HuffPost: Cycling & Sipping in South Lake Tahoe - the Death Ride ‘Tour of California Alps’
It was just before 5:00 am on a chilly July, Saturday morning in Markleeville, CA. I clicked into my bicycle pedals and asked a volunteer to point me to the starting area. “There’s no startling line,” he said, his headlamp shining in my eyes. “Just start riding.”
I was confused. As long-time competitive endurance athlete, I’ve never started an event without an “official” start and it felt particularly odd for one of America’s most challenging one-day bike rides. I was one of 1,728 participants, from nine countries, taking on the onerous 37th annual Death Ride ‘Tour of California Alps’. The mountainous 129-mile course routes over five of California’s highest mountain passes, between elevations 5,400 to 8,700 feet, totaling over 15,000 feet of climbing.