Friday, March 20, 2015

Stagecoach 400 - Almost Ready

Some days I think "I got this" and then some days I think "are you absolutely crazy ?".  So goes the preparation for Stagecoach 400.

It's a relatively new race, started by Brendan Collier in Idyllwild, CA.  First ran in 2012 I think about 8 out of 20 something people finished, and Jill Homer called it the hardest thing she had done.  ( Coming from a Tour Divide finisher ! ).  The route is slightly modified from that one, starts in Idyllwild, CA, runs south past Anza, does a turn southeastward into Coyote Canyon and goes to Borrego Springs.  Then swings through a sandy Fish Creek Wash, with about 18 miles or so of sand and a bit of hike-a-bike and hits pavement on S2 with a hopeful first day stop at Aqua Caliente State Park.  Next day's plan would be up Oriflamme Canyon, a stint on the Sunshine Highway, then a bit of Noble Canyon, and up and down and up and down Indian Creek until we hit Hwy 79.  Then through Decanso, and Alpine, southwestward to Bonita and Chula Vista and up the Coronado Strand with a ferry crossing back to where the Midway is docked.  Up past Sea World, to Torrey Pines, to Escondido, Warner Springs and on the California Riding & Hiking Trail to Anza and back to Idyllwild.  About 380 miles and 40000 feet of climbing and supposed to be done in 5 days, all self supported.  ( See about the crazy part ?? )

Stagecoach 400 Route


So ... the bike is mostly packed, and it's been on a few fully loaded rides.  I really want to make Aqua Caliente the first day, Alpine the second, be in the San Diego area north of the Bay on the third and back near Lake Henshaw for the fourth night.  I think the main focus for my ride will be to just keep going, not burn out trying to keep up with strong people right out of the chute, and just ride my ride and keep the food and water going.

The Bike

Thought I would write down the gear list ( for any gear-heads ) that are looking at this:

Bike:

Pivot LES 29 hard tail with SRAM X01 group set.  A single 30T ring in front and an 11 speed 10-42 cassette in the rear.
Seat is my tried and true Stella ( that went cross country on the Big Ride and has been to Death Valley and Cochise County )
Pedals are Shimano XTR's
aerobars are Profile Design T3+ Carbon
bar ends are Ergon GS3 carbon
Fred Bar is the thing that the aero bars mount to, and it came from Siren Bicycles
tires are Saguaro 2.2's on the stock DT hubs that came with the bike
installed a new 30T ring, new cassette and new chain for the ride
VIS 180 rechargeable rear light
Fenix light mount for Fenix flashlights

Revelate Viscacha Rear Bag

one Qtubes 29er tube
Mountain Laurel bivy bag
Sea to Summit Thermolite REACTOR extreme sleeping bag liner
Therm-a-rest Prolite pad
SOL emergency bivy
plastic bag with Park Tool brush, small Prolube lube, and a cloth
Patagonia jacket

Revelate Gas Tank Front Bag

SAWYER squeeze thru water filter
2 oz bottle of STANS

Two Revelate Design feed bags

( the iPod is in one, the other is empty to fill with food )

Revelate Design Tangle Bag

left side has toothbrush, small toothpaste, some floss, a small first aid kit, Ibuprofen, Asprin, fingernail clippers
Topeak pump ( with a bunch of duct tape wrapped around it )
right side has cell phone charger adapter & cable
sunscreen
dozen GU's
8 packets of Acclimate
buff to keep neck warm
Park Designs pack of tire patches
tire patch kit
Park Designs chain breaker tool
spare brake pads

Revelate Design Jerry Can

all the tire fixing stuff ....
2 CO2 cartridges
Park Tool hex tool set
tire levers
2 oz bottle of STANS
CO2 adapters ( 2 of them )
valve core remover
tire plugs
tweezers
cholla comb
SRAM 11 speed master link

Navigation

taking my Garmin Edge 500
my main navigation is Garmin Etrex 30 with extra sim card.  Tracks are on internal card and SIMM.  The SIMM holds an openstreetmaps.org mapset image.  And I have a map.  Also the SPOT tracker is mounted on top of the rear bag and a track for the race will be available at  http://trackleaders.com

Lighting

2 Fenix flashlights that run on alkaline or lithium AA batteries.  One is a spare !  The main lighting one is attached to the handlebars.
( plan to think seriously about a dynamo setup, but I don't have it now and this light seems to be enough for dirt roads .. )

Backpack

None.  Plan is to go with 2 water bottles and for dry sections take a couple of bottled water throwaway's in jersey pockets.

Alternates:

plan to consult the weather and "maybe" take a front bag with a full sleeping bag and Zpack Solo-Plus tent.  Right now it looks like Southern California might hit 100 degrees next week, so we might have just enough warmth to be able to be comfortable if I need to sleep out in the Cleveland National Forest someplace or close to the ocean.