2013 Spring Rush Rider Instructions Email

Email sent Mar 13, '13


Welcome Registered Riders!

Thank You for joining the Inaugural Spring Rush Century (SRC).  We're proud to report a field of 174 Registered Riders.   We send our Gratitude to all of you for joining this 1st year ride, and for all your help in spreading the word to your cycling friends!  And it's not too late to enter.  Walk-ups will be accepted on Fri & Sat at Rider Packet Pick-up (details below).  Please click the "Forward this Email" below to send this email to anyone who may be interested in riding.  Thanks!

                                                     Forward this email

With 10 days until SRC rolls on Sat, Mar 23, '13, it's time to provide important and specific final details about the ride.   One last email will be sent to all Registered Riders early next week, with any final items & weather updates.

All riders need to take about 30 minutes to carefully read this entire email and study your  Rider Instructions & Strip Map Carefully review the Course Strip Map, containing vital course & support details.

Visit the website for any last-minute changes before departing for Palm Desert.

March Rider Updates:

1.  Rider Instructions:  You may  download the Rider Instructions in advance, or view on the websitePlease study these 3 pages.  Rider packets contain the Rider Instructions and a 1-page Course Strip Map.  Cue Sheets/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, Mar 23
-  Arrival & Venue map:  Click here to download
-  Parking Volunteers/Police will direct arriving riders.
-  Be Patient!   SRC is a "Rage-Free Zone!"  (it's way too early to stress). 
-  Primary Parking:  University Village Parking Lots
-  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 the Physical Therapy, or Carl's Jr spaces.
    If in doubt, don't! 

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

       -  Fri, Mar 22

           University Park, Registration Tent, on 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/Credit Card.
           Fri:  2-hr parking in University Village Lot  
         -Sat, Mar 23

           University Park, Registration Tent, on 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/Credit Card.
           Sat Event Parking in Univ. Village Lot 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 roads/lanes are not
            closed and riders must comply with all Traffic Laws, including stopping
            at red Light Signals & Stop signs.

        -  Course Markings:  Turns are marked with Yellow & Black arrows
            mounted on small barricades.  Yellow Route Arrows on the asphalt
            also mark each turn, with a confirmation arrow after the turn.  If there
            are no signs or arrows, continue straight ahead.  Riders also receive
            a Course Strip Map in their rider packet.  Course Cue Sheets with
            turn-by-turn directions for all routes are provided at Packet Pick-up.
        -  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, single file, call
                    out passing vehicles ("Car back!") and when overtaking other
                    riders ("Passing on your left!"), watch for uneven road surfaces.
                    20 MPH Max speed on descent.  USE EXTRA CARE!

            (3)   Ave 42 U-turn:  On the return to Palm Desert riders turn right on
                    42nd Ave, make a u-turn, then proceed back to the stop light,
                    crossing Jefferson St. more safely. Be very careful merging when
                    making the u-turn.  Never "force" right-of-way.  Be Safe!

            (4)   All Left Turns on the course require extra vigilance.  Use arm
                    signals to communicate your intentions to vehicular traffic.
                    Always 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.  SRC is not a race, so just take 'er easy!

       -  Ride to the right of the white line whenever safe to do so.  Signal and
           announce your intentions to other riders and vehicles.  Ride single file
           and point out all obstacles & hazards to riders behind you.
        -  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 SRC.  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 and needs to carry
      spare tube(s), tire levers, a small pump/C02 inflator. Mechanics will roam
      the course on Sat.  Pay mechanics for any parts they replace

f.  Start Times:  The 'Start Window' is 6:30 - 8:00 A.M. on Sat for all riders,
    both Short Course & Full Century.  Riders may start anytime during the
    Start Window.  Volunteers will segment riders into waves of 30, 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
    NLT 6:45 A.M.  Jim will give each wave a short safety briefing, make final
    announcements, and will answer rider questions between waves.

     NOTE:  Due to Daylight Saving Time, the 1st Wave will start when there's
     adequate daylight, meaning "Roll Time" will likely be closer to 6:45 A.M. 


