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Rider Comments 2006 Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century, January 14th, 2006

Written by: Unsolicited


Thanx for setting-up & running one of the best bike rides I've been on ! You brought together the best scenery of the season, smooth surfaces, some good slopes, super support stops, and even tailwinds on the way back in.



Just wanted to say thank you to you and your partner-in-crime, Larry, for hosting the Stagecoach Century this year. I'll bet you were both very pleased with the popularity of the ride. I saw the list of pre-registered riders and met a few people at the start who drove in and registered same-day.

I don't see a link or contact email for this, so please please please tell all your volunteers how grateful we are for them - smiling faces, ever helpful, and loads of enthusiasm and encouragement. All of them were just great. I know how difficult it can be to volunteer for a big event ... and also how much effort it takes to coordinate something of this size. So thank you to them ... and, of course, to you and Larry. I know that you're volunteers too.

The ride itself was difficult, but good. After the headwind all the way to the turn-around, I was telling myself that it *better* be easier on the road back. Thank goodness, it was. What a blast to coast and fly back to the starting point with my achy legs and smiling face. btw, the Applause Van was greatly appreciated. They were very fun ... and motivating ... on that last hill just outside of town. Thank them for me, wouldja?

Overall, it was a wonderful event ... a good ride ... and really a tremendous value. I gotta tell you that the jersey, the well stocked SAG stops, the oversight ... and the ride itself ... was more than worth the
entry fee.

Thank you again for a fun event. Once everything stops aching and throbbing, I'll be thinking of signing up again for next year. But hey, do something about that headwind, won't you? Andrea


Nice ride yesterday. A little windy but beautiful scenery and excellent support. It was my wife's first century an she was jazzed.


Dear Jim and Larry,

I wanted to write to tell you that I thought the Stagecoach Century was fabulous and it was one of the best Centuries I have ridden in. Everything was very well organized and supplied, and the scenery you provided was spectacular. I can't wait to tell all of my friends and get them to ride next year with me, well worth the drive.

One suggestion would be that the floor pumps at the rest stops be both presta and schrader valve compatible, they were only schrader friendly. Other than that it was a great ride.

PS. Maybe next year you can turn down the wind just a little ...

Thanks again for your efforts, see you next year.


What a great ride! Thanks for the experience. How do we get our pictures?
Thanks again.

Jim & Larry - Well done! I'm sure riders would be grateful if you could post any information on winds yesterday. It will make the post-mortems and bragging (or whining) more precise. Thanks. Hope you do it next year. Greg & Barbara

On behalf of some of the Arizona riders, I'd like to say thanks for a great event. The wind proved interesting to say the least, but we continued on....I hope to return next year and will tell more of my fellow riders about the event.

Hi Jim:

Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you what a great event you put on. Due to time restraints my partner and I had to shorten the ride, but really enjoyed the day. Hopefully, God willing we will be back next year and do the whole thing. Your sign up was great, congratulate all your volunteers, they did a fine job. The only suggestion I would make is to have a few more porta-potties at the start. The Bike Jersey was great. It is a breath of spring to find an event like yours where the cost is minimal, but the event is first class.


Bill B.

The Old Ironman

Thanks for the great ride. Since you have no control of the wind, I really don't know how you could make it better. Great job !!! See you next year.

Joe S

Hi Larry,

Great ride and support for the 2006 Stagecoach!! Looking forward to next years ride. Thanks,


Hello Jim and Larry!

First of all, I want to thank you both for putting on such a fantastic event. Everything was incredible - the ride route, the scenery, the food and the people - especially the volunteers out there on the course. My thanks to you and your staff for making my first century such a great experience Thanks again and I'll see you at next year's Stagecoach century!




Ditto! Also, special kudos to the volunteers on the course. They were outstanding, men, women and children! They were SUPER courteous and ALL took their jobs VERY seriously! I only hope they had as much fun as I did. Next year please sign me up to help out. I loved doing the ride but next time I would really like to be part of that special crew.


Jim & Larry --

Thanks so much for a well-organized event on Saturday. Or course the big news of the day was the wind, but that's the way things go when dealing with the great outdoors, right? The support stops had plenty of food and beverage choices. The chili was delicious! This was my first century and it was one I shall never forget. The locale and the locals made the event especially memorable. (Though I had dinner plans at my mom's in laceName w:st="on">Palm laceName> laceType w:st="on">Desert laceType>, I contributed $5 to the museum fundraiser anyway.)

Best wishes on future events. My plan is definitely to return!

-- Gordon

Just a note of thanks!

