|September 27, 2009|
|18350 Mt Rose Hwy, Reno, NV 89511, USA [large map] 39.3545, -119.856|
|norcal, festival, reno, mt rose|
Galena Fest focuses on two major mountain bike races, The Bloody Rose – nearly 12 miles and 4,000 feet and The Thorn – an easier 5 mile climb. There are also several other family friendly events including mountain bike races for kids, a sand castle contest, beer provided by Buckbean Brewery and a barbecue.
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.
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