2016 Stagecoach Round-up

Email sent Jan 21, '16

     12th Annual
  Stagecoach Century
     and Time Trials


Date: Sat, Jan 16, 2016

  Ocotillo, CA
(80 mi east of San Diego, just off I-8, Driving Map

Start: 7:00 - 9:00 A.M.
Distances:  26, 50, 73, 84, 90, and 100 miles.
           266 Final
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12th Annual 2016 Stagecoach Century
~~ and ~~
Solo/Tandem/Team Time Trials

Dear Stagecoach Rider,

The 12th Annual Stagecoach Century is now safely part of Wild West history. The 2016 Stagecoach will be remembered as the day Stagecoach Riders tamed the Wild West.  This year's Stampede featured Plenty of Sunshine & Mild temps with relatively Calm Winds all day.

This Round-up email/Event Director Report summarizes the highlights of the 12th Annual Stagecoach Century.

     *  Full Century Finishers List, click here
     *  Solo & Team Time Trial Results, click here
     *  Last Chance Jersey order, see below
     *  Last Chance T-shirt inventory, see below
     *  2016 Stagecoach Gallery (Prelim), click here
     *  Desert Museum (Ocotillo Vol's):  Donation Link
     *  Shelter Valley Citizen's Vol's:  Donation Link
We send our most Sincere Gratitude to all Stagecoach Riders, Vol's, and Sponsors. In particular, we thank the Imperial Valley Desert Museum Vol's (Ocotillo/Dr. Neal Hitch) for hosting the Start, Finish & Rest Stop #1. And the Shelter Valley Citizen's Corp (Ed Genest) Volunteers for hosting Rest Stops #3, #4, #5, and the Lunch Stop. Many Thanks also to the San Diego Knickerbikers (Merle Vogel) at the "Wild West" Rest Stop #2.

This year, 266 Registered Riders accepted the Stagecoach challenge. The field included riders from 16 States, including AZ, CA, CO, HI, MA, MN, MT, NV, NJ, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, VA, and WA.  Thanks for making the journey to Stagecoach.  Hope your friends in colder climates enjoyed your sunny & warm photos!

On Saturday, 225 riders arrived and rolled onto the course, with 195 Full Course, and 30 Short Course riders. Preliminary results show a strong 129 riders, or 66.1%, completed the Full Century. That number will likely rise. Here's the link to the Full Century Finishers List.  Riders who registered for the Full Century, completed it, but did not check in with the Timing Booth, or if your name is missing, please email Jim with your Bib#/Name in the subject line. The Full Century Finishers List will be updated until Jan 31st, when the list is FINAL and no additions will be made.

Special Congrat's to Karen Finkelstein & Courtney Krehbiel, from Carlsbad, CA, on completing their 29th (of 30) Shadow Tour Century rides.  Giddy up! 

More Sturdy Veteran Shadow Tour Finishers included:

     Robert Shellhorn, Yorba Linda, CA (16)
     Dave Moser, Valley Center, CA (16)
     Bob Harting, San Diego, CA (14)
     Kyle Freitas, Escondido, CA (13)
     Syd Wilson, Phoenix, AZ (13)
     Robert Whyte, Mission Viejo, CA (12)
     Rick Stewart, Vista (12)
     Michael Hodges, San Diego, CA (11)
     Andrew Fichthorn, Poway, CA (11)
     Rex Farnsworth, Redondo Beach, CA (10)
     Christian Bartle, Plactentia, CA (10)
Honorary "Stagecoach Sheriff" Rick Stewart, extended his perfect attendance streak to 12 Stagecoach Centuries!  Rick is the only rider completing all January Stagecoach Centuries.

