SPORTS

Cyclists to converge on Mt. Shasta area in early August

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
The start of the annual Hill Climb up Mt. Shasta. This year’s event is scheduled for Aug. 2

You can expect an extra dash of color along the roadways the weekend of Aug. 2 and 3 as Mount Shasta plays host to two cycling events, the Hill Climb up Everitt Memorial Highway and the Summit Century.

Mount Shasta Pedali Cycling Club organizes the annual Hill Climb, a timed ride/race that covers slightly more than 14 miles up Everitt Memorial Highway on Aug. 2, beginning downtown and ending at the old Ski Bowl. Riders will gain over 4,100 vertical feet of elevation along the way.

It will be held one day before the Mount Shasta Summit Century on Aug. 3, which is expected to attract over 700 cyclists on Mt. Shasta area roads.

The annual ride has grown in popularity in recent years, and ride director Tom Chandler points out “historically over 75 percent of riders are from outside the area.”

The ride is regarded as one of the most scenic, challenging, and well supported rides of its kind, according to a press release.

Most riders choose the demanding Super Century, a 135 mile route with 16,500 feet of climbing; while other riders opt to ride one of three other alternate routes, including a Summit Century, Metric Century, or the Half-metric which is a 30 mile route.

No part of the routes will be closed to motorized traffic. However, with so many cyclists on the roads, motorists are asked to utilize extra caution to ensure the safety of the riders.

Event organizers also ask that the cyclists ride single file at all times. Riders will be spread out along a cloverleaf route that includes four regional summits: Park’s Creek, Mumbo, Castle Lake, Old Ski Bowl on Mt. Shasta.

Mount Shasta Summit Century riders will be on the road from 5 a.m. until about 5 p.m. Signage reminding motorists and cyclists to Share the Road will be along the route on the day of the event.

Weather and air quality conditions always present safety considerations for riders.

Chandler notes that, “We won’t cancel the ride absent a direct threat to the safety of the riders.”

Pre-registration for the ride is recommended and can be completed online at www.shastasummitcentury.com.  However, on-site registration will be available at the event headquarters at Mt. Shasta City Park on Aug. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. and on event day Aug. 3 beginning at 5 a.m.

A cap of 750 riders has been established, and registration will close when the cap is reached.

The Mount Shasta Summit Century is organized by Mountain Wheelers, a local group whose mission is to support sports programs in Siskiyou County. Every year, the entirely volunteer-run Mountain Wheelers, uses all of the funds raised from the Mt. Shasta Summit Century to provide grant funding, primarily to youth athletic sports or local athletic-related projects in Siskiyou County.

The Hill Climb

This year’s Hill Climb is being held as a fundraiser for  “Share the road” signs to be placed along Mount Shasta and Siskiyou County roads to make them more safe for cyclists.

“We hear way too often of horrible accidents all over California and the whole country, involving cyclists just because too many motorists do not know the law of the roads as it relates to bicycles or are just not courteous enough to cyclists,” said Mario Marchi of the Pedali Cycling Club. “Maybe these sign will help make Siskiyou County motorists more aware of cyclists.”

The Hill Climb had its biggest turnout last year, 73 entries. “This year we are hoping for 100,” said ride organizer Marchi.

The ride/race will be played out on Everitt Memorial Highway’s smoothly graded roads and stunning vistas.

“This is one of the most beautiful settings for a bicycle ride” said Marchi. “Riders will be challenged going up but rewarded coming down with an exhilarating descent.”

The entry fee is $10.

Entry is open to all bike riders, male or female, and junior to senior.

Awards will be given to fastest finishers by age group, and raffle prizes awarded after the ride.

For the most competitive riders, Pedali is offering a special $100 prize – sponsored by Paul Engstrom-Doris Moss Realty and Ted Palfini – which will be awarded to the first male rider who completes the climb in under 60 minutes, and to the first female rider who completes the climb in less than 70 minutes.

Registration forms are available at The Fifth Season and on line at www.shastapedali.com

On the day of the event, registration begins at 7:45 a.m. outside The Fifth Season on the corner of Lake Street and Mount Shasta Boulevard, and closes at 8:45. The race starts promptly at 9 a.m.

Information about the ride can be found on the Shasta Pedali Web site www.shastapedali.com or by calling Mario Marchi at (530) 859-0049.

Mount Shasta Pedali is a local group of road bicycling enthusiasts whose mission is to promote cycling in Siskiyou County. They invite all local cyclists to join them on their Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday evening and weekend group rides.