2011 PDC Nov Final Rider Updates

Email sent Nov 7, '11

2011 Palm Desert Century Splash Banner 
2011 PDC Logo             

Dear Palm Desert Century Registered Rider,

Thank You for joining the Inaugural Holland Cycles Palm Desert Century (PDC).  We're proud to report a strong field size of 765 pre-registered riders.  That's a fantastic start and we send our Thanks for all your help in spreading the word!


Just 5 days until PDC rolls on Sat, Nov 12, '11.  Below are very important last-minute updates about the ride.  It's essential that all riders review the "FINAL UPDATES" regarding information on Weather and a minor route change on the 70 & 100 Mile Courses.  Sep & Oct Rider Updates are also included below.   All riders must be familiar with instructions in these emails. 

If you have not already done so, carefully study the Rider Instructions and Map.


1.  Weather:  A strong winter weather front moved into So Cal last week.  As of Mon, Nov 7, Accuweather forecasts for Palm Desert on Sat call for Clouds & Sun, with cooler than normal temps (Lo 46F, Hi 68F), and a 30% chance of rain showers.  Winds will be from the South & West, 10-15 MPH, gusting to 19 MPH.  Weather could easily change during the week; click here for current forecast.

   a.  Clothing:  Expect a Cool & Breezy day.  At the minimum, we recommend wearing a base layer under your jersey, arm warmers, and a long-sleeved wind/rain jacket.  Pearl Izumi will have a booth on Fri & Sat packet pick up if you need to purchase any last minute additional items.  In the desert rain showers are usually brief and light.  Still, all riders should keep an extra layer of outer clothing with them for the entire ride in case stronger rains develop along the route.

   b.  Ride to Mecca:  Mecca is situated about 180 feet below Sea Level and Palm Desert is at El 224 ft.  This means that cool morning air will collect down to Mecca.  Expect the cool morning temps to continue all the way to Mecca.   

   c.  Safety:  Breezy conditions, cooler than normal temps, and possible rain showers mean every rider needs to use even more caution while riding.  Wet conditions increase stopping distances for cyclists and motorists.  Anticipate side wind gusts.  Be ready at all times with a solid grip on your handlebars.

   d.  Return Ride to Palm Desert:  Shorter Course riders may have a slight tailwind coming back to Palm Desert, depending upon where they choose to turn around.  Longer Course riders will almost certainly encounter sustained headwinds and sidewinds all the way back from Chiriaco Summit to Palm Desert. 

    e.  Plan Your Ride & Ride Your Plan!  This weather curveball is just the Desert being the Desert.   With 14 previous desert events, Shadow Tour has learned that desert weather is always tricky!  On Sat, riders need to be ready for anything.  Preparation and Flexibility are key.  First, see how you feel on Sat morning.  Bring and wear extra clothing in layers to retain warmth.  Next, evaluate the weather picture and what you actually see and feel.  Third, break the ride down in smaller pieces.  Step through your ride Rest Stop by Rest Stop, or even hour-by-hour.  Constantly reassess how you feel.  Err on the side of caution by turning back early.  At Rest Stops, always check the wind in the direction of the return trip.  The return ride will likely be more challenging, especially for full course riders.  If in doubt at any point, make a Safe & Legal u-turn, and ride back to Palm Desert.

2.  Route Change:  A segment of road construction in Mecca on 66th Ave was expected to have a base layer of asphalt by Sat.  Unfortunately, due to unexpected delays, the road is still hard-packed dirt.   This necessitates a detour at about Mile 31 of the course.  After crossing the Railroad tracks into Mecca and turning right on Hammond Rd, riders continue south, past 66th Ave, about 1.2 miles, and turn left onto Johnson St, for about .9 miles, then turn right on 66th Ave, re-entering the course.  The same detour applies in reverse on the return ride to Palm Desert. The entire detour is on level ground.  Any further detours will be marked.

     a.  The detour adds about 2.6 miles to the 70 Mile Course and Full Century.  The Course Strip Map has been updated on the website and may be downloaded hereThe Course Strip Map included in Rider Packets has already been stuffed into envelopes and DOES NOT reflect the detour.

     b.  The entire route, including the detour, is marked with small barricade signs with Yellow & Black arrows and "Shadow Tour".  Yellow route arrows on the road mark all turns.  Cue sheets are at Fri & Sat packet pick up and reflect the detour.

     c.  Box Canyon Rd:  Major repairs to Box Canyon Rd have been completed and the road is open.  Riverside County Transportation plans to sweep both sides of Box Canyon Rd just prior to the ride.  Use caution as sand and rocks may still be on the surface of the road, especially if any rain occurs after the sweeping.