The 2016 Stagecoach Rider List also included: 

     6  Riders with 10+ Stagecoach Centuries
     5  Riders with 9 Stagecoach Centuries
     4  Riders with 8 Stagecoach Centuries
     6  Riders with 7 Stagecoach Centuries
     11 Riders with 6 Stagecoach Centuries
     15 Riders with 4 Stagecoach Centuries
     16 Riders with 3 Stagecoach Centuries
     46 Riders with 2 Stagecoach Centuries

Note:  Riders may verify past Stagecoach rides, as well as other events, by reviewing past Rider Lists

Regardless of distance ridden, or previous Shadow Tour participation, Congratulations to all Stagecoach riders on your personal achievement! Stagecoach is most certainly an EARN IT! century. Most cyclists have heard of Stagecoach; either by direct participation, or by intimidating reputation. Fear & Respect ride side-by-side at Stagecoach--just ask riders from 2006 (Big Wind), or 2007 (Big Chill), or 2013 (Chill Zone). 2016 Riders knew all this going in, and still accepted the challenge head-on, with eyes wide open. We couldn't be more proud of YOU! Thanks for participating in Stagecoach.

The 2016 12th Anniversary ride will be known as the day the Wild West was tamed for a day! Mother Nature's gift to Stagecoach riders was a delightful spring-like weather interlude in January. Temps were in the mid 40's F at the start, rising to 69F by late afternoon. Even more remarkable, were the calm winds, especially since 40 mph gusts were blowing all day Friday! Surely every rider felt some wind out there. But contrasting with past blustery & sustained winds from the North of 10-15 mph, gusting to 30+ mph (and beyond!), this was absolutely a "calm" wind day.

Riders arrived in exceptionally high spirits on Sat! Riders heeded safety warnings, dressed warmly, and did their homework ahead of time. Most actually read the emails & Final Rider Instructions. Bravo! Riders pointed out hazards and rode (mostly!) single file, and well to the right. There was a fantastic Full Century 66% Full Century Finish rate AND NO MAJOR INCIDENTS OR ACCIDENTS!

Nice weather aside, conditions at Stagecoach have never been "easy" and likely never will be.  If weather didn't zap you, the dry desert air, maddening swirling winds, micro-bursts, and wind devils, were all out there, chipping away.  The course itself is a tough 100-mile route with 5,139 feet of climbing--heavily front-loaded, in mid-Jan, when few riders are at peak form.  There was that cranky & cool early 10.5-mile climb up to Canyon Sin Nombre & the Carizzo Badlands Overlook.  Then that gnarly Campbell Grade "Wall" at mile 30, followed by a grinder climb to the course high point, 2,685 ft el, past Box Canyon.  The San Felipe Grade took it's toll for 4.4 miles to the turnaround point.  Then came the downright nasty Sweeney Pass Climb with it's hairpin turn at mile 87.  Finally, like a sweet & sour desert, came the always fun, bone-rattling, 96th mile.  Giddy Up!

All of this is what gives Stagecoach its special character, and make it even more Worthwhile, Meaningful, and Rewarding.  The Stagecoach Finisher's Medal can only be EARNED with enormous Determination, Commitment, and Effort.  Coincidentally, the very same traits associated with success in all walks of life.  We hope Stagecoach will rank as one of your most memorable and positive 2016 cycling experiences.  


Many riders asked about the email indicating this may be the final Stagecoach Century (in it's present form). You deserve an explanation.  Many cycling events have emerged over the 12 years of Stagecoach.  Some rides promote beer gardens, or large marching bands. Others copy various European ride themes. While popularity of those events varies widely, the cumulative effect has eroded participation at Stagecoach and other high quality "pure-play" rides. Stagecoach has always been a "Rider's Century". The focus is on delivering an exceptional cycling experience on a Scenic & Challenging course. On roads less traveled--just 2 stop signs, and low vehicular traffic.

Stagecoach's high production costs, with all it's embedded features, has risen every single year, yet participation has declined. To level with you: Keeping Stagecoach in it's present form requires at least 600 Riders.

A potential sale of Stagecoach to a high quality producer is currently being considered.  However, nothing is final.  I have received numerous offers to assist with promotion from riders in the field and beyond.

I'm confident a 2017 Stagecoach Century will happen on this route!  I promise to keep you informed.  Please feel free to send me you input.  Especially what event elements need to be added, or subtracted to improve rider attendance.   

If you wish to become a Stagecoach Ambassador, have promotional suggestions, or know of a Company, Organization, or even Individual, that may have interest in Stagecoach Sponsorship, please feel free to contact me directly.

Thanks for a great 12 years of Stagecoach!

