2014 PDC Final Rider Instr/Nov Update

Email sent Nov 1, '14

2011 PDC Logo              



Dear Palm Desert Century Registered Rider,

Thank You
for joining the 4th Annual Palm Desert Century (PDC).  We're pleased to report a strong field size of 460+ registered riders.  We're nearing a sell-out field of 600 riders by Sat.  Please check your Name & Bib # on the Riders ListMANY THANKS for your help spreading the word!  There's a special discount coupon for your friends & family at the bottom of this email. 



SPECIAL NOTE:  California & Municipal Permitting & Traffic Control requirements are at an all time high due to recent incidents & tragedies at other events.  The cost of producing a Safe & Fully-compliant cycling event has skyrocketed! Now, more than ever, please encourage your cycling friends to join you at the Palm Desert Century for a SAFE & WELL-ORGANIZED ride.  Shadow Tour has ALWAYS PLACED YOUR SAFETY & COMFORT ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE! 

With just 1 week until PDC rolls on Sat, Nov 8, '14, it's time to provide one last email with important final details about the ride.  Please take about 30 minutes to carefully read this email & study your Rider Instructions.  Also review the Course Strip Map, containing vital course, and support details.

As a reminder, SAFETY is the top priority of this event.  Every Rider & Volunteer must stay alert at all times.  THIS IS NOT A RACE!  OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS.  Read & follow all instructions in your Rider Instructions.   Take 'er easy out there and watch out for each other.  Point out obstacles to riders following behind and signal your turning intentions.  A little on-route courtesy goes a long way.  If a motorist passes you with extra space, give 'em a thumbs up!  The motorist behind them will see that and likely give you more space too.  The cooler we are, the cooler they are.

Be the Rock Steady Rider who reads the instructions, knows what to expect, and follows all the rules.       

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



Final November Rider Updates:

1.  Weather:  Experienced Shadow Tour riders know a desert century is ALL ABOUT THE WEATHER!  The weather picture looks good for ride weekend, lots of sunshine & warm in the afternoon.  As of Sun, Nov 2nd, Accuweather forecasts for Palm Desert on Sat call for "Sunny & very warm", Lo 58F, Hi 90F.  Winds will be light & variable from the N/NNE/ENE/E at 3-5 MPH.  Desert weather changes frequently, click here for up-to-date forecasts.
  a.  Clothing:  Expect a cool A.M. & warm/hot P.M.  At the minimum, we recommend starting with/carrying a light base layer under your jersey, arm warmers, and a wind vest.  Pearl Izumi has a booth on Fri & Sat at the expo if you need to purchase any last-minute additional items.  Check out their special deals!

   b. Ride to Mecca:  Mecca is situated about 180 feet below Sea Level and Palm Desert is at El 224 ft.  This means cool morning air collects down to Mecca.  Expect  cooler early morning temps to continue all the way to Mecca.  In the afternoon it reverses, temps are warmer in the below sea-level zone.  Stay hydrated!

   c.  Safety:  This wide temperature differential means every rider needs to use even more caution while riding.  Arrive with full water bottles & Camelbaks.  Drink extra water, right from the start, even if you're not thirsty.  Especially riders from the coast not accustomed to extreme low humidity.  By noon, it will almost certainly be much warmer. Expect/anticipate side wind gusts.  Be ready at all times with a solid grip on your handlebars.

   d.  Gear Drop:  There will be a gear bag drop at the Start, near the Reg Tent, and at REST STOP #1 ONLY.  Do not leave valuables, as we cannot guarantee security.  Write your Name + Bib # on the outside of the bag.  At Rest Stop #1, gear bags are picked up at 10:00 A.M. and returned to the Finish in Palm Desert.  Do not ask vol's to accept gear bags after 10:00 A.M, nor at any other Rest Stop.

   e.  Return Ride to Palm Desert:  The current weather picture suggests tail winds on the outbound direction, with mostly side & headwinds returning to Palm Desert, depending upon where riders choose to turn around. The desert is NOTORIOUS for unpredictable temperature swings with headwinds and side winds all the way back from Chiriaco Summit to Palm Desert.  Be mentally ready!
   f.  Plan Your Ride & Ride Your Plan!  This weather forecast is just the Desert being the Desert.  During 19 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, if it's cool when you arrive. Next, evaluate the weather picture and what you actually see & feel on Sat morning. Third, break your ride down in smaller pieces. Step through Rest Stop-by-Rest Stop, or even hour-by-hour. Constantly reassess how you feel. Err to the side of caution by turning back early.  At Rest Stops, check the wind in the direction of the return trip. The return ride is usually more challenging, especially for full course riders. If in doubt, make a Safe & Legal u-turn, and ride back to Palm Desert.

   g.  Event Director Pre-rides:  Here's a link to Jim Knight's solo pre-rides of the 2014 Palm Desert Century full course, downloaded to Strava.  He rode the course on Oct 24th, under nearly identical weather conditions.  The route appeared in very good condition.  Be watchful for sand (and debris/hazards) on the edges of the road all along the route, but especially on Box Canyon segments.  Riders wishing to get EXACTLY 100.0 miles, ride about 4/10ths of a mile past the turnaround, to a point just before Interstate 10 Freeway on/off ramps.  Or add about 8/10ths total once across the finish line in the closed lanes of University Park.

