Yeah, a little shorter today.  I hope.

Online Registration is here:  https://www.bikereg.com/Net/14424

EC Stage 1 Overview

Start at the Millpond Recreation Area, a park about 5 miles North of Bishop just off US395.  We will have the distinctive EC coroplast signs out on the highway pointing the way, and to get you used to looking for them.  Clever, eh?

Small start waves are intended to keep the pelotons small from the beginning, and the race is NEUTRAL for 2.7 miles up to the turn onto CA168.  Where you will STOP.  Again.  There are FOUR STOP SIGNS in the first 2.7 miles, and we expect you to STOP.  Actually, we NEED you to STOP.  It is a true-ism in the Race Promotion business that the one time somebody pulls a bonehead move, some off-duty cop or judge or CHP Sargeant or County Supervisor or Park Ranger will come around the corner right then and see it.  I know you think I am exaggerating this, but those exact things have ALL happened IN THE LAST YEAR at one of our races.

We will have somebody taking numbers at the T intersection turn onto 168, but we need you to STOP for the other ones too.  Ask yourself how it happens that supercool road races are kind of thin on the schedule but there are lots of crits.  STOP signs and a few bonehead moves and permits are your best answers.

Anyway, you are headed up 168 now, finally through all of the STOP signs and racing.  I usually get about 4-5 miles up 168 and catch myself enjoying it.  Thinking it’s a pretty mellow climb after all.  Yeah… at 13 miles you turn left, and start heading toward South Lake.  Serious climbing here.  By now, you should be used to seeing our EC signs.  Pretty easy to find the turns on the way up, but on the descents, the turns are a little easier to miss.

First Feed at mile 15, then another at mile 20, which is the South Lake Summit.  We will have bottles, but they may run out.  If so, ten seconds to fill yours.  DO NOT throw your bottles until you get to the Feed!  You might need them…and we need to clean the course up too.

Back down to Millpond, and don’t miss the turn.  Past Millpond, another “don’t miss the turn”, and the next Feed is at the Round Valley School at mile 47.  This is right at the bottom of the second climb, and not everybody wants to eat there.  But you need to eat.  One idea is to leave something at Millpond and grab it on the way by at mile 40.  Then eat on the flat between Millpond and RVS.  Or eat at the top of each descent and digest while you glide.

The 8 mile Pine Creek climb is kind of a sleeper.  At the Death Ride (just to pick one), this would be the toughest climb of the day.  At the EC, it hides between two monsters.  Another Feed at the top, and down you go.  Yet another “don’t miss” left turn, and you head up Lower Rock Creek.  Through Paradise, the only residential part of the EC.

If you raced the EC in 2011, you remember that we changed the Stage 1 direction pretty late in the game.  Without going into the details, we MUST keep the traffic through Paradise at a minimum.  We MUST ride as far to the right as possible.  Feed at the Paradise Community Center and Fire Prevention District station, at mile 70.

After the PFPD begins the critical part of the course.  The sight lines are pretty short some places, and this is where we get the greatest scrutiny.  Pay close attention, stay right and tight, pass as quickly as possible, and you will make my job much easier for next year’s permit application.

At the top of Lower RC you T into US395.  It is fast and furious here, and you will be tired.  STOP at the sign and make sure you check out the traffic very carefully.  Lots of folks will be going 65-70mph through here, and you know they will not be looking for you.  One mile ON THE SHOULDER of 395, not in the traffic lane, to the turn at Tom’s Place.  Feed at mile 78, and you are ready for the last climb of Stage 1, up Rock Creek to the highest paved road in the state.

CUTOFF TIMES

We need to get you and us off the course before dark.  Simple enough, right?  At least an hour to get back to Millpond from Mosquito Flat at the top of Rock Creek, dark by 7:00 or so, and that means the race course needs to close by 6:00.  SHARP.  The cutoff times on the cue sheet are just guidelines until you get to Paradise.  You MUST arrive at Paradise before 2:00, and Tom’s Place before 3:30.   This gives you some time to relax and regroup for the push to the top.  Or to decide that it is a good time to turn back and head for home while there is still lots of time.

By 6:00, the Finish Line will be CLOSED and we will be packing up for Stage 2.  6:00 is not an arrival time, it is “lights out”.

More tomorrow…

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