Death Ride 2007

Last Saturday was the Death Ride, a 126 mile ride with 15,000 feet of climbing, that starts and finishes in Markleeville, CA, just south of Lake Tahoe.

Here’s the map.

Miguel did all five passes.

I did not do all five passes. My knees hurt so bad after four passes that it was all I could do to pedal back to Markleeville with one leg. I didn’t even ride back to Miguel’s car, because it meant riding up another hill. Instead, I sat at one of the picnic tables with ice on my knees until the sun started to set, and I worried about Miguel who was still out there, until my friend Jake, who did all five passes, happened to saunter by, and we got in his car to look for him. And we found him, flat on his back asleep next to his car. At least I didn’t have to ride there.

What was going to be the center-piece of this now abridged ride report is that riding down Monitor, the first pass, my back tire flatted. It sounded like a mild explosion. I pulled off to the side of the road to fix the flat, and saw that the tire had started to come off the rim.

That’s a very sobering thing to have happen. It made me question everything.

I questioned everything for the next thirty seconds, and then I fixed the flat, and rode down the hill, pumped up my tires, and rode back up again.

I’m leaving out all the social encounters that also happened on this ride.

The ride was very painful, as I expected it to be, but more painful than last year.  I don’t want to talk about it.

I don’t want to talk about it, because yesterday morning, as Miguel and I were leaving to go eat eggs benedict at our favorite cafe on Fillmore, Miguel moved my bike for some reason, and noted with alarm that my rear brakes were rubbing my rim.

Not badly, but bad enough to rip a girl’s legs apart.


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
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14 Responses to Death Ride 2007

  1. Mom says:

    Did not I ever tell you about how to adjust to altitude? It takes a full week for the system, especially oxygen intake to adapt to the thin, less-oxygen air. Next time make it into a week’s vacation up there and don’t punish yourself so much.

  2. Breeego says:

    Oh Jesus Christ. OW.

  3. donna says:

    Are you going to ride in the year? If so , maybe I can help change your mind and come race the track with me.

  4. I use the “brakes rubbing” excuse all the time. LOL . Seriously, tough ride and unless you specifically train for hilly endurance @ elevation it will be challenging for you.

    A blow-out on monitor is scary. I topped out over 50mph this year. Do you think the rubbing brake contributed by heating the rim?

    ps — am I a social encounter?

  5. Death ride=lots of burned calories=lots of yummy food to eat.

    but is is worth the busted knees and backs? i dunno

  6. Philip-o says:

    As we endurance althletes often say,

    “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

    Disclaimer: This statement was provided as a general means of ’emotional support’ only and is not intended as a substitute for good judgement. Believers of such a statement should seek the advice of a qualified medical professional and/or a sensible athletic coach.

  7. Swampy says:

    Is this is the same Katie Kelly that can autocross a Miata way faster than I ever could?

    How is “Lucy” these days?

    I had no idea that you were doing the Deathride this year – I would have tried to remember what you looked like and said “hi” along the way…

    … I gave up autocrossing to get back on the bike so I could lose weight – but the autocrossing got left out along the way… LOL

    You going to do it again next year?

    Mark Smith
    ex ST2 Miata….

  8. katiekelly says:

    These are all such wonderful comments. Donna, I may just see you at the track! And Lorri Lee, if you heard me yelling out your name as you were blazing down Monitor, that counts as a social encounter! To Mike, yes, it’s the same Katie Kelly. Don’t worry, I don’t remember what you look like, either! 🙂 Lucy’s in good spirits.

    And to Phil, my coach Lisa Hunt just sent me an e-mail that said, “Good girl, Katie! Resistance training!”

    What I am loving this most is that my mother, who for the longest time I thought was the most vocally opposed to me riding bikes, is telling me to train at altitude for the next time. Mothers know best!

  9. indi young says:

    Wow, that was really your mom, then? Your mom ROCKS!!!!! Go Mom!

  10. problemSolver says:

    Study has shown you don’t really need two brakes on the bike. Just take the rear one off and your problem will be solved.

  11. PandaElf says:


  12. Aunty Carol says:

    This is far more than I can understand. I’d be sitting poolside sipping a Margarita if I happened to be in Tahoe. Good for you for sticking it out as long as you did.

  13. Mom says:

    What I don’t like are the crashes. I used to ski for over 20 years a long time ago. That’s how come I now about altitude. It takes a week to adjust to 11,000 ft (Aspen).
    –Mom again

  14. I too enjoyed the DR 2007 and plan to ride it again. 3000 riders, roads closed for 4 passes, lots of good food and enthusiasm. I did make a short video of the ride:

    We all stay focused and watch out for each other. I heard of one bad accident on Ebbetts and the rider is still not recovered. Does anyone know what happened?

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