Brendan and Mary Collier, inveterate cyclists and owners of Idyllwild Hub Cyclery, are planning and GPS mapping a 400-mile mountain to desert bicycle course for an end of April event. “It’s a ride, not a race,” Brendan stressed. “No prizes, no fees, just a group of friends getting together for a ride.” Both Mary and Brendan will ride.
The Stagecoach 400, as it is called, is another in what are dubbed the Southern California Enduro Series of self-supported rides, with the San Jacinto Enduro already going into its fourth year. Both Brendan and Mary have ridden parts of the 400-mile course in order to complete GPS mapping that will enable participants to stay on course.
Start times and routes are provided, but it’s up to each rider to understand and take responsibility for the ride they are undertaking, Collier emphasized. The Enduro Series is intended for experienced backcountry cyclists, who must also determine what supplies to carry on a course that often winds through very remote areas.
Mary Collier is the first woman to complete the Tour Divide ride, a 2,700-mile course along the spine of the Rockies from Banff, Alberta, Canada, to the Mexico border. For her, and for many of those already listed as starters for the Stagecoach 400, this should be less arduous than some of the events in which she and other of these accomplished riders have participated. Over 50 riders, from California, Alaska, Kansas, Georgia, Arizona, Missouri and Vancouver, Canada have already indicated an intention to take part.
“I anticipate it would take four or five days to complete the course,” said Brendan who in addition to mapping the course for GPS coordinates, sets the start time and provides a web-site interface for satellite tracking so that riders’ friends and families can follow them. Jill Homer, who also completed the Tour Divide ride in 2010, has signed on to participate.
Rules include: riding your own bike, self-supported, under only your own power along the entire route; no prearranged support or assistance of any kind; don’t break any law; and be aware that there are long stretches of wilderness where food, water and medical assistance can be very hard to come by. The route itself is 70 to 75 percent dirt. A leaderboard will be available on trackleaders.com.
“Our inspiration for doing this is to provide a mountain to desert ride through some extraordinary country,” said Brendan. The race begins and ends in Idyllwild, part of the Colliers commitment to promoting Idyllwild as a cycling destination and a bike-friendly town. For more information see socalenduro.wordpress.com.