For many years, an epic bicycle ride has been staged on the mountain roads of the High Sierra. It’s called The Tour of the California Alps - Death Ride. Held on one day in July, it attracts 2,800 avid cyclists from across the country who test their fitness climbing the high and spectacular roads of the California Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is one of the most difficult one-day rides in the country.
The Death Ride has become so popular that it sells out months in advance. Many riders don’t get in, and the ones that do get in have to compete with all the other riders for dining, hotel rooms, and space on the road.
In 2003, UDC thought that a smaller, quieter, but just as challenging cycling experience over the same mountain roads would be a fun alternative. Thus was founded the Kiss of Death™. Instead of three thousand or more riders, Kiss of Death is limited to just 14. We challenge ourselves on all of the same bicycles climbs of the Death Ride, plus a few more. But instead of doing them all in one day, we do them over a long weekend.
What type of riders come on this trip? People training for the Death Ride. People who want to do the Death Ride but didn't win an entry. People who want a quieter, more relaxed version of the Death Ride. Or mostly, people who love the exhiliration and challenge of cycling the majestic and peaceful High Sierra of Alpine County—the least populated county in California.
We schedule the Kiss of Death in the weeks prior to the official Markleeville Death Ride. The roads are very quiet at this time in the High Sierra, and the selected date gives riders planning to do the Death Ride the ability to get in some high altitude training on the same hills they will be climbing.
My hubby and I have just returned from our second UDC tour. We took the inaugural Ride Across California. Wow, wow and double wow is all I can say. Yes there were some mountains... but the scenery, the guides, the accommodation, the food, the fellow tourers - it was all amazing. We love the daily distances, the length of tour, the bikes. I'm already planning how we can tour again with UDC.
TripAdvisor June 2013