3.  Mini Rest Stop:  For 20 Mile Course riders, there is a special Mini Rest Stop set up at Mile 6.  This Rest Stop is exclusively for 20 Mile riders and should not be used by other riders unless there is an emergency.  The Mini Rest stop is also situated at Mile 14 for riders returning from the 20 Mile Course.  The Mini Rest Stop will be in operation from 7:30 to 11:00 A.M.

4.  Parking:  Parking lots open at 5:30 A.M.  The parking lot at "The Village" (adjacent to the Start/Finish) has a capacity of 300+ cars.  The layout of the lot is elaborate, so be patient finding an open spot.  Alternatively, the CSUSB Campus, located on the east side of Cook St, directly across from the Start/Finish, has a very large traditional parking lot (Lot B).  Riders wishing to have an easier parking experience should park in the CSUSB Lot B.  Vol's will be at the Cook St entrance directing arriving riders.  Riders may select either parking lot, until The Village lot is full, at which time all arriving riders must park in the CSUSB parking Lot B.

5.  Time Trial Clarification:  The Red Zone designation for Box Canyon Rd (both up and down) imposes a Max Speed of 20 MPH.  However, Riders participating in the Time Trial may exceed the 20 MPH limit ON THE ASCENT ONLY.  It's difficult to reach 20+ MPH riding uphill, but the fastest riders will find the flat spots and may exceed 20+ MPH.  However, all riders must use common sense and not cause any unsafe situations to develop.  Ride as far to the right as possible and always call out "Passing!" when overtaking riders.  Only pass when it's absolutely safe to do so.  Be very mindful that the road narrows with riders and vehicles flowing in both directions.  Check ahead and behind before passing.

6.  Time Trial Timing Chips:  The optional 15 mile Time Trial (TT) on Box Canyon is timed using microchips attached to ankle bracelets. Riders who registered for the "Full Century with TT" will receive their timing chip at the Registration Tent on Fri & Sat.  After receiving the rider packet, go to the CEP Timing booth co-located at the Reg Tent to receive a timing chip.  Once the chip is issued, the rider is responsible to return the chip at the Time Trial finish line at Chiriaco Summit.  Chips may also be turned at the Start/Finish in Palm Desert.  If  picking up timing chips on Fri, please do not forget to wear the chip on Sat, i.e, don't leave it in your room!  No replacement chips will be issued.  Chips not returned at the event will result in an $85 replacement charge. 

+++  OCTOBER RIDER UPDATES (emailed on Oct 20) +++ 

Please take about 30 minutes to carefully read this email and study the Rider Instructions.  Also review the Course Strip Map, with course and support details.

1.  Rider Instructions:  You may download the Rider Instructions, or view on the website.  Please study the 3 pages.  There is also a 1-page Course Strip Map.  Cue Sheets with turn-by-turn directions for all courses will be at packet pick up.  

 Highlighted below are some of the most important details:   

a.  Start/Finish Directions & Location:  University Park

      -  Address:  74-902 College Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211

      -  Google Maps/Directions:  Click here
      -  Park is newly constructed.  Use care with GPS devices and Mapquest.
      -  Actual Start/Finish:  Traffic Circle at the South end of University Park
          (near the entrance from Cook St)
      -  San Diego Riders:  We do not recommend driving on CA-79 through
           Temecula.  Best route to Palm Desert: I-15 to I-215 to CA-60 to I-10.
           Cook St is Exit 134 off I-10, then 2 blocks south, turn right into park. 

b.  Event Parking:  

Opens at 5:30 A.M, Sat, Nov 12, '11
-  Parking Volunteers/Police will direct arriving riders.
-  Be Patient!   PDC is a Rage-Free Zone!  (it's way too early to stress!) 
-  Primary Parking:  University Village Parking Lots
-  Overflow Parking:  CSUSB Campus Parking Lot "B" (ONLY), located
    directly across Cook St.  Campus Lot "B" closes at 6:00 P.M.
-  Do not park in areas marked "No Parking" or "No Event Parking"
We're very fortunate to have permission to use these lots! 
    Please be cool out there.  Don't park in Homewood Suites spaces
    (unless you're a guest), nor in Carl's Jr spaces.  If in doubt, don't! 

c.  Rider Packet Pick up:  Riders may pick up packets on Fri or Sat.

       -  Fri, Nov 11, '11

           University Park, Registration Tent, next to the basketball court
           Noon to 8:00 P.M.
           May pick up friends' packets with permission note/email
           Walk-up Reg's, if not sold out.  Visit website first.  Cash only in park.
           Fri:  2-hr parking in University Village Lot  (no overnight parking)
         -Sat, Nov 12, '11

           University Park, Registration Tent, next to the basketball court
           5:45 to 8:00 A.M.
           May pick up friend's packets with permission note/email
           Walk-up Reg's, if not sold out.  Visit website first.  Cash only in park.
           Sat Event Parking in Univ. Village Lots & CSUSB Lot "B" until 6:00 P.M.

d.  Safety:  Rider safety is the most important aspect of the event.  

