2017 Stagecoach Rider Instructions January Email

Email Sent Jan 26, '17


Official Charities:   
Shelter Valley Citizen's Corp:  Donation Link 
Imperial Valley Desert Museum (Ocotillo):   Donation Link  
     13th Annual
  Stagecoach Century
     and Time Trials


Date: Sat, Feb 18, 2017

  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, 100, and 150 miles.
152 Registered Riders


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13th Annual 2017
 Stagecoach Century

~~ and ~~
Solo/Tandem/Team Time Trials

Dear Sturdy Riders,


It's time to EARN YOUR SPURS!  Get ready to Saddle up & Kick Start your New Year at Stagecoach!  We Thank You for registering for the 13th Annual 2016 Stagecoach Century on Sat, Feb 18, '17, in Ocotillo, CA.  

The Stagecoach Century is a unique event, and requires careful preparation and respect of all participants.  To assist you, carefully read this email containing important pre-ride updates & tips. 

Everything below is also posted on the website.  The Final Rider Instructions summarize what every rider needs to know and contains the Course Map.  All riders must carefully study these instructions before starting.  Any last-minute changes will be posted in the "News" section of the Stagecoach webpage.

All Registered Riders will receive one more Rider Update Email about a week prior to the ride with any final updates and weather forecast info and recommendations.             

Stagecoach Countdown = 23 Days!

  We thank all Sponsors, Volunteers, and Affiliates who are essential to making Stagecoach possible. Please visit the Sponsor Corral at the bottom of this email for some great deals!  Always mention Stagecoach, for potential discounts at your bike shop.


Official Charities:  We proudly continue our long term Volunteer associations with the communities of Shelter Valley and Ocotillo as Official Charities for Stagecoach.  These outstanding Non-Profit Community organizations have provided fantastic support for Stagecoach riders since the very beginning.

For the 13th Annual Stagecoach, we wish to showcase & reward Volunteers from Ocotillo (Start/Finish) and Shelter Valley (Turnaround point).  Below are their special Donation links.  Please Donate to support their community projects.  To date, Online Rider Donations total $88.  Let's change that today!

          Desert Museum (Ocotillo):  Donate Now
          Shelter Valley Citizen's Corp:  Donate Now

Chip Timing: 
CEP Timing is returning to Stagecoach.  Full Century riders have the option (free) to receive a timing chip on Sat in Ocotillo.  Only the 100-mi course will be timed.  Riders must have their wristbands validated at the turnaround point (at mile 50), past Shelter Valley.  Timing Chips must be returned to the CEP Timing Booth in the Finish area.  There's an $85 replacement fee for lost or missing timing chips.  When approaching the Finish Line inside the Ocotillo Community Park, SLOW DOWN before making a safe Left turn from S2 into the park.  Listen to Volunteers and STOP, if instructed.  STOP immediately after crossing the Finish timing mat (which will be marked).  USE EXTREME CAUTION ENTERING THE FINISH AREA!    

Start Time:  On Sat, Feb 18th Time Trial riders (Team and Solo) launch first, from 7:00-7:10 A.M. on tight intervals (less than 30 sec). The rest of the field starts immediately after the last Time Trial rider rolls from 7:10 - 9:00 A.M.  Use extra care making the turn onto S2 out of the parking lot.

One Bite at a Time:  Recognize that riding a century in January is unusual.  We congratulate you on accepting the Stagecoach Challenge.  It's not an easy century, and weather can make it treacherous.  Plan your ride, and ride your plan!  Take it in small bites, Rest Stop-to-Rest Stop, or even hour-to-hour.  Cold, dry desert air can dehydrate you before you know it.  Rising afternoon temps will take a toll too.  Drink and eat at every Rest Stop!  Don't exceed your limits.   You may safely turn around at any point on the course.  Don't compare your June cycling to the February Stagecoach, they're  two different animals.  If this is your first Stagecoach, avoid fixation on making it to the turnaround.  You need to have enough reserves to ride all the way back to the Finish.  Watch out for each other, point out obstacles, stay to the right, ride single file, and be safe out there!   

