EC Update 0.2

Stage 1 starts at Millpond Recreation Area, about five miles North of Bishop off US395.  Well signed from the highway, and we will have EC coroplast signs also.  The familiar white 12″ x 18″ signs with red and black goats and big black arrows.  LOTS of parking inside Millpond, and some parking along the sides of Sawmill Rd. for folks arriving early.  Some folks stash a couple of bottles under the car out on Sawmill.  Very convenient, actually.  Park OFF THE ROAD, though.

NEUTRAL START for the first 2.7 miles, including several STOP SIGNS.  These are FULL STOPS, please.  This is not the TdF, where the whole nation rejoices at your very existence.  This is not the ToC, where the CHP budget is well over $1,000,000.  This is something tougher in many ways, but available to all who want to test themselves against the extremes that nature has to offer.  This is the humble Everest Challenge, and our OPEN ROADS permits require that we – YOU – obey the CA Vehicle Code at all times.  Open roads meaning all manner of vehicle traffic.

REMEMBER the corner where you turn right from Ed Powers Rd. onto CA168.  This is where the Neutral Start ends, and racing begins.  You will need to FIND this corner again on your way down the mountain.  At rather high speed, you will need to find Ed Powers Rd. and turn left, retracing your path back to Millpond.
Yes, there are signs…yes, folks sometimes miss them and go bombing down in to Bishop for some bonus miles.

This is a bad idea.

I have an even bigger sign this year, but make sure you KNOW where the turn is.  USAC Rulebook (1N4) says quite specifically that this is YOUR responsibility.  Still, we have a BIG sign.

Once you are on CA168, you go up up up for ten miles to the turn to South Lake.  First Aid Station is at the Bishop Creek Lodge, mile 15.0.  Water, HEED, Endurorolytes, bananas, HammerGels, pretzels, PB&J sandwiches for the randos, etc.

Summit is at mile 20.0, then retrace your climb all the way back to Millpond, past your car if you have stuff there.  Continue through the valley to the Round Valley School AS at mile 46.7, and climb to Pine Creek AS at mile 54.6.  Back down Pine Creek Rd, through the rest of Round Valley, to begin the climb up Lower Rock Creek, aka Old Sherwin Grade.

This is the one populated stretch along the entire EC route, and deserves your attention.  This is where you have to be as far to the right as possible.  This is where you have to expect more cars, and folks turning onto and off of the road.  This is where scrutiny is greatest.  This is where complaints are generated.  BE ON YOUR VERY BEST BEHAVIOUR HERE!

Our friends at Paradise Fire Prevention District are again hosting the next AS at mile 70.0.  Real inside sanitary facilities, drenching hose, and the usual AS amenities.  Off you go up up up some more, finally to US395.

STOP SIGN at 395, and some VERY FAST cross traffic.  You will find turn marshals there, and they WILL bust you if you run the STOP SIGN.  As in ZERO tolerance.  Also ZERO tolerance for pulling out in front of traffic, riding on the wrong side of the highway until you can get over, or any other dangerous or illegal things.  You STOP, wait until it is clear, THEN pull out legally.  Once you get onto 395, you will only stay there for one mile before you turn left.  There is a nice left turn pocket, BUT you need to remember that the cars are not expecting to see you there.  Be VISIBLE, be PREDICTABLE, give HAND SIGNALS, and think ahead.

Right after you turn, one more AS at mile 77.8.  Some rough pavement, but lots of room to pull over and get off the bike for a minute if you need to.  OFF THE ROAD, of course.  Continue UP UP UP to another water ONLY AS at about mile 83 with NO BOTTLES or anything except water jugs.  Still, if you need it, you will be glad it is there.

FINISH LINE is at mile 88.4.  New this year: Please SIGN OUT so we know you are safely off the course, and as a backup record for the Official Results.  FOOD and drinks at the Finish, as always.

GETTING BACK TO YOUR CAR happens one of three ways:
1) You have a friend waiting at the AS at mile 77.8.  THEY CANNOT DRIVE UP TO GET YOU.  Once you see the narrow, chewed up road, you will understand this.  100% descent down to the AS, then into the car.
2) You ride back to Millpond.  Easier than it sounds.  Take US395 to avoid the climb out of Lower Rock Creek.
3) PLAN AHEAD and carpool.  Leave a car at the AS at mile 77.8 the morning of the race.  Very clever.  Give rides back to your friends.  Very BAD JUJU to accept money for this, but very good karma to help somebody out.