Sattley TT (retired)

Promoter: Reno Wheelmen

Course: Out and back on the A23 road, starting in Sattley, CA.

Course Description: Flat with a few small rollers that you probably wouldn’t notice except in a TT. When weather conditions are good this is one of the fastest courses in the country.  **Especially since they repaved the first 10km section out to the county line!!!!  No more cracks!

This is a fast course.  REALLY fast.  All in all, after the 2012 District TT Championship there have been TWENTY ONE rides under 50 minutes and 51 rides under 51.  Justin Rossi broke his existing course record with a time of 48:15.6 on 6/29/2014.

I first did this race during my first year racing in 1985.  On that day, Ron Miller of the Davis Bike Club set a new course record of ~52:50.  This, on a steel road bike with box section rims.  Below is a list of elite male course record to the best of my recollection starting with 1985.

 1985  Ron Miller  52:50  Road bike, pre-aero bar era.  16 spoke front, box section rim, aero helmet
   Kevin Metcalfe  ~52:40  TT bike.  26″ x16 spoke front wheel, disk, cow horn bars, no aero helmet
   Steve Larsen  ~52:00  
 1993  Kevin Metcalfe  50:57  Trek OCLV road bike, disk, tri-spoke front, clip on bars, Giro TT helmet
 1998  Kirk Willet  50:14.2  
 2003  Eric Wohlberg  49:50.7  First rider under 50 minutes!
 2008  Roman Kilun  49:29.9  
 2010  Jesse Moore  48:50.8  Specialized Transition, Zipp Disk, Zipp 1080 front, Giro TT helmet w/ visor.   
 2013  Justin Rossi  48:24.8  Felt DA           
 2014  Justin Rossi  48:15.6  Felt DA                  
 2015      Justin Rossi  47:47  Felt DA

Distances: 20km for Juniors and older masters, 40km for everybody else.

Road Surface: Good to excellent.  The first 10km has be repaved.  When the weather is good national records fall here.  I know of at least one in 2011 and two in 2013 when we had good conditions.  This may be the fastest 40km TT course in the US that is still in use.

Gearing: Once again, only the strongest riders should consider a single chain ring bike. If it’s as windy as it has been in the past only a small minority of riders will ride the head wind section solely in the big chain ring.

I wouldn’t bring a fixed gear bike unless I had another bike to ride if it was windy.

Facilities: The infamous Porta Can Trailer at registration. There is a market in Sattley about .25 miles from the start but I’m not sure if it is business anymore. If not, then Sierraville about 5 miles away has what you need.

Weather: Sattley is up in the mountains so it could be quite cold in the morning. Come prepared for the worst and hope for the best. It’s been super windy on occasion, including rain showers in the past.

Feeding: N/A

Rules Specific to this race:

Race Advice: First of all, you’re going to need to find a place to stay nearby. Sattley is more than two hours from Sacramento if you drive fast, and the race starts early. Most riders stay in Truckee.

I’ve found that bringing a stationary trainer is a great way to help get a good warm up. It can be quite cold in the morning (down into the 30’s!) so you get a much better warm up on your trainer. Also, I find that I get a better warm up on my rollers because I don’t stop every 100 yards to talk to somebody. I just sit on my rollers and keep spinning while I chat with anybody that stops by. Even with your trainer you’ll still want to go out and ride on the road a bit and do some jumps and short TT efforts to get your heart rate up before the start. You should come to the start a little sweaty.

I always time trial with a powermeter. I start the timer on my SRM about five seconds before my start and can use the timer along with certain land marks to estimate my finishing time along the way. The Sierra/Plumas County line is almost exactly 10km out and you can get your first split there. I use my SRM kind of like a tachometer.  I try to find the power level that I am able to hold that day based on experience and how I am feeling.  Then I monitor my SRM to make sure I don’t “doze off” and ease off, or almost worse, go too hard.

At the start you’ll want to get up to speed quickly, but be careful that you don’t dig yourself a hole by going too hard too early. 

The middle section of the 40km course from the county line to the turn around and back to the county line is somewhat harder than the first and last 10km. There are a few little rollers that normally aren’t much at all, but will cause a little pain when your legs are already full of lactic acid. Expect to lose about a minute through the middle 20km compared to the first and last 10km combined.

Lodging: There are a number of motels in Truckee which is about 30 miles from Sattley. I believe that there is also a motel in Sierraville which is only 5 miles away.

Corrections and additions, please email me!

Kevin Metcalfe