Dear Sturdy Riders,
With the arrival of the Holidays, we extend our our warmest Season's Greetings to all. We hope the coming New Year will bring all you wish for. We also send out a special Thank You to our brave Military Forces serving in harm's way. We wish them Godspeed and a safe return to their families.
~~ THE WILD WEST IS CALLING YOU! ~~
The 8th Annual Stagecoach Century is set to roll on Sat, Jan 14, '12. This is your only chance to ride Stagecoach in 2012. There's no better way to kick off your New Year of cycling, so join the Stagecoach Stampede. Beat the Dec 31 deadline, and REGISTER TODAY! To add some extra Holiday Cheer, please use the promocode ROLL15PC to receive a 15% discount. See coupon below for details.
What's new for 2012:
as the Official Stagecoach Century Charity. The Semper Fi Fund (SFF), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up to provide immediate support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their Families. SFF has earned the highest rating from both the American Philanthropy Institute, "A+", and Charity Navigator, "4 Stars". Many SFF workers are military family members.
+ Optional Time Trial: Chip timing services by CEP Timing. Exclusively for Full Century riders. Only the full century will be timed. There is no extra cost. Just register for the Full Course, pick up your Rider Packet on Fri/Sat (Jan 13/14), then visit the Timing Booth in Ocotillo on Sat (Jan 14), next to the Start/Finish to get your chip. For all the Time Trial details: Click here.
As most of you already know, by direct experience, or by reputation, Stagecoach is a singularly unique event, that requires preparation & commands respect of all it's participants. Mother Nature is firmly in charge at Stagecoach and she can be sweet or ornery, so it's best to be well prepared! Check out the list below of actual weather at past Stagecoach Centuries for more details.
The scenic desert venue offers an ideal setting for a century ride. The course offers minimal vehicle traffic, mostly excellent road surfaces, only 2 stop signs, and no stoplights. Friendly volunteers from Ocotillo in the south and Shelter Valley in the north have welcomed and assisted Stagecoach riders from the beginning. Click here to view a Flash Gallery of the Stagecoach Course Preview, courtesy of Armando Estrada, Sport Action Photos, Official Photographer.
Add to all this, breathtaking vistas from nearly every mile marker along the S2, known as "The Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849". There are several historical markers along the route marking the "Real" Pony Express. There are even a few visible remaining segments of the Old West Stage Route etched into the desert floor.
Sponsors: We wish to thank the 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. Be sure to stop by the Pearl Izumi booth on Fri, Jan 13, at the Mission Valley Resort early packet pick up for Factory Outlet Deals on high tech winter riding apparel & acessories.
Countdown: 26 Days!
Stake your Claim! Add Stagecoach to your list of New Year's cycling resolutions. It's a worthwhile Wild West adventure, offering many rider options, regardless of your cycling level. The out-and-back course design permits riders to select their own distance based on personal conditioning, goals, or even how the weather is behaving on the day of the ride.
There are separate prices for Long Course (up to 100 miles) and Short Course (up to 50 miles). There's optional chip timing, at no additional cost, for the full century course. The route is fully supported in both directions with 5 Rest Stops, offering 9 opportunities to rehydrate & refuel. There is on-course mechanical support to keep you rolling and SAG Vehicles to help riders in need.
All finishers receive a Custom Stagecoach Medal and Pin. There's also a Time Trial Option with Categories for Solo, Tandem, and 4-Person Teams. Full Century Finishers names & cities will be permanently displayed on the website.
What are you waiting for?
Go ahead...make YOUR day!
Content below is from the Dec Rider Update Email
Official Charity: We're proud to announce the addition of The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (SFF) as the Official Charity for the Stagecoach Century. This outstanding Nonprofit organization has earned Charity Navigator's highest rating of "4 Stars," and is rated "A+" by the American Institute of Philanthropy. A streamlined structure keeps the SFF overhead at 5%, allowing them to maximize their assistance to Veterans and their Family Members.
The Semper Fi Fund was introduced to Shadow Tour by the So Cal Coasters Bike Club. Some Club Members work directly with Veterans in the areas of Post Tramatic Stress. The So Cal Coasters will be riding at Stagecoach, providing Vol's at a Rest Stop, and will have a booth at the Finish with more info about the Semper Fi Fund and their club.
Here's a very special donation link to the SFF fund-raising campaign associated with the Stagecoach Century. To date, the 2012 campaign has raised $653 to benefit our brave Veterans and their Family Members, with 100% going directly to the Semper Fi Fund. The goal is $10,000. Many Thanks to all who have contributed to this genuine and worthwhile cause.
Chip Timing: New for 2012! CEP Timing will be at Stagecoach. Full Century riders have the option (free) to receive a chip on Sat in Ocotillo. Only the 100-mi course will be timed. Riders must have their wristbands validated at the turnaround point at mile 50, past Shelter Valley. Chips must be returned to the CEP Timing Booth adjacent to the Finish line. There's an $85 replacement fee for lost or missing timing chips. Use care at the Finish Line; this is a "Soft & Slow Finish," due to limited space inside the park, and the need to cross the northbound lane of S2 at the entrance to the parking lot. USE EXTREME CAUTION!
Start Time: On Sat, Jan 14, '12, all riders may start from 7:10 - 9:00 A.M. Time Trial riders launch 1st, from 7:00 - 7:10 A.M. on tight intervals (less than 30 sec). The rest of the field starts immediately after the last Time Trial rider rolls. Use care making the turn onto S2 out of the parking lot.
