Wizards 51st Birthday Bicycle Challenge

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8 members have voted

May 11th, 2016 at 8:14:12 PM permalink
Aussie
Member since: May 10, 2016
Threads: 2
Posts: 273
No doubt they should probably charge more. I was very surprised at just how cheap it is for what is a very popular attraction. They could definitely charge significantly more without any problem and they'd probably discourage that type of thing. Perhaps they could initially charge a much higher amount and then offer partial refund once the permit holder reaches the check point at the sub dome. That would discourage people from paying for something they weren't sure they'd use as well as keep the price low.

I'm not sure how their lottery program works to allocate the permits but I had no problem getting my 1st choice date for a party of two. Maybe I just got lucky I don't know. They have graphs on the nps website showing number of applications for each day and percentage of people who received their 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc preferences. I couldn't say for sure but I suspect almost everyone gets one of their preferences and that few people miss out altogether. As I say I could be wrong though.
May 11th, 2016 at 10:26:11 PM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 145
Posts: 3174
My Yosemite trip was only planned about a month in advance, after the lottery had closed and there were no spots left. I know there is a daily lottery too, but I was on the way to Yosemite the day to enter it and I didn't have cell phone reception. If I really understood all the rules, I probably could have got a last-minute lottery permit, or whatever they call it, but the rules were rather confusing and there was a narrow window of time in which to enter.

I'm not sure if the permits are transferable, but the campsites are, which I think is an awful idea. It is what allows the black market to control them.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
May 11th, 2016 at 11:55:50 PM permalink
Aussie
Member since: May 10, 2016
Threads: 2
Posts: 273
Yes the daily lottery is a very tight window. You apply 2 days before your intended hike (from midnight until late that afternoon I think) and they notify you the following morning (day before the hike). So yes not much time. Permits are not transferable. You are required to put the name of the party leader with the option of also including the name of an alternate leader. If neither the leader nor alternate are at the point where permits are checked then none of the group are allowed to proceed past the sub dome. I guess in theory someone could apply for a permit for a party of several people and sell the remaining permits but they would still need to be there doing the hike as well.
May 12th, 2016 at 9:10:05 AM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1410
Quote: Wizard
I hope you have your permit. I desperately wanted to do that when I went to Yosemite last summer, but was rebuffed because I couldn't get a coveted permit. I'm still mad at myself over it.

Okay, I did my final training ride today. With the big day three days off, I didn't want to push too hard. I saved all my rides into my Garmin bike GPS. Here is a summary:

Date Miles Avg. Speed (MPH) Ascent (feet)
5/11/2016 60.1 13.7 3,297
5/3/2016 55.5 14.0 3,123
4/19/2016 84.6 13.6 4,583
4/12/2016 53.5 14.3 3,149
3/27/2016 80.3 14.3 4,088
3/19/2016 69.5 13.5 3,674
3/10/2016 60.3 13.8 3,133
3/5/2016 54.0 11.6 2,933
Total 517.8 13.6 27,980


The average speed does not factor in breaks. The GPS automatically pauses when I'm not moving for more than a second or so.


Thanks for the data Wizard! The prediction contest is moving forward, and this is quite handy. For our benefit, do you know:
1) If there are scheduled breaks on your ride? You previously mentioned aid stations set up along the way, but is the ride set up so that the entire pack stops at some point along the way to rest, eat, etc. for a fixed period of time, or is it every rider for themselves?

2) If the organizers provide a "finish line" photo that will display your elapsed time? Or will they publish times by bib number?
May 12th, 2016 at 11:37:23 AM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 145
Posts: 3174
Quote: Ayecarumba
Thanks for the data Wizard! The prediction contest is moving forward, and this is quite handy. For our benefit, do you know:
1) If there are scheduled breaks on your ride? You previously mentioned aid stations set up along the way, but is the ride set up so that the entire pack stops at some point along the way to rest, eat, etc. for a fixed period of time, or is it every rider for themselves?


Thank you. I've only done one organized bike ride before, 30 years ago, and that was every rider for himself. I imagine it to be as such this time. I imagine there are probably three or four "aid stations" along the way, where one may stop to refill water bottles and eat light snacks, especially bananas. You can stay as little or as long as you wish.

