Riders FAQ


Before the Ride

What does my registration fee include?

In addition to full course support, including: signed routes, multiple aid stations with snacks, drinks and potties, support vehicles, on-route medical patrol, medical support at Base Camps, on-route bicycle mechanical support AND long term parking at starting point, your registration fee also includes: all overnight camping, live entertainment; meals, snacks and non alcoholic beverages including coffee; mobile and other bathroom and shower services; and luggage transport.

What is the minimum age?

18 years.

How many bags can I bring?

Each rider can bring 60 lbs. of overnight equipment (tent, sleeping bag, pad, clothes, toiletries, evening clothes, small camp chair. etc). This can be ONE LARGE, or TWO SMALLER bags per cyclist. Durable duffle style bags work best. They will be transported on a truck throughout the ride.

How serious is the 60-pound weight limit for bags?

Your bag must not weigh more than 60 pounds, so please take the time to weigh your bag and pack accordingly. We ask you to be considerate of the baggage people and volunteers who will be handling your bags each day by honoring this weight limit.

What is the best way to get from the airport to the starting point?

There will be a shuttle service available from the Sacramento Airport. Details coming soon.

What kind of bike do I need?

Be sure your bike and equipment measure up to the terrain of Cycle the Sierra. A lightweight multi speed bicycle is recommended to climb the mountain passes you’ll encounter during the tour. On the route, there are a couple of mile long sections that reach an 8% grade. Consider a compact double or triple crank based on your fitness level and riding ability. If you’re uncertain if your bike will make the grade, have it checked out by a qualified shop.We highly recommend a “tune-up” for your bicycle prior to Cycle the Sierra. Any changes to your bicycle or new equipment purchases should be done well in advance of the ride.

Can I ship my bike to and from the Ride?

Yes. You can ship your bike to:

Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop
457 Sacramento St. 

Nevada City, CA 95959
(530) 265-2187 

The shop is located right around the corner from our start/finish location in Nevada City, CA. They will receive your bike and safely store your bike box for the duration of the ride. You can talk with them further if you would like help with bike assembly/disassembly. Please see our Ride Guide for suggestions on third party bike box shipping companies.

Can you help me find a good bike to rent in the area?

We recommend the Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop as they are located right around the corner from our start/finish location in Nevada City, CA (see contact info above).

I really want to ride, but I don’t want to camp. What are my options?

We encourage all riders to camp with us. If you prefer to not camp, motel rooms or other lodging are not included in the registration fee and would be at an additional cost to you. Transportation to and from hotel rooms is the responsibility of the rider. (Due to the size and remoteness of some towns, motel accommodations may be limited.)

Do I need to pack any food or water?

All meals, snacks and water will be provided every day and are included in your rider fee. Rest stops will be located along the route approximately every 20 miles. Water, Gatorade Endurance, fruit,salty snacks, lunch finger foods, first aid supplies, toilets and hand sanitizers will be available at aid stations at no charge. You should plan on always carrying a water bottle and drinking plenty of water.

How much extra should I expect to spend while I’m on the ride?

We will supply plenty of food and beverages each day, but there are extras you may want to buy along the way. Also, you might want some cash at Base Camps for the beer and wine and extra services such as massage or bike tuning. The amount will vary by rider, but you should plan on bringing some spending money.

Will I have phone access during the ride? Will there be a way for me to charge electronic devices?

Because we will exploring rural and mountainous areas, you shouldn’t expect to have uninterrupted cell phone and/or Internet access. We will go through areas and stay in some towns with services, but part of the ride fun is of course to “unplug” from cell phones and internet life. Also, there will not be a guaranteed way to charge any electronic devices, so use sparingly with this in mind.

Is long term parking included?

Yes. We will park our personal vehicles in the campus parking lot at Nevada Union High School (our start/finish location).

What is your cancellation policy?

