Other general advice / information:

Depending on routing, the course can run anywhere from 700 to 750+ miles (~1150-1230 km). Assuming you wish to arrive in Portland before festivites there get into full swing (they are planning a full week of events) and while check-in workers are still at fixed locations, you will have just under 5 days (in terms of 24 hour periods) to cover approximately 750+ miles (~1230+ km), which will mean an average daily ride of 150+ miles (230+ km). If you're riding daylight hours only (say 8am -6pm), that's an average speed of 15 mph (23 km/h). It is my belief that it is possible to cover the distance in a time substantially less than the time available before the start of the Portland event.

Be prepared to ride nights, go without sleep, and deal with a variety of weather and road conditions. The wind on the Pacific Coast does tend to blow north to south, so be prepared for plenty of headwinds.

Watch out for logging trucks and narrow road shoulders, especially at night.

This is not normal bike touring. You most likely will not want to carry a tent, a stove, and multiple changes of clothing if you are intending to ride this as a race - though it will be completely possible to finish within the week at a fast touring pace, carrying all of these things. Although minimalist equipment is recommended, what exactly that means is up to each individual. However, under no conditions should you sacrifice items that may save your ass in the middle of nowhere (i.e. tools, spare parts, emergency food, water-carrying capability) in the interest of lightening your load. Pack every tool and spare you can think of that you might possibly need on the road - think what will cost more, the extra weight of the tool you'll need if you don't have it with you, or a bus ride to Portland when you don't have that tool. Don't second-guess Murphy's Law.

Choose your clothing carefully - weather may range from sunny and hot to foggy or even rainy, nighttime temperatures may be cold, and there's always a good chance of windy conditions. A good windbreaker might be one of your most valuable clothing items.

Carry plenty of water, and refill as often as possible. If you're not sure where your next good water stop is, have a full reserve bottle until you know where the next water is. Over this course, it's unlikely that you'll into a stretch if road without any chance of finding drinking water.

Eat. Small amounts regularly is the way to go. Some people who do endurance events of this length depend almost exclusively on the energy goo products currenty available, but while that will work, I don't think that's any way to live. Eat quality food, in small portions. Save your candy and chocolate until you're bonking on the way into a place where you can get better food. If you're putting on the mileage in the late ight/early morning hours, carry food for the duration, as you don't know the hours of the stores down the road.

We realize that there's no real way to catch someone who might be cheating on the course - using vehicular support, hopping busses or trains in between "checkpoints", riding as a team, or whatever. We're relying on the entrants' honesty and simple sense of pride to keep the race clean. The cyclometers are there to confirm mileage traveled, but this obviously isn't absolute in a race with no fixed or manned checkpoints. Personally, though i know it may not mean much to anyone else, I'll be immensely disappointed if there's cheating going on - I think anyone who rides the 50+ miles/day that I figure most messengers ride should be able to complete this course in the alloted time if they put their mind to it. Remember also that no awards are set in stone until the awards ceremony in Portland - any rumours heard during the weekend will be followed up on.

While sag wagons will not be allowed for racers, transportation for belongings not needed during the race will be provided. We realize that you can't be expected to carry everything you'll need for Portland and CMWC on your bike from SF to Portland if you're seriously racing. There will be a U-Haul van/trailer for contestant's belongings, and a space in Portland where they can be picked up will be arranged. If you think you'll need items in Portland before the van gets there, however, we suggest you make arrangements with a party travelling earlier than the van.

Remember: you may be racing, but it's not worth killing yourself over. Don't take risks you shouldn't, know your limitations and those of your bike, don't ride exhausted, drink plenty of water, eat plenty of food, etc. This is an unsanctioned, uninsured, and possibly illegal race, and there is nothing for the organizers to fall back on in the event of emergency. Take responsibility for your own actions and decisions. The last thing anyone wants to do is receive a medical or legal bill over any of this. I'm taking a risk in organizing this - please help me keep that the only risk involved.

Oh yeah, and while again, this is a race - don°t forget to take the time to look around, appreciate the area you°re riding through. It°s a beautiful area to ride through - for the sake of your memories, don°t just blast through with your head down...

results (final 17 Sep 03) | news (update 17 Sep 03)
rules | other info