“And what glorious landscapes are about me, new plants, new animals, new crystals, and multitudes of new mountains, towering in glorious array along the axis of the range, serene, majestic, snow-laden, sun-drenched, vast domes and ridges shining below them, forests, lakes and meadows in the hollows, the pure blue bell-flower sky brooding them all…”
…..John Muir, “My First Summer in the Sierra,” 1869
Double Century – $119, HOWEVER, take advantage of our EARLY BIRD SPECIAL and save $10 by registering six weeks before the event! Two weeks before the event the late fee kicks in, and after registering online you must bring payment to rider check-in. Paid entry fee includes post-ride BBQ dinner from Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ across the street from the host hotel (NOT included with ride vouchers/volunteer credits).
While all participants must sign up online, if you prefer to pay by check or have a ride voucher, use the Race Category/Distance pulldown menu and select either. Please send a copy of your email confirmation with your payment, or write the event name on your check or voucher. The post-ride meal is not included with Ride Voucher entries. If you’d like to purchase the meal, please send $15 with your confirmation email and voucher. Unpaid earlybird entries will be deleted from the system one week after the Earlybird period ends. All other unpaid registrations will be deleted one week before the event.
La Quinta Inn, 651 N Main Street in Bishop. Call 760-873-6380. Please make sure you tell them you’re with Planet Ultra to receive our discounted group rate of $105, which includes a continental breakfast. Our overflow hotel, the Townhouse Motel, is right next door. Call 760-872-4541 and say you’re with Planet Ultra to get the special $55 rate.
Friday evening from 6:30pm to 8:30pm pm and Saturday morning from 4:30am to 5:00am, at the La Quinta Inn. Please make a huge effort to check-in on Friday evening, not Saturday morning. If you’re planning on early start time, you must let us know at check-in!
Bishop is on Hwy 395 on the eastern side of the Sierra, 260 miles north of LAX!
“Mass” start at 5:00am.
All of the checkpoint opening and closing times will be strictly enforced. The checkpoints will not open early, nor will they remain open after the stated closing times. Typically, only checkpoints #2 and #3 present a problem for slower riders, as the ride is front-loaded with climbing.
If you miss either CP #2 or CP #3, you will be required to turn around and ride back to Bishop on Highway 395. No exceptions. Please note the CP closing times, which are also listed on the route sheet:
CP #2 – Crowley Lake (Mile 48.7): Closes 9:30am
CP #3 – Crestview Rest Area (Mile 71.2): Closes 11:45am
The time limit for this event is 18 hours. The course closes at for everyone at 11:00pm. No exceptions. Riders who fail to make the time cut-off will be listed as Unofficial Finishers.
Please be in shape for this event. If you cannot complete a moderately hilly century within 8 hours, you’ll struggle finishing this ride within the time limit. An “I can do it” attitude is a wonderful plus, but only if you’re already conditioned for this type of challenge.
Twilight begins 5:03; Twilight ends 20:41. Sunrise is 5:33; Sunset is 20:11.
You are welcome to drop lights/gear at the start for pick-up at the Benton checkpoint (mile 160). Please bring your lights to rider check-in in a bag marked with your name. Please pick up your stuff at the checkpoint, as it will not be brought back to the finish until the course closes. The charge for mailing stuff back to you is $25.
If there is any chance that you’ll be out past sunset, you MUST have both a headlight and a taillight attached to your bicycle, and you MUST wear a reflective ankle band on both legs. Please do not under estimate the time you will need to complete this event. Come prepared with a very good light and backup bulbs and batteries, plus at least one non-blinking taillight and lots of reflective gear.
Planet Ultra route sheets include lots of useful information to help riders navigate the course. 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 that riders like to have the course marked. However, many of the towns/cities/counties specifically forbid it – and our permits are contingent on NOT course marking. Further, Planet Ultra events are generally held in more remote locations; and we don’t get there until the day before the ride. We can’t mark the course in advance. If we have the manpower to send someone out before the riders in the morning to mark the course, we’ll 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). 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.
