"Enjoy the Western Sierra Scenery including Pine Flat Lake & Bass Lake"
Please see route map and cuesheet below...
- ROUTE: Distance = 193.1 miles || Elevation gain = 10,253 feet
- COURSE .fit FILE (for GPS devices)
Rest Stop Listing
- Spring Valley Rest Stop: 6am - 8am (mile 29.5)
(*optional water stop at Bass Fork Minimart at mile 41)
- Bass Lake Rest Stop: 9am - 12noon (mile 55) - drop-off bags
- Fresno County Sheriff Office Water Stop: 10:30am - 2:30pm (mile 79)
- Dry Creek Trailhead Park Rest Stop: 12noon - 4pm (mile 104) - lunch stop
- MR5 FOOD MART Rest Stop: 2pm - 6pm (mile 134) access to drop-off bags (dual rest stop). This is the cut-off point before you head up to Trimmer Springs – 8pm is the cut-off time, no exceptions please.
- Trimmer Springs Bridge Rest Stop: 3:30pm - 8pm (mile 151) - Turn-Around Point
- MR5 FOOD MART Rest Stop: 7pm - 10pm (mile 167)
(*optional stop at Johnny Quick store at mile 183)
Welcome to the foothills of the western Sierras and enjoy the grandeur of Bass Lake, Kerckhoff Lake and Pine Flat Lake as you ride the quiet country road of the Central Valley.
The journey starts at Clovis, the Gateway to the Sierras, on a mostly flat terrain. This gives you the opportunity to warm up the legs as you embark on a challenging ride that a lot of cyclists love to endure. Eighteen miles on your saddle the town of Friant is approaching, the Friant Dam looms large up ahead. Here you will encounter the first climb of the day – the "Broken Bridge" by the dam, and you will be in between them. Up this dam hill will bring you to the undulating terrain towards the first rest stop at Spring Valley Elementary School at O'Neals.
From this point on you will pace yourself going up east to a 6-miler "Walker Grade", which will lead you north through mild ascent and then pleasantly sweeping descent to the very scenic and serene loop of the lake, and the famous and beautiful tourist village named after it – Bass Lake. "It is situated in the Sierra National Forest about 14 miles from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park…at an elevation of 3,415 ft."
After a late breakfast treat in Bass Lake, you will NOW be leaving behind the hardest climb of the entire event. If this statement has not sunk in yet because the cognitive system is sidetracked by the churning digestive system – it means in catatonic cycling speak: the torture is over, for now.
Long, long, long downhill you cruise on. At times cyclists loathe the monotony. But not this time. This is the moment to reflect and gather ones thoughts on what lies yonder – North Fork. This "is the birth place of Jeff King, four-time champion of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race". I'm not making this up. But most importantly, historically or geographically for that matter, North Fork prides itself as the "exact geographical center of the state of California".
Another long, long, long downhill will bore your adrenaline-induced body. But this time we warn you because that what lies ahead is one of the most underestimated climbs in this event – the A.G. Wishon Powerhouse. And the adrenaline will come in handy. Take a brief moment to enjoy the view from the bridge before you head up. Although the highest elevation reaches up to 2,245ft, and the weather gets scorching at times, the climb is grinding, lung-busting to some but surprisingly pleasant and overall epic and panoramic to most. It is in "Kerckhoff Lake (Madera County) and is surrounded by Fowler mountain, Mike Walker canyon and Grapevine canyon".
Downhill again to the third rest stop is the Fresno County Sheriff Office. A long, fast, busy road will lead you to the town of Prather all the way down to Dry Creek Trailhead Park in northeast Fresno, where the renowned Killer Bees await you to pamper and spoil your cycling needs with their late lunch, beverages, rehydration drinks, bike mechanic, and massages!
After this late lunch, a 30-mile flat stretch of road will lead you to Piedra, where the rest of the second half of the event will take place eastward. From here, you will coast along the very smooth paved road and winding terrain along Fresno County's Kings River. Heading further east to Trimmer Springs Road in Sanger, you will meander to the banks of Pine Flat Lake through rolling terrain. Soon after, you will turn around at the Trimmer Springs Bridge and negotiate your way back to a very fast descent to Piedra. The rest of the way is all flat heading back home to the finish line.
Congratulations, you just earned your California Triple Crown credit along with your sumptuous dinner.
*The course opens at 4:00 am but the first rest stop does not open until 6:00 am. The course will close at 12 midnight.*