One Bite at a Time: Recognize that riding a century in January is unusual. 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 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 the January Stagecoach, they're two different animals. If this is your first Stagecoach, avoid focusing exclusively on making it to the turnaround. You need to have enough reserves left 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!
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 friends' packets with written permission, such as a printed email authorizing release.
a. Fri, Jan 13, '12: 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 or credit card. There's an ATM in parking lot.
b. Sat, Jan 14, '12: 5:45 - 9:00 A.M. Ocotillo Community Park, 266 West Imperial Hwy, Ocotillo, CA 92259. Riders may register in-person. Cash or Credit. Restrooms and Portajohns are onsite. Arrival coffee & breakfast is provided by the Desert Vols of Ocotillo. Donations are appreciated and help feed less fortunate Ocotillo families.
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
* Pick up Rider Packet
* 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: From the west, it's the exit after the Calexico exit. From the east, it's the Ocotillo/Imperial Hwy exit. Vols/signs will guide you.
Restrooms in Ocotillo: Two restrooms on the west side of the Community Park Bldg & portajohns at the south end of the parking lot. Sanitizing gels are available.
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 el.
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! Pearl Izumi will be at the Fri packet pick up if you need to purchase any last-minute high tech apparel & accessories.
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 light weight/medium weight full finger gloves.
b. Mid morning: Most riders warm up on the 10.5 mi gradual climb to Rest Stop 1, or below Sweeney Pass in the low elevations of Carizzo Badlands. Once the sun rises, you'll feel much better, and may wish 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 an 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 reapply 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 insure riders are done and off S2 by 5:00 P.M. Darkness falls rapidly and 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 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! Bike Shop Links: San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County. Traction Mobile Bike Repair will be at the Start in Ocotillo and roaming the course. Owner Matt McDaniel can provide full tune-ups prior to the event at your home or office.
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 Holiday promocode ROLL15PC to new riders (see coupon below). The promocode provides a special 15% discount.
Event Directors: Shadow Tour Co-Founders Jim Knight & Larry Gitman are passionate and active cyclists. They continue to improve their cycling skills, fitness levels, as well as upgrading the quality of their cycling events. Rest assured their Tips & Advice are based on direct, first-hand experience.
T-shirts: Optional T-shirts will be available at packet pick-up. A limited quantity of inventory T-shirts will be available for purchase.
Jersey: Voler is once again producing the optional Stagecoach jersey. Riders who ordered jerseys prior to the Nov 19, '11 deadline will receive them at packet pick up. All other orders are part of the 2nd Production Run, which will be mailed in Mar, '12 (free shipping). A small quantity of jerseys will be available for sale at the event.
|2012 Jersey Front|
|2012 Jersey Back|Rider Levels: Be sure to visit and read the section on the website titled "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 and details relating to weather, including past weather data. Future updates will include your comments and suggestions. Reading carefully is strongly recommended.
Training: The fall weather has been mostly nice for riding;
with cool mornings and mild afternoon temps in So Cal. It's important to start building 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.
Desert Weather: Co-Founder Jim rode the Stagecoach course on Dec 10, '11. At 6:56 A.M, the temp was 45F. He wore a base layer/vest/arm warmers, and was fine the whole way. Finish temps were in the upper 50's, not a cloud in the sky. Mild swirling winds--hope for more of that in Jan!
Previous Stagecoach Weather :
2011: Warm temps 46-79 F, mild winds 3-8 MPH, gusting to 10 MPH, Sunny & Warm 2010: Mild temps 49-74F, mild winds 3 - 5 MPH, gusts to 10 MPH. Sunny & Warm.
2009: Warm temps 45-82 F, mild winds 3-5 MPH,
gusting to 15 MPH, Sunny/Warm/Winds
2008: Warm temps 48-74 F, mild winds 3-9 MPH,
gusting to 15 MPH, Sunny/Warm/Winds
2007: Cold temps 28-42 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH,
gusting to 15 MPH, Cold/Overcast/Some Sun
2006: Mild temps 48-65 F, sustained winds 10-12,
gusting to 20-25 MPH, Sunny/Cool/Windy
2005: Mild temps 50-70 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH,
Sunny & Warm
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 Sport Action Photos and Brightroom.
Stagecoach Course Preview (flash)
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 2012, 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.
Pearl Izumi: Pearl Izumi is back as a Proud Sponsor of the Stagecoach Century! We will have a booth on Fri (Jan 13) at the Mission Valley Resort, Noon - 8:00 P.M. for early rider packet pick up. Stock up on last-minute high tech winter cycling gear at great Factory direct prices!
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.
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.
Mission Valley Resort: The Host Hotel for Stagecoach is offering riders a special price of $69 plus tax. Click here for more details.
Sport Action Photos: Official photographer, specializing in capturing unique action-oriented rider photos at affordable prices.
Traction Bicycles Mobile Repair: Will be at Stagecoach providing SAG support. We specialize in all bicycles, from a child's first bike to high-end tri-bikes. Call Matt for an appointment at 619-379-5150.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Jan! Please always ride safely, to the right of the white line, and stay alert at all times. Good luck with your Stagecoach preparations.
Jim & Larry
Shadow Tour, LLC