2.  Arrival & Venue Map:  This strip map is posted on the website and shows the location of University Park (Start/Finish), primary parking lot in University Village, and overflow Parking in "Lot B" at the CSUSB Campus.  Also shown are the Homewood Suites Hotel (Host Hotel), Hampton Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, Courtyard, and several Restaurants.   Click here for a downloadable PDF.

    a.  Host Hotel:   The Homewood Suites, by Hilton Palm Desert, located adjacent to University Park, has a few remaining rooms.   Special rider rates start at $119 + tax.   Click here for more details on nearby event hotels and special rider rates.

    b.  Arrival Coffee:  On Sat, the Desert Mirage High School Vol's have arranged for coffee generously donated by the nearby Starbucks.  The Vol's will set up the coffee station after 5:30 A.M. at the Reg Tent. Donations are much appreciated!

    c.  Fri & Sat:  Pueblo Viego Grill Mexican Restaurant, located in University Village, near the Start/Finish, is kindly offering a special 10% discount to all PDC riders.  Just mention you're with the ride at the time you place your order.

    d.  Hampton Inn/Starbucks/Subway/Arco AM PM:  These buinesses are located on Cook St, 1 block south after exiting Interstate 10, at the corner of Cook St & Gerald Ford Dr.   The Hampton Inn & Suites Palm Desert is offering a special rate to PDC riders, starting at $119 + tax, based on availability.  Starbucks & Subway are offering 10% discounts by mentioning the ride.  The Arco Station has (relatively) affordable gas.  On Oct 25th the price was $3.17/gal.

3.  Parking: Parking lots open at 5:30 A.M. The University Village (adjacent to 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 large parking lot "Lot B" ONLY. Riders desiring easier parking may park in the CSUSB "Lot B". Vol's will be at the Cook St park entrance directing arriving riders. Riders may select either parking lot, until The University Village lot is full, at which time all arriving riders must park in the CSUSB parking "Lot B".

 4.  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 7:00 to 11:00 A.M.

5.  Short Course Riders:  IMPORTANT, Short Course Rider MAY NOT RIDE BOX CANYON RD.  This segment is exclusively for Full Course Riders.  Short Course riders may upgrade to the Full Course for $15 at the Reg Tent on Fri or Sat.  Last year, 50+ Short Course riders ignored these instructions. This year, Vol's at Rest Stop #3 will check wristbands to insure Short Course Riders do not ride Box Canyon Rd.  Besides being unfair to riders who paid for the Full Course, supplies at Rest Stops 3 & 4 are carefully planned based on Full Course rider pre-registrations.  Many Thanks for your understanding & compliance.

6.  Desert Mirage High School Fundraising: The bulk of 2014 PDC Vol's are DMHS Students, Staff, and Parents.  Let's all return the favor!  Here's their Donation link. Click through and see riders who have already opened their hearts.  We send our sincere Gratitude.  Donating to the DMHS cements the PDC commitment to assist local citizens and fosters Goodwill among the Desert Cities and Local Agencies. DMHS fundraising efforts at the event also include: 

    a.  DMHS Arrival Coffee:  Next to Reg Tent on Sat morning.   Have a cup of hot Starbucks coffee!  No cost, Donations gladly accepted. :)
    b.  Post-ride Expo:  Ice cold sodas, Nite Rider lights, donated items, and baked goods will be for sale at the DMHS Tent in the Expo, next to the Reg Tent. You're invited to stop by & learn more.  Please help fill the DMHS Donation Jar!

7.  Club Competition:  Clubs, Teams, and Organizations are competing for most Club Members riding the Palm Desert Century.  This is part of the Shadow Tour Club Central Program.  Top Clubs will be posted on the website. Visit Club Central for more details and ask your Club Contacts to join! 

     Pre-ride Club Standings:

          Desert Bicycle Club:  20
          Triathlon Club of San Diego:  9
          PLT:  5
          Team Fun:  5

8.  Individual Time Trial Awards:  Chiriacco Summit Solo TT Results will be posted at the Reg Tent at about 4:00 P.M.  Top 5 Men Overall & Top 5 Women Overall receive custom acrylic trophies.  Please check with Jim at the Reg Tent 4:00-4:30 for results & exact time of informal awards ceremony.   




With just over 3 weeks until PDC rolls on Sat, Nov 8, '14, it's time to provide very important specifics about the ride. Please take about 30 minutes to carefully read this email and study your Rider Instructions.  Also review the Course Strip Map, containing vital course and support details.  We will send one more email in early Nov with final details & updates.
1.  Rider Instructions:  You may  download the Rider Instructions, or
view them on the website.  Carefully study these 3 pages and 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, Palm Desert, CA

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

      -  Google Maps/Directions:  Click here
      -  Park is newly constructed.  Use care with GPS devices & 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 8, '14
-  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, the Dialysis Clinic, or reserved
    spaces.  If in doubt, don't! 

