Death Ride to test cyclists Saturday |

Death Ride to test cyclists Saturday

Staff reports

Triple-digit temperatures are predicted to greet cyclists for this weekend’s annual Tour of the California Alps, also known as the Death Ride.

The event, sponsored by the Alta Alpina Cycling Club and the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, will begin at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday at the start/finish line at Turtle Rock Park in Markleville.

Riders who accept the challenge of covering all 129 miles will climb 15,000 feet over five passes, including Monitor Pass (8,314-foot elevation), Ebbetts Pass (8,730) and Carson Pass (8,560).

Annually about 4,000 people pay their entry fee to enter a lottery in which 3,000 riders are selected to participate in the event.

Alta Alpina president Jennie Hamiter said there are many reasons for why so many riders are attracted to the event.

“Certainly the challenge is No. 1,” she said.

The name Death Ride is another drawing card, Hamiter said. “It gives it a certain mystique and a certain amount of fame,” she said.