather:   Forecasts will be posted on the website starting approximately one week prior to the event. 

     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 elevation. 

     b.  Morning Chill:  Regardless of forecasted high temps, it WILL be cold in the morning.  See clothing below.  We do not recommend sleeping in a car overnight.  We've tried it in the past, the wind & cold temps make it very uncomfortable.

Clothing:  Wearing the right clothing is almost important as drinking plenty of Vitalyte/water, and replacing carbs!  Below is our recommended clothing plan:

     a.  Early A.M:  It will be cold in the morning.  We recommend starting with a high-tech base layer (not cotton!).  A jersey, bib shorts, arm and leg warmers, or tights, a wind-breaker, light weight/medium weight full finger gloves. and shoe toe-covers.

      b.  Mid-morning:  Most riders warm up on the 10.5 mi gradual climb up to Rest Stop 1, and down in the low elevations of Carizzo Badlands.  Have faith, almost all riders feel much better once the sun rises!

       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 your 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 in the Badlands, if temps rise, you should remove arm/leg warmers, vest, and other outer layers.  Be sure to re-apply 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 

Time cut-offs insure riders are safely off S2 by 5:00 P.M. Darkness falls rapidly & temps plunge in the desert right at sunset. These deadlines are mandatory! All course support ceases at 5:00 P.M.

Bicycle Maintenance:  Stagecoach is absolutely no place to take chances on any worn bike parts.  If in doubt, get a tune-up.  Ask your mechanic to replace any questionable parts, especially tubes & tires!  Official Stagecoach Bike Shop, Trek Bicycle Superstore Solana Beach, is offering $40 Safety Tune-ups for all Stagecoach Riders.  Trek is also offering 10% off other services & parts as well.  More bike Shop Links:  San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County.  Velofix Mobile Repair will be at the Start in Ocotillo and roaming the course.  Velofix owners, Paul Dunlap & Tom Cody, are happy to provide full tune-ups prior to the event at your home or office.  Mention Stagecoach to save 10%.

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 the special Promocode
SPURS20 to new riders (see coupon below). The promocode provides a special 20% discount.  A unique century, like Stagecoach, requires at least 500 riders to maintain the top-notch quality & service our riders expect.  Your referrals are vital to boosting the field size back above the 500-rider threshold.  Event Director Jim sends his most sincere gratitude to all who act on this referral request!

  Voler is once again producing the optional Stagecoach jersey.  Riders who ordered jerseys prior to the Jan 7, '19 deadline will receive them at packet pick up.  Voler has no longer accepts direct orders after the event, effective Jan 1st, '19.      
2019 Jersey Front
2019 Jersey Back
Rider Levels:  All registered riders are encouraged to visit and read the website section "Rider Levels".  It's a comprehensive resource for riders to learn about the course.  Specific tips & advice are provided for a wide variety of rider levels and objectives.  You'll also find a detailed course description & details relating to weather, including past weather data.  Future updates will include your comments and suggestions.                          
                                    Rider Levels   

Training:  It's important to build up for the ride now.  Translation:  get 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.

Previous Stagecoach Weather:

   2018:  Mild temps 44-65F, Winds light & variable,
                4-9 mph.  Photos 
   2017:  Mild temps 49 - 63F, passing light showers,
               Winds light & varied, 4-9 mph.  Photos 
   2016:  Mild temps 47-69F, variable winds 2-8 mph
                Cool A.M. start. Sunny/High Clouds. Photos
   2015:  Warm temps 45-77F, variable winds 2-7 mph
                Cool early A.M. start.  Sunny & Mild.  Photos.  
   2014:  Warm temps 41-79F, variable winds 2-7 mph
                Cool early A.M. start.  Sunny & Mild.  Photos  
   2013:  Cool temps 36-55F, variable winds 1-9 mph,
               Sunny with cold early A.M. start.  Photos.
  Mild temps 43-68F, mild winds 3-5 MPH,
                gusts to 10 MPH.  Sunny & Nice.  Photos      
   2011:   Warm temps 46-79F, mild winds 3-8 MPH,
                 gusts to 8 MPH. Sunny & Warm.  Photos    
   2010:  Mild temps 49-74F, mild winds 3-5 MPH,
                gusts to 10 MPH.  Sunny & Warm.  Photos
   2009:  Warm temps 45-82 F, mild winds 3-5 MPH,
                gusts to 10 MPH, Sunny & Warm.  Photos
   2008:  Warm temps 48-74 F, mild winds 3-9 MPH,
                gusts to 15 MPH, Sunny & Warm.  Photos 
   2007:  Cold temps 28-42 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH,
               gusts to 15 MPH, Some Sun/Cold.  Photos 
   2006:  Mild temps 48-65 F, sustained winds 10-12,
                gusts to 20-25 MPH, Sunny/Windy. Photos 
   2005:  Mild temps 50-70 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH,
                Sunny/Warm.  Photos

