We realize there’s a huge amount of information below… And it may appear that we’re a bit hard-nosed…
Honestly, we’d rather not have to publish this page. However, from a liability standpoint, we have to provide this information so everyone knows what to expect. We also have to publish policies and rules that are consistent with our insurance requirements, and our obligations pursuant to the many permits we need for the various events. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Rules for Riding on Planet Ultra (in Addition to Everything Else On This Page and All Event-Specific Rules)
1) All riders must pay the event entry fee, and late fee if applicable, and sign the official event waiver without any modification.
2) All riders must show a valid drivers license or other official identification at rider check-in to prove that they are the person whose name is on the roster.
3) All riders must carry and/or wear the official event ID provided at check-in. If we catch you without your ID on your body or bike (based on which event you’re riding), you will be DQ’d from the ride. Riders without ID may be refused support or checkpoint supplies. “Bandit riders” will be banned from future Planet Ultra events, as will the person who brought the bandit if we know who you are.
4) All riders must carry proper identification and personal emergency contact phone number at all times while cycling.
5) All riders must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet at all times while cycling. No exceptions!!! You will be DQ’d without warning if you’re seen riding without your helmet. No matter how hot it gets on the climbs – keep that helmet on your head!
6) All riders are responsible for knowing and obeying all laws and all relevant aspects of the State Motor Vehicle Code where the event is held. Riders who break laws and/or ride unsafely will be disqualified from the event and lose Grand Slam, King of the Mountains and Triple Crown credit.
7) All riders must follow the basic rules for safe cycling: Ride to the right, single file. Stop at all stop signs and red signals. Protect and warn one another about road hazards and traffic. Don’t overlap wheels. Practice safe paceline and group riding etiquette.
8) Riders may not wear headphones or use ear buds covering both ears.
9) Riders shall not urinate in public view, or within 1/4 mile of any checkpoint. At checkpoint locations, riders must use the designated toilet facilities or portable toilets. (We apologize for even having to state the obvious, but some folks just don’t get it.)
10) All riders must carry and use legal bicycle lights and wear both a left and right reflective ankle band when cycling at night.
11) All century and double century riders must begin riding at one of the designated start times available for the event.
12) Riders must check in at every checkpoint, unless otherwise specified. Riders withdrawing from an event must let the event staff know of the time and place of their withdrawal. We worry about you – so please don’t “go missing.”
13) Riders who go off course or are behind schedule and will not make a checkpoint before the scheduled checkpoint closing time stated on the route sheet must immediately call Planet Ultra and let someone know where they are. Contact numbers for Planet Ultra are listed on the route sheet. If a rider fails to immediately call, they will be considered as having abandoned the ride and must arrange for their own transportation.
14) All Planet Ultra staff have discretion to require a rider to SAG forward if the rider is significantly behind the closing time of any given checkpoint, or for any other safety reason. If a rider refuses SAG at that time, no further support will be given. We may call the rider’s emergency contact person to inform them of the rider’s status. The rider may be listed as DNF.
15) ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL SAG.
16) Riders agree that the Planet Ultra Route Sheets are proprietary and for the personal use of the rider while participating in the event. Riders may not reproduce Planet Ultra Route Sheets for any purpose, including, but not limited to posting on the internet, or in any other public media, club newsletter, etc.
17) Results are FINAL 7 days after the event. If we’ve made a mistake posting your result, you must let us know within that time.
18) All riders are expected to have read and be familiar with all Planet Ultra rules, regulations, policies and procedures on this page.
Planet Ultra reserves the right to disqualify every rider who violates any of the above rules, or for any other safety violation or other unsportsmanlike conduct, without warning.
How Planet Ultra Works
The Planet Ultra Event Production Team exists and operates for the sole purpose of organizing, promoting, and producing the finest long distance bicycling events and tours anywhere. The goal of these events is to foster a healthy lifestyle and sense of camaraderie and community among motivated and adventurous bicyclists.
Planet Ultra events are destination events, usually in fairly remote locations far from our home base in Washington, Utah. We’re not a cycling club with members to draw upon for event staff. When we host an event, we do all the shopping and packing in advance and then transport everything, and everyone who is helping, to the remote location where the event takes place. So please be patient and understanding with our staff and volunteers. We’re really stoked when everybody has a good attitude and especially appreciate when people pitch in and help at the events.
Registration and Entry Fees
Be sure and read all the information on our Registration Page.
Planet Ultra is recruiting enthusiastic volunteers to make it a spectacular day for the riders. No experience necessary! Volunteer positions include registration, food prep, aid stations along the route, roving SAG and finish line.
The Purpose of These Events
We, the people of Planet Ultra, do declare that the point in participating in an organized century, double century, tour or ultramarathon race is to have as much fun and adventure as possible!
