The routes of the Kiss of Death are different than on any of our other tours. They are all out and back routes that start and end in Markleeville, so you can choose to ride as little or as much as you want each day. The shortest option is an easy spin to nearby Grover Hot Springs for a soak in the healing waters (8 miles, 500 feet—more hot tubbing than bike riding). The longest option is about 90 miles with over 10,000 feet of climbing, truly an epic ride!
Summer weather in the High Sierra is best described as variable. While most of the time in June and July is warm and sunny, cold and wet weather is not impossible. Afternoon thundershowers are possible, and even a little snow has been known to fall in June. Even if the weather in Markleevile is mild, the weather on the high passes can turn cold, wet, and windy. Our best advice is to be prepared for changing weather conditions—the SAG van will carry your extra clothing if you don’t need it.
When researching a trip, we seek out dining options with healthy, fresh choices typical of the California cuisine style of cooking. The town of Markleeville is very small, so the restaurant options are limited, and they change from year to year. In the past, we have had outdoor salmon barbecues, home made pasta feasts, and traditional restaurant meals. It changes from year to year.
Nobody goes hungry on an Undiscovered Country trip! One of the joys of riding several hours per day is getting to enjoy the dinner afterwards. For breakfast and dinner, you can order as much or as little as you wish.
Buffet breakfast is served at the J Markleee Toll Station every morning. These are healthy breakfasts, and we encourage you eat well to fuel up for the daily rides.
We gather on the first evening of the trip in Markleeville, at the J Marklee Toll Station. We will spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights there.
The trip officially ends in the mid-afternoon on Monday, at the J Marklee Toll Station in Markleeville. We’ve arranged with the hotel owner to let us use one of the rooms for changing and showering before heading home.
Don't forget to bring your bicycle. But if you need a bicycle, we will provide one for you at no additional cost.
Cycling shorts, cycling jerseys, cycling socks, cycling shoes, gloves, helmet, wind jacket or vest, rain gear (jacket, pants, helmet cover, shoe covers), sunglasses. For colder weather: arm warmers, knee/leg warmers or tights, full fingered gloves, shoe covers, beanie.
Hat, bathing suit, sweater or jacket, comfortable shoes, casual evening wear.
Sunscreen, lip balm, prescription medicines, chamois cream, toiletries, identification, medical insurance card.
If you still have questions, please take a look at our general Frequently Asked Questions page. It addresses questions that are common to all tours.
My husband and I just completed a weekend bike tour with UDC tours cycling thru the Wine Country of Santa Ynez Valley and we loved it. It was our first guided tour and we choose UDC because they specialize in California and all the reviews we read, had nothing but positives to say about the experience. The tour was based in Solvang at The Hadsten House; which offered very nice and comfortable lodging along with a very much appreciated outdoor hot tub and indoor pool. We met our guides, Laura & Daryl, on Saturday where we, along with the other 5 cyclists in our group, were greeted with a backpack filled with cycling related "goodies", fitted with top-notch Scott bikes, personalized water bottles, and a meticulous route map with turn by turn directions. Both Laura & Daryl rode with us the first day to make sure we were acclimated to our bikes and the area. Over the next two days, either Laura or Daryl rode with our group while the other followed in the "sag wagon" to offer support as needed or to drive ahead and set-up a nice picnic lunch. Really fabulous riding over the weekend included pedaling along beautiful backroads past vineyards and farms, all while enjoying breathtaking views in Ballard and Foxen Canyon. Yes, those views provide a scenic distraction while climbing (ascending) the canyons and a beautiful "reward" while enjoying the downward descents! Each day of very satisfying cycling ended with a stop in town at the Bulldog Cafe to regroup and swap stories followed by a really nice dinner out with the whole group at two area restaurants in Solvang: Cecco's and Mirabelle's. UDC tours takes care of just about everything while you're on the tour; and truly, seems to put a lot of thought into ensuring that each rider has a successful and enjoyable experience, which includes the little things like having an ample supply of energy snacks "just in case" (which I ended up needing the first day out). Our guides were great, knowledgeable, very warm and friendly. The quality of the bikes is top notch and scenery hard to beat! We are considering booking another trip in California next Fall and would not hesitate to recommend UDC for anyone considering a bike tour.
TripAdvisor Review November 2013