Key Stagecoach Century Information:

    a.  Final Rider Instructions & Course Map:  Please study carefully.  Read on website, or Download here.
    b.  San Diego Waiver Form:  Save time at packet pick up!  Please print out, complete, date, sign, and bring to Fri/Sat packet pick up.  Download here.
    c.  Driving Map:  Basic map showing location of Ocotillo, CA.  Download here (don't confuse with Ocotillo Wells, which is over 60 miles away).

    d.  Rider Levels:  No-nonsense advice & tips for a variety of Stagecoach rider levels, Click here.

Packet Pick up Details:  Friday and Saturday options.  Riders may pick up friends' packets with written permission, such as a printed email authorizing release.

     a.  Fri, Feb 17, '17:  Noon - 8:00 P.M. at Host Hotel,
 Hampton Inn San Diego - Downtown, located at 1531 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA  92101 (map it).   Free 10-min parking.  Riders may register in-person, Cash or Credit Card.  Please call Nicole Perry at 619-652-4904 to book rooms at a Stagecoach Special rate, based entirely on availability.

     b.  Sat, Feb 18, '17:  6:00 - 9:00 A.M. Ocotillo Community Park, 266 West Imperial Hwy, Ocotillo, CA  92259 (map it).  Riders may register in-person.  Cash or Credit.  Portajohns are available onsite.  Arrival coffee & breakfast is provided by Ocotillo Volunteers. Donations are much appreciated & support the Desert Museum.

     c.  What to do at packet pick up:

      *  Complete San Diego Waiver & drop in Waiver Box
      *  Locate your Bib # on the posted Rider Lists
      *  Pick up Rider Packet
      *  Have ID ready

      *  Rider packet contains:  Helmet #, wristbands, rider instructions, and map.  Riders also receive a Custom Pin & pre-ordered optional items. Medals are given at Finish Line.

 Upgrades:  Riders may upgrade from Short Course to Long Course on Fri or Sat.  Cost is $15.

Host Hotel:  Shadow Tour welcomes back the Hampton Inn San Diego-Downtown as the Host Hotel for the Stagecoach Century. Hampton Inn offers Stagecoach riders special rates, based on availability.  Click here for details.

Detailed Driving Directions:  Here's a link to Googlemaps and a basic map showing the location of Ocotillo, CA.  Caution:  Do not confuse with "Ocotillo Wells", which is about 60 miles away from the Start/Finish!

 Ocotillo Exit off Interstate 8:  From the west, it's the Ocotillo exit right after the Calexico exit.  From the east, it's the Ocotillo/Imperial Hwy exit. Vol's/signs will guide you from the freeway exit to the Ocotillo Community Park approximately 2 miles north on S2. 

Restrooms in Ocotillo:  Portajohns will be positioned at the south end of the parking lot at the Ocotillo Community Park.  Sanitizing gels are available. If operational, two restrooms are available on the west side of the Community Park building.


Weather:   Forecasts will be posted on the website starting approximately one week prior to the event. 

     a.  Variable conditions:  Weather in the desert WILL vary widely.  Expect winds to shift around all along the route and to gust in the afternoon.  The north end of the course is about 15 degrees cooler than Ocotillo, due to its 2,200 ft elevation. 

     b.  Morning Chill:  Regardless of forecasted high temps, it WILL be cold in the morning.  See clothing below.  We do not recommend sleeping in a car overnight.  We've tried it in the past, the wind & cold temps make it very uncomfortable.