  Jim Knight
  Event Director

Stagecoach Time Trial Report:

The Stagecoach Time Trial was timed using high tech timing chips by CEP Timing.  Owner Jason Kornetsky, Official Timer of the El Tour de Tucson, was personally onsite to time the event.  Jason also times our Palm Desert Century.  Preliminary Results are  posted here.  Results go Final on Fri, Jan 22, '16.

Timed riders posted solid times up & down the Great Southern Overland again this year.  In addition, for only the 2nd time, one rider completed the 150-Mile "Super Century".  Ben Hian, Carlsbad, CA conquered the ultimate Stagecoach Beast.  Along the way, Ben posted a 5:17 on the 1st Century, good for 3rd Place Male Overall! Well done Ben, you told me you could do it, then you rolled out there & did it in grand style! 

On the Women's side, Lina Ramos, La Jolla, CA, stampeded through the course for her 4th time, defending her Championship, and narrowly missing her own Course Record (5:21:09) set in 2015, with a time of 5:23:37.  That's 4 starts, 4 wins, 3 Course Records!  She also placed 4th Overall in the field!  2nd Place Women's Finisher was Anna Buster, from San Diego, CA, in 5:55:02.  3rd Place Solo Women's Finisher went to Laleaque Grad, San Deigo, CA, in 7:13:22.  Way to kick it Ladies!

On the Men's side, all 3 top Men's Finishers posted times under last year's Winning Time of 5:18!  Men's Overall Champion, Henry Moreno, Anaheim, CA, posted a gutsy Solo Winning Time of 5:08:49.  He was followed by Veteran 2nd Place finisher, James Patrick Ragan, San Bernardino, CA, in 5:15:53, improving upon his 2015 time of 5:19.  "Super Century" Finisher, Ben Hian, Carlsbad, CA, secured 3rd Place in 5:17:56.

The Open Team Time Trials were dominated by two teams for Canyon Velo Bicyling Club.  Team Canyon Velo Mixed (Christy Frazelle, Anaheim Hills, CA, Ed Kissee, Orange, CA, Glen Wells, Placentia, CA and previous Stagecoach Solo Champion Paul Leek, Laguna Niguel, CA) raced to top honors on the Men's side with a tremendous 4:58:51 Official Finishing Time.  They were followed in a near photo finish by Team Velo Canyon, who placed 2nd in 5:01:29.  Post-race, both teams basked in a happy post-race glow & mingled with other top finishers near the Finish Chute for about 30 minutes.

Another noteworthy effort was posted by Mixed Tandem Defending Champions, Team Rev Endurance Cycling.  Lori Hoechlin, Costa Mesa, CA & George Vargas, San Marco, CA, smashed through with a winning time of 5:05:06, eclipsing their own 2015 winning time of 5:11:44.  Last year, George was rebounding from a devastating fracture injury sustained in a 2014 crash.  This year, he valiantly battled the "creeping crud cough".  George & Lori are Champion level Ultra Endurance cyclists, as individuals, and Mixed Tandem.

Congrat's to all Champions! 

SCS Photoworks was the Official event photographer.  Unfortunately, Scott Stolarz experienced car trouble on his way to the event, and was unable to make other arrangements.  He sends his regrets to all riders.

Last Chance for Stagecoach Jerseys!  You EARNED IT!, now's your chance to fly the colors.  Only two 2016 Stagecoach Century jersey remain in stock (Wz Lg & Mz 2XL), please visit store to see all available sizes for past event jerseys.

For 2014, 2015, and 2016 Stagecoach, ALL JERSEY SIZES may be purchased through a new process directly through Voler. Please visit this link to the Voler online store.  They ship your jersey within one week and shipping is free! Here's the link.     
Last Chance "Tec" T-shirts:  There are a few remaining 2014, 2015, and 2016 Stagecoach Century Hanes Cool Dri tagless Tec T-shirts remaining in inventory. There's a wide selection of Palm Desert Century T's as well.  Please visit the General Store for details.  These custom "Tec" T-shirts are Full-Color front, B&W logos on back, extra wide 14 inch screening.  "Tec" T-shirts are the state-of-the art for comfort, wicking properties, and rapid dry interlocking fabric.  Extremely comfortable 4.1 oz.  Leaves traditional cotton T's in the dust.  The print colors stay bright virtually forever.  It's a perfect base layer for year-round cycling.  Women's sizes have a tapered cut.  The first time you pull on a Tec T, you'll understand what the buzz is all about!  To order, please call Jim at 858-692-6220 to inquire about sizes and make Credit Card payment.  Price is $25/T-shirt, which includes tax.  1st Come, 1st Served!   


