Throwback Thursday: Revisiting the Epic Adventure of the Grueling Death Ride

When creating the ElliptiGO bike, co-founders Bryan Pate and Brent Teal knew in order to prove the viability of the bike’s ability to climb hills they would need to do an epic ride. Enter the 2009 Death Ride.

The Death Ride is a 129-mile odyssey across five mountain passes that attracts thousands of cyclists from around the world. Many of whom have never seen an ElliptiGO bike before and are shocked at the athleticism of such a feat.

This event is no joke with more than 15,000 feet of climbing in the Sierras of California. The lowest point on the route is at an elevation of 5,500 feet. To complete the event a rider must ascend and descend five mountain passes: the east and west slopes of 8,314-foot Monitor Pass on Highway 89, both slopes of 8,730-foot Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4 and both sides of the Pacific Grade. Cyclists will register and finish at Turtle Rock Park. The three passes surround the town of Markleeville, California which is located west of the Nevada border near Lake Tahoe.

The official ride starts at 5:00 am and ends at 6:00 pm; all participants must be off the course by 7:00 pm. Cut-off times are strictly enforced. Segment cut-off times indicate the latest time that a rider will be allowed to begin each segment. Riders attempting to begin a segment after its cut-off time will not be allowed to proceed. 

Bryan Pate states, “The Death Ride is the real deal, if you can complete it, you can pretty much do any event in the world. It’s that extreme. What we didn’t expect is that it would inspire so many others to take on the challenge themselves.”

After the 2009 maiden voyage there was a seven year streak of ElliptiGO riders taking on the death ride. Ana Thatcher completed all the passes in 2016.

Perhaps this will inspire others in our community to put The Death Ride on their conquer list. It will be held this year on July 15, 2023.

One Response

  1. Benton says:

    YouTube video/recap was great….VERY inspirational….amazing what can be accomplished with enough physical (and mental!) training, thanks for posting!

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