Sierra 7500 Redux – ITT
What was the Original Sierra 7500 Mountain Bike Race? Click Here for the Full History
What is the “Sierra 7500 Redux”?
Stats: Short Loop :: 27.2 miles :: 4,675′ climbing / Full Loop :: 49.1 miles :: 9,623′ climbing
- We decided to resurrect this almost 30 year-old legendary course. Our goal is to keep the integrity and history of the original route, while subtly improving it, and making it more enjoyable. We have modified the course slightly to make it more scenic, less sandy, and maximize singletrack. Yes, you will still curse sandy sections. Yes, there are a few hike-a-bike sections. Don’t kid yourself. There is a reason this was once considered the most difficult mountain bike race in the world. But that’s why we love it!! We feel the “Redux” course, although modernized slightly, has the same character as the original. If you’re gonna re-do something, you might as well make it better, right?
- The most notable course change is minimizing the amount of time spent climbing Buttermilk Rd. These days, that road is heavily traveled and it’s normally very sandy (The Buttermilks have world-class bouldering and the area attracts rock climbers from all over). We now climb less-traveled doubletrack and singletrack trails around the Tungsten Hills and eventually merge with Buttermilk Rd. higher up, at a more remote portion. Don’t get us wrong, the climbing is still extremely tough, but the trails are more enjoyable and the scenery more breathtaking.
- Another notable change is the descent back to Millpond on the “short course”. Previously, it was mainly on doubletrack, eventually connecting with Hwy 168 for much of the descent. We’ve excluded pavement as mush as possible, and included some singletrack that didn’t exist in the 80’s. In a nutshell, way more fun.
- The short course is now 27 miles with 4,600′ of climbing and the full course is 50 miles and 9,600′ climbing. We feel the added fun factor, rideability of the new trails and improved scenery and remoteness make the “Redux” the best way to re-introduce this classic adventure to the modern endurance rider.
- The race originally commenced in mid-July and late-June with a 6:30am start time. However, snow was prominent in 1986, especially at the 10-11,000′ elevations. Racers reported hike-a-biking through snow near Coyote Ridge. With that in mind, and the hope that people might take the summer months to train for this epic, we feel August or September is a great time to tackle the course. We hosted Grand Departs for this ride in 2014 and 2015, but it’s such a busy “cycling” time of year that we now encourage people to do this “bucket list” item as an ITT (individual time trial) any time or date you like, as slow or fast as you like. We also do this route as a mellow bikepacking overnighter from time to time. Join the SEMBA Google Group to stay in the loop on all rides/events in the Eastern Sierra.
Both the short and long course start and finish in the Millpond Recreation Area, just north of Bishop, CA.
How much does it cost?
There is no entry fee. No prizes. No awards. This is grassroots. #ridebikeswithfriends – as fast or slow as you want. Remember, the faster you finish, the quicker the beer flows.
What kind of support is there?
- This ride is self-supported.
- We’ve listed a few suggestions in the “Advice” section below – so read it. Also read our Rider Responsibility Page to make sure you know what you’re getting into with any of our grassroots rides.
How do I register or make sure I get event updates?
Is the course marked?
- No. Since this is not a sanctioned race of any kind, we will not “mark” the course. We STRONGLY advise you carry a GPS, cue sheet, and maps (especially if doing an ITT). Links to cue sheets, gpx files, and maps are below.
How are results tabulated?
- We keep track of official finishers on the Results Page for bragging rights. At the end of the ride, there will be a clipboard with a watch to sign out with your finish time. The only categories are Male and Female, with notations for geared or singlespeed. Ride as hard or soft as you like. Ride with others or solo. If you complete the route as an ITT, submit your time (or link to Strava, Garmin Connect, MapMyRide, etc) via email if you’d like to be included as an official finisher. We go by the honor system. This is about challenging yourself and achieving personal goals, whatever they may be. Our goal is to share an epic day on dirt with friends old and new. #Ridebikeswithfriends.
Can you describe the route?
- It’s very similar to the Original Route listed on Sierra 7500 History. We’ve also already noted the major enhancements to the route above. 49.1 miles and 9,623′ of climbing for the “full monty”. 27.2 miles and 4,675′ of climbing for the “fun ride”. Both will challenge you. Test you. Have you cussing and screaming, lungs exploding, endorphins releasing, smiling, hallucinating. It will stick with you as one of your most memorable achievements. Whichever route you decide on, do it. DO IT.
Any more resources or advice?
- Read our Rider Responsibility Page
- Study the gpx file in Google Earth. Know the course!!
- Load the gpx file into your GPS device ahead of time to make sure it loaded properly.
- In addition to carrying a GPS device and Cue Sheet, bring a topo map with the route just in case.
- Contact Us with any and all questions.
- Weather conditions will be variable and change a bunch between Millpond and Coyote Ridge. Have a game plan for clothing, layers, tools, gear, etc. Also, have a game plan for nutrition and hydration. It’s your responsibility to be in charge of your own well-being. This is not a sanctioned event. People will not be kissing your ass or looking out for you. BE SELF RELIANT.
- Both Verizon and AT&T seem to have pretty good reception for most, if not all of the course. So cell phones are a good idea.
- There are plenty of bail out options all through both routes. Assess yourself and your condition constantly. If you intend on doing the “full monty” – realistically assess yourself and what time of day it is before heading up Habeggers Rd. Once you get up into the Coyote Flats region, you’re as remote as you’re gonna get and you’ll be super fatigued. Load up on supplies before you head up there – you don’t wanna bonk on the last stretch back to Millpond. It can get really hot. There is water in the campground you ride through en route to South Lake Rd, and the General Store on South Lake Rd. should be open as well. BE SELF RELIANT.
- Some of the climbing is deceiving – since it’s up soft, sandy washes. The climbing can be tougher than the stats suggest.
- Make sure you have fresh brake pads. The 5,000′ descent out of Coyote is a brake burner – and oh, so fun!
- Much of the course is on multi-use trails. Please be courteous and respectful to everyone you encounter.
Check out some of our other Epic Rides: