Introducing the Old Highway 80 Century

» posted by jeknight2 on March 13, 2006 at 11:24 pm


There’s still time for big discounts! Early bird sign-up ends Apr 14th, 2006 Entries start at just $55! 100/50/25 Mile Routes.  Pristine high desert ride during  ideal summer weather conditions Only six stop signs make the ride a dream.  Full lunch and 6 well-stocked rest stops along the route.  Free access to the Desert Tower complex.

The ride will be held Saturday, June 17th, 2006, Pine Valley, CA.  Located about 45 miles east of San Diego, just off Interstate 8.  Ride start window is 6 to 8 A.M. and the course closes at 5 P.M.  We invite you to visit our website and read all about it. It has many great features such as safe, low traffic roads, fantastic natural scenery, enthusiastic local support and cool volunteers. We also appreciate and encourage you to help us spread the word to all your friends about this cool new ride.

Best Wishes, Jim and Larry

Pictures of cool sites along Old Highway 80

» posted by webmaster on March 11, 2006 at 11:47 pm

Railroad Trestle/Rest Stop #2

Desert Tower Water Rest Stop #3

Jacumba Lunch/Rest Stop #4

Reverse Angle Railroad Trestle

View south over Tecate Divide into Mexico

Nine of the twenty-five windmills as seen from Old Highway 80

View south 300 feet from Mexican border as entering Jacumba

View east from the Desert Tower, toward desert floor and Ocotillo

Final Rider Instructions 2006 Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century

» posted by jeknight2 on January 12, 2006 at 9:40 pm

Hi to all Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century Riders!

Here are a few final rider instructions based upon your feedback and questions to us.

1.  Packet Pickup:  No packets were mailed in advance.  Eveyone will need to pick up their packets on either Friday or Saturday. You may have your packet picked up by someone else, but they will need a some form of permission.  A simple email works fine.  Just send an email to your friend giving them permission to pick up your packet.  They can print out the email and take it to the packet pick up area on either Friday at the Holiday Inn Select in San Diego (595 Hotel Circle South) or on Saturday in Ocotillo at the Registration Tent.

2.  Weather:  Current forecast calls for High of 72F and Low of 40F, with partly cloudy skies, 0% chance of precipitation (Yeah Baby!) and winds SW at 5 MPH.

3.  Parking:  Carpooling is highly recommended.  Please follow the directions of the CHP Officers and parking volunteers   There are several NO PARKING areas in Ocotillo, such as the Post Office and some businesses, so please watch for the No Parking signs.

4.  Start Times:  Not a mass start.  We have an open start window from 7 to 9 A.M.  So its up to you when to roll off onto the course.  Just be mindful of the course closure at 4 P.M. and plan your start time accordingly  Also, at 1 P.M. whereever you are out on the course, you need to be heading back to the Start/Finish in Ocotillo--that means you should be heading SOUTH back to Ocotillo at 1 P.M. in order to get back before dark.

5.  Rest Stops:  All are well-stocked and included in your entry fee.  Be sure to wear the American Flag wrist bracelets in your packets.  There are also two stores along the course and sodas available at the lunch stop in Shelter Valley, so you might want to carry a few dollars with you.

6.  Spaghetti Feed:  Mindy is hosting an All-You-Can-Eat spaghetti meal at the finish line in Ocotillo for just $5.  The proceeds benefit the community.

7.  Jerseys:  If you signed up by November 30th, 2005, you will receive your jersey in your packet.  Everyone else will receive their jerseys in the mail in about 6 to 8 weeks.  If you want to purchase extra jerseys, or T-shirts, they will be available at the help desk in Ocotillo in the Ocotillo Community Center.

8.  Safe Riding:  Watch for and heed signs and volunteers instructions.  Ride single file, stay to the right, and obey all traffic laws.

9.  Scenery:  Hey, this is as good as it gets!  We encourage you to really take it all in--you will travel over and through numerous eco-zones, so hope you will have time to take it all in!


Jim & Larry
Managing Partners
Shadow Tour, LLC

Rider Instructions 2006 Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century

