The Bloody Rose provides mountain bikers with two of the hardest challenges in the western United States. 11.7 miles in length at an average of 6.5 percent gradient, the course throws in several sections steeper than 15 percent, mixing in single track, fire roads, and sections of pavement.The Thorn is a shorter, 5 mile version of this hillclimb. For more information, visit www.renogalenafest.com.
The first true test for riders is a 15 percent grade aptly named “Wall of Death”, knobby tires fighting for traction on the sandy surface. Continuing up the mountain, survivors will pass over the highest year-round road in the Sierras, get a brief downhill respite, then commence a death march up NFD 051.
The next four miles are as much about survival as they are about speed. Riders will be cursing the small downhill when they make the final hairpin for the last quarter mile climb. When “Funeral Hill” ramps up to 16 percent, riders have to dodge softball-sized rocks and sear their lungs at almost two miles above sea level. Many will be getting off to walk. Those that make it up almost 4,000 feet to the 10,128 ft summit will be treated to amazing views of Lake Tahoe and Washoe Valley and a special finisher’s T-shirt.
Thanks to Brita from Social Media Associate for the heads up.