2.  Weather:  Spring weather in the desert can be unpredictable day-to-day and even within a single day.  The Accuweather forecast for Palm Desert, as of Mar 13th, calls for "Sunny" conditions with cool temps (Lo 41F, Hi 69F).  Winds will be from the WNW at 6-12 MPH, gusting to 16-28 MPH.  Weather conditions can easily change.  Click here for the up-to-date forecast.

   a.  Clothing:  Expect a Cool & Breezy day.  At the minimum, we recommend starting the ride with a base layer under your jersey, arm & leg warmers, long finger gloves, and a long-sleeved wind/rain jacket or vest.  There will be a Gear Drop at the Start/Finish and at Rest Stop #1 (only) until 10:00 A.M.  You may place unneeded clothing items (no valuables) into plastic bags, and mark them with your Name & Bib #.   Gear Bags will be returned from Rest Stop #1 to the Finish area (next to Reg. Tent) by 10:30 A.M.   Do not ask Vol's at other Rest Stops if you can leave clothing items.  That's how items get lost.  Don't forget your Gear Bags!  Unclaimed Gear Bags will be returned at Rider's expense.

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

   c.  Return ride to Palm Desert:  All riders will likely have a tailwinds on the outbound portion of the ride.  Tailwinds likely will not be felt, but they are pushing!  After making the turnaround and riding back to Palm Desert, expect significant head winds & side winds. This is nothing new! These are the year-round Coachella Valley prevailing winds.  Where possible, we recommend forming small pace lines of 3-6 riders, to share pulls at the front of the single-file pace line.  Use extra care.  Point out/announce road obstacles to riders following behind.   

   d.  Safety:  Breezy conditions & cooler temps mean every rider needs to use even more caution while riding.  Anticipate side wind gusts.  Ride single file!  Be ready at all times with a solid grip on your handlebars and be ready to brake at all times. 

   e.  Plan Your Ride & Ride Your Plan!  This desert spring weather is just the Desert being the Desert.  During 17 previous desert events, Shadow Tour riders have learned that desert weather is always tricky!  On Sat, riders need to be ready for anything.  Preparation & 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 as you line up for the start.  Finally, break the ride down into smaller, bite-sized pieces.  Step through your ride Rest Stop-by-Rest Stop, or even hour-by-hour.  Constantly reassess how you feel.  Drink water and eat Carb's even if you're not thirsty or hungry.  The dry desert air will silently dehydrate non-acclimated riders.  Carb's will help replenish energy reserves.  But it's individual rider conditioning that matters most.  Err to the side of caution by turning back early.  At Rest Stops, face the return direction, to feel the winds.  The return ride will almost certainly be more challenging, especially for Full Course riders!  If in doubt, make a Safe & Legal U-turn, and ride back to the Start/Finish in Palm Desert.

3.  Volunteers:  Interested in volunteering at SRC?  Please contact Jim. Thanks!                                  

4.  Official SRC Charities:  The Desert Recreation District's "Leadership in Training" Program (teaching young adults business skills) and the Desert Chapel Ministries Food Bank (assisting needy families).  All Volunteers on the course are from these two fantastic charities.  Please reward them with contributions in the Donation Jars located at the Reg. Tent at the Finish. Every penny counts--Thanks!

5.  Rider Levels:  This webpage provides a wealth of no-nonsense advice on how to prepare & ride this course (same route as the Palm Desert Century).   There are comprehensive details about the course, weather factors, hydration techniques, and more.  Your input is requested to improve this advice for future riders.

6.  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 Spring Rush website for last-minute changes, or updates.  SRC is the 23rd Shadow Tour cycling event.  We've learned things can (and usually do) change at the last minute.  Weather & Routes are good examples.  Be flexible!  

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

8.  Go Easy on Vol's and be Cool:   Vol's are doing their best to support you, but they won't know every event detail.  Be flexible!  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 SRC riders needing assistance if you can.  Be the Rock Steady Rider who reads the instructions, knows what to expect, and follows the rules.     