» posted by jeknight2 on January 6, 2006 at 11:44 pm

2006 Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century
January 14th, 2006
Ocotillo to Shelter Valley, California
WELCOME to the 2006 Wells Fargo Stagecoach Century.  We’re glad that you are participating in “America’s First Ride”; we have done all we can to make this the safest, most beautiful, well-run cycling event on the planet. The following points are for your safety and comfort.  Note the ride will take place RAIN OR SHINE.  For those who registered after the November 30, 2005 early registration deadline, you probably will not receive a jersey in your registration packet on Friday or Saturday.  No worries, it will be produced after the event in the second production run and mailed directly to you within 6 to 8 weeks.
1.       PARKING:  There will be an on-duty CHP officer and four teams of parking volunteers to guide you from the moment you exit Interstate 8 at the Ocotillo exit.  With well over 1,000 riders at this year’s event, we ask for your patience in this important first challenge of your Wells Fargo Stagecoach Ride experience.  Volunteers will have flashlights and reflective vests.  The teams will be directing vehicle parking simultaneously into numerous parking lots situated throughout the little town of Ocotillo.  Carpooling is highly recommended.  All parking lots are within about 1,000 feet of the Ocotillo Community Center, so don’t worry if you are directed to go past the registration tent.  Try and park your vehicles reasonable close to each other and be careful.   For safety reasons no parking in front of the Ocotillo Community Center.
2.       PACKET PICK-UP:  We’re pleased to offer all riders two options:  You may pick up your ride packet on Friday from 4:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. at the Holiday Inn Select in San Diego, located at 595 Hotel Circle South.  It’s located just off Interstate 8 in Mission Valley—you can see it from the freeway.  Alternatively, you may pick up your packet on Saturday morning in Ocotillo at the registration tent located right next to the Ocotillo Community Center from 6 A.M. to 9 A.M. From the exit off Interstate 8, the Ocotillo Community Center is about 500 yards due north on the left.  The registration volunteers have worked very hard to prepare for your arrival, so please hang in there as they quickly get everyone checked in.
3.       SAN DIEGO COUNTY WAIVERS:  We are required to have every rider complete and sign a San Diego County waiver ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT.  This is in addition to the waiver you signed online or on your application.  And yes, we already tried to integrate their waiver into ours, but no luck, so to get the permit, we are required to have all of you complete and sign the San Diego County Waiver on Saturday morning.  Volunteers will direct you to the tables where you can complete these waivers.  Thanks for understanding.
4.       REST STOP ITEMS:  All rest stops will have the following standard items:
      Fresh Water in sealed one-gallon containers
      Hammer HEED (similar to Gatorade, with less sugar) served premixed in 5-gallon containers
      Hammer Gel packs
      “Who’s Your Daddy” King of Energy Drink (similar to Red Bull)
      Variety of Clif Bars
      E-Caps (salt tabs, plus potassium and magnesium)
      Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
      Fig Newtons
      Red Vines
      Trail Mix or Pretzels
      Cryogel (Vita-minerals topical analgesic)
      Suntan Lotion
      First Aid Kits
      Port-a-Johns or limited restrooms
      Floor Pumps
      Limited supply of tubes
      Course maps and info (ask volunteers)
      Great Local Volunteers
            All standard rest stop items, plus:         
            Cattle Drive Chili Con Carne (served hot)
            Sodas (on sale to benefit the Shelter Valley Girl Scouts)
            Deserts (donated by the Shelter Valley Community)
            Designated bicycle parking areas
6.   DISK JOCKEY/ANNOUNCER:  A professional DJ/Announcer will be announcing and playing upbeat tunes all day at the Start/Finish line. Be sure to stop by and talk to Mark, our DJ/Announcer.
7.  MINI-EXPO:  On Saturday, various sponsors and vendors will be setting up near the disk jockey/announcer canopy.  Everyone is invited to stop by and check them out.
8.    ROVING SAG:  There will be two roving mechanics with vehicles out on the course along with several volunteers to help with flats and mechanical issues.  There will also be one ambulance on the course at all times.
9.    RV PARKING:  Mindy has made her vacant lot available on Friday for overnight dry RV parking.  There is space for about 20 vehicles, on a first-come, first-served, basis.  The price is right too—FREE!  There are additional places to park RV’s toward Plaster City and along S2 within 10-15 miles of the start in Ocotillo.
10.  VOLUNTEERS:  Almost all volunteers are from Ocotillo and Shelter Valley, so we are riding in their backyard.  Please be friendly and courteous—we simply could not put on this ride without their approval and support.  As a strong display of local support, we received unanimous approval from Ocotillo and Shelter Valley town councils in planning this ride. 
1.  WRISTBANDS:  Please affix the attached wristband to either wrist. It serves as your “ticket” to all rest stops and lunch.  It will be stamped at the Shelter Valley lunch stop.  PS:  Bandits don’t wear wristbands…
2.  HELMETS:  You must wear a Snell-approved helmet at all times while riding.  Please ride on the right side of the road, preferably single file. BE CAUTIOUS ON THE DESCENTS, some include very quick switchbacks.  Watch for signs and listen to the course marshals and obey traffic laws at all times.
3.  ROUTES:  This ride is an out-and-back course.  The three rest stops support riders going out and coming back and account for six great opportunities to re-hydrate, eat, and get course info from volunteers.
              Rest Stop 1  Badlands (mile 12)           AND     Rest Stop 6 (mile 88)
              Rest Stop 2  Agua Caliente (mile 26)    AND     Rest Stop 5 (mile 74)
              Rest Stop 3  Box Canyon (mile 39)       AND     Rest Stop 4 (mile 61)
              LUNCH STOP Shelter Valley (mile 46 of 92 miler; mile 50 of 96 miler; mile 54 of 100 miler)
The course is configured to allow you to ride any of the following distances with full support.
            25 miles:    To Rest Stop 1 and back.
            52 miles:    To Rest Stop 2 and back.
            78 miles:    To Rest Stop 3 and back.
            92 miles:    To Lunch Stop and back.
            96 miles:    To Scissors Crossing (Route 78) and back.
            100 miles:  To Scissors Crossing, back to Lunch Stop, return to Scissors, return to Lunch Stop.
Orange traffic cones, signs, spray chalk on the pavement, and traffic monitors will direct you; NOTE THAT THE ENTIRE COURSE IS ON ROUTE S2.  No turns and only one rusty stop sign--AS ADVERTISED!
4.  STORES:  Rest Stop 2 is located at Julie’s Country Store at Agua Caliente at mile 26.  The Butterfield Ranch store is at outgoing mile 31, and the Stagecoach Trails Store is at outgoing mile 44.  If you want sodas, Gatorade, or items not provided at the Rest Stops, carry some money with you. We, of course, will provide plenty of food items and water. Sodas can be purchased at the lunch stop (benefiting the Shelter Valley Girl Scouts) and at the finish line in Ocotillo.
5.  FLOOR PUMPS:  Floor pumps will be available at each Rest Stop and the Lunch Stop.
6.  SAG SUPPORT:  Limited SAG vehicles with bike racks will be roaming the course. Wave them down if you have a mechanical failure or need to be sagged back to the start.
7.  LUNCH:  Riders riding less than the 92-mile loop, who did not have their wristbands stamped at the Lunch Stop (because they didn’t ride that far) will receive a free chili lunch (same as provided at the Shelter Valley Lunch stop) at the Ocotillo Community Center at the Start/Finish starting at 10 AM by showing their unstamped wristband.
8.  COURSE CLOSURE:  THE ENTIRE COURSE CLOSES AT 4 PM to avoid darkness.  At 1:00 PM, wherever you are on the course, you need to be heading south, back to the start/finish in Ocotillo.  Please follow our volunteer’s instructions regarding closing times.  SAG vehicles will begin picking up riders at 4 PM.  Please plan your start time and turnaround time to avoid SAG pickups, as we have only two vehicles.
9.       POST-RIDE SPAGHETTI FEED:  The Ocotillo Town Council is hosting an all-you-can-eat Spaghetti Dinner at the Finish Line to raise funds for their Museum. You are invited to attend this dinner, which is scheduled to begin at 1:00 P.M.; the cost is just 5 bucks per person. Say Hi to Mindy!
10.    VOLUNTEERS:   Please be courteous to our COOL VOLUNTEERS.  Most are locals, so it’s definitely OK to thank them out on the course for donating their free time to make your ride safe and enjoyable.
THANKS AND CONGRATS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE 2006 WELLS FARGO STAGECOACH CENTURY.  We hope to see you next year for an even bigger and more elaborate ride. We appreciate your feedback and are particularly interested in your suggestions with regard to opportunities to improve your ride experience. Please email your comments to us through our website
Jim and Larry
Managing Members

