Cycling: Sierra cyclist to tackle world’s toughest double century |

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Cycling: Sierra cyclist to tackle world’s toughest double century

Meet Steve Tiede.

Steve likes the idea of a serious cycling adventure.

That is why he signed up for the 8-Pass Challenge as part of the Alta Alpina Challenge: Riding the Wild Sierra.

Steve started bicycling in May 2009 when his wife, Julie, encouraged him to join her at a spinning class. Spin class led to more challenging rides such as Onion Valley, a steep climb out of Independence, Calif., which rises 5,000 feet in 13 miles. So far this year, he and Julie have done eight centuries, most with serious climbing. What motivates Steve?

“I think it’s the feeling of accomplishment in overcoming what I thought were my limits,” he said.

And how does he rate the upcoming Alta Alpina 8 Pass Challenge? He said he believes the upcoming Alta Alpine 8 Pass Challenge is the best ride in all categories: support, scenic beauty and challenge.

From the excellent support to the home-made cookies and hot soup at the rest stops to the post-ride dinner, Steve said he is always impressed with how Alta Alpina Cycling Club and the Ride Director, Michael Bayer, make it special.

Of the rides he has done, he said, “No other ride compares to the 8 Pass Challenge.”

In a few short years, the ride has come to be known as the “World’s Toughest Double Century.”

The Alta Alpina Challenge: Riding the Wild Sierra, set for Saturday, is a cycling event which encompasses several route options in addition to the 8 Pass Challenge. The “Family Ride” is aimed at individuals and families riding a route of 15 or 20 miles. The “Build Your Own Challenge” represents a new innovation in organized rides. Each participant sets a personal goal based on their individual skills and ability to ride between one and six mountain passes.

Four options are offered starting out of Turtle Rock Park in Markleeville as well.

The Wild Sierra Metric is 64 miles with 5,000 feet of climbing. The Wild Sierra Century is 110 miles with 11,000 feet of climbing. The five-pass challenge is 135 miles and 16,000 feet of climbing and The World’s Toughest Double Century is 198 miles and 20,300 of climbing.

The Alta Alpina Cycling Club is a 501(c) non-profit corporation promoting all forms of safe cycling in the Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley, Carson City and Markleeville areas. The club has decades of experience producing comparable events. Rides of 15 and 20 miles will be offered in Diamond Valley.

For more information on the ride, contact Mel Maalouf at or 775-450-3886 or Michael Bayer at challenge or 775-845-2453.