The traditional course involves 152 miles and approximately 10,000 ft of accumulated climbing. There are three major climbs: Inspiration Point, Backbone Ridge and Cayuse Pass. The grade varies but rarely exceeds 6%. Keep in mind that by the time you begin climbing Cayuse Pass you will have already ridden 100 miles and climbed approximately 5000 ft. Detailed course directions, including mileage and elevation profiles, will be provided in your rider packet. See the profile for the traditional course here.
Road conditions can be affected by weather and construction activity. Occasionally we have to find an alternate to the traditional course. We try to keep the same level of difficulty. We will post periodic updates on the web page.
RAMROD is run in Western Washington State in remote areas over mountain passes up to about 5000 ft in elevation.
Western Washington summer weather is unpredictable. It tends either to be sunny, warm to hot and dry, or cloudy, rainy and cool at lower elevations. Even on warm days the temperature usually drops to the 60's at night.
You will need a jacket or windbreaker even in nice weather. The mornings tend to be cool and misty and the mountain passes can be chilly particularly on descents. There is usually little or no humidity. Mountain climbs can get quite hot. The climb to Cayuse Pass faces south, there is no relief from the sun and the mountain blocks prevailing winds in dry weather. Lately we have had heat waves and temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit are possible during the warm part of the day. You will need to hydrate well.
By early afternoon in nice weather strong thermal winds can be generated. It is quite common to have fairly strong head winds during the final run in to the finish line.
Western Washington has some of the wettest places in the continental United States. The wettest places are west facing mountain slopes. Rain and temperatures in the 40's are common on mountain passes even in the summer. We have even had to contend with snow one year.
You should watch the forecast closely as the event approaches. Make sure to bring enough clothing to stay warm and dry.
Because of the length and remoteness of the ride, we are NOT able to pick up clothing for you. What you bring with you will have to be carried all the way through the ride.
We are limited by the National Park to 800 riders. Demand for tickets greatly exceeds available supply, so we select riders by lottery. Pre-registration is from our website at http://www.redmondcyclingclub.org/RAMROD/RAMROD_registration.html. Lottery Registration is open during March (check the website for specific dates each year). In early April, the results of the lottery are announced by email. Those selected are given the opportunity to complete their registration. Those not selected are placed on a waiting list in the order of their lottery selection. Wait-list registrants are given the opportunity to register when those selected in the lottery either fail to complete their registration or drop out.
Final Registration will close two weeks before the ride.
For single bikes, $5 non-refundable deposit to enter the lottery. The deposit will be applied to the total of $90 if you are selected from the lottery or moved from the wait list.
For tandems, $10 non-refundable deposit and a total registration of $180.
Both the deposit and balance of the registration will be increased by the amount charged by the processing company: Marathon Guide.
This is the first year a weighted lottery system will be in effect. If you register and are declined, your entry will automatically be weighted with one preference point. You do not need to do anything in particular to alert us that you qualify for a point. If you register the next year, your odds of being selected will improve.
The system as a whole gives applicants who have had the misfortune of never being selected or rarely being selected a greater chance/opportunity to eventually experience the challenge of RAMROD. A weighted lottery means we adjust (weight) an individual's odds of being selected into the ride any year following his or her application being declined. The system is based on the concept of "preference points."
Two things about the weighted lottery:
1) Each year a person is not selected, the odds of them being selected increases to where if they are not selected four years in a row, they are guaranteed a spot the fifth year.
2) The weighting system begins with the person's name (making it important to be consistent!) and then uses other items that tend to be consistent from year to year. Address, phone number and email address may be used but are not necessarily the most important identifiers.
Preference points explained: One preference point is awarded if you apply and are not selected into RAMROD.
If you apply the following year then that one preference point will increase your chances of being selected. This is not a guarantee. If you do not apply the following year then you lose your preference point.
Priority goes to those with the most preference points.
Preference points accumulate until you are selected to ride at which point they zero out.
Each year, several tickets are auctioned on eBay and one is auctioned at the Sunday Barbecue. All proceeds from these sales go to the National Parks. The eBay auctions are typically held in mid-May or early June. You will see announcements on the RCC Home Page when bidding on the eBay RAMROD auctions is active.
You can also guarantee yourself a spot in NEXT year's lottery by working as a volunteer (see below).
Operating an organized ride in a National Park requires a Special Use Permit. A ride like RAMROD interferes with vehicle traffic on the narrow mountain roads and impacts access by other Park visitors. RAMROD also imposes demands on the Park for enhanced Ranger patrols and emergency services.