Photos Galleries:  A picture is worth a 1,000 words.  Please visit the galleries from past rides to get a sense for the course and what the weather was like.  Photos are courtesy of SCS Photoworks, Sport Action Photos, and Brightroom.

     Stagecoach Course Preview (Flash Gallery)

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 2015, more than ever, we need your referrals to encourage more riders to accept the Stagecoach challenge by registering for the event.

     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.

                             Facebook page


                             Register Now

Sponsor Corral:

Jet Bicycle Wheels: Shadow Tour Welcomes Series Title Sponsor Jest Bicycle Wheels to the 2019 Stagecoach Century!  Stop by & chat with Owner & Master Wheel Builder Charles Wells. His wheel building skills & customized bicycles are legendary!  Shadow Tour is proud to Welcome Jet Bicycle Wheels as a Stagecoach Century Exhibitor on Saturday!

Trek Bicycle Superstore Solana Beach:  Official 2019 Stagecoach Bike Shop. Specials & Safety Tune ups. $80 shipped bicycles assembly & tune up, $80 bike packing & shipping (+ freight charges).  Inquire at store for additional promotions & discounts!

Nite Rider:  Nite Rider is a Shadow Tour series Sponsor.  Please friend us on Facebook and learn more about our complete line of Technical Lighting products.

Captivating Sports Photos:  Official 2018 Stagecoach photographer.  Please affix helmet #'s facing to the front. Rider photos will be available for online purchase about 48 hrs after the event.

Velofix Mobile Repair:  Will be at Stagecoach providing Mechanic & SAG support.  Velofix specializes in all bicycles, from a child's first bike to high-end triathlon & Road bikes.  Call owner Paul Dunlap to set up an appointment at 760-978-9622.  Velofix is 100% mobile and will come to your home or office. Stagecoach Special: Save 10% with Promocode SC2018 


Mother Nature provides the biggest challenges at Stagecoach, such as low morning temps, pesky variable winds, low humidity, and possible showers .  Bring extra layers of clothing, including shoe toe covers and long finger gloves, just in case!  Stay hydrated right from the start by drinking plenty of water & Vitalyte, both are available for resupply at all Rest Stops.  And remember, the name of the game is forward progress!  Avoid camping out too long at Rest Stops. 

As always, please ride defensively with traffic, point out hazards & obstacles to your cycling buddies following behind you, stay to the right of the white line, be on high alert at all times, and always watch out for the unexpected! 


Giddy Up!




Jim Knight   

Event Director/Managing Member

Shadow Tour, LLC   

Editor's Note: 
Apologies, in advance, for any mistakes, typo's, oversights, or factual errors in this Newsletter.  Visit for corrections, if applicable.  As always, I'll work to improve in the future.   ~Jim




   Stagecoach PNG  



Rope in your Friends to join the Stampede! Registering now for the 15th Annual 2019 STAGECOACH CENTURY on Sat, Feb 23, '19 in Ocotillo, CA.   We're pleased to offer a very special referral discount to past Shadow Tour riders and members of the Interest List.  Sign up Today & Save!

Enter promocode
SPURS20 (all caps) when you register online.  It's the last step, so be careful not to miss it. software is case-sensitive. Promocode is also valid for Walk-up Registrations. The discount applies to entry fee only. May not be combined with other offers, and is not retro-active.

Deadline for SPURS20 is Noon PST Feb 23rd, 2019!
Offer Expires:  Noon (PST), Sat, Feb 23, '19