What: The Death Valley Road Stage Race

When: June 23-24, 2012.  Registration and check-in begins at 0600 Saturday, and closes at 0730.  Racing begins at 0800.

Where: Registration is at the Stage 1 Start, which is 2.4 miles East of US395 on CA168, just outside of Big Pine, CA.

Stage 1: Follow the full length of Death Valley Road, heading SE into Death Valley.  First part of the road slopes gradually uphill from the 3940′ Start, but soon you are climbing through some 5-8% grades.  The narrows kicks up to 10-11% briefly, but the climb is pretty steady the whole way.

Summit at 14 miles and 7660′ features Neutral and Team Feed Zone.  Yes, we hand bottles up to everybody.  Pro level support for solo riders!  Water, HEED, bananas, HammerGel, saltines, and the like.  Hand up your own bottles if you like, but we will have plenty.  Bringing a friend along?  Everybody likes to be a part of the event instead of just a spectator, and the Feed Zone is a great place to get them into the action!

Then down you go into Death Valley itself.  Amazing terrain, endless views, and some rough road on the way down.  Very fast at some spots, so pay attention and stay on the road.  Another Feed Zone at the turnaround at the end of the pavement. 28 miles and 3200′ here.

And back up you go.  Not at all the same as the first climb.  Same length, but more climbing, probably warmer, and definitely very dry.  Finish line is at the Summit.  So is some real food, water, HEED, etc.

Stage 1 Course Notes:

* Easy descent back to the Start requires no pedaling at all, so it is easy to just ride back to your car in 20-25 minutes.

* There are often bugs at the Start, so we bring bug repellent.  You might want to have some too.

*We will have water and HEED at the Start, as there is none there.

*Bathroom facilities in Big Pine.  At the US395/CA168 intersection, there is a campground with a bathroom, and pretty quiet camping too.

* Course support?  Depends on you.  We are a small outfit, so we may have a car or two, but neutral support or wheels will depend on you bringing folks along to drive.  Wheels in = wheels out anyway, and we will have a sweep car for sure.

* The folks at the Chevron in Big Pine let us fill up our water jugs there with WAY better than average well water.  No hose taste!  They also make a mean breakfast burrito!  If you need gas or food or ice or whatever, tell them you are with the bike race!

* One-Day and Annual USAC license forms will be available at Registration.  One Day is for Men 5 and Women 4 ONLY.  If you want to get an annual license, it is better to do it online.  You get the hard copy sooner, it is easier and faster, and you are in the system right away.  Then print the Authorization to Ride page and bring it.  Or you can access your page at USACycling.org, with your smartphone, but cell reception is not always reliable at the Start.

Stage 2 info and more tomorrow!