With the exception of the Hoodoo 500/300 and the King of the Mountains Century Challenge, Planet Ultra events are specifically non-competitive. Although generally speaking we’re not racing – the majority of participants want to know how they’re doing compared to others, so most Planet Ultra single day events are timed and results are posted after the event. Caveat: If riders continue to do unlawful things like running lights and stop signs in order to shave a minute or two off their finishing times, we’ll be forced to stop timing the events where this is a problem. Please let’s keep it fun and fair.
Come Prepared – Be Fit For Your Event
Please be in shape for the event. Riding a double, or any one of the timed climbing centuries should be a big deal to you, and taken very seriously. These challenging events require determination, commitment and significant physical training. If you cannot complete a moderately hilly century within 7-8 hours, you’ll struggle finishing any double century within the time limit. An “I can do it” attitude is a wonderful plus, but only if you’ve trained and are already conditioned for the particular challenge. Click here for several outstanding articles from distance cycling legend, John Hughes, about training for centuries and longer endurance events.
Start Times for Double Centuries
To accommodate timing the events, Planet Ultra double century events will usually have two start times – one at first light (“civil twilight“) and one pre-dawn. Start times mean mass start times. If you leave at any time other than a designated start time, you will not get credit for completing the event. (The Spring Solvang Double Century is the exception, with an open start window.)
Riders who require more than 14 hours to complete a double century are encouraged to start before dawn. Anyone capable of finishing a double century in under 14 hours must start in daylight. Please note: Checkpoint opening and closing times are generally based on the daylight starting time and are calculated using an average speed range of 11 to 20 mph. This means that if a faster rider leaves early, they’ll likely get to the first checkpoint before it opens. Please plan accordingly.
All events will have a fixed time limit for receiving support along the route; listed on that event’s web page. All riders must complete the course within the time limit to be listed as an Official Finisher and to receive Planet Ultra Grand Slam Credit, King of the Mountains and/or California Triple Crown credit. This time limit will be based on distance and difficulty, and will be calculated based on the earliest starting time.
Generally speaking, depending on the difficulty, double centuries have a 17-18 hour time limit and centuries have an 8-10 hour time limit. Those completing the entire course after the time limit are considered unofficial finishers; but won’t be included in final results. Anyone who doesn’t check in at the finish line, or doesn’t ride every mile of the designated course will be DNF. Finisher results will be posted on the website shortly after each event. Results are FINAL 7 days after the event. If we’ve made a mistake in posting your finish, please let us know within that time.
Please keep in mind that nearly all athletic events establish a time limit to provide a standard to measure accomplishment. The Planet Ultra Grand Slam, King of the Mountains and California Triple Crown are huge accomplishments that require hard work and serious training and commitment. They mean so much because they’re earned with sweat and determination. Without standards for completion, they’d have no meaning. Allowing finisher credit to riders who miss the time limits or don’t ride the entire course is unfair to those who do.
Riding at Night
As required by law in every state, all riders riding in hours of darkness must have a legal front and rear lighting system and have reflective gear on their body and/or bicycle facing in all four directions. This means a white headlight that can be seen from 300 feet and a red taillight (non-blinking) secured to the bicycle and visible from 500 feet; and riders must wear both a left and right reflective ankle band. The more reflective gear and additional lights, the better! Be visible! This is mandatory – and NOT NEGOTIABLE. We’re very, very serious about safety – so please note: Riders who fail to comply with this policy will be listed as DQ in the ride results.
Riders who start in daylight but expect to finish in the dark may have their lights and other reflective gear delivered from the start line to a pre-determined checkpoint on the route. Please bring your lights and reflective gear to rider check-in in a bag marked with your name. Riders must collect their lights at the checkpoint. If you don’t pick up your gear, it may be available at the finish line at the end of the night. If your stuff winds up in Utah, we’ll ship it back to you – but do expect you to cover the cost. Generally speaking, we’re not responsible for things left at checkpoints.
Riders who start before daylight will carry their lights throughout the ride. Please note: The extra weight of the lights on your bike makes absolutely no difference in your performance on this type of event. We promise.
And speaking of carrying things, please don’t ask our SAG drivers or volunteers to carry your jackets or other personal things back to the finish line. There’s a good chance you won’t get them back; and we simply can’t be responsible for that. So please come prepared with a roomy bag to carry your extra things.
Checkpoints are located along the route (about 30-40 miles apart, depending on terrain) and clearly marked on the route sheet. Checkpoint opening and closing times are also noted on the route sheet. At checkpoints, riders can expect to find a wonderful variety of nutritious and caloric foods and beverages. Our typical fare includes bananas, PB&J sandwiches, energy bars, granola bars, fruit bars and various other treats.** Plus, at one designated double century “lunch stop,” we’ll usually have Subway sandwiches or similar, chips, cookies and soda. No one will go hungry on Planet Ultra; but please remember that it’s impossible to guarantee you’ll get exactly what you want. If you have specific needs/desires, we do offer a lunch-bag drop service at our double century events.