9.  Lodging Options:  This is High Season in the desert.  We have secured special pricing at nearby hotels.  All rooms and special prices are subject to room availability.  Now is the time to make your reservations.  These hotels will be sold out, if they aren't already.  Visit Where to Stay on the website for more details.

     a.  Host Hotel:  Homewood Suites by Hilton, located adjacent to University Park

     b.  Event Hotels:
          (1)  Hampton Inn & Suites, located 1/4 mile from Start/Finish
          (2)  Residence Inn by Marriott, about 1/2 mile from Start/Finish
          (3)  Couryard by Marriott, about 1/2 mile from Start/Finish

     c.  Lodging info, click here for Rider discounts

10.  Palm Desert Jerseys:  


      a.  1st Production Run: The 1st run of jerseys was submitted to Voler on
           Feb 1, '13.  These jerseys will be available at the event.  Price: $75.

      b.  2nd Production Run:  Includes optional jersey orders from Feb 2nd thru
            Mar 23rd. These jerseys will be mailed in May '13 (free shipping).  Riders
            will have a "last chance" to order jerseys immediately after the event.  The
            SRC Round-up email will have all the details.  Price: $75.

       c.   Inventory:  A few jerseys will be for sale at the event.  These jerseys are
             not for 2nd Production Run orders.  Price:  $80 (Fri) and $85 (Sat).  



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


12.   Fineline Custom T-shirt:  Pre-ordered optional "Tec" T-shirts will be
       available at the event.  A limited supply of inventory T-shirts will be for sale.
       Stop by and check out these T-shirts.  Once you try one on, you'll never go
       back to cotton.   They are an outstanding base layer for year-round cycling. 

13.  Time Trial Clarification:  The Red Zone designation for Box Canyon Rd (both up & 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 mindful that the road narrows with riders and vehicles flowing in both directions.  Check ahead and behind before passing.

14.  Time Trial Timing Chips:  The optional 15 mile Time Trial (TT) on Box Canyon is timed using microchips attached to ankle bracelets. Paid "Full Century with TT" Riders need to pick up their timing chip at the Reg Tent on Fri & Sat.  Riders first pick up their rider packet, then go to the CEP Timing booth co-located at the Reg Tent to draw a timing chip.  Once 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, don't 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.  Paid "Full Century" Riders may upgrade to "Full Century w/TT" on Fri & Sat (free) and draw a timing chip.  "Short Course" Riders are not eligible for the Time Trial, but may upgrade on Fri & Sat for $15.

15.  Super Century Option:
  Paid "Full Century" & "Full Century w/TT" riders may ride the 130-mile "Super Century".  There is no additional fee.  The course uses the same 100-mile century route, with the addition of an extra round-trip on Box Canyon Rd to Chiriaco Summit (15 + 15 miles), adding 30 miles.  There is a Noon time cut-off at the beginning of Box Canyon Rd.  In order to ride up the hill a 2nd time, riders must be at the start NLT Noon.  All Super Century Riders must insure their wristbands are marked (twice) at the Chiriaco Summit by Vol's at the Turnaround and must check in at the Finish Line and let Vol's know you rode the Super Century in order to be recorded as completing it.

16.  SRC & Palm Desert Gallery:  Click here to visit the flash version of the Spring Rush Century course preview photos.  Photos courtesy of Armando Estrada.

17.  Join the Shadow Tour Group on Facebook!

        Shadow Tour Group


 Looking forward to seeing everyone next Saturday!

As always, let's all keep it safe out there!  Watch out for each other by pointing out road hazards, signaling turn/stop intentions, riding single-file and as far to the right as safely possible.  Stop at all red lights & Stop Signs!  Even if there are no other cars.  We enjoy a fantastic relationship with the Coachella Valley Peace Keepers and we want to keep it that way!

Good Luck & Godspeed to all Spring Rush Century Riders.

Carefully read every word of your Rider Instructions before rolling.


~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