12th Annual 2016 Stagecoach Century

266 West Imperial Highway
Ocotillo, CA 92259


Event Description

20-100 Miles
Optional 150-Mile "Super Century"
Optional 100-Mile Chip Timed Solo TT & 4-Person TTT
Save 10% off Reg Fee with Promocode:  RP10


Saturday, January 16, 2016

2016 Registration Now Open!


26/50/73/84/90/100/150 mile options


Ocotillo, California (80 miles East

of San Diego, just off Interstate 8)


266 West Imperial Highway

Ocotillo, CA 92259 (map it)

Field Limit:

1,000 / Maximum 50 TTT Teams

Start Times:

Time Trial Riders:  7:00-7:10 A.M.

All Riders:  7:10-10:00 A.M.


  • Detailed Final Rider Instructions

  • Included Subway lunch meal

  • Plenty of free parking

  • Camp for free just 2 miles from start

  • Cue sheet and maps for all routes

  • Riders select distance: 26 to 150 miles

  • 8 fully-stocked rest stops, plus lunch and
    rest stop items in Shelter Valley

  • Photography Services

  • Dedicated law enforcement

  • Roving mechanical support

  • Lunch choice in Ocotillo or Shelter Valley

  • DJ/festivities at Ocotillo Park

  • Gear drop at Start/Finish & Rest Stop #1

  • Goodie bag

  • Refund/Rollover/Transfer (click here)

  • Easy navigation course:  50.0 miles straight out-and-back

  • Cool Start/Finish area at 3.5 acre Ocotillo Community Park

  • Optional "Ultimate 100 Mile Solo & 4-Person Team Time Trial"

  • Optional Chip Timing for Full Century 

  • Full Century Finisher Names & Cities posted on website

  • Optional 150, 112, and 56 mile routes

  • Comprehensive "Round up" email

  • Custom Finisher Medal and Pin

  • Long Course/Short Course Prices

  • Optional Chip-timed Solo/Team Time Trial

  • Official Strava Segments

  • Optional Custom "Tec T-shirts"

  • Optional Custom Voler Jerseys

  • Trophies Men/Women TTT & Solo Champs

  • Club Challenge

  • NEW FOR 2016!  Optional Old West Bbq!

Welcome to the Stagecoach Century! Kick off your New Year of cycling with a Wild West cycling adventure along the historic Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849. The ride travels through pristine California deserts on County Route S2 in east San Diego and Imperial Counties. Marvel at stunning vistas from five desert passes along the route. The ride starts in bike-friendly Ocotillo, where supportive local volunteers help make your Start and Finish memorable.  Bicycling Magazine rated Stagecoach as a "Best in Cycling Event" three years in a row!

Thanks to your participation over the first three years, Shadow Tour has donated to the Ocotillo Community Fund in support of their efforts to build a new community park.  The park and recreation center was completed and dedicated on Aug 11, 2007.  Located on the north side of town, 2 miles from the Interstate 8 freeway, the 3.5 acre facility is an ideal location for easy parking and rider access for all riders participating in 2008 and beyond.

More sterling volunteers from Shelter Valley near the halfway point host your included Subway lunch feast. In between, volunteers from groups such as the So Cal Coasters, Team in Training San Diego/Hawaii Chapter, San Diego Triathlon Club, Knickerbikers, San Diego Randonneurs, La Mesa Boy Scout Troop 208, La Mesa Boy Scout Troop 319, and our own loyal Shadow Tour staff members run a total of 6 fully-stocked rest stops.

This is your chance to enjoy a hassle-free 100-mile ride with just two lonely stop signs, at the ideal time of year for desert cycling! The out-and-back course is fully adjustable for your own mileage preference and offers full rider support in both directions. Elevation rises gradually from 492 feet above sea level to over 2,600 feet at its peak before returning to the Start/Finish area in Ocotillo. There are five gradual climbs of about ½ to 4 miles in length at a maximum 7-8% grade. Winds are “generally” neutral to light headwinds in the morning (riding north) and almost always at your back on the downhill return (riding south), producing a fast return ride to the finish. The full century has 4,685 ft of climbing elevation, with about 3,100 ft of climbing in the first 50 miles, and 1,600 ft in the 50 miles returning to Ocotillo.

The course crosses Hwy 78 at the north end of the route and continues 4.4 miles north to the 50.0 mile turn-around point/rest stop.  So when you turn around, you will know you're halfway home!

We rate the ride as moderately difficult. We advise riders to recognize that weather conditions can vary widely at this time of year and can include sun, heat, cold, wind, rain, or any combination.  We’ll provide tips on how to be well prepared, but Mother Nature can create a formidable challenge.  For more detailed descriptions of the course, weather, and types of riders, please carefully review the Rider Levels section.  You're also invited to review the photos in the "Gallery" section to get a sense of the weather conditions--sometimes a picture is worth much more than words. 

The town of Ocotillo is a quiet, low-desert town of about 400 residents. Its citizens enjoy a peaceful life with minimal outside interference. It has no fancy restaurants or hotels and there is very little in the way of paved parking or other Gucci amenities. These are some of the tradeoffs you accept in return for a one-of-a-kind ride featuring 100 miles of stunning undisturbed natural scenery with virtually no traffic, zero stoplights, and only two stop signs. We created the Stagecoach Century, because the entire route is very much the same as it was when real stagecoaches bounced along the trail in the 1850's--a rarity in California. When we compare this century to any other we have ridden, we continue to believe it's the best century in America.

But you don’t have to take our word for it, check out the photos posted on this webpage, there are more in the Stagecoach Photo Galleries for 2005, 2006, 200720082009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. and 2015  You're also encouraged to review some unsolicited rider feedback.  We enthusiastically invite you to join us and see for yourself!

Lastly, organizing a large bicycling event is a complex operation, made more difficult and expensive by staging it in the desert. We work extremely hard to create distinctive events for our riders. We do it because we love the sport and enjoy interactions with our riders. However, we definitely aren't perfect. And not every single hardworking volunteer and staff member will have the answer to every conceivable question or issue that may arise at the event or out on the course.

We also don’t control the weather (despite many requests to turn down the wind in 2006 and turn up the heat in 2007). Mother Nature is always in charge! If you're a rider with a very low tolerance for imperfections, or minor inconveniences, then Stagecoach is probably not for you. By necessity, Stagecoach  takes place in a remote location to optimize safety, natural scenery, and the overall riding experience. Please know that every single volunteer, course marshal, police officer, and staff member, is doing his or her best to present a safe ride to the highest possible operational standard. We simply ask for your patience and understanding when everything doesn’t go exactly as planned. We listen carefully to all riders' constructive suggestions and continuously strive for improvement to make next year’s event even better!

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