**Our food choices are intended to be portable, so you can eat on the bike. Generally speaking, all of our food is pre-packaged for sanitary and other health reasons. We avoid serving anything that would cause the Health Department to raise an eyebrow. Speaking of being sanitary, we ask that riders not handle powdered products. Our friendly volunteers will serve it with their clean hands.
Several SAG vehicles will be out roaming the course. Please note that tech service along the course is complimentary; parts are not. Please bring some extra cash for a tire, tubes or CO2 cartridges just in case.
Usually SAG vehicles will have a floor pump and basic tools. However the SAG drivers will likely not be expert mechanics – so please do your best to bring a properly tuned, fully functional bicycle, as well as your own supplies, ability, and desire to happily make any repairs needed along the way. Please don’t bring fancy racing wheels to Planet Ultra events. No carbon rims or tubulars: We can’t fix ’em. We’ve had so many riders DNF because of wheel problems. We sincerely do not want you to be another statistic.
Disclaimer: SAG means “support and gear” – not immediate transport. If a rider is injured, sick, or some other emergency comes up, we’ll do our best to quickly get the rider to the finish line; but we can’t guarantee how long it will take. If the rider is just tired, came to the event unprepared, or just doesn’t want to continue, the rider should plan on having to wait a long while or spend the better part of the day in a SAG vehicle. Our SAG drivers need to be on the road helping people who are riding. It’s much more fun to get there under pedal power! Riders should be tired during and after a double or hard century. Tired as a rider may be, he/she will feel better the next day if they don’t quit.
Finally, please remember that over a 100 or 200 mile course, it’s impossible for drivers to be everywhere at all times. The SAG vehicles may not be anywhere near where you are if you decide you need a lift. Best to ride to the nearest checkpoint and let someone know you’re planning on SAGing (especially at night, when it’s harder to see people if they’re not on their bikes pedaling).
Routing and Navigation
Planet Ultra route sheets include lots of information to help riders navigate . For example, we’ll let you know if a turn is at a stop sign (SS), traffic light (TL) or T-intersection (T-int). We know riders like to have the course marked; and we do our best to make that happen (unless it’s forbidden by our permits, otherwise illegal, somewhere that locals would be really upset about it, or the turn is at a place that’s very obvious, like a big green highway sign). Many of the towns/cities/counties specifically request that no markings are placed in the road. Some of our permits are contingent on NOT marking turns.
Over the past few years we’ve sadly experienced locals or random drivers removing the arrows or pointing them in the wrong direction after we’ve placed them. So please don’t rely on arrows. Our experience is that riders get lost whether the course is marked or not – because they’re not paying attention. Fewer riders get lost when they’re mindful of where they are on the route sheet. Please understand and take responsibility for navigation. Make it part of your experience. If you’re navigationally challenged, please use a GPS. We also provide maps and download-able files via RideWithGPS.com. Each event page will have a link.
Route sheets will be available as an excel file to registered riders if so requested via email between two weeks and five days before the event. However, we can’t guarantee that the route sheet will be 100% accurate. Though not anticipated, last-minute routing changes may be required.
Personal SAG Vehicles
Not allowed! If you bring one, you will be disqualified from the event without a warning. The definition of a personal SAG is any vehicle (motor or otherwise), anywhere on the route, operated by someone other than Planet Ultra staff, that is providing any type of aid, assistance, or motivation to any rider, or taking photographs, or simply out cheering. Please understand that our permits simply don’t allow dozens of extra vehicles on the roads or at the checkpoint locations. Imagine the traffic from all those cars! If you’re bringing someone with you who wants to be out on the course helping, please have them contact us and join our volunteer staff.
Planet Ultra Grand Slam: “Four Rides / 800 Miles”
On Planet Ultra we like to encourage riders to challenge themselves and test their endurance and strength on a variety of different courses. We have a wonderfully diverse offering of events – some sort of flat, some super hilly. We’ll test riders’ legs on climbs, their lungs at altitude and make riders dig deep on seemingly endless climbs under the blazing sun. To recognize those hardy souls who conquer four Planet Ultra ultra events in a calendar year, we created the Planet Ultra Grand Slam. After finishing four events, riders receive a finishers award and are acknowledged in our newsletter and on the website.
What to Bring
Riders on Planet Ultra must come prepared for any possible mechanical failure or contingency. At the very least, all riders should carry a spare tube, tire, pump, patch kit, basic tools, water bottles, money, personal and medical identification, cell phone, money, credit card, and a good attitude.
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