AT THE LAST MINUTE, THE DOUBLE CENTURY IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE “GRAND FIRE” BURNING IN FRAZIER PARK. THE CENTURY ROUTE IS NOT IMPACTED BY THE FIRE AND WILL PROCEED AS PLANNED.
General Information and Ride Rules – Please Read!
Double Century – $109, HOWEVER, take advantage of our EARLY BIRD SPECIAL and save $15 by registering six weeks before the event! Standard registration ends two weeks before the event. Thereafter, you may make an online reservation and also pay a $20 late fee at the door. Entry includes burgers and fries at mile 150 if you want to hang out and enjoy!
Registration is closed. The 200 mile option for Heartbreak is cancelled for 2013 due to a fire burning in Frazier Park. Come ride the century instead!
Holiday Inn Palmdale, 38630 5th St. West in Palmdale (Palmdale Blvd. exit off the 14 freeway), (661) 947-8055. $109 per night including full breakfast on Sunday. The Holiday Inn is nice and clean and the staff is very friendly. They have a heated swimming pool, hot tub, work-out room, on-site restaurant open until 10:00pm for dinner, wireless access and coffee maker in your room. Yes, there are surrounding hotels which are less expensive – but most of them are total dives.
From the South: Go north on Interstate 5 to Hwy 14. Follow the signs to Palmdale. Exit Palmdale Blvd. Make a left.
From the North: Take Interstate 5 to Hwy 138. Take Hwy 138 to Hwy 14 Go south. Follow the signs to Palmdale. Exit Palmdale Blvd. Make a right.
Rider check-in will be Friday night from 7:30 to 9pm (which includes special Happy Hour snacks courtesy of the Holiday Inn from 7-8pm) and Saturday morning from 4:45 to 5:10am.
Please be in shape for this event. If you cannot complete a moderately hilly century in 7-8 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.
“Mass” start at 5:15am. Due to the small number of participating riders, there is NO EARLIER START. *If you start before 5:15am you will be listed as DQ in the results.
The time limit for this event is 19 hours. The course closes at for everyone at 12:15am. No exceptions. Riders who fail to make the time cut-off will be listed as Unofficial Finishers.
Twilight begins 5:13; Twilight ends 20:27. Sunrise is 5:42; Sunset is 19:58.
You are welcome to drop lights/gear at the start for pick-up at Lebec (although we do highly encourage you to just carry your lights on your bike). 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 Palmdale. 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. We repeat: BRING LIGHTS. We’re serious. Read the rules!
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 request that no markings are placed in the road. Our permits are contingent on NOT doing this. Further, Planet Ultra events are held way far away from where we live – and we travel to the destination the day before the event to make everything happen. 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 are available in excel format 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.
NEW! You may download the route either as a Garmin Map Route File; or Google Map and Training Center Files (gpx or tcx).
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.
The Heartbreak Double Century has about 15,500′ of elevation gain. This spectacular course showcases some of the most quiet, beautiful, dramatic, and unknown regions of California. There is essentially no traffic and the route explores an area that most of the participants will never otherwise visit. There is less than one “junk mile” on the entire course. Veteran riders can attest to all of this, while rookies will take away that sentiment after completing this challenging and rewarding cycling adventure.
The early morning air in the high desert can be cold, but as you leave Palmdale and enter the Angeles National Forest, you’ll warm up quickly. The first section of the course to Three Points is fast with a few humps and a few good descents. En route you will pass the towns of Lake Hughes and Elizabeth Lake while most are still sleeping
Leaving checkpoint one at mile 30 in Three Points, you’ll climb some more while cutting over to Highway 138 on Pine Canyon Rd and Ridge Route. The wind here generally blows from the west, and it is not uncommon to have a headwind on the way to Gorman and Lebec. Checkpoint two at mile 50 in Lebec is at the Holiday Inn Express.
After Gorman, a short quick climb to Tejon Pass gives way to a short descent into Frazier Park. As you make the left turn at the Flying J, think back to the climbing you have already done this morning, then look up the road as the climbing begins in earnest. The next 30 miles are mostly uphill, though there are some very nice descents along the way. As you climb toward the summit of Mt. Pinos, take time to look around; the scenery here is truly beautiful, as the high desert gives way to alpine forests and gently sloping mountain meadows. Look to your left at Lake of the Woods and see the road you will be descending later in the afternoon, then look ahead at the road that will take you higher into the mountains
Deep in the mountains you will reach the private community of Pine Mountain Club and checkpoint three. As you refill and refuel, contemplate the fact that you have already accumulated about half of the 15,500′ of climbing that you’ll achieve this day.
