Saturday’s Death Ride promises to be another hot one |

Saturday’s Death Ride promises to be another hot one

Staff Report
This cyclist receives a welcomed spray of water at the Woodfords rest stop last year during the 37th annual Death Ride, Tour of the California Alps.
Dave Price


The 2018 Tour of the California Alps will close Highway 89, Highway 4 and Highway 89 starting at 5 a.m. Saturday. Information,

SR-89 Monitor Pass will be closed from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm.

SR-4 Ebbetts Pass will be closed from 5:00 am to 3:00 pm.

SR-89 from Markleeville to the intersection of SR-4 and SR-89 will be closed from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. as determined appropriate by the California Highway Patrol. It is anticipated that access to the Carson River north of Markleeville will be available shortly after 7 a.m.

Portions of SR-88 Carson Pass from the Top of Carson Pass to Woodfords and the segment of SR-89 from Woodfords to Markleeville will be subject to lowered speed limit zones and associated longer travel time

The highway closures and reduced speed limits are approved under permit from the State of California. For the safety of the special event participants, please plan alternate travel routes.

It could be another hot — and wet — one for this year’s Tour of the California Alps, otherwise known as and aptly referred to as the Death Ride.

Temperatures could be in the 90s when more than 3,000 riders are expected to take on the tough conditions in the 38th annual event to be held Saturday. The National Weather Service is also calling for a chance of thunderstorms in the Sierra Nevada on Saturday, so if that’s the case the conditions for the riders will be as tough as ever.

Many of the riders will take on all five of the mountain passes, which total 129 miles and 15,000 feet of climbing. Last year, 1,050 riders finished all five passes.

Six riders who finished all five passes were 70 and older; 100 were 60 and older; and 355 were 50 and older. Nine riders under the age of 20 finished all five passes last year.

Located in the stunning Sierra Nevada, otherwise known as the California Alps California Alps, the Death Ride course covers the traditional five mountain passes. This challenging course includes climbing both sides of Monitor Pass, both sides of Ebbetts Pass, and the final climb up the east side of Carson Pass. Cyclists will begin and finish at Turtle Rock Park, located two miles north of Markleeville.

The highest elevation will be at the top of Ebbetts Pass at 8,730 feet.

The start times of the event are as follows: Five Passes — 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Four Passes — 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Three Passes — 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Two Passes — 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

One Pass — 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

All riders must be off the course by 8 p.m.

The event is hosted by the Alpine Chamber of Commerce. The event isn’t a race but a test of endurance and personal goals.