I would like to personally thank you, ersonName w:st="on">Jim Knight ersonName> and all the Shadow Tour members for the opportunity in working with the 2006 bicycle tour through Ocotillo. I enjoyed the two day event. I am looking forward to the next event. Thanks for all the support you had given Ocotillo, CA.


Ocotillo Volunteer

Just want to say thank you for putting the ride on, it was great except for the wind. We plan on riding next year too.

Bye for now.

Louise & Fred

Jim & Larry,
Thanks for planning, hosting & coordinating the Stagecoach Century. The ride was much more difficult than I had anticipated. Only because Mother Natures gusting forces. There were a few times when my skinny little ass almost got blown off the road but I held on tight and rode out the storm. The bright side is that it DID NOT RAIN. That would have sent me packing or asking for the SAG Wagon in a hurry. So I'll count my blessings and say I really enjoyed my time out in the desert.

My compliments & thanks to all the local volunteers for their friendly help & encouragement. Each member of your staff made me feel right at home & always had something positive to say. Quote., "This is a mildly windy day for these parts". I had to laugh. I regret to say I didn't stick around for the spaghetti feast after the ride but I needed a hot bath & rest before I could eat. I had accommodations in El Centro and did get my carb fix later that evening at Grasso's Italian Restaurant. I recommend them for those who stick around and postpone the trip home till the following day. Keep me informed about your future rides as my century calendar for 2006 is filling fast. I'm trying to get one in each month. Palm Springs is next them Solvang. Got to keep on riding. Thanks again for hosting this great event. Despite the hand Mother Nature dealt this time out, I will return next year to ride & enjoy the hospitality.
Best Regards,

Jim and Larry,
I thought the ride was a huge success! Nice ride (a little windy), plenty of aid stations, very little traffic . .I wouldn't change anything! Thanks for organizing such a great event. See you next year!
Scott, P.E., CFM

Lyle Engineering, Inc.

Great ride again this year! Thanks for all your hard work!!

Fantastic ride! Well run, great stops, scenery, and wonderful people. One caveat, however: the course has more hills of difficulty than a novice might have anticipated. Still a blast and am definitely doing the third annual. Thank you Ocotillo!

Jim and Larry, ...
Sincere thanks for organizing such a great event. I really enjoyed the day and appreciated the superb organization. Special thanks to all the volunteers. I'll be back next year,

Hello Jim and Larry,
Thank you for a great ride. Jeff and I really enjoyed it. The route was beautiful and we really liked the quality products you had available at the aid stations...Hammer Nutrition is good stuff! You advertised a quality ride and we got it...thank you.

Jim and Larry,

I just wanted to say "Thanks!" for putting on such a great event! The ride was really difficult with the winds, but it was beautiful! Your aid stations & lunch stop were awesome-soooooooooo much food and supplies! The volunteers were wonderful too-and yes, I did remember to thank them at each location!

I don't know if you guys had the street cleaned too, but it was extremely free of debris, except for some gu packets that riders had thrown down. That was depressing to see they had littered the beautiful desert. Maybe next year you could include in your instructions to remind riders of what a delicate eco system the desert is and ask them not to throw down their trash along the ride. Thanks again for a wonderful event!


Thank you,
This was one of the best organized rides I have even been on...you, your team and the volunteers did an incredible job!

Hey you guys - great ride. Challenging with the wind but great scenery, weather, absence of traffic, but best of all, the support.....fabulous!!!!! One minor suggestion, especially if the conditions next year are similar; i.e., departing following the ride, tired, into rainy weather. I recommend a big urn of hot coffee be available at the end of the ride, especially for those driving back to LA. Because little in the way of services (for coffee) exists until approaching San Diego, almost an hour away, I think, for safety reasons, it would be well to have coffee available for the participants before hitting the road.
Nuf said. We'll be back next year.

It was a great ride, my first fully supported ride. I've only ridden the Rosarito-Ensanada ride twice where you sort of need to self SAG yourself except for the water and some food that is provided. I was amazed at everything you provided, had I realized how well prepared your ride was I would have left with my pockets nearly empty.

The ride was so much fun that a few of us are shooting to try to get some of our friends that are less prone to join in on the longer hard rides with much climbing and do the downhill ride with them after a brunch stop in Julian on the 29th. For those that are even less ambitious possibly park a car at the bottom of the tough climb just before the rest stop 2 area. Waiting to hear about your other rides you mentioned.

Absolutely a great ride despite the wind. The rest stations were well-stocked, and I loved all of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The only thing I missed were some oranges. The shirts are beautiful and well worth the price of the ride. Well done!


Sunbelt Publications Inc.

Larry and Jim
Let me add my thanks for such a great event. Please relay it to the supporting cast.

