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The Paul Mach Blog - I did the Death Ride without walking
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Living life on the edge... of the road

I did the Death Ride without walking
Saturday, July 9, 2011 - Race Reports
Nice After a 4 day work week, it was back to racing at the Death Ride. Well, it's not a race, but there were numbers and stickers.

What I don't get about this ride is why people start so early. 5:30am is the recommended start, but there were plenty of people that start earlier. People that would have finished at a reasonable hour anyway.

So I started at 5:30 like everyone else. I saw a few people I knew, but mostly I rode alone. A couple passes later and I was ahead of the big group. That's when it got lonely. A few hours and a couple of cokes later I was done.

When I got back to the start, it was dead (no pun intended). I'd forgot my ice cream ticket at home so I missed out on that. I was also 2 hours early for the dinner so skipped that too. But what I can say is that I've completed the full, 5 pass, Death Ride.

Overall, I had a good time. I didn't spend much time at the rest stops, but seeing all those people attempting the ride was kind of inspiring.

Would I do it again? Maybe if I had someone to ride with. What I will be doing is heading out that way for some training because the roads and view were awesome.

Update: For those looking to keep score at home, my ride time was 6:56 with a total time of 7:06. View it.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011, 6:44 am
i would start at 4-4:30 so i wouldn't have to deal with the people paper-boying up the climbs. and i'd get back before the hail storms (2008, 2009). (9hrs was my best ride time).

Sunday, July 10, 2011, 6:45 am
Oh and the last time, in 2009, with the handicap start time, i was able to just barely hold off jesse to the top of carson!

Jim Allison
Monday, July 11, 2011, 6:28 am
I think Sonora Pass rules. For road riding, maybe you should reside in Markleeville for the summer?? Those are great roads with big scenery. Try the hot spring area (I forget the name) at the end of the road that heads west out of nearly the only intersection in Markeeville.

David Almquist
Monday, July 11, 2011, 11:12 am
You rode past me just near the top of the east side of Monitor--it was inspirational to see your speed! Thanks for coming out! This was my 7th straight year and seeing a pro on "my course" gave it, for me, a new sense of significance. btw - this year was my best time at 9:15--But hey, I'm 46! Im looking for sub 9 next year...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 11:03 am
I can't believe they withheld the ice cream! I think Grover Hot Springs is the road Jim is referring to. That whole area is really nice and very low traffic during the week. Anyone up for Monitor on Thursday?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 11:10 pm
Thanks for the comment. I'll have to try out all those roads. Right now I'm learning to mt. bike for the http://www.tusharcrusher.com/

Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 10:36 am
Next year you should do it on a 50 pound huffy, it may help you keep pace with the weekend warriors?

Thursday, July 14, 2011, 12:15 pm
Paul, I saw you out there a few times. I think you passed me climbing the back side of Ebbett's. Taking a look at your data... that was quite a fast ride you did there! I can't imagine achieving that kind of day-long pace with 15k of climbing. You say you don't get why people start before 5:30am: it's to avoid the hordes of people descending all around you. I'm a good climber, but an average-at-best descender and would much rather have an open road in front of me than have to dodge around people whose downhill skills are as dubious as my own. Plus you don't have to wait in line for the porta-potties. ;-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011, 7:07 pm
I like riding the passes, but I prefer riding them on non-Death Ride weekend. Descending a pass with people 6 abreast coming up it was disconcerting.

Thursday, July 14, 2011, 9:27 pm
it was fun saying hello to you on your quick clip up the back side of monitor! I'm that girl who bought your rollers. my ride time was around 8'20" but i was drafting every chance I got! now all my Davis buddies won't laugh at me so much for doing the Death Ride when I tell them I saw you :)

Friday, July 15, 2011, 9:33 pm
I guess there are reasons to start early. But isn't all that part of the Death ride experience?

John D
Friday, July 15, 2011, 10:50 pm
Looking at your data, there are a few times when you are going downhill and your speed suddenly drops and then your heart rate surges. Scary corners?

Sunday, July 17, 2011, 5:37 pm
I was freaked out a couple times when someone was in the middle of the road as I was coming down.

I think those are places where the decent leveled out and I started pedaling again.