2,200 bicylists complete grueling 129-mile mountain Death Ride | NevadaAppeal.com

2,200 bicylists complete grueling 129-mile mountain Death Ride

by Kurt Hildebrand
Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealRiders participate in the annual Tour of the California Alps on Highway 89 on Saturday. The Death Ride attracted 2,800 riders.

An estimated 2,200 riders completed the annual Tour of the California Alps, otherwise known as Alpine County’s Death Ride.

Nice weather greeted the 2,800 riders who participated in Saturday’s race, according to Alpine County Chamber of Commerce Director Teresa Burkhauser.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better weather day,” Burkhauser said of the bicycle tour that covers five passes in Alpine County. “The riders enjoyed themselves. We had our usual road-rash cases, but there were no major injuries. We were very lucky this year.”

Burkhauser said more than 600 of the registered 3,500 riders were no-shows this year.

“CalTrans, the California Highway Patrol and Alpine County Sheriff’s Office got the roads in good shape for the tour,” she said. “The roads were swept and we got all the potholes we could filled in. Everyone is concerned about safety, and the roads play a big part of it.”

A long, rough winter was hard on the roads this year, and Burkhauser said organizers were particularly concerned with Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4.

“We’re very pleased that everyone came to the plate,” she said.

More than 700 volunteers contributed to the tour.

“This is always a team effort,” she said.

She said she had more than 40 exhibitors at an expo associated with the tour, the largest turnout ever.

The tour celebrated its 31st year Saturday. Organizers say the majority of the riders aim for the five-pass course, which covers 129 miles and more than 15,000 feet of climbing.

Riders started the tour at daybreak from Turtle Rock Park between Markleeville and Woodfords and crossed Monitor Pass twice, then Ebbetts Pass twice before climbing Carson Pass for the finale.

For more information about the Death Ride, visit http://www.deathride.com.