Subject: Notice of change in route due to road construction.
Our Joshua Tree National Park Permit was very recently rescinded due to new road construction. Here is what I was informed: The road construction was due to start Feb.10th and then cancelled. It was put back on the calendar for March 1st-September without the Management Team being aware this would take place when our Permit was issued. I was also informed that when the Feds' grant funds, it needs to be utilized stat, before they take it away. I rode our there just this past Sunday, Feb.24th, to check it all out for myself. The Rangers at the Cottonwood Visitors Center confirmed it, giving a little more history around it. Ridng the road, one could see they had already marked off where they were going to widen the road to, (with those wood paint-stir sticks and pink ribbons around them). They said they would start where they left off from a previous re-paving out there. There are miles of pavement that's as smooth as an ice rink out there, so if that's what it's going to be, believe me this pavement is worth waiting for!! Plus it's being widened, which is in our favor.
We were also refunded our money for the Permit, which is something they never do, but they chose to out of kindness, as it was termed "non-refundable". I apologize for change in route due to something out of my control. Thank-you for understanding. The course is being routed to the route we did last year, which is a fairly easy, and fun double.
Cold lemonade will be served at every stop, to remind us we well know how to make lemonade out of lemons!
Anny Beck, Your Ride Director
Welcome to Joshua Tree Double Century, a fun course taking you on a tour around the entire Joshua Tree area in 195 miles, with 9,500 ft. of elevation. If you are looking for a great First-time double or a great first-time double of the season, this is designed with you in mind! The hills, not steep, are in the 3-4-5-6% range. We cannot guarantee the weather, but the winds are usually tailwinds for the first 120 miles, then cross or slightly breezy headwinds, headed north for 25 miles. Headed back west, the winds could be cross, tail, or headwinds for the last 53 miles; I've experienced all three out there, on different days. March is generally ideal weather for this desert. Viewing the pictures which follow the route on the web, with captions, and viewing your birds-eye course outline, will help you to clearly see what this overview is describing. Here we go!
Your warm-up is delightful! Starting in full-moon light, in the small town of Twenty-Nine Palms at the very end of city traffic, you'll be headed west, with no turns for the first 35 miles, on good pavement. The signals through here will most likely be green with elevation gain about 680 ft. In other words, there are some sparse mild climbs. Winds, may be null with a slightly breezy headwind coming in to play, as the sun begins to rise. It rolls by fast and fun!
Turning east-bound you'll begin a very enjoyable climbing session through the Desert Hot Springs neighborhood which includes the majority of your turns on the entire double. These turns are marked with white chalk paint, leading you to Dillon Rd.
Dillon is a super fun set of long, sloping hills that have little waves or dips in them adding charm and spice to the course, ending at your next Rest Stop, a Love's Truck Stop.
From here, you start another chapter that ramps you up on Hwy 10’s wide, smooth shoulder with long sloping hills of a different variety There are no turns until lunch. Cal Trans was out there sweeping up some rocks on the shoulder, per our request:)
Chriiaco Summit, spells LUNCH! All the Rest Stops will serve pure water designed for endurance athletes, and Hammer products. Volunteers will be making custom sandwiches. Liquid ionic minerals, very important, will be at every Rest Stop. Hey let's not forget the bathrooms with five stalls each, to maximize your comfort level! By the way, this is the last place for gas until the Finish (volunteers take note!)
Hopping back on the bike, and the freeway shoulder, you'll next be looking for Eagle Mountain exit leading you to the historical ghost town of Desert Center, via a frontage road. Here is your Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Stop, in the shade of defunct gas station. There will be custom-made porta-potties around the back. This is also your north turn onto Rice Road, with no turns for the next 25 miles.
Rice Road is a road that stair-steps up with hidden pockets of short dips, making your road more interesting. There is usually no traffic, great smooth pavement, perhaps a slightly breezy headwind, and vast open desert with mountain ranges on both sides. After your water stop, the road will begin to curve slightly to the right where you'll see the summit from a distance. (Check out the pictures on web). The Summit signifies your last turn of the double, and where your Oasis-in-the-Desert Rest Stop is looking forward to serve you.
Heading west, with no turns, signals, stops, or traffic, this road introduces you to another type of open, vast, desert scenery. The long-slopping, one-mile-type hills zig-zag westward bound, with mountain ranges on both sides of you, again in the distance.
You have a new extra hour of daylight before a bold, full moon will catch up to some of you. Settling into night riding, 100 billion stars will be out in full splendor to just to add sparkle to your night time desert experience. They own this night, but you own this road, and this Double!
Your last stop Rest Stop, #8, will be there with full support; ice for the day riders, and hot stew for the night riders.
Your first welcome sign back into to town will be a blinking orange light, about a mile out.
Joshua Tree Double Century!! Congratulations! YOU DID IT!!