Ridgecrest Desert Classic
Taking place on the 19th of November, 2022 marks High Sierra Cyclists’ tenth year sponsoring the Ridgecrest Desert Classic. We will again be staging the race from the college because we believe we have found the winning combination running all four courses from this venue. The beginner, sport, and expert courses are aimed at more competitive riders while the the Classic Loop course caters to our riders who simply want to come out and support the race, and aren’t necessarily interested in being competitive or risking getting injured on the Ridgeline. Having said that, please do not understand us to mean that it is an “easy” course. While shorter and less technical than our other three courses, you will not be able to buy your first mountain bike on Tuesday, get a crash-course ride in on Wednesday and Thursday, then come out on Saturday and feel comfortable riding the sixish miles to the first check point, then down Blacks.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT MOUNTAIN BIKING IS INHERENTLY DANGEROUS. We do not doctor our trails out here in the desert. There are rocks, and drops, and sand traps. You may encounter portions of the trail that make you nervous. You may even encounter portions of the trail that downright scare you. If this occurs, please employ discretion and, if necessary, walk until you feel comfortable again. We simply cannot cater to every level of rider, but we are making a genuine effort with all four courses, so we ask that you work with us and make the experience the best you possibly can!
On an equally serious note, we'd like to recognize and sincerely thank our sponsors. There is truly no way we could hold the Ridgecrest Desert Classic every year without the support of these fantastic Ridgecrest businesses: TJ Frisbee Bicycles, Toyota of Ridgecrest, Honda Desert Sport Center, T&T Alignment, and Clint Freeman with Coldwell Banker Best Reality.
We would also like to thank Gary and Maria Stewart of ESI Grips for being a huge part of our race since the very beginning -- helping us with timing, organization and, of course, providing us with their top-of-the-line grips for raffle prizes at the RDC.
Now, on to race details and course information…
REGISTRATION AND PACKET PICK UP
Registration for the Ridgecrest Desert Classic is $40, regardless of course choice, and is available at our local bike shops – TJ Frisbee Bicycles or online using the link at the top of this page. A USA Cycling permit is NOT necessary for the Ridgecrest Desert Classic as we are not a USA Cycling sanctioned event. Day-of registration will be available from 0600 until 0900, as well as Friday during packet pick up, which will be Friday, 18 November, from 5 to 7 pm at TJ Frisbee Bicycles, 217 Balsam St.
Remember to register and PAY by midnight on Saturday 12 November to have an RDC t-shirt included with your registration, as well as a personalized race bib!
Register by 12 Nov at midnight to be guaranteed an RDC t-shirt
0930 = beginner and Unicycles
0950 = Classic loop
1030 = sport & pro/expert
COURSE INFO AND START TIMES
The four courses being offered this year are the Classic Loop, Beginner, Sport, and Pro/Expert. Our first two classes, the CLASSIC LOOP GROUP AND THE BEGINNERS/UNICYCLES with a final descent along Widow Maker, save the Classic Loop Group which will finish down Blacks.
FOOD, SHOWERS, AND RESTROOMS
The Cerro Coso Community College gym bathroom facilities will be open to our racers AND (great news!), we have secured the services of Kim Parent and the Roaming Dog Kitchen, which will be set up right in the parking lot from around 1100 to 1500ish. Kim and her team will have a variety of items available; click on the menu to the right to view an enlarged version.
Showers will be available from 1100 until 4 pm, so please take advantage of the Cerro Coso gym locker rooms and get spruced up for the awards ceremony!
Accommodations in Ridgecrest include many hotels, as well as camping. If you plan on a low-maintenance, low-budget stay here in our desert, please visit (and adhere to) our local BLM office’s page on camping. Please also keep our cute little ground squirrels and desert tortoises in mind while camping and racing. Some basic information regarding these little fellas is available in the following brief fact sheets.
CLASSIC LOOP / UNICYCLE
Again, this course is the shortest and least technical at 8.2 miles. It will have one aid station around mile 5.5 before heading down Blacks and back to the CCCC parking lot. All RDC participants will ride this course, but will diverge at aid station one; our Classic Loop Group will head down Blacks, and all other racers (beginners, sports, and pros/experts) will head out east, which will be clearly indicated by those manning the aid station, as well as signage. The Classic Loop has fire roads, single track, double track, a few jumps (if the rider so chooses to partake), and downhill sections along Blacks that will allow for speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. This will be an open class, meaning there will be no age groups and only the top three males and females will be recognized. Click here to view the course map, or here for the Classic Loop GPX file.
Our beginner 14-mile course will have three aid stations, the first of which will be the Classic Loop Group’s only aid station around mile marker 5.5. This course has several, what most would consider, difficult to moderately difficult climbs, does NOT go out into the Fun House, and finishes down The Ridgeline. Click here to view the course map, or here for the Beginner GPX file.
Ridgeline descent, climbs, fast single track, and a little Fun House make this course a good compromise at 21 miles. Four aid stations will be available to our sporters en route to the Ridgeline. Click here to view the course map, or here for the Sport GPX file.
27 miles of sweat, cursing, cramping, and type II fun (the kind you’re glad to have done with)! This course is unlike any other you’ll ride because of its extensive mileage through the Fun House. Twists and turns, banks and boulders -- the Fun House’s unique terrain will test you as you fight to keep momentum while avoiding getting stuck in a sand trap, or overshooting a corner. A true test of skill and definitely a ride you will not forget! 100% pro payout guaranteed. Click here to view the course map, here for the pro/expert GPX file, or here for a video of the Ridgeline.
A total of five aid stations are available along the length of the pro/expert course before jumping onto The Ridgeline and dropping down along Widow Maker.
The following are approximate mile-marker locations for all five aid stations according to the pro/expert course: AS1 = 5.5, AS2 = 9, AS3 = 14, AS4 = 20.5, AS5 = 23.5. Course maps are available within each description above and indicate a general idea of all aid station locations in relation to each course.
We are employing a cut-off time this year of 2:00 at the last aid station before the Ridgeline. This is very liberal and, so long as you have chosen a course that is within your ability and skill level, you should have no problems making this deadline. For perspective though, AS5 is approximately four miles from the finish line for the beginner, sport, and pro/expert course. So, back four miles off your total, and then calculate if you can bike the remaining miles in your allowed time. For example, beginners, you will have over four (4!) hours to ride nine miles. Sporters will have over three and a half (>3.5) hours to ride 17 miles. Pros/experts will have the same three and a half hours to ride 23 miles. Again, all very attainable if you have chosen a course that is reasonable for you.
Our policy on refunds is that we don't do them. We will, however, happily rollover a registration payment from a previous year if you contact us directly about it well in advance (let's say at least two months before the race), AND you recruit two (2) new people to race in the RDC for the same year you would like to roll your already-paid registration to. A bit unusual, we know, but we're going to give it a try and see how it goes.
Our 2019 results are a good indication of what to shoot for on all four courses as said courses are identical again for this year.