        -  This is a "Rules of the Road" event, meaning riders must comply with
            all Traffic Laws, including stopping at red Light Signals and Stop signs.
        -  Red Zones:   Potentially hazardous areas, max speed of 20 MPH, ride
            single file, with Extra Caution, as far to the right as safely possible.
            (1)  Ave 52 Traffic Circle:  Flow only North & South on Jefferson St.
                   thru Traffic Circle.  Traffic Circle is not a course turnaround point.

            (2)  Box Canyon Rd:  Both directions, ride to the right, call out passing
                   vehicles, watch for uneven road surfaces.  USE EXTRA CARE!

            (3)   Ave 42 Left Turn:  On return to Palm Desert. Be very careful
                    merging left to turn lane.  Never "force" right-of-way.  Be Safe.

            (4)   All Left Turns on the course require extra vigilence.  Use arm
                    signals to communicate your intentions to traffic.  Announce
                    "Turning Left/Right!" to other riders.
       -  Riders ignoring Traffic Laws may be ticketed by Police, and will be
           disqualified from the event, and will not receive credit for completing
           the Full Century/Time Trial.  PDC is not a race, so just take 'er easy!
        -  Bottom Line:  STAY ALERT!  Protect yourself at all times.  Ride
            safely and defensively, like your life depends on it, because it does!

e.  Bike Inspection:  We strongly recommend a complete Tune up and Safety
      Inspection of your bicycle prior to PDC.  The desert is no place for worn,
      or questionable tires, brakes, or wheels.  Bike parts wear out, it's a fact of
      life.  Each rider is responsible for their own bicycle.  Mechanics will roam
      the course on Sat.  Pay mechanics for any parts they replace

f.  Start Times:  There will be a 'Start Window' from 7:00- 8:00 A.M. on Sat.
     Volunteers will segment riders into waves of 50, starting every 2-3 min.
     This is a mandatory Permit requirement.  Full Century Course riders
     should be in position near the park Traffic Circle Start Line by 7:00 A.M.  
     All riders may start from 7:00 to 8:00 A.M, regardless of distance.


2.  Volunteers Needed:  Anyone interested in volunteering at PDC please
        contact Jim.  Please visit PDC Vols page for positions available.  Thanks!

3.  Roy's Desert Resource Center:  The Official PDC Charity is Roy's Desert Resource Center.  Their fundraising arm is the Friends of Roy's Foundation.  These fine organizations assist homeless citizens (mostly families) in Coachella Valley using a unique 120-day program.  Their clients may not be addicts or convicted felons/sex offenders.  They have an astounding 80% success rate!

The bulk of 2011 PDC volunteers are from Roy's & Friends of Roy's.  Let's all return the favor!  Here's the link to donate.  Click through for yourself.  See the many riders who have already opened their hearts.  We send our sincere Gratitude and Thanks.  Donating to Roy's cements the PDC commitment to assist local citizens and fosters Goodwill among the Desert Cities and Local Agencies.

Please reward Roy's volunteers by making a generous donation.  100% of the proceeds go directly to those in need.  It's a wonderful way to help them help themselves, restore confidence, and get back on their feet.  Many Thanks!

4.  Rider Levels:  This new webpage provides a wealth of no-nonsense advice on how to prepare and ride PDC.   There are comprehensive details about the course, weather factors, hydration techniques, and more.  Your input is requested following the ride to improve this advice for future riders.

5.  Preparation:  Preparation is the key to a successful desert ride.  That includes the obvious, being well-conditioned for the distance you wish to ride, but it also includes mental prep.  Become well-informed about the event.  Study the Rider Instructions ahead of time.  Knowing what to expect builds confidence and leaves less to chance.  It also widens the safely margin.  Have a Ride Plan in advance.  Use a checklist before leaving home to ensure you have your helmet, shoes, gloves, full water bottles, etc.  Make the last checklist item a final visit to the Palm Desert website for last-minute changes, or updates.  PDC is the 18th Shadow Tour cycling event.  We've learned things can (and usually do) change at the last minute.  Weather is a good example.  Be flexible!  

6.  Ride Smart:  A 100-mile ride is a supreme single-day endurance test.  Treat it with much due respect.  Break your own ride distance into bite-sized chunks.  Don't exceed your limits.  Non-emergency SAG's are no fun, sitting on the floor of a bumpy cargo van.  Ride one Rest Stop at a time.  Plan your Ride & Ride your Plan!

