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Update: Canceled due to fire: 40th Death Ride

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Update at 6:22 p.m.: Event organizers have canceled the Death Ride due to the Tamarack Fire. They report: “Currently the areas of Grovers Hot Springs, Shay Creek, and Marklee Village are under evacuation orders.  The evacuation center is currently staged at Alpine County Health and Human Services, 75 Diamond Valley Road, Markleeville, California.

In a message on its website, it alerted riders to the cancelation and stated that more information will be available on the next steps for the ride as soon as possible. Any riders currently staying in the Markleeville area are asked to evacuate.

Original post at 5:52 p.m.: Alpine County, CA – Nearly 2,500 cyclist will test their endurance on this weekend’s  2021 Tour of the California Alps – Death Ride, which will close sections on two highways to travelers.

The bicycling event is celebrating its 40th year, after being canceled lasts year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Originally coined the “Markleeville Alpine Challenge” in 1978, the ride has been recognized as one of the most challenging endurance steeped in cycling history.

This year organizers have unveiled the newest route featuring Monitor Pass (8,314’), Ebbetts Pass (8,730’) and the Pacific Grade (8,050’). Cyclists will ride six passes on Highways 89 and 4, scaling Monitor and Ebbetts Pass along with the Pacific Grade all twice each. The ride consists of a total of 103 miles, including more than 14,000 feet of vertical climbing.

Caltrans will temporarily close Highway 4 and 89 to all traffic, except for emergency, law enforcement and support vehicles, for the ride on Saturday (July 17). Caltrans provided the schedule and traffic impacts involved in the event below:

  • Route 89/Monitor Pass from Route 89/4 junction south of Markleville to Route 395/89 junction south of Lake Topaz will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to noon.
  • Intermittent traffic delays may occur on Route 89 between Turtle Rock Park Road to Airport Road from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Route 4/Ebbetts Pass from Monitor Junction to Lake Alpine will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The start/finish will be at Turtle Rock Park. Click here for more ride details.

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