Volunteer Donations:


The Volunteers for this year's ride were primarily from the local communities at the Start/Finish (Ocotillo) and the halfway point (Shelter Valley).  Both of these communities have been involved in all 12 of the January Stagecoach Century rides, plus 2 Spring editions. 

Many riders expressed their gratitude at the ride and placed cash in the donation jars.  For the rest, please think back to the ride:  Wasn't it nice having experienced Volunteers at every single Rest Stop?  How about those progressive pots of Coffee,  Hot Chicken Noodle Soup & Chili at the turn?  And a warm Community Center to enjoy your lunch.  For riders needing a lift back, pretty cool to have Vol's standing by for that too, right?  Then, at the Finish Line, you were Welcomed Home to cheers, cowbells & whistles, then got your Finisher's Medal handed to you (instead of going to a booth), and you were handed a cup of water before leaving the finish chute.  Finish Line Vol's also insured you were recorded as a Full Century Finisher.  And for those with timing chips, the Vol's had your back again.  Stagecoach Vol's were onsite from before 5:00 A.M, until well after dark, working the event.  They also held meetings and made coordinations weeks and months in advance.

They Care About YOU! 

Currently, total rider 2016 Donations to Shelter Valley & Ocotillo are under $300.  Let's turn that around!  Please click on the links below and do what you can.  A little goes a long way.  These groups are 501(c)3 Non Profits.  No part of your donation goes to Shadow Tour, LLC. 

           Thanks for your Generous Support!

    Desert Museum (Ocotillo Vol's):  Donation Link
    Shelter Valley Citizen's Vol's:  Donation Link    

Next up on the Shadow Tour ride calendar is the 6th Annual Palm Desert Century on Sat, Nov 12, '16.  Registration will open soon!



Referrals:  Stagecoach is a unique event in many ways.  Our #1 source of new riders comes from previous riders telling their friends.  We are very proud of this.  We need your referrals to encourage more riders to participate in Shadow Tour century rides.  Please forward this email to any of your friends who may be interested in joining one of our rides.


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Sponsor Corral:

JL Velo:  JL Design is a family owned and operated company that started back in 1983 in our garage. We now operate from our solar paneled factory in Santa Ana, California. Our garments are 100% cut, printed, and sewn in CA. We make high quality custom apparel for cycling, rowing, and track and field for teams and companies worldwide using recycled and Bluesign fabrics.  We are known for quality and fit, offering custom sizing on every garment we make. We will have jacket, arm and leg warmers, jersey, bibs for sale.  Check us out at JLVelo.com.   
SCS Photoworks: Official Stagecoach photographer.

Traction Bicycles Mobile Repair:  Was at Stagecoach providing Mechanic & SAG support. Traction Bicycles specializes in all bicycles, from a child's first bike to high-end tri-bikes. Call owner Matt McDaniel for an appointment at 619-379-5150. 

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A most sincere, "Thank You" and "Congrat's" to all hearty 2016 Stagecoach Riders.  We're already hard at work preparing for the 6th Annual Palm Desert Century.  We invite your to join us on the Start Line for another desert classic on Sat, Nov 12th, '16 in Palm Desert!



Jim Knight
Event Director 

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



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                           2016 Stagecoach Century
         Overall TTT Champions, Team Canyon Velo
              Stagecoach PNG  




Score "Best Deal" prices by registering now for the
on Sat, Nov 12, '16 in Palm Desert, CA.  We're pleased to offer a special discount to past Shadow Tour riders and members of the Interest List.  Sign up Today & Save!

Enter promocode PALM10 when you register online.  It's the last step, so use care not to miss it. The promocode is also valid for Walk-up Registrations. The discount applies to entry fee only.  May not be combined with other offers, and is not retro-active.

"Best Deal" Deadline is Midnight, Feb 28, '16 (PST)   

Promocode Expires:  9:00 A.M. (PST), Sat, Nov 12, '16
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