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


       -  Fri, Nov 7, '14

           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/Credit Cards.
           Fri:  2-hr parking in University Village Lot  
         -Sat, Nov 8, '14

           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/Credit Cards.
           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)   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 will 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, 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 6:30- 8:00 A.M. on Sat.
     Vol's will segment riders into waves of about 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 by 6:30 A.M.  
     All riders may start 6:30-8:00 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.  Coachella Valley Unified School District/Desert Mirage H.S. ASB: 
The Official PDC Charity is Desert Mirage High School ASB (DMHS).  This is the DMHS primary annual fundraiser to increase school spirit, promote school involvement through clubs & activities, increase student & teacher recognition, and provide positive safe activities creating student life memories.

The bulk of 2014 PDC volunteers are DMHS students, staff, and parents.  Let's all return the favor!  Here's their Donation link.  Click through for yourself.  You'll see  riders who have already opened their hearts.  We send our sincere Gratitude and Thanks.  Donating to the DMHS cements the PDC commitment to assist local citizens and fosters Goodwill among the Desert Cities and Local Agencies.

Please reward DMHS Volunteers for supporting your ride by making a generous donation.  100% of the proceeds go directly to DMHS.  It's a wonderful way to support their ambitious student goals & programs.  Many Thanks!

4.  Rider Levels:  This 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 26th 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!  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.        

8.  Lodging Options:  Special pricing is available at a few nearby hotels.  All rooms and special prices are subject to room availability.  Now is the time to make your reservations.  These hotels sold out last year and will do so again.      

     a.  Host Hotel: Homewood Suites by Hilton, located adjacent to University Park
                               Availability is limited, book your rooms today! (8 rooms remain
                               as of 10-15-14).  Click here to book rooms.
     b.  Event Hotels:



            (1)  Hampton Inn & Suites, located 1/4 mile from Start/Finish.
                   Rider Special rates apply, based on availability.  Click here to book.
            (2)  Residence Inn by Marriott, about 1/2 mile from Start/Finish
                   No special rates offered.

            (3)  Courtyard by Marriott, about 1/2 mile from Start/Finish
                   No special rates offered.   

     c.  Lodging info, click here for details for each property.

9.  Palm Desert Jerseys:  


      a.  1st Production Run: The 1st run of jerseys was submitted to Voler on
           Sep 30, '14.  These jerseys will be available at the event.  Price $75. 

      b.  New Process!  After Sep 30, riders may purchase 2014 Palm Desert
           Century Jerseys directly from Voler (jersey manufacturer).  These jerseys
           will be mailed in one week, with free shipping!  Click here.  Price: $80.

       c.   Inventory:  A few jerseys will be for sale at the event.
             Price:  $80 (Fri) and $85 (Sat).  



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


11.   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 available. Price:  $22 pre-ordered, Fri & Sat: $25.



12.  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.


13.  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 (no charge) and draw a timing chip.  "Short Course" Riders are not eligible for the Time Trial, but may upgrade on Fri & Sat for $15.

14.  Super Century Option: 
We've received some questions on this. Here's how it works:  paid "Full Century" & "Full Century w/TT" 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 Rest Stop #3 at the start of Box Canyon Rd.  In order to ride up the hill a 2nd time, riders must be at the start (Rest Stop #3) NLT Noon.  All Super Century Riders need to insure their wristbands are marked (twice) at the Chiriaco Summit 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. 

15.  Club Challenge:  Competition among Clubs, Teams, and Organizations (Clubs) for most PDC registered riders.  Cash prizes for top two overall places!  Clubs must join Shadow Tour's Club Central program to be eligible for cash prizes.  Encourage your Club leaders to visit Club Central for more details about Club Discounts, Free Exposure, and the Club Challenge! 


16.  PDC Galleries:  Click here to visit the flash version of the Palm Desert Century course preview photos (photos courtesy of Armando Estrada).

     a.  2011 PDC Gallery:  Click here.  Photos courtesy of Armando Estrada
     b.  2012 PDC Gallery:  Click here.  Photos courtesy of SCS Photoworks,
                                             SCS Photoworks, Official Event Photographer.
     c.  2013 PDC Gallery:  Click here.  Photos courtesy of SCS Photoworks,
                                             SCS Photoworks, Official Event Photographer.

17.  Friend us on Facebook!

      Palm Desert Century Fan Page

      Shadow Tour Group


 Shadow Tour Staff & Volunteers are excited to see all of you this Saturday!

Let's all work together to keep everyone safe.  If you see a Palm Desert Century rider make a wrong turn, or appear to need help, please ask if they need a hand.  All PDC riders have a Silver, Gold, or Yellow wrist band and helmet numbers. Encourage & watch out for each other out on the course.

There are breathtaking views all along the Coachella Valley route.  Enjoy yourself, while you take on this "Earn it" century!  We wish you a Fun & Safe ride in the sun.

Thank you so much for joining us.  Roll it safely!



Jim Knight

Event Director/Managing Member
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