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3d views of Furnace Creek 508 course(17 posts)

3d views of Furnace Creek 508 courseDougSloan
Sep 11, 2002 12:59 PM
At the request of the promoter, I did some 3d images and profiles of the Furnace Creek 508 course in the southern California desert. Take a look:

I was planning on doing it as 2 man team (leapfrog style), but my team mate can't, so I'm considering doing it solo again this year, if I can get ready. Doing a 200 mile solo time trial on Sunday to test. If under 11 hours total, it's a go.


Sep 11, 2002 1:29 PM
Your info will be very helpful in planning for another little adventure 9/21 & 22. Thanks for the work!

We're going from Badwater to Whitney Portal then trading the bike shoes for sneakers and summitting Mt. Whitney. We call it the Bottom to Top and we're doing it as a memorial for a buddy who died last year and had lead the charge many times. Start at the lowest point in the lower 48 and get to the highest in less than 24 hours. No t-shirts, totally self supported, but we did have to pull permits for the hike. This year it''ll be a relay effort on the bike so everoney has the best chance of making the summit together. Looks like I get to do a bunch of the climbs and the descents are a bonus! ;-) It's a full moon so it should be fun pulling an all nighter across the desert. Also plan to drop Tioga Pass on the drive out - my buddy said he hit 53 mph on his MTB with knobbies at 1 AM - I figure the road bike should be able to top that easily....assuming I don't launch into a low earth orbit.

Good luck on your little adventure.
Sep 11, 2002 1:53 PM
I did that route for the Badwater Ultramarathon. I don't think they published it on the web, though, only in their hardcopy race magazine. I could easily run it for you, though.

I've ridden that on a bike, too. Townes Pass from the east is a legitimate Hors category climb. The next series of hills after Panamint Valley aren't too steep, but there is a lot of climbing. Whitney is pure hell, especially after all that earlier in the day. Take very low gears. I tried it in a 39x25, after 450 miles in 4 days, and nearly blew out my knees.

In the 508, there is no thrill like descending the east side of Townes Pass in the dark, after having ridden 215 miles. Kind of surreal. There are turns and blind hills where it looks like you are going off a cliff, in the dark, no less. One of those "just trust your memory" places, where you say your prayers and let go. Hit well over 60 in the dark. My crew had a hard time keeping up behind me. Fun.

If I can, I'll run you a 3d and profile in the next few days and post it on my Midcal site.

Sep 11, 2002 7:15 PM
Going to run the NR HID Blowtorch lights - simply awesome. They throw so much light that we can ride the MTB's at 95% deep in the Santa Cruz Mts. on technical stuff.
Sep 11, 2002 7:51 PM
My NR LCD Pro systems were horribly unreliable; not charging; failing in the middle of rides, etc. Is the Blowtorch better?
Rock Solidgrzy
Sep 12, 2002 8:44 AM
The system has been far! Made it through a whole season on winter MTB riding without a hitch or a hicup. Including numerous wrecks and ghost riding experiences. I run both a wall charger and the car charger. The only nit that I have is that when you power up the unit you need to hold the button on for a few seconds - it's like turning on a flourescent light. Other than that it puts all other lighting systems that I've riden with or been in the company of to shame. It's not cheap, but it's good. At the start of the Devil Mtn. Double I had a train of riders following me down the rollers b/c I threw out so much light. The light is a little bluish - kinda like some of those import cars, but you get used to it. Four hours of burn time five hours for a full charge.
60 MPH in the DARK?! (nm)jtferraro
Sep 12, 2002 6:29 AM
Makes life interesting, no? - nmgrzy
Sep 12, 2002 8:44 AM
badwater - whitney profileDougSloan
Sep 11, 2002 2:49 PM
This is on the Badwater website; my 3d's not there, though.
re: 3d views of Furnace Creek 508 coursedesert-rider
Sep 11, 2002 1:52 PM
Impressive....reminds me of the OLN coverage of Giro & Tour stages (now, you just need to animate it!) Looks like a hell of a ride....I will definitely have to put that on my to-do list (I've already signed up for the 24 Hours of Moab on the same weekend, or I'd think about trying the 508)

Good luck if you decide to do it!

re: 3d views of Furnace Creek 508 courseNatchez
Sep 11, 2002 6:06 PM
Your story of the 508 last year was the coolest thing. I still think about it when I am on long rides. I think if I am hurting this bad after 100 miles what must have Doug felt like after 200, 300 400 miles. I would love to do those type of events but after just over a year of riding and some knee pain a century is still a big deal to me. I took your advice and bought some Ks SLs they are suppose to be here tomorrow. After a long time of saving and looking I broke down and bought them. I bought them for less then 600$ shipped from an American dealer. Hope mine hold up as well as yours. Let us know about your time trial. What bike will you ride? Also what was the site address that had your 508 story on it? I hope you can get ready and do well.
Sep 11, 2002 8:06 PM
Here's the story:

The K's will be great wheels. I've had 3 sets, and every one perfect for thousands of miles.

Sounds cool - well, painful!Rich_Racer
Sep 12, 2002 5:12 AM
I'm moving to San Diego in January - would love to the 508 next year. How long does it take?



p.s. how did you make the 3D maps?
just a long rideDougSloan
Sep 12, 2002 6:00 AM
It's just a long ride with some tough logistics thrown in (riding all night, almost never stopping, keeping fuel up, 108 degree heat...).

Took me 36 hrs 37 minutes. The winner did 31 hours, and the time cut off is 48 hours. I was 9th of 29 starters in the men under 50 category, and 11th over all.

I make the 3d maps on Delorme Topo USA 3.0, and then do a screen capture with Snagit.

Give it a go. There is tons of info about riding and preparing on the 508 and UMCA websites.

GREAT story, Doug!jtferraro
Sep 12, 2002 7:34 AM
I enjoyed reading it. Amazing what we can accomplish once we set our minds on something!

keep us up to date...JS Haiku Shop
Sep 12, 2002 5:10 AM
be sure to post if you decide that it's a go. i admire the strength of your friendships with prospective crew--to be able to do it based on a go/no go, less than 30 days before the event...

(ir)regardless (LOL), it would be interesting to follow your progress on the webcast, as last year.

my suggestion: just f'ing do it. you *know* you can, so don't worry about condition. it's all mental anyway, eh?


show it zero mercy, do(u)g
it's just a long ride

i'll do it someday
older, with much vacation
and travel savings

that townes pass bump
just after 200 miles
sounds interesting
Doug, VERY impressive 3D images! Damn...I'm tired already!jtferraro
Sep 12, 2002 6:21 AM
just from looking @all that vertical feet - man! Oh...and a 200 MILE SOLO TT on Sunday?!? Geeeeesh! Yeah...maybe someday I'll be able to pull a 200 miler off! Next weekend I'll be doing my 2nd century, again in my mtb(but now I have 26 x 1(650C) tires/112psi max, as opposed to the 26 x 1.2 tires/90psi max I did my last century on):

This one is supposed to be VERY flat though, but scenic!

Good luck!


P.S. What type of software did you use to create those wonderful 3D images?