I'm that older guy (58) that met you out on the course last year, on New Years Day, doing a 50 mile practice run on my mountain bike, and then talked with you after the 2005 Stagecoach (where I managed about 78 miles, again on my mountain bike.)

But this year, armed with the proper tools (e.g. road bike, clipless pedals, and MP3 player) I was back in Ocotillo by 3:30 with the full century mileage! Yeah, the winds were a bitch; but the downwind run from the last rest stop almost made up for the "weather leg."

Question: Is it really 5000 feet of climbing? Maybe all the little ups and downs add up, but it seems more like 4000 to me when I study the elevation data. Of course, I hope to do it again next year.
Escondido, CA

Jim- I really enjoyed the ride last Saturday!! Class act all the way- better than Solvang, other Centuries, and many other events I have raced. The communications like below and website really worked out quite well. The wind was an added benefit to the event- it made it even more interesting and gave people something to remember- if they complained screw 'em. The ride back was so fast. Great job- I enjoyed the entire event- Congrats to you and Larry.
Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Radio Systems
PS- We do not have a Northrop Grumman Team per se but we have a small "Peloton" that I helped form- many of them rode, you may have noticed a few of the jerseys.

It was a wonderful ride, well planned, well executed, well supported and the local community really helped out, I could see that. I cannot imagine it was a Wells Fargo stagecoach route, so hard on the horses, all those hills. I didn't do much miles but more than I thought I would (I had serious flu for 10 days prior) but was just so glad to get outta the house and come over to a place I knew nothing about. I will do it again and God Willing, I will be in better shape next year. My roommate did 85 miles and I was so happy for her and to meet her, for first time.It was very well managed and I've been a part of AZ Bike Club events so I know what has to happen. I will look forward to whatever else you come up with? Congrats on a great biking event.

Later - N


I enjoyed the ride...it was beautiful seeing a full moon over the mountains in the early morning. It was HELL, though with those winds. My group and I weathered it all and did our 100 miles, so we feel happy.

I suggest for next year that you might add some hints on how to ride very windy switchbacks safely. I am not that heavy and I literally almost got me and my bike blown down on the road on a switchback. I don't know if this is what is recommended, but I think I read somewhere that you should keep pedaling on a windy downhill and also keep your body low and keep as much weight in your pedals as you can and none on your seat so you have a low center of gravity. And slow it down a bit. Anyway, I did all that and survived, luckily. I would have hated to have splatted myself all over the road. Maybe you can tell people what the "official" way to do it successfully is next year! It was a fun ride and you had good volunteers. Thanks for a great experience.


dear jim and larry
Three of my buddies and i participated in your ride this last weekend. we found the ride to be very well organized and, in spite of those pesky winds, found the ride to be extraordinary. we plan on doing it again next year. congrats on a job well done.

Dear Jim and Larry,
We had a great time, despite the winds. Thank you for organizing this

Hello Larry and Jim

Thanks to you both and your excellent support staff for putting on a first class world event. I've been to many events, but this one is going to have always a special meaning, being that it is so well organized , and has the so well thought out stops with all the right nutrients, and superb scenery. Look forward to next years ride, and before i forget, the Jersey and T-shirt were awesome, what a great value for the so affordable entry price.


Max L.

Riverside Bicycle Club

Jim & Larry,

I just want to thank you and the people of Ocotillo for putting on one great ride. I'm relatively new at road riding and this was my forth century ride, but it was the absolute best so far and I will certainly be signing up again next year. I'll also watch for other rides the Shadow Tour might be putting together.


The ride was great and the jerseys are way cool. Great job and I look forward to next year's ride.


Thank you for a great ride! Despite the weather conditions, my friends and I really enjoyed ourselves and were glad that we battled the headwinds. I've done a number of organized rides and yours is the first that had aid stations stocked with sunblock, cryogel and advil - very thoughtful and kind! Your volunteers and helpers also were very kind and friendly. Thanks so much for a great day! One minor suggestion: After some events we've been fortunate enough to have massage therapists set up a couple of tables to work out those sore muscles. They're usually 15-20 minute massages, for which the cyclists are happy to pay. It's a super nice and welcome treat. I know you are limited on indoor
space, but perhaps it's worth a thought, especially if there are any massage students in the area who need to work on building up their hours of experience.
Thanks again for a super day!!!

The Stagecoach Century Ride last Saturday was terrific. I'm so pleased I insisted on doing it and talked my "friends" into joining me. ………………


Hi Jim and Larry,

My girlfriend and I rode in the Shadowtour at Ocotillo this past weekend. It was definitely an excellent adventure and a great way to start the cycling year. I want to thank you and the rest of the people who planned and helped at this event. We've ridden in a lot of organized rides, and this was very well thought out and implemented. You did an outstanding job with the pre-event e-mails, the registration process, rest stop locations and supplies, the route, and overall support. The people supporting the ride were super friendly and great. Please thank them all and the community of Ocotillo on our behalf. The wind and the uphill start made the ride a serious challenge and part of the adventure that we're still talking about.

