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Origins of the Alta Alpine 8-Pass Challenge Double Century: The Mad Dog Death March Documentary

re: double century

Michael Bayer, ride director of Alta Alpina Challenge writes:

Looking for inspiration? Curious about the origins of the Alta Alpina Challenge?

Check out this epic documentary from 1982 that’s now on YouTube:

The whole documentary is awesome, but coverage of the big event itself starts at 27:25 with a map and overview of the “spider like course” at 29:00. In 1982 riders started at Turtle Rock Park and rode Kingsbury Grade, Luther Pass, Carson Pass, before returning to Turtle Rock Park for Lunch. The southern half of the ride continued with the west side of Monitor Pass and the east side of Ebbetts pass with the finish at Turtle Rock Park.

To make the Alta Alpina 8 Pass Challenge the ultimate ride we added Blue Lakes Road (which wasn’t paved in 1982) to the north half and added the back-sides of Monitor and Ebbetts to the south half. We also made Monitor the last pass for safety.

Not ready to ride all 8 passes? You can choose your favorite combination of passes. Want to give the original 1982 set a try? Sign up for Kingsbury-Luther-Carson-Ebbetts-Monitor. Want to try the classic 5 pass combination? Sign up for Carson-Ebbetts-Ebbetts-Monitor-Monitor. Planning to ride the new Death Ride route this year? Sign up for the Brush-with-Death combination as the perfect training ride with Ebbetts-Ebbetts-Monitor-Monitor.

Register today at:

See you on June 25!

Michael Bayer,
Ride Director

WIND: if you’ve done cycling centuries, move up to a double this year! But perhaps don’t start with the full 8 passes of Alta Alpina. Do a few other doubles first for experience and to work out the issues, because a double century is three times harder than a century.

I won’t be riding any double centuries this year, because it looks like some months of training remain to close the 20% performance gap and 10% weight increase gap vs 2019.

But the 20500 feet of climbing over 198 miles in the Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge remains one of my favorites. To get in good enough condition to do it again will be a challenge of its own—working on it for next year.

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