Y2K option

Ebbetts Pass. I get my third sticker.

I didn't stop, but rode the descent to Hermit Valley to collect my fourth sticker.

This year the Death Ride offered a “Y2K Grade” option. From Hermit Valley one could ride west to Pacific Grade, an additional 5 miles with 900 feet of climbing. I did this stretch of road in 1994 on the six-pass “Death Ride the Thirteenth” and thought nothing of it. I decided to tackle it.

It turned out to be much harder than I remembered. Nothing but climbing, and I was already suffering when I hit a 25% grade section that twisted up through a couple of switch backs. Ouch!

When I reached the top I was cooked. I rested a bit and then descended back to Hermit Valley. There I commandeered a folding chair in the shade of a tree and took my first real rest of the Death Ride. Later, Michael arrived and asked me about Pacific Grade.

Should he attempt it? It took one word, “No,” to talk him out of it. It took me a while to get going again. Michael and I pushed off together to do the climb back up to Ebbetts Pass. Pictured above is Ray (of Waganupa fame) who we saw for the first time.

We were doing OK time-wise, but we needed to keep moving. I waited for Michael at the top and took his picture as he arrived.

We tanked up, ate some fruit and then began the hazardous descent down the front side of Ebbetts.