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Any advice for first timer on Death Ride?(7 posts)

Any advice for first timer on Death Ride?CHRoadie
Jul 7, 2003 7:55 AM
I'm doing the Death Ride this weekend, and it's my first time. If anybody has any insights that can help me come back alive, I'd be most grateful!
it's hardDougSloan
Jul 7, 2003 8:17 AM
Here's the routine: You go down for 5 minutes, then up for an hour; down the other side of a mountain, then back up, back down the first climb; then repeat for another mountain, the up and back down a third. Each has a couple miles of flat/rollers in between.

First and foremost, drink and eat plenty. They may offer Cytomax, but be careful not to take it full strength. For me, full strength won't empty from my stomach fast enough while riding hard, and you may dehydrate or bonk. Drink plenty plain water, too.

The food stops are very well managed and plentiful. No issue there.

Be extremely careful on the descents. Aside from being twisty mountain roads, you may be meeting several thousand (literally) riders on their way up, some of whom will do really stupid things, like traversing or stopping on the descent side of the road. There are lots of blind corners, too.

Pace yourself. No prizes for the first 4 peaks.

Try to finish all 5 peaks, even though it's tempting to drop as you cross at or near the start/finish several times in between. It's worth it.

It will be cold in the morning, but probably fairly hot by the last climb. I'd suggest not wearing arm/leg warmers, and just suffering the first 10 minutes until you get warmed up on the first climb.

Be sure to take some Hammergel in a flask or equivalent in case you begin bonking between food stops.

Doug
Thanks, DougCHRoadie
Jul 7, 2003 8:44 AM
I plan on taking 2 flasks of Hammergel. I'll have Sustained Energy in my bottles and plain water in my camelbak. And I'm not the fastest guy in the world, so I'll be leaving at the crack of dawn.

Think it would be worthwhile to take my camera on the ride?
cameraDougSloan
Jul 7, 2003 9:21 AM
I wouldn't take the camera on this one. The scenery isn't that great. Plus, I think they have a service taking photos. If anything, if you get there early enough the day before, go out and take some photos then.

Sounds like you are prepared in the food/hydration area. If you get hungry for real food, I suggest grabbing a banana and eating it while you ride. Saves time, and you can pitch the peel off the road.

Doug
Nothing other than report back when you're done!PseuZQ
Jul 7, 2003 8:44 AM
Made the decision Saturday to bail on the DR this year and rolled my registration over to next year.

The only thing I could add (and I am *not* a five-pass finisher) is that if you're a slower rider (like me) and you're concerned about making the cutoffs, you may want to study where the rest stops are and be strategic about where you stop.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it when you're done!
You got it!CHRoadie
Jul 7, 2003 8:51 AM
Although it may just be a bunch of whimpering...
A little more...outofthesaddle
Jul 7, 2003 10:34 AM
Lots of good advice so far. A final thing - the climb up Carson (5th pass) is a bit deceiving. Even though not as steep as the other passes, (i) it comes late in the ride; (ii) is pretty long; and (iii) last year had a warm head wind blowing during the climb up Woodfords Cyn. It'll help to be mentally prepared for a long slow trip. Overall, the ride is very well run. As you go through the towns, people are sitting in lawn chairs drinking beer and cheering the riders.