Team Yak repeats at 2005 Furnace Creek 508

» posted by jeknight2 on November 11, 2005 at 10:57 pm

The 2005 Team Yak stamped down a new record in the Mens 4X 50+ division at the grueling Furnace Creek 508 held October 8-9, 2005.  This race is considered by many to be the toughest two-day race anywhere.  The race starts in Santa Clarita, near Magic Mountain in LA, then proceeds through Mojave, Furnace Creek, Badwater, Death Valley, to the finish in Twenty-Nine Palms.  There are solo and team categories.

The race route is divided into eight unequal distance time stations.  Relay teams must navigate the course in a set order passing a baton at each of the eight time stations.  The race is famous for its desert winds, high temps, 35,000 feet of climbing, and energy-sapping rough road surfaces.  Add to that:  a non-stop race, which means riding all night with the lights of the following crew vehicle providing the only sign of humanity for hours at a time.

In 2004, then rookie Team Yak, consisted of Larry Gitman (58) and Jim Knight (43) who completed the course in a record-setting 30 hours 43 minutes 7 seconds for the Mens 2X 50+ Divison.  For the 2005 race, the two grisled vets added Mark Erwin (52) and Jim Woodman (46) to form a solid Mens 4X 50+ team.  The conditions were fairly mild by Death Valley standards and Team Yak rode away from its nearest division competitors, securing a victory and a course record in their category in a time of 26 hours 45 Minutes 34 seconds.


Mark summits Spunky Canyon               Larry enroute to Trona            Jim Knight nearing Townes Pass climb


Jim Woodman in Death Valley              2005 Team Yak Champions with Race Director Chris Kostman (far right)

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