2008 Spring Stagecoach Round up Email


Apr 9, '08

Congratulations to all 2008 Spring Stagecoach Riders!

Spring Stagecaoach Jpeg 
2008 Spring Stagecoach Round up

Special Thanks to our key sponsors and supporters:
Clif, Sportique, Grindz Coffee, Mission Valley Resort, Brightroom.com, Voler Team Apparel, Hammer Nutrition, Wheels on Wheels, Bikemobile, Who's Your Daddy, and BikeWearWorld.com
   2008 Stagecoach
      Century & TTT

Date:  Sat, Apr 5, '08

Where:  Ocotillo, CA (80 miles east of San Diego, just off I-8)

Start: 7:00 - 9:00 A.M.

Distances:  26, 50, 100 miles.  Out-and-back route allows riders to chose own distances.

251 Final Registered Riders

Riders List
Hand Pointing
   Attention !!
Sturdy Riders

       will roll on
   Sat, Oct 18, '08

Registration is now open. Use promo code "SHADOW10" for $10 discount online/mail-in.  Offer expires May 18, '08.

Sign Up
2008 Stagecoach Jersey
2008 Spring Stagecoach Jersey
The 2008 Spring Stagecoach Jersey features a Marjorie Reed Old West painting, by special permission of the Reed Family (all rights reserved)

Click here to learn more about the painting "Into Palm Springs"
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2008  Sponsors

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Visit Brightroom.com

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Wheels on Wheels
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Grindz Coffee
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Bike Wear World
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Hammer Nutrition 
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Spring Stagecoach

         Inaugural Spring Stagecoach Century
                         ~~ and ~~
Brand New

Dear Sturdy Riders,

The 2008 Spring Stagecoach Century is now safely in the books.  Thank You for joining us.  We're proud to report the field included riders from 6 states, including Nicole and Rochelle Todosichuk and Jennifer Cole who travelled all the way from sunny Vancouver, British Columbia!  Final registered rider count was 251.   
We hope you enjoyed your Spring desert riding and left with a positive memorable experience.  You now can fully appreciate the fickle nature of riding in desert regions.  The Stagecoach Century course layout is modest in comparison to most advanced century rides.  With only about 4,700 ft of climbing elevation, most riders would rate the course as only moderately difficult.  But all participants discovered that Stagecoach is very much a wolf-in-sheep's clothing affair, as desert wind devils whipped up an Old West morning windstorm as a vivid reminder of nature's dominance over us mortal cyclists.

Fortunately, temps stayed mild, ranging from 57F in the early A.M. to an afternoon high of 86F.  The morning winds were sustained at 20 MPH, with gusts well into the 30+ MPH range.  As your ride director at the starting line, my heart was in my throat as I observed riders bravely saddle-up and spin off precisely at 7:05 A.M. into the tempest.  This is the 5th Stagecoach Century event and the winds were some of the most challenging we have seen.  Some riders reported wanting to turn-around at the 2 mile point!  And who can blame them?

But almost nobody abandoned the ride.  To the contrary, most riders wisely managed Stagecoach the way it must be, and that's one small bite at a time.  For some that meant Rest Stop to Rest Stop, for others, a mile or two at a time.  Staying hydrated, packing in carbs, and not pushing it too close to the line for individual levels of conditioning, were vital to getting riders through a tough day in the saddle.  A key indicator of responsible individual riding was that there were no incidents or accidents and only one or two minor Sag reports, mostly up Sweeney Pass at Mile 89 of the full century ride.

What the desert takes it sometimes gives back.  Many riders were astonished to experience the near wind-free zone just after the brutal 10 mile grind up to Rest Stop 1.  For about an hour, the winds abated and nearly all riders who wanted to complete a half century made it to Rest Stop 2 and the 25 mile point before the winds returned.  And return they did, with a vengeance!  Yet, once again, after the turn-around, those gnarly headwinds, reversed and aided riders nearly all the way back to Ocotillo.  And for some, at Lance Armstrong speeds!  

During the day, many spectators, sponsors, and  volunteers, even our own Jimmy Ray Jones, the original Shadow Tour volunteer from Ocotillo, and former TWO TIME OFF-ROAD CHAMPION AT BAJA, asked me to convey their deep respect to all riders.  Rest assured, eyewitnesses picked up on your enormous determination and physical effort exerted versus difficult wind conditions.

