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Hello everyone I have spent a fantastic week cycling at the 2013 Death Valley CORPScamp. I wish to thank REV Cycling sponsors Spy Optics for their super cool sunglasses, Serfas for tires, tubes, bar tape and so many things on my bike, Swiftwick for the great wool riding socks (yes wool in 75F temperatures) and great compression recovery socks.
Now I wish to highlight the top 10 reasons why you NEED to put this cycling camp on your itinerary for 2014.
- traffic-free roads,
- ease of navigation,
- incredible views,
- geological curiosities,
- awesome support, awesome customer service
- Laurie Kostman’s yoga classes every day,
- wide range of riders who attend: all ages, all levels, from across North America and beyond.
- The road surface through most of the valley have been repaved. In many sections they are as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Flatting is a rare occurance- the National Park has very clean roads- glass, metal debris are almost non-existent.
- Take on some of the longest continuous climbs – 20+ miles IF you care to do them- shorter ride options available every day.
- Escape your local winter weather to moderate temperatures and blue skies
Here are just a few pictures of the camp. Click here to see more. A week long of moderate temps and blue skies every day!
But don’t fret if you missed this camp. You still have another chance to experience AdventureCORPS phenomenal customer service and a first-rate cycling camp experience. CORPScamp’s new sister camp, Velo & Vino is coming up April 15-19. It is held in the beautiful mountains east of San Diego with a homebase out of Julian.
Ok now the data geek in you can geek out over the next section of this blog post :-p
First the summaries
The first ride of the camp is held on Monday afternoon. Check-in is between 1130 and 1230 and the ride is scheduled for 115pm after the Dynamic Warm-up held at 1pm. It is the perfect ride of 25 miles to ensure your bike is in good running order and to spin out your legs from traveling into Death Valley. Artist Drive is quite steep so bring your climbing gears. Compact cranksets or triple cranksets and large range cassettes will make this climb more fun. There are pitches of 12% so be prepared. The hard work is worth it as you arrive at Artist Palate. Also a common misconception is that Death Valley is flat. It is far from flat with continuous rolling terrain to and from Artist Drive. Ride stats- 25 miles 2,600 feet of gain.
On day 2 you have several options for your ride because it is a true out and back course. From Furnace Creek to Stovepipe Wells would be 50 miles round trip, you can continue to climb up Towne Pass to Wildrose Road and turn around or the big ride of the day takes you to Emigrant Pass. I would recommend taking on the climb to Emigrant Pass at least the first couple of miles so you can experience a climb many people don’t know about. Additionally, this climb is not on any of the AdventureCORPS events. Emigrant Pass is 5318 feet above sea level Remember when calculating feet gained on the climbs you must also factor in that you begin your climb from below sea level. Ride stats 95 miles 7,200 feet of gain.
I opted for the climb up to Dante’s View. It is very difficult climb off the main road, Hwy 190, but the view from above Death Valley is spectacular. Bring your climbing gears because this is one steep bugger about five miles from the summit this climb averages over 8%. The last mile is over 10% and the last 1/4 mile is over 15% grade. Not a big deal usually right? Well it comes after you have been climbing for 25 miles! Ride stats 50 miles 6,000 feet of gain.
I opted for the additional six miles past the designated route turnaround point of Hell’s Gate. A long 12.8 mile climb with over 4,000 feet of gain to Daylight Pass via Mud Canyon. Ride stats 58 miles 5,200 feet of gain.
The routes I opted for are not on the designated routes. I am an experienced ultra cyclist who has ridden many times in Death Valley in addition to many unsupported events. If you choose to go off of the designated routes take a buddy and tell everyone where you are going.
I wish to thank REV Cycling sponsors Spy Optics for their super cool sunglasses, Serfas for tires, tubes, bar tape and so many things on my bike, Swiftwick for the great wool riding socks (yes wool in 75F temperatures) and great recovery socks.
Death Valley is one of the most scenic places to ride your bike. Please consider AdeventureCORPS CORPScamps as a true cycling vacation option- and please tell them you heard it from me!