Route sheets and GPS files are available to registered riders if requested via email between two weeks and five days before the event. We cannot guarantee that advance route sheets will be 100% accurate.Though not anticipated, last-minute routing changes may be required.
Please note that advance route sheets and gps files are provided as a courtesy and you use them at your own risk. Planet Ultra does not guarantee accuracy. Please further note the following very important caveats:
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. We can always use extra help out on the course.
A mass start through the city streets of Bishop will quickly head out of town. After a fast, flat warm up through the flatlands of the Owens River region, you will head north through the cattle ranches of Round Valley. Climbing up from Round Valley to Crowley Lake, the Old Sherwin Grade ascends through pinion pine and juniper woodlands while following Lower Rock Creek to enter Mono County and the heartland of the Eastern Sierra. Road cuts expose the peculiar rosy rock strata known to geologists as Bishop Tuff, evidence of volcanic activity in this region. After cresting Sherwin Grade, a rider friendly 1800′ climb, you are greeted by the startling views of Mt. Ritter and Mt. Banner, and the serrated ridge of the Minarets in the northern distance. North a few miles further awaits Lake Crowley and the grassy bed of Long Valley. Further north en route to Mammoth Lakes, you pass Hilton and McGee Creeks; the mouths of their canyons filled with huge glacial moraines empty into the valley from the Sierra high country.
Leaving Long Valley, you will quickly enter the town of Mammoth Lakes, famous for its world class ski resort. You will climb gently, but quickly, around the outskirts of town and head out of town and north via the Mammoth Scenic Route. After a short climb cresting the 8,041′ summit of Deadman Pass, there is a short downhill followed by a short easy climb to June Lake. Enjoy magnificent views of June Lake, Carson Peak, and the westward panorama reveals different dimensions with every blink of the eye.
Once you’re back on 395, hang on for a fast 15 miles, passing by June, Gull, Silver, and Grant Lakes as you enter “The Land of Mono”. Ringed by eerie tufa towers, volcanic craters, mountain peaks, and high desert silences, the saline waters of Mono Lake represent a million year old body of water. Mono Lake has no outlet; over the thousands of years of its existence, salts and minerals washed into the lake have become concentrated as waters have evaporated. Though Mono Lake has been called a “dead sea”, it actually abounds with life. No fish live in the lake, but populations of brine shrimp and brine flies adapted to the exceptionally high concentration of salts provide a plentiful food supply for more than seventy species of migratory and nesting birds. The “lunch” checkpoint with Subway sandwiches and all our usual wide variety of drinks and muchies await you at the Mono Lake County Park. At this point, you will have ridden 104 miles and ascended 7,200′.
Leaving Mono Lake, you will travel south on Hwy 395 to Hwy 120 through the Mono Crater area. Take time to look around as you climb between these craters en route to the “E Ticket” ride from the high plains at Sage Hen Summit, through red lava canyons into Benton, the Chalfant Valley and back to Bishop. This second half of the double loop has only 3,000′ of ascent!
This course has 10,200 feet of elevation gain, more than half of which is between mile 30 and mile 70. As doubles go, it’s not that tough and the views and roads are so incredible, you won’t even notice the climbing that it does have!
We always need volunteers!!! We can only put these events on with the help of loyal, trustworthy, motivated individuals running the checkpoints along the way. To provide a little incentive, when you volunteer for a Planet Ultra Double Century event, you receive a free entry into any other Planet Ultra single-day event. It’s a simple formula: “work one, ride one free!” So please contact us to let us know when and where you’d like to help. Please note that the intent of the “work one, ride one free” offer is to encourage riders themselves to give something back to the sport they love. However, we also appreciate when riders bring along family and friends who they’ve recruited to help out, so we’re offering a one-half ride credit to the recruiter if the volunteer doesn’t want the ride credit. Ride credits must be used within a year of the date of volunteering.