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Death Ride(21 posts)

Death RideBirddog
Sep 26, 2001 9:58 AM
A group of us from Oklahoma are planning on doing the Death Ride next year. Most of us did the Triple Bypass (120 miles, 10,000 feet of climbing, passes at 11,500, 11,990, and 10,500) in Colo this past July. Has anyone done both? What are the comparables or differences? I have a feeling that they are actually quite similar in terms of total power/energy required because of the altitude differences. Does anybody know for sure? Does anybody know how you could calculate?
Yes, very similar rides. Well worth doing. nmMB1
Sep 26, 2001 10:00 AM
Yes, very similar rides. Well worth doing. nmBirddog
Sep 26, 2001 3:08 PM
I am assuming you have done both. Could you make some comparisons? As for those posts that mention wind down below, I remind you we are from Oklahoma where the wind blows at an average year round of about 12 mph.
Sep 27, 2001 5:59 AM
The Triple Bypass may be slightly easier (and safer) for a couple of reasons. #1 you only have to change from decending mode to climbing mode twice on the Triple Bypass. I find it really starts to hurt at the beginning of a climb after you have been decending for a while. #2 the Triple Bypass is not an out and back. The Death Ride is multiple outs and backs, there are riders all over the road in both directions during the Death Ride-you gotta really be careful.

I had a great ride at the Triple and a poor one at the Death Ride. Don't think there is really much difference in the effort and skill set required to do either.

My recommenation for the Death Ride is to turn it into a 2 day self supported ride. It is a great route but the crowds take away a lot of the fun.
Usually sometime in June...Cliff Oates
Sep 27, 2001 6:56 AM
over in the rec.bicycles.rides newsgroup, Jobst Brandt gives an account of his customary 2 day self-supported ride through the Sierras. It's basically back-to-back Deathrides starting in Sonora and ending up down in Yosemite, if I remember correctly. Here's a link to the 2001 version from Google Groups. It's a good read.
re: Death Ridegrzy
Sep 26, 2001 10:46 AM
Sorry, can't provide you with the direct comparison.

the DR fills up very quickly say stay tuned for when registration opens - it filled in four days last year. Your Tripple Bypass actually goes to higher elevations, the DR has more total climbing at 16,000'. Most pitches are around 9% maximum, but the front side of Ebbetts hit's 12% sustained and probably 15% on a few switch backs. Of course this is at the top of the 3,500' sustained climb. Someone always eats it descending Cadilac Corner - be warned. Probably the real killer is the damn heat on the way out to the final pass, Carson. it's like two seperate rides - the first four passes in the morning then the slog out to Carson and back. You can really fry your brain/body on the way out to Carson - especially on Woodford's Grade. Going hard early sets you up for potential problems - taking it slow and steady assures completion. Probably the most dangerous thing is the shear number of people and the foul drink mix they supply. Somehow when people ride organized events they think that staying right is no longer important. It can be a real circus, but still fun. You can wind up puking like a dog if the drink mix doesn't work for you. Getting hurt assures that you wind up in a hospital far far away with no way to get communications back to the main area. They say they want to make things better, but they refuse to take any constructive inputs. They have a real blue-collar defensive NIH attitude.
If not the climbs, the wind will get you!mr_spin
Sep 26, 2001 11:00 AM
The first four climbs are definitely the easy part. Carson is not really a hard climb, except that it comes at mile 93, and after 12K of climbing, and the wind is often howling. I know it sounds impossible, but the wind seems to blow in every direction at once up there. This year was especially bad.
yup, it's a tough oneDog
Sep 26, 2001 12:33 PM
That last climb I called the Death March. I bonked, and about puked up all the Cytomax I drank that day. Just staying at high altitude the night before sort of weakened me, too.

Very well staffed, though, and all the volunteers were very cheerful and helpful.

It's a very hard ride - harder than some doubles I've done.

Just as a matter of curiousity...look271
Sep 26, 2001 4:32 PM
What type gearing do you run on a ride like this? 12-27? 13-26? Just curious. Don't use a triple, do you? (Although that may not be a bad move!) I've just this past year really learned to like climbing and I find that the 27T is my best friend.:-)
Just as a matter of curiousity...Dog
Sep 26, 2001 7:39 PM
Campy 10 speed 12-29 (modified 13-29) and 53/39. Plenty low for this ride, as the hills really aren't that steep - just lots of them.

Even the 29 was a bit tall for me for the Terrible Two, though.

