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Ride Rating System

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Ride Info

Ride Overview

Sierra Alps, Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake

  • Arrival
  • 9/10/2024
  • Departure
  • 9/23/2024
  • Ride Director
  • Renee Blondfield
  • Ride Co-Director
  • David Blondfield
  • Starting Location
  • Reno, NV
  • Finishing Location
  • Reno, NV
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2710
  • Deposit
  • $1355
  • Number of Riders
  • 3 (min. 14 /max. 22)
  • Space Available
  • 17
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 2

Ride Rating

3B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $85 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

OVERVIEW:  Come and enjoy the scenic climbs of the California Alps and more in the Sierra Mountain range. Let’s kick some passes as#’#! This is your opportunity to ride some or all of the passes of Tour of the California Alps also known as the Death Ride ( We will also ride America’s most beautiful bike ride around Lake Tahoe.  Enjoy a rest day on a beach at Lake Tahoe, soaking in a hot spring, or on a dock at Donner Lake.  This is a moving point to point tour with extended layovers for built in rest days as needed. This is a new tour developed by the Blondfields. We have ridden all the routes numerous times, and we are excited to share our playground with you!  It is the first time this tour has been offered.  All participants must have been fully vaccinated prior to starting the tour and be prepared to present vaccination documentation for viewing by the Ride Leader if requested.

RIDE RATING:  The ride rating is a 3B! based on the 5 required ride days with one day at 55 miles and on our last day there is 4000 ft of climbing. If you ride all of passes, the rating would be a 4C with 2 optional days that are actually 4D. The terrain is packed with epic climbs with daily mileages of 35 - 74 miles and 2000 to 7800 feet of elevation gain. This ride IS NOT SAG VEHICLE SUPPORTED. While there will be two days in Markleevilee with a rider rest stop, we don't plan on picking up riders and bikes along the routes. Tandem riders may find some of the routes quite challenging but are welcome along with any riders wanting to use their E-bikes.

The passes on this tour are Geiger Grade, Monitor East & West, Ebbetts East & West, Pacific Grade East & West, Luther East, Carson Pass East, Kingsbury Grade East & West, Brockway Summit North & Mt. Rose West. I recommend looking up these climbs on the PJAMM cycling website for the full profile of the climbs. Don’t let the average percentage grade fool you, there are some steep sections here!

We will start in Reno for our first night. Our first day of riding will take us to Virginia City, NV, for two nights. With a population of 661, this is an old West mining town where wild horses roam freely. Take a tour of the Chollar mine, visit the Bucket of Blood Saloon, the historic Fourth Ward School, The Way It Was Museum, or just check out the quaint shops along the main street.

Next we cycle to Markleeville, CA (population 187) for three nights. This is the home of the historic California Alps Death Ride:  Markleeville is a tiny town with two great restaurants, and a café. A short ride away is Grover’s Hot Springs.

Our next stop is South Lake Tahoe, CA (population 21,414) for three nights. It is a high-end touristy town on beautiful Lake Tahoe. You can walk to shopping, restaurants, and a beach. Here we can Ride America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe.

Our last stop is in Truckee, CA (population 17,200) for three nights.  Truckee is the home of Donner Lake and the historic Donner Party. It is also known for being a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts.

We will cycle from Truckee back to Reno for a final night at the same hotel we started at.

 WEATHER:  The weather in the Sierras varies in September with temperature swings from 40 to 75 degrees, it is usually best described as "crisp in the mornings but warming in the afternoons."   Average rainfall for September may reach a total of one inch; cold weather kit as well as rain gear are highly recommended. Remember it is much cooler at the top of the climb than the bottom. Your layering skills will come in handy on this tour.

LODGING & MEALS:  Lodging for thirteen nights is included in the Estimated Cost for this ride. The arrival and departure hotel is the Staybridge Suites, 10559 Professional Circle, Reno NV 89521. They have agreed to store bike boxes for you during our tour. If you want to arrive prior to the start of the ride and acclimate to the elevation or extend your stay at the end, the discounted rate will be provided to you. This hotel does not offer an airport shuttle. You will need to Uber or take a cab from the Reno Tahoe airport that is about 8 miles away. If you drive, you may leave your vehicle in their parking lot during our tour.

