2007 Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century Round up

Jan 19, 2007

Thanks and congratulations to all riders who braved unusually cold temperatures out on the Great Southern Overland Stagecoach Route of 1849 this past Saturday.  The 2007 Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century had a final total of 1,044 Registered Riders.  Exactly 949 riders picked up their rider packets--the vast majority of whom started and completed varying distances.  Some of the fastest riders, like Jonathan Shannon, Bib#682, all the way from NY, NY, reported an outstanding time of 5:00:54, and local speedster, Tony Darr, #705, from El Centro, CA, reported a fast 5:02:37; while our good friend and two-time Stagecoach veteran, Michael Cornish, Bib#344, completed the entire course this year and reported he was our final official finisher in a time as yet undisclosed (low light conditions may have been in play).
Grouchy low temperatures and associated wind chill were difficult for everyone: riders, volunteers, and staff.  Our Shadow Tour operational systems were impacted by the chilly conditions too.  Nothing was routine for our volunteers, staff, or riders.  What was normally easy and fun was made challenging and complicated by the unexpected and dramatic overnight change in weather.  We hope our riders understand that all volunteers and members of the Shadow Crew did their best to make the ride as enjoyable as possible.  We sincerely appreciate the many kind emails we have received and welcome constructive comments and suggestions for improvements in the future.  A few cyclists picked the ride apart out on the blogs.  Though some of the comments were inaccurate or overblown, we took good notes and will still treat accurate observations as constructive for next year’s ride preparations. 
Brightroom Photography will soon post rider photos online and notify you when your digital images are available.  We are pleased to report thousands of images were taken along the course.  And because Stagecoach Riders correctly placed their helmet stickers and bike bib numbers on the front, Brightroom has informed us nearly all photos will be accurately identified and posted online.
A picture is definitely worth a thousand words.  After seeing a few advance photos, like the shots below, I'm sure you will find the images highly representative of your magnificent effort.  Snow-frosted mountains in the background serve as proof of the tough conditions.  Much more personal are the facial expressions revealing all the emotions associated with personal discomfort, but also reflecting determination and a sense of humor intact, despite adverse circumstances.  Here's the direct link:  http://www.brightroom.com/view_event.asp?EVENTID=15022 
Once again Thank You for your participation.  We apologize for the difficult weather conditions and for anything we missed on the support side.  Hosting a century ride on this remote stretch of road comes with built-in operational and physical obstacles.  Virtually no telephone communications are available along the route, so even the simplest real-time operational requirement requires extra time and coordination.  Regardless of the many barriers, the rewards are great in the forms of low vehicle traffic, world-class natural scenery, and (we hope) shared positive memorable experiences with friends.  We understood and accepted all of this in 2004 when we decided to produce the first Stagecoach Century.  Nothing has changed since then and we intend to continue hosting a ride on this amazing stretch of road for many years to come.

Our sincere gratitude also goes out to Wells Fargo Bank, Clif Bar, The Holiday Inn, the communities of Ocotillo and Shelter Valley, Aids/Lifecycle (Rest Stop 1/7), Knickerbikers (Rest Stop 2/6), San Diego Century Riders (Rest Stop 3/5), our many individual volunteers, friends and family members who willingly donated their time and worked tirelessly in support of this ride.

We look forward to having you join us on future rides, such as the Old Highway 80 Century, May 12th, 2007, and the Salton Sea Century, October 20th, 2007.  We have some highly innovative upgrades in mind for our future events, so please stay tuned.  We hope you have a safe and enjoyable riding year.  Thanks and best wishes.

Jim and Larry
Managing Members

Photo credit: Matt Benedict / brightroom.com

Photo Credit:  Jean Anderson, Shelter Valley, CA

Photo Credit:  Shadow Tour, LLC