Clothing:  Wearing the right clothing is almost important as drinking plenty of Vitalyte/water, and replacing carbs!  Below is our recommended clothing plan:

     a.  Early A.M:  It will be cold in the morning.  We recommend starting with a high-tech base layer (not cotton!).  A jersey, bib shorts, arm and leg warmers, or tights, a wind-breaker, light weight/medium weight full finger gloves. and shoe toe-covers.

      b.  Mid-morning:  Most riders warm up on the 10.5 mi gradual climb up to Rest Stop 1, and down in the low elevations of Carizzo Badlands.  Have faith, almost all riders feel much better once the sun rises!

       c.  Lunch:  Shelter Valley is at mile 42.   We recommend riding past the Community Center to the turnaround point before stopping for lunch.  While eating lunch, remove outer layers.  The main food area is heated.  Don't camp out too long!  If it's chilly when you start riding, put your outer layer back on.  You should warm up before Rest Stop 7 (mile 75). 

      d.  Late afternoon:  Coming back through the low desert areas south of Agua Caliente and in the Badlands, if temps rise, you should remove arm/leg warmers, vest, and other outer layers.  Be sure to re-apply lip balm and sunscreen on exposed skin. See Rider Levels for many more tips.

Key Time Cut-offs:

      12:15 P.M.   Scissors Crossing closes (mile 45)
      1:00 P.M.     All riders must be returning to Ocotillo
      1:15 P.M.      Lunch in Shelter Valley closes
      5:00 P.M.     Course officially closes 

Time cut-offs insure riders are safely off S2 by 5:00 P.M. Darkness falls rapidly & temps plunge in the desert right at sunset. These deadlines are mandatory! All course support ceases at 5:00 P.M.


Bicycle Maintenance:  Stagecoach is absolutely no place to take chances on any worn bike parts.  If in doubt, get a tune-up.  Ask your mechanic to replace any questionable parts, especially tubes & tires!  Bike Shop Links:  San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County. Velofix Mobile Repair will be at the Start in Ocotillo and roaming the course.  Velofix owners, Paul Dunlap & Tom Cody, are happy to provide full tune-ups prior to the event at your home or office.  Use Promocode SC2017 to save 10%.

Frequently Asked Questions:  Here's the link to learn more about camping, Rest Stop items, parking, etc.

Referrals:  Please encourage your friends to join you at Stagecoach.   You may pass along the special Promocode SPURS20 to new riders (see coupon below). The promocode provides a special 20% discount.  A unique century, like Stagecoach, requires at least 500 riders to maintain the top-notch quality & service our riders expect.  Your referrals are vital to boosting the field size to 500 threshold.  Event Director Jim sends his most sincere gratitude to all who act on this referral request!

Jersey:  Voler is once again producing the optional Stagecoach jersey.  Riders who ordered jerseys prior to the Jan 8, '17 deadline will receive them at packet pick up.  A new process is now in place for riders to order the 2017 Stagecoach jersey directly from Voler,  using this link.  These jerseys will be mailed within 7 days, with free shipping.   A small quantity of jerseys will be for sale at the event.      

2017 Jersey Front
2017 Jersey Back
Rider Levels:  All registered riders are encouraged to visit and read the website section "Rider Levels".  It's a comprehensive resource for riders to learn about the course.  Specific tips & advice are provided for a wide variety of rider levels and objectives.  You'll also find a detailed course description & details relating to weather, including past weather data.  Future updates will include your comments and suggestions.                          


                                    Rider Levels   


Training:  It's important to build up for the ride now.  Translation:  get those training rides in!  With limited daylight, it can be challenging during the week.  But, on the weekends, shoot for rides of 2-4+ hours.


Previous Stagecoach Weather:                      