You may have already heard this from others, but our only suggestion is to increase the number of porta-potties along the route... particularly at the start. Due to the remote location, nearly everyone is driving from some distance early in the morning. We had a 90 minute drive from Carlsbad which I'm sure is typical for many participants. After a couple of cups of coffee en-route and a long drive, a bio-break is essential before starting the ride. Five bathrooms plus one or two local facilities is not enough for 1000 coffee drinking riders. In our case, we both ended up watering some of the sparse vegetation along S2's back roads rather than endure the long lines at the bathrooms.

Anyway, I hope the feedback is useful. We're looking forward to riding in this event again next year along with a couple thousand more riders as the word gets out. Keep up the good work!

-- Courtney

Thank you,
This was one of the best organized rides I have even been on...you, your team and the volunteers did an incredible job!

Jim and Larry-
Had a good time riding your Century for the first time. The winds were quite a challlenge!
Overall, nicely done. Thanks for the challenge of the month! See you next year.
San Diego

Jim and Larry ...

Your Stagecoach ride was tremendous -- wind and all. The views were spectacular ... the stops were staged at just the right spots ... the riders were all great ... and the combination of the moving lenticular clouds spinning off the mountain tops with the sun tracing across the heaven created an ever-changing panorama. No two views were every the same ...even minutes apart.


Jim and Larry -
Thanks for the great ride. I may have been your rider from the furtherest away ( Syracuse, NY -- there were two from Alaska, which might be further). I had already decided to do some "winter" riding in the area when I came across your ride and decided to sign up. I'm very glad I did. The ride went amazingly well given how much larger it was than last year. I help with a number of club rides here and have a small sense of how much work it is. I was particularly impressed with how much food there was.
Thanks again for a great ride and very best wishes,


I just wanted to tell you that despite the horribly windy conditions, I had a fantastic time riding the Shadow Tour. I truly enjoy cycling through desert areas, and I imagine that particular route will be absolutely beautiful in a month or so as the springtime flowers begin to bloom.

I have one recommendation for you to consider. There certainly was a lot of bike rack space at the start/finish line. From what I saw before and after the ride, the racks were mostly unused. I'm not a big fan of dumping my bike in the sand when I take a break, and it would have been a nice touch to have a bike rack at each of the SAG stops and perhaps two or three at the lunch stop. Perhaps you will consider relocating some of the bike racks next year?

Thanks again for making my first century ride a pleasant and enjoyable experience!

See you next time!


Absolutely fantastic ride. We didn't know what beauty, climbing and fast paces we were in for.....loved every second of it. Everyone was very curtious on the road, the volunteers were wonderful and the jersey....WOW...what a great surprise! Thanks again.....we'll definitely see you next year if not before!
Deb & Philip

Jim and Larry,

I just wanted to drop you a note. I found the Stagecoach Century to be one of the best, most enjoyable, well-planned, and best supplied one-day bicycle rides that I have participated in. The ride was a mix of the appropriate amount of challenge, beautiful scenery, good weather, good-natured riders and volunteers. The jersey is great too. Thanks! I look forward to next year.


Dear Jim and Larry,

Just wanted to thank you for a great event. We were scared about the weather, but it turned out fine. Some feedback: The rest stop locations were well stocked... the second stop could have used an additional porta-potty, however (long lines!). Everyone was friendly and everything was well organized. We hope to be back for next year's event!

Jeff and Michael

Rider Comments 2005 Stagecoach Century Ride, January 15th, 2005:

...thank you guys for a spectacular ride! I drove down from LA in rush hour traffic for 6 hours on Friday night to do that ride, and it was well worth it. I hope to come back down for another one in the future, and I'm talking you guys up to every cyclist I know. :-)
Kind regards,

...thank you for inviting me to this wonderful ride. My friends and I have really enjoyed it! It
was so well organized, there were plenty of aid stations and they had
all these friendly volunteers helping out! Applause to the lady who
cooked chili for 200 people!
I never had a donut on a ride like this and I can tell you it tasted wonderful!
I hope you will put up this ride again next year, I am sure many more
people will be interested after they hear from us how great it was!


I really enjoyed the Stagecoach Century. You guys put on an AWESOME event. The sag stops were well stocked. The route was incredible. The scenery was fantastic. Overall a 10 out of 10. Thank you very much.