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Gold Country Tour

Most of you are aware that the club sponsors a one-week cycle-tour each summer. This year (June 5-12), we're exploring the Gold Country, from Grass Valley to Mariposa.

It has come to my attention that some folks out there seem to think the tour is all full. This is not true. We have enough people signed up at this point to make the tour work, but it would actually work better with three or four or even half a dozen more riders.

I have also heard some folks speculate that others are afraid the tour may be too hard. This is of course a relative assessment. It may be too hard for some riders, but it's no harder than the tour we did last year, and probably quite a bit easier, and we had several "moderate" riders on that trip who had a ball.

There are longer and shorter options most days (unlike last year). The average short day is 62 miles. Four out of the seven days are under 60 miles. The longest short route is 73 miles. Of course, you can always sag any portion of any day, as the ride is fully supported by sags. Day three is a loop route, returning to the same camp, so if you need a day off, you can skip that ride and spend the day by the pool. Finally, the last two days of the tour are probably the easiest (unlike last year, where the final two days were the hardest of the tour). In short, this tour is within the reach of many riders of average ability and ambition. It's not hard core.

The Gold Country Tour is flat out one of the most exciting, cycle-friendly, fun tours this club will ever have occasion to do. The roads are superb: for the most part beautifully paved but low on traffic and very high on scenery...an absolute cycling paradise. If you're familiar with the region, you know what a wealth of neat little backroads they have. If you've never explored the area, you'll be amazed at how great it is. (I was just up there last week, riding one of the stages, and I came home so stoked about this trip...I want to go tomorrow!)

The campgrounds are all nice, and all but one have hot, free showers (again: unlike last year), and the one that doesn't has a beautiful cove on a mountain lake for swimming. Some of the camps have swimming pools and one is on the American River.

And--bottom line--you simply cannot beat the price: $235, which includes all transport to and from Santa Rosa, almost all meals, and full support. Where else can you do a week's vacation for anything close to that price?

So anyway...enough with the sales pitch! If you thought the tour was full, think again. And perhaps you could spread the word to others who aren't on this list. It really is a great opportunity to have a dream cycling vacation.

One more thing: you do not have to be an SRCC member to go.

If you have any questions about it, please feel free to get in touch with me.

--Bill Oetinger  srcc@ap.net

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