Quote:
2) If the organizers provide a "finish line" photo that will display your elapsed time? Or will they publish times by bib number?


The 100-mile people start at 6:30 AM. The clock may start at that point, since the 100-milers deserve the most respect. However, there are other groups doing shorter distances as well. I'm sure there official times will be published on the Active.com web site.

BTW, there is a beer garden at the finish line, if anybody would like to join me.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
May 12th, 2016 at 1:53:15 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1410
Okay, thanks Wizard! The elapsed time predictions for your ride are locked in. Are you collecting donations for the charity too?
May 13th, 2016 at 7:46:45 AM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 145
Posts: 3174
Quote: Ayecarumba
Okay, thanks Wizard! The elapsed time predictions for your ride are locked in.


In that case, let me make my own prediction, just for fun.

You can see my average moving speed on my training rides was about 13.7 MPH. At that pace, it would take 7.3 hours. Of course, that didn't include rest stops, red lights, and another other time when I wasn't moving. If we allow an extra 20% for that, we get to 8.76 hours.

In my favor is moderately less elevation gain than my training rides. I think this ride will have about 2,700 feet of elevation gain. My average training ride had about 3,500. Also in my favor is good weather for tomorrow. The "contact high" of riding with a group will also help. I'm not sure how much.

Red lights may be a moderately larger factor on this ride than my usual route in Vegas, which strove to minimize them.

The big question mark is hard will that last 15 miles be? The most I rode in training was 85, and struggled that last 10 of those.

Okay, all things considered, my prediction is 8 hours and 50 minutes.

Quote:
Are you collecting donations for the charity too?


I must confess to doing a lousy job of that. I made a donation myself but I didn't bring in any outside donations. That said, please consider making a donation to support the fight against pediatric cancer. The link will take you right to my fundraising page. The winner of the pool is especially encouraged to.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
May 14th, 2016 at 4:39:40 PM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 145
Posts: 3174
The ride went fine. Easier than I expected.

So, there was no clock at the finish line and I doubt I'll have an official time. Nobody seemed to be keeping track of time, unlike the marathons and half-marathons I've done. However, I had my GPS on the entire time. I was a little slow to turn it off, but my best estimate is a time of 7:59.

I'll post some more details later, but the GPS is in the car and I'm too tired to go get it.

Thanks for all your support.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
May 15th, 2016 at 8:19:39 AM permalink
DRich
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 18
Posts: 762
Congratulations on achieving your goal.
May 15th, 2016 at 2:44:13 PM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 145
Posts: 3174
Quote: DRich
Congratulations on achieving your goal.


Thank you!

Here is my Strava entry for the ride.

Key statistics:

Distance: 102.33 miles
Average (moving) speed: 14.5 MPH
Calories burned: 5,574
Moving time: 7:00:11
Total elapsed time: 7:59:25
Elevation gain: 3,226
Temperature range: 57.2 - 82.4 (average of 65.6)

Really nice weather for the ride. Couldn't have asked for much better. Cloudy and cool for the first six hours of it and then the sun finally burned off the marine layer.

The ride itself was smaller than I had envisioned. In the 100-mile group there were about 200 riders. Lots of middle-aged men like me. There seemed to be few solo riders but many were riding as part of a group. While this may make it more fun, a downside in riding in groups is that if one person has a mechanical problem or flat tire, everybody has to stop. Plus, you have to go at the slowest persons pace. Overall, I'd say it was 75% men and the average age about 45. I guess I'm not the only man going through a mid-life crisis by immersing myself in exercise.

I'd like to give the organizers due credit for an efficient check-in, many and well-staffed and -stocked rest stations (there were eight of them on the 100-mile course), and a festive finish line (with lots of people selling micro-brews and live music).

My biggest complaint was a poorly marked route. Granted, there were a lot of turns (click here for the route directions). I'll concede that about 90% were properly marked with signs. However, making a wrong turn at one of the other 10% can lead to over-riding and getting lost. Fortunately, through luck and just following others, I managed to never get off-route, but did have to stop at some intersections and wait to confer with other riders where to to. I did hear complaints of getting lost from other riders.

So, that is another thing to cross off my bucket list. Time to think about my next challenge.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
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