Just as a matter of curiousity...grzy
Sep 27, 2001 8:56 AM
I'll run a 12-27 and 39/53 for this. You can storm up the both sides of Monitor is stiffer gearing, but it's a long ride with lots of climbing and at some point it's nice to have the lower gearing as the heat index climbs. Ran the wife's triple for the TT and was *very* glad to have the 27 to get up Skaggs Springs and Fort Ross after all the previous climbing. It's the cummulative verical and steep pitches that get you in the end.
I know what you mean about the cumulative effect.look271
Sep 27, 2001 10:32 AM
I did a 100k earlier this year (May) that had 6500 ft of climbing. Any one of the climbs, by themselves, weren't that bad. However, when you did one after the other, they were, shall we say, a b$%ch? There were NO flat areas on that ride.
And finally, from the perspective of an old fat guy...Cliff Oates
Sep 27, 2001 9:14 AM
I was ready to do the ride on a 13-29 double, but I'm sure I would have finished hours behind Doug and grz. The rest of my friends were on triples with 12-27 or 13-26 cassettes, except for one guy who had a heart attack last year and ran an MTB der and wide range cassette. With the exception of one guy who had been training half-heartedly and yours truly the lawn dart, everyone in our crew completed 5 passes.
Filling up quicklyCliff Oates
Sep 26, 2001 12:39 PM
You can partially credit the Leukemia Society for that. They blocked out 750 spots in advance for their Team in Training program this year. Most of the people I spoke to are hoping they'll find another ride for their reward next year.
Explains Muchgrzy
Sep 26, 2001 12:49 PM
Probably why it has such a circus atmosphere. I respect what they're doing, but some of them are clowns. I think the DR is a good experience, but it's over rated recently. i guess the thing to do is sign up with a Team if you really want to do it.

We did a "Let's Mock the Death Ride" complete with 11 miles on a dirt road with 2,000' of climbing in that section. Ran out of day light in the mtns. after 118 miles and 13,000'+ of climbing - didn't quite hit our planned 129 mi. with 16'K - dirt is slow on a road bike.
Explains MuchCliff Oates
Sep 26, 2001 1:46 PM
I believe this was the first year the Leukemia Society teams were there, at least officially. Some of my friends have been doing the ride since the mid-80's. They weren't pleased the TiT folks blocked out more than 25% of the available spots for the ride in one fell swoop.

I haven't done the DR yet -- this was going to be my first year (I quit smoking a little over 2 years ago) until I imitated a lawn dart while descending the back side of Hamilton in June. I suspect it's going to be a do it once, get the jersey and move on sort of thing for me.
Sep 26, 2001 2:44 PM
Lawn dart on the backside of Hamilton - it wasn't on the cattel guard was it? That thing always freaks me a bit when it appears most of the way through the corner. Did a nasty sliding fall at 50 mph on the backside of Ebbetts. I had to come back and complete the ride the next year. There are so many good rides around that once you've done the DR you can look to other challenges. It is kinda wild to be part of it. My guess is that a significant portion of the TiT riders won't be going for 5 passes - kind of a waste in my mind.

Good on your quitting smoking - it's damn tough. Keep riding and you'll put more distance on it. Took me a while to put it behind me.
Sep 26, 2001 3:12 PM
I had no problems going down the backside of Hamilton - it was quite fun, in fact. Going back up it was another story, especially after going all the way out to the biker bar and back. I couldn't believe what a desert it is back there! No water, no shade, no breeze, no people--just hot air and melting asphalt. It's a killer.

Those TNT folk have been earning a bad reputation everywhere they go. I'm sure their intentions are good, but their running groups take up all available space on the local trails and won't give an inch, and their riders are flat out dangerous. We've all learned to avoid the purple jerseys. If it's true they got 750 slots for DR, there are going to be a lot of mighty upset people around here.
YupCliff Oates
Sep 26, 2001 3:29 PM
I had already gone up it -- we were doing an out and back starting in Livermore -- and the climb is definitely painful. 4.5 miles of 10-11%, I hear. I hit the first switchback coming back down with too much speed and that was the end of my summer and the beginning of a long ambulance ride. The cattle guard is nasty too, and a motorcyclist crashed there the day I crashed. It was a busy day on the mountain.

There is no doubt they blocked out 750 spots on the Death Ride, and people have been mighty upset about it since the fact became known. More so because the majority of those TiT riders probably didn't come close to finishing 5 passes. They ought to find a more suitable event for that sort of crowd, or at least qualify those who are allowed to participate.

I saw some TiT folks early in the season coming up the easy side of Palomares and they had a long way to go in their training. I ran into some more TiT folks on the first climb at the Chico Wildflower and the majority of them still had a long ways to go in terms of training.
Sep 27, 2001 8:51 AM
Yeah, one of our training rides for the DR (back when we used to do it) is to go up the front of Hamilton, drop the backside to the creek at 5 miles, then turn around and climb back up - you log something like 6,500' to 7,000' of climbing in the fist 30 miles. Climbing up the back side is the real crux - the grade is relentless and the temperature soars. One guy in our group routinely bonks hard - year after year.

I often refer to them as Idiots in Training. Not that what their doing isn't noble and quite respectable - it's just the way they go about it. Riding abreast in the middle of the road and calling out every leaf and twig in the street. Honestly. The only way to deal with them is to get ahead and stay there. One way to really freak them out is to pass them on the right when they're out in the middle of the road. Sure it's risky, but there's a message in there for them if only they can figure it out. It's mostly a question of enthusiasm getting ahead of skill and judgement - hopefully it all works out. Bottom line is it's better to get more people involved with cycling and the money they raise is surely needed - you just have to anticipate them when you come across them. Probably why I favor the more heinous organized rides - they don't seem up for these.
I believe registration opens April 1. No foolin' (nm)Brooks
Sep 26, 2001 1:31 PM