7.  Go Easy on Vols and be Cool:   Vol's are doing their best to support you, but they won't know every event detail.  Be flexible!  It's the 1st year for PDC.  We'll listen carefully and implement your constructive feedback in future years.  Perfection is our Goal, not our Promise.  Take care of yourself and be safe.  Help other PDC riders needing assistance if you can.  Be the Rock Steady Rider who reads the instructions, knows what to expect, and follows all the rules.     


1.  Palm Desert Jerseys:  


      a.  1st Production Run: The 1st run of jerseys was submitted to Voler on
           Sep 15, '11.  These jerseys will be available at the event.  Price: $70.

      b.  2nd Production Run:  Includes optional jersey orders from Sep 15 through
            Nov 17.  These jerseys will be mailed in Jan '12 (free shipping).  Riders will
            have a "last chance" to order jerseys after the event.  PDC round-up email
            will have details immediately following the ride.  Price: $70.

       c.   Inventory:  A few jerseys will be for sale at the event.  These jerseys are
             not for 2nd Production Run orders.  Price:  $75 (Fri) and $80 (Sat).  


2011 PDC Jersey Front  2011 PDC Jersey Back  

2.  Official Event Charity:  Friends of Roy's Foundation

      Roy's Desert Resource Center provides assistance to individuals and families throughout Coachella Valley, which covers all communities along the Palm Desert Century route.  This vital Non-profit entity is entirely supported by community and individual donations.   Roy's is not a traditional homeless shelter.  The staff runs background checks and carefully screens each applicant.  Eligible clients are mostly families who are homeless, drug free, physically able to care for themselves, and have not been convicted of violent felonies or sexual offenses.  There are many families in the 129-bed facility struggling to get back on their feet.  The program is incredibly successful, boasting an 80% success rate in returning clients to productive lives within 120 days of entry to the program.

     The Friends of Roy's Foundation (FOR) is an important new non-profit foundation.  They have joined forces with Shadow Tour to create a win-win scenario.  Led by Jim Hicks, a respected long-time Palm Desert resident and Board Member, and Denise Welsh, a local businesswoman and energetic volunteer, FOR will recruit and organize volunteers from it's own ranks and Roy's Desert Resource Center, to create a substantial volunteer base for the Palm Desert Century.  They will be visible everywhere, directing morning parking, staffing Rest Stops, handing out cold Vitalyte, at key intersections, collecting timing chips at Chiraco Summit, handing out finisher's medals, and more.

    Volunteering gives individuals and families currently enrolled in the program a chance to restore their self-confidence.  They become an essential part of a Roy's team fund-raising effort.  They will clearly recognize the importance of the volunteer role they play in supporting riders.  Riders will see it too.   These days it's rare to have a highly motivated local volunteer base.  Shadow Tour is humbled and is contributing to Friend's of Roy's.  But the potentially more significant assistance comes from individual rider generosity.

     Here's a link to the fund-raising campaign associated with the Palm Desert Century.  Please visit the website and donate today.  Whether it's $10 or $1,000, let's all do what we can to support this worthwhile effort and build goodwill for the event throughout Coachella Valley at the same time.  Unlike some major rides, we are not mandating a contribution.  We're leaving it up to you.   The goal is to raise $10,000 the 1st year.  That should be about $10 per rider.  It's a worthy cause and natural fit for the event.   They help us, we help them.  Simple as that.  Please click through now and make it happen--we're counting on you!  There's even a nifty & simple turnkey way to create your own mini fundraising campaign.  Let's all get behind this.  Thanks! 

                                                  Friend's of Roy's

3.  Custom Finishers Medal and Pin:  All registered riders receive a custom
      Finishers Medal and Pin.

                2011 PDC Finishers Medal                
2011 PDC Custom Pin

4.   Fineline Custom T-shirt:  Pre-ordered optional T-shirts will be available
       at the event.  A limited supply of inventory T-shirts will be available.

                                       2011 PDC T-shirt
5.  New PDC Gallery:  Click here to visit the new flash version of the 2011 Palm Desert Century course preview photos.  All photos courtesy of Armando Estrada, Sport Action Photos (Official PDC Photographer).

6.  Friend us on Facebook!

      Palm Desert Century Fan Page

      Shadow Tour Group


Thanks for reading these detailed instructions.  Our belief is informed riders are safer riders.  We're excited to host the inaugural Palm Desert Century and look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday.

Best Wishes,

~Jim & Larry

Jim Knight
Larry Gitman

Shadow Tour, LLC

Editor's Note:   Apologies, in advance, for any mistakes, typo's, oversights, or factual errors in this Newsletter.  Visit shadowtour.com for corrections, if applicable.  As always, I'll work to improve in the future.   ~Jim