Furnace Creek 508: We Did It!
EPIC. It’s an overly used word in the ultra-endurance world, but that’s the first word that comes to my mind when thinking of the Furnace Creek 508. It included 10 mountain stages including many 10-25 mile climbs; 15% grades; 510 miles; and in my case, just 10 minutes of sleep and 39hr15min of biking. My stellar crew of two—Raquel and Tori—barely slept more than I.
Yet it turned out to be one of the greatest races I have ever done, one I got to do while taking in the stunning desert scenery on a magical 27-year-old French bicycle, with two of my closest friends following in a spunky eco-friendly Ford Focus behind. It culminated in an age group Classic Bike course record, and was an adventure for the ages filled with memories that will not fade any time soon.
I never got around to writing a full report, but you can read the Twitter feed below to get a sense of the race as posted in real-time by the Crew Goddesses.
From https://twitter.com/#!/_felixwong :
Asiatic Wildcat has the smallest support vehicle! Crewing goddesses waiting to hand gatorade bottle off 24+ miles in. #fc508 – October 8 at 8:26 a.m. PST
The second smallest vehicle is also from Colorado: totem Black-Tailed Jackrabbit. Woohoo! #fc508 – October 8 at 9:36 a.m. PST
Asiatic Wildcat approaching 43 miles. Looking strong. Nice flat reprieve after hills @ beginning. #fc508 – October 8 at 10:06 a.m. PST
10:30 a.m. 49.5 miles in. About to start climb up to windmills. Smiling