   2016:  Mild temps 47-69F, variable winds 2-8 mph
                Cool A.M. start. Sunny/High Clouds. Photos
   2015:  Warm temps 45-77F, variable winds 2-7 mph
                Cool early A.M. start.  Sunny & Mild.  Photos.  
   2014:  Warm temps 41-79F, variable winds 2-7 mph
                Cool early A.M. start.  Sunny & Mild.  Photos  
   2013:  Cool temps 36-55F, variable winds 1-9 mph,
               Sunny with cold early A.M. start.  Photos.
  Mild temps 43-68F, mild winds 3-5 MPH,
                gusts to 10 MPH.  Sunny & Nice.  Photos      
   2011:   Warm temps 46-79F, mild winds 3-8 MPH,
                 gusts to 8 MPH. Sunny & Warm.  Photos    
   2010:  Mild temps 49-74F, mild winds 3-5 MPH,
                gusts to 10 MPH.  Sunny & Warm.  Photos
   2009:  Warm temps 45-82 F, mild winds 3-5 MPH,
                gusts to 10 MPH, Sunny & Warm.  Photos
   2008:  Warm temps 48-74 F, mild winds 3-9 MPH,
                gusts to 15 MPH, Sunny & Warm.  Photos 
   2007:  Cold temps 28-42 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH,
               gusts to 15 MPH, Some Sun/Cold.  Photos 
   2006:  Mild temps 48-65 F, sustained winds 10-12,
                gusts to 20-25 MPH, Sunny/Windy. Photos 
   2005:  Mild temps 50-70 F, mild winds 5-10 MPH,
                Sunny/Warm.  Photos


Photos Galleries:  A picture is worth a 1,000 words.  Please visit the galleries from past rides to get a sense for the course and what the weather was like.  Photos are courtesy of SCS Photoworks, Sport Action Photos, and Brightroom.

     Stagecoach Course Preview (flash)
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.  For 2015, more than ever, we need your referrals to encourage more riders to accept the Stagecoach challenge by registering for the event.

     a.  Facebook:  Below is a link to the Stagecoach Facebook page.  We invite you to become a Fan of Stagecoach and invite your friends to join.  It's a great way to share stories, post photos, and join discussions.

                             Facebook page

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                             Register Now

Sponsor Corral:

Nite Rider:  Nite Rider is a Shadow Tour series Sponsor.  Please friend us on Facebook and learn more about our complete line of Technical Lighting products.

Holland Cycles: Master Frame builder, Bill Holland, designs, measures, and builds your Holland bicycle optimized for your unique dimensions, geometry, and riding style. Call Bill, Charles, or Cody to learn more at 619-469-1772.

Hampton Inn San Diego-Downtown:  We're proud to announce the Host Hotel for the 2015 Stagecoach is the Hampton Inn San Diego-Downtown, located near the airport, with onsite temporary parking for riders to pick up packets on Fri, Jan 15, Noon - 8:00 P.M.  Special rates may still be available, based on current room availability.  Visit Stagecoach website for more details.       

Impact Foto:  Official Stagecoach photographer.


Velofix Mobile Repair:  Will be at Stagecoach providing Mechanic & SAG support.  Velofix specializes in all bicycles, from a child's first bike to high-end triathlon & Road bikes.  Call owner Paul Dunlap to set up an appointment at 760-978-9622.  Velofix is 100% mobile and will come to your home or office. Stagecoach Special: Save 10% with Promocode SC2017 

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Mother Nature provides the biggest challenges at Stagecoach, such as low morning temps, pesky variable winds, low humidity, and possible showers .  Bring extra layers of clothing, including shoe toe covers and long finger gloves, just in case!  Stay hydrated right from the start by drinking plenty of water & Vitalyte, both are available for resupply at all Rest Stops.  And remember, the name of the game is forward progress!  Avoid camping out too long at Rest Stops. 

As always, please ride defensively with traffic, point out hazards & obstacles to your cycling buddies following behind you, stay to the right of the white line, be on high alert at all times, and always watch out for the unexpected! 


Giddy Up!




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



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Rope in your Friends to join the Stampede! Registering now for the 13th Annual 2017 STAGECOACH CENTURY on Sat, Feb 18, '17 in Ocotillo, CA.   We're pleased to offer a very special referral discount to past Shadow Tour riders and members of the Interest List.  Sign up Today & Save!


Enter promocode SPURS20 (all caps) when you register online.  It's the last step, so be careful not to miss it. Active.com software is case-sensitive. The promocode is also valid for Mail-in and Walk-up Registrations. The discount applies to entry fee only. May not be combined with other offers, and is not retro-active.

Deadline for SPURS20 is Noon PST Feb 18th, 2017!

Offer Expires:  Noon (PST), Sat, Feb 18, '17