The staff at Shadow Tour is also pleased to announce all three of the 5-time Shadow Tour century riders, Karen Finkelstein, Courtney Krehbiel, and Amy Snyder were in the field on Saturday.  All three successfully completed the full century course, thus extending their Shadow Tour participation to 6 of 7 total events.  Nicely done!  We look forward to seeing who will extend the streak to 7 this Fall!

Many riders have sent complimentary and constructive emails praising the outstanding work of our loyal and hard-working volunteers and offered suggestions for improvement.  We have passed these comments along to the appropriate individuals.  We can assure you, the volunteers enjoyed being a part of your ride experience and they take great pride and satisfaction in exceeding your expectations as they give up their Saturday to help support you.  Our key volunteers in Ocotillo, KT Thayer and Jimmy Ray Jones, along with their counterparts in Shelter Valley, Diane Schmitz and Jean Anderson, seemingly live to spoil Shadow Tour cyclists!  Having this level of community support is a ride director's dream.  We are fortunate to have this level of grassroots support.

Our Congratulations go out to Team Central Coast Velo, the 40+ Club Open Team Time Trial Champs who hammered to an overall course win and new Spring Stagecoach course record of 5:35:00.  Team captain, Bryan Hersey, 45, Gary Aanerud, 38, Dave Miller, 49, and Kevin Smith, 47, from Camarillo, CA, raced unopposed to victory.  Clearly, the weather conditions conspired against them in their stated pre-race goal of smashing through the 5 hour barrier.  We hope they will return to give it another try at the 2009 Winter Stagecoach.  The Stagecoach Sign at the Ocotillo Community Park will feature the team name and course record time and will remain in place until surpassed. 

We also extend special recognition to the 99 full century finishers currently listed on the Spring Stagecoach Full Century Finishers List.  DJ Mark Hanson took down names and helmet numbers of full century finishers at the start/finish.  If we missed you, please send a short email to Jim with your Name and helmet number in the subject line.  We'll update the list until we have everyone listed who earned a full century finish.

Many newcomers to distance cycling successfully participated in their first desert ride on Saturday.  Regardless of the final distance ridden or time, Well Done!  Larry and I encourage you to participate in many more century rides as your riding base, experience, and confidence build.  The sport of cycling has few boundaries and limitless potential.  Each rider can achieve success on a very personal level.

Spending a few hours spinning way out on a remote stretch of desert asphalt offers one a chance to take in the grandeur of nature in it's most raw glory, without the interference of cars, neon signs, and stoplights.  At Stagecoach, the scenery you viewed is virtually identical to what our forefathers saw in 1849.  Those historical markers along the route, those are the namesake for this ride.  Real stagecoaches bounced along the dusty Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849.  You saw their trail carved into the desert from the top of Campbell Grade out in the desert.  This kind of connection is what makes great rides even more memorable.

Sure, you'll always recall the wind, the tears, the pain, but as you ride more, deeper levels and connections will take hold.  Distance cycling offers many measurable physical benefits.  But it also offers a special way to decompress, and just let that stress roll down the bike frame and right out the back wheel.  With practice (and many miles) most cyclists come to experience an inner sense of peace and serenity in the saddle that's rarely possible in other sports.   

Our good friends at Brightroom.com Photography are currently hard at work matching your on-course photos, shot by Matt Benedict and his expert crew, to your helmet numbers.  When Brightroom has completed the compilation, they will let all riders know by email.  Here's a direct link to the 2008 Spring Stagecoach Century event on Brightroom's website.

Finally, to all riders, from first-timer to loyal Shadow Tour veteran, we extend our gratitude for your support and helping us spread the word to other riders.  Please remember our personal invitation to join us for future events has no expiration date.

Next up, the good folks in Borrego Springs and Salton City, along with the Shadow Tour crew are already gearing up for for a very different kind of low desert ride at the 2nd Annual Salton Sea Century on Saturday, Oct 18, '08, starting and finishing at Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs.

Borrego Springs is a pristine destination resort with many of the amenities found in much larger resorts.  We invite you to visit the Salton Sea Century webpages and join us!  To add more incentive, all previous Shadow Tour cyclists may use a special promocode "SHADOW10" (all caps, case-sensitive) when registering online by May 18, '08 to receive a $10 discount off any entry category, with our compliments.  After the May 18 deadline, previous Shadow Tour riders may still use promocode "SHADOW5" for a $5 discount off any entry category all the way to Oct 18, '08.

Enjoy your Spring and Summer cycling and please stay safe!

Most Respectfully,

Jim and Larry

2008 Spring Stagecoach

           2008 Spring Stagecoach Century
Heather from La Mesa, CA enjoys the Box Canyon climb.  Photo courtesy Brightroom.com