Along with the beginning and ending hotel described, we will stay in a 3-star local accommodation in the historic mining town of Virgina City, NV for 2 nights.  Our accommodations in Markleeville, CA for 3 nights feature a locally owned rugged style mountain lodge. This location has 11 rooms and only one room has two beds. The other rooms have king beds. Thus at this location only one set of singles will have separate beds. We will stay in a Holiday Inn Express in South Lake Tahoe, CA for 3 nights. Our next to last stop will be 3 nights stay in a 4-star specialty hotel in Truckee, CA.

Our lodging elevation is at 4500-6200 ft and our climbs reach elevations of 6789-8946 ft.

Eight breakfasts, two sack lunches, nine social hours and six group dinners are included.

LOGISTICS:  Reno is located at the base of the Sierras near Lake Tahoe. The Reno Tahoe International airport is an easy airport to fly in and out of.  Our first meeting / social hour will start at 5:30 pm on Monday 9/10/2024 at the Staybridge Suites in Reno.   Departure is planned for Monday morning 9/23/2024.  Great Basin Bicycles (8048 S Virginia St. Reno, NV 89511 (775.825.8258) is a local bike shop which we have used in the past. It is owned by Rich Staley who can be extremely helpful. High Sierra Cycling (1141 Steamboat Parkway, Reno, NV 89521, 775.852.8850) has a limited number or rental bikes.

 COST & ADMINISTRATION:  The Estimated Cost for this tour is $2710 based on a minimum of 14 participants. If the tour reaches the maximum before the second payment is due, the final payment will be reduced. The tour includes an enclosed trailer rental that will be used to transport luggage . The tour includes RWGPS printable maps, printable cue sheets and .gpx files for your digital devices. Riders need to download all digital routes from RWGPS prior to arriving for the tour.  Please contact me directly prior to arriving for the tour if you need any assistance with your device. A deposit of $1355 is due when you sign up and the final payment of $1355 is due June 30, 2024.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  While there is limited space due to one accommodation only having one room with two beds, single riders may attend.  Solos are welcome and will pay a $1453 solo supplement. There is room for one set of singles sharing a room and not a bed. At the time of the initial deposit, a solo without a roommate will be placed on the ride and will pay the $1453 solo supplement . Solo supplement payments, due June 30, 2024, need to be sent to the BAC office via check or Zelle. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.  Note: ONLY solo supplement payments may be paid via Zelle. All other payments must be paid by credit card through the BAC website, so that they can be applied to your account and your ride.

To pay your solo supplement using Zelle:

          In your bank's website, add Bicycle Adventure Club as a new recipient, with email address 

·         Initiate a payment

·         In the Message block, enter the name of your ride.

If you have questions, contact Nancy Bohnett or Ernie Coose

HEALTH & SAFETY: Vaccinations for COVID are required and boosters are recommended. Participants are expected to come to the tour in good health and ready to ride. In short, if you are ill on the tour, be it a cold or test positive for COVID and you can ride your bike, then you can stay on the tour with precautions in place. In this case, protocols for isolation, masking, and social distancing are required. If you test positive and cannot ride your bike, then you must isolate in place and depart the tour. We will all need to be flexible as safety comes first..

INSURANCE: Before participating in any BAC tour, you should assess whether your medical and travel insurance coverage is sufficient. BAC maintains insurance that covers expenses related to accidents. This coverage applies when touring inside the US, regardless of your nationality. It’s assumed that members’ personal insurance will cover medical emergencies such as sudden and unexpected sickness, so these have not been included in the BAC policy. Coverage is subject to a $1000 deductible. You may want to consider personal coverage for emergency evacuation, as this is not included. The costs of treatment or quarantine for Covid and other unexpected illnesses are not covered. You should ensure that your vaccinations are up to date.

CANCELLATION POLICY:  The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour's remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.  All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from the Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader's decisions.  

SIGN-UP:  To register for this ride, use the sign-up links just above the Ride Description.  After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting that you go back to the BAC website to digitally accept the Release of Liability (ROL) and pay the non-refundable BAC Ride Registration Fee of $50 and tour deposit of $1355 by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  The final payment of $1355 is due on June 30, 2024. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Director by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description.



















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PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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