After balancing the competing interests, the Park service allows us to present one event a year, limited to 800 riders on a midweek summer day. The Park has consistently applied these restrictions for a number of years and we do not anticipate any changes.
The Wait List will move VERY slowly until mid to late May when people find that commitments (or injuries) will keep them from riding. It will move much more quickly in June and July so if you have a low Wait List number - keep on training!
Once your wait list number drops below 50, be sure to check your email regularly. When you are moved from the wait list, you will have just four days to complete your registration or your spot will go to the next person on the list.
No. The first year after your first time not selected you have a 25% better chance of being selected. The second year you have a 50% better chance, the third year a 75% better chance and the 4th year you are guaranteed a spot. In the first three years, while you have a better chance of being selected, it has no affect on your position on the wait list if not selected.
Your lottery preference will be determined as though you were a single rider even if a member of a group. If you had a preference point by virtue of not being selected in last year's lottery, it will increase if you are not selected this year and you will start over if you are.
Your odds are essentially the same as a first-time registrant with one exception:
RAMROD is limited to 800 riders. When the lottery selects the first 796 riders (which may include one or more groups of two to five riders) the next four accepted in the lottery can only be single riders or one or more groups totalling four or fewer. Consequently, it is possible that a group of any size could be bumped into the waiting list if it has a high number in the lottery. This same situation could affect the likelihood of a group being moved from the wait list in the last five days before registration is finalized.
Note that five riders, all with preference points as a result of not being selected in previous year's lotteries, would have NO preference within the group. However, if the group were not selected, all riders would have higher preference in the following year.
The answer to both of these questions is yes. To change from single to group registration (or vice-versa) you must email the registrar and request the change. Your email must include the name of the group you are forming or joining. Each person joining an existing group must email the registrar to insure that the correct rider is moved to the group.
When you embark on a plan to ride RAMROD, there are many events that could derail your training regimen and result in your inability to ride. Every year a number of riders drop out. In order to be fair to all riders, RAMROD does not permit the sale or transfer of your ticket. You may return the ticket to the Registrar and you will get a refund less $25 if we are able to assign the ticket to a rider on the waiting list. Because registration must close two weeks before the event, we will not accept ticket returns within two weeks of the event.
The easiest way to be assured of getting into the ride is to volunteer. Click here to learn more. All volunteers with sufficient points are allowed to bypass the lottery and gain automatic admission.
If you do not get in through the lottery, you also have the option of purchasing a ticket at auction through Ebay. The club does not profit from this auction, every cent is donated to charity.
No. Once you are selected, you will no longer have preference for succeeding years. This also applies to the wait list. If you are on the wait list and prefer to increase your chances for next year, you must withdraw from the wait list before you are moved to the active registrants.
Send an email to the registrar with the name and email address you used to register. As long as you send it before you are selected for the ride, you will not be charged more than the $6 registration fee and you will receive your preference point for next year.
RAMROD is held in difficult and remote areas with limited emergency access. We are required to distribute rider lists and emergency contact information with the Park rangers and with our HAM support team. These lists have to be finalized two weeks before the event for us to be able to get our work done on time. WE CANNOT ADD NEW RIDERS THE DAY OF THE EVENT AND YOU WILL BE TURNED AWAY IF YOU SHOW UP SEEKING A TICKET.
A rider can guarantee a spot in next year's ride by volunteering in this year's ride. There are many volunteer opportunities both the day of the ride and prior to the ride. Volunteer activities have different point values and a volunteer must earn 10 points (approximately 8 hours work) to earn a lottery bypass. While you can "gift" your bypass to another rider, you can only earn one bypass each year.
A few days before the lottery opens, you will receive an email message from the registrar with instructions on how to register. This email will also include instructions on how to "gift" your entry to someone else if you are not riding.
If you order it with your RAMROD entry and you are selected either from the lottery or from the wait list by June 1, you will receive your jersey with your registration packet. Otherwise, it will be at least six weeks after the ride. The second order of jerseys is not placed with the manufacturer until two to three weeks after the ride. They then need to be produced and delivered to us after which we need to package them and ship them.
You are responsible for your own mechanical support. There is limited SAG support but it is there. It is not that unusual for someone to find this ride is more challenging than they expected. We also have emergency medical support available.
NO! NO! NO! The number of PSVs is a major complaint by riders and a significant safety issue. If you need a support vehicle, DO NOT RIDE! We work hard to provide all registered riders with sufficient food, water and safety support. If your spouse or friend would like to help, have them volunteer for one of our many staff positions. Click here for more information. They can earn points towards the WIMPROD ride (a 2-day version of RAMROD) or a lottery bypass for the following year's RAMROD.