All cancellation requests must be received by Cycle the Sierra by June 1, 2015 by 5 pm PST. A $50 processing fee will be deducted from each refund. You will only be refunded your Rider fee (refunds will not be issued for ride jerseys). To cancel your registration, simply send an e-mail to info@cyclethesierra.com. We will reply with a cancellation confirmation email within a few business days. You will be credited within 10 business days.

The Ride

Is this a race?

No. Riders can leave camp in the morning when they wish, take their time along the daily route and get to the next Base Camp at their own pace.

Where does the ride start/finish?

This is a “Loop Ride.” We will start and finish at Nevada Union High School.

Would this be a good ride for a beginner?

Riders should have good bike control and be comfortable on mountain roads with hills and vehicular traffic. This is a good ride for solid intermediate riders and up.

Will I be able to take a shower each evening?

Yes! Showers will be available at all Cycle the Sierra overnight locations. We will be traveling with additional (mobile) shower and toilet facilities where needed.

Where will we stay at night?

Each evening we set up “Base Camp.” These are carefully chosen, comfortable camping locations along the route where we will sleep, eat, drink, listen to music, lick our wounds and set out to local points of interest (a dip in the lake perhaps?!).

Tell me about gear transportation and tent set-up in Base Camps.

In the morning before you set off from camp on your bike, you’ll put all your personal belongings (sleeping bag, tent, pad, evening clothes etc.) and bike lock into your duffle bag. Your bag will go onto a truck and be taken to the next Base Camp, leaving you light and fast on the road during the day. When you arrive at Base Camp each evening, all the bags will be laid out ready for pick up. Grab your bag and find some good real estate among your friends to set up your tent and relax!

Can I only do a day or two of the ride instead of the whole thing?

Unfortunately, we are not offering registration for individual day segments at this time.

What will the weather be like?

Depending on location, we anticipate daytime temperatures of 65-75 degrees, with the mountain evenings cooling possibly into the 40’s. Please bring rain gear just in case and something warm to wear in the evenings. You may want to start your ride with a light jacket in the morning.

Where will my bike go at night?

With the optimum bike safety in mind, every rider must bring a bike lock and are responsible for their own bike security. In Camp you can lock it to available freestanding items or you can lock your wheel to its frame and lay it by your tent (locks can go in your duffle bag on the truck during the day). 

I’ve ridden 100 miles a day before, these mileages look pretty short compared to that.

Keep in mind that riding 100 miles on straight/“flat-ish” terrain vs. 60 miles (for example) of mountain roads with hills is a different experience. We recommend training and experience climbing and descending hills before the ride begins.

What if I get tired during a days ride?

You should come to Cycle the Sierra physically prepared to ride the entire route. We will provide ample support vehicles for rider support (medical emergency, equipment failure and rider fatigue) throughout the ride. Support vehicles will be clearly marked for easy identification.

How about personal support vehicles?

Personal support vehicles are not allowed. The definition of a personal support vehicle is any vehicle (motor or otherwise), anywhere on the route, operated by someone other than Cycle the Sierra staff, that is providing any type of aid, assistance, or motivation to any rider, or taking photographs, or simply out cheering. Please understand that our permits simply don’t allow dozens of extra vehicles on the roads or at the checkpoint locations.

If you’re bringing someone with you who wants to be out on the course helping, please have them contact us about join our volunteer team. We would love to have them along, it’s a ton of fun and we can use extra help out on the course.

What if I wake up one morning and don’t feel able to ride? How can I get to the next overnight site?

There will be a Medical Support Van available to transport cyclists from site to site if cyclists are not feeling well or are injured. If this happens to you, go to the Medical Tent and get a medical release for riding the Medical Support Van and bring the form to Rider Services before 8 am to sign up for this shuttle option.

What if I get a flat?

Each rider must carry and know how to use equipment to patch and change tires. Wrench-hands will be available to assist you at rest stations if you have mechanical difficulties on the route. Technicians will also assist with bike assembly at the start/finish location in Nevada City.

Will I meet lots of interesting people and have a blast on my bike in the mountains?

Absolutely!