After reaching Apache Saddle, prepare yourself for one of the most rewarding stretches of road in all of Southern California. You will primarily descend for 20 miles along the ridgeline that divides the Lockwood Valley on your left from the huge Central Valley on your right. Look around for wildlife as you ride through the Los Padres National Forest and the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
The downhill continues at Highway 166. A left here and another onto Highway 33, and then you will be a few miles from checkpoint four at “Santa Barbara Pistachio Company” at mile 103 in “downtown” Ventucopa.
Leaving Ventucopa, you will follow the beautiful Cuyama Valley and Cuyama River to a left turn at Lockwood Valley Road. Rookie or veteran, you are in for a treat. As you enter Lockwood Valley you will encounter a gradual climb that just keeps getting steeper. As you reach the infamous Heartbreak Hill in the hot afternoon sun you will learn why it got that name. There are no toilet facilities at checkpoint five at Heartbreak, however there are lots of big bushes that the native Brown Bears have fertilized for centuries.
Leaving Heartbreak Hill, you will descend and climb your way to Frazier Park and checkpoint six back at the Holiday Inn Express. Please pick up any lights or gear that you sent there in a drop bag this morning. Leaving Lebec and Gorman, there is a short climb to the overview of Quail Lake and the California Aqueduct. As you descend to Quail Lake you should be greeted by a “world class” tailwind that has been known to blow riders all the way to the turn onto Ridge Route and then across on Pine Canyon to checkpoint seven at the Three Points Road House. (This new, hillier return route was introduced in 2003. Although it adds about 1,000′ feet of climbing to this route, compared to the previous route, it’s a much quieter and very fun, rollercoaster road.) At Three Points Road House, check out the his and hers outhouses. These relics are from a century that is long gone, but they still work well.
Leaving the Three Points checkpoint, there are two noticeable climbs as you otherwise descend towards the finish line in Palmdale. Upon your safe and timely arrival, you will be greeted by a Planet Ultra Ambassador. You will not soon forget this epic and challenging, but equally rewarding, ride!
The ride was great. It’s an amazing course … some great climbs there. Still incredible how good the riding is on that course so close to L.A. … so much of it on tree-lined roads. I was really dreading coming back on the “Highland Route” because of those climbs … but I really had fun on the twisty roads with NO CARS before Three Points. Those are hard climbs but the downhills were really fun. Thanks for putting on another great event . – Chuck Bramwell
I must say that I only have one word for the Heartbreak Double held this past weekend and that is Perfect, Perfect, Perfect. The weather was absolutely perfect, cool in the morning and evening and warm in the afternoon. I don’t see how a difficult course of this magnitude could be better balanced. The major hills were well spaced apart followed by long straight downhill giving you time to recover and speed to improve your average. The stops were right where they needed to be if you got into difficulty. It was so enjoyable returning to Palmdale on a long downhill with a tailwind that the ride ended on a high note and I soon forgot the strong headwinds in Gorman or the relentless climbs. I was thinking early in the ride while riding over the oak covered rollers of Pine Canyon Rd. that a combination of such vista, fine weather and great riding participants doesn’t come together many times in one’s cycling career. Riding with the leading peloton for the first 15 miles will probabley be the closest I will come to experience a real road race. The professionalism and skill of the 25 or so riders was a honor to watch. It was also fun watching as the lead rider would pull away a few 100 yards for the peloton to pick up speed to bring him back into the fold. I am sure the drama of the triple crown stage race must of been quite something to witness as it unfolded. I was glad to have the opportunity to have participated in such a well balanced and well supported course. I would not have you change anything; even leave the return climb up Ridge Route Rd. At that point what is one more major climb anyway and it is a far more interesting route. – Bruce Taylor
I really enjoyed the Heartbreak Double. This new / old course is by far the nicest and safest of the TOTF / Heartbreak versions I have done over the years (1984 to present). As always, you guys do a first rate job in planning, support and execution – Mike Chester
The area we rode in was beautiful. I can’t believe I’ve never been out there before. It was another world back there. As usual the event was superb in every way. The rest stops were perfectly situated along the route and they were well stocked with friendly, enthusiastic volunteers. – Lorraine Gersitz
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!” Volunteers for Century events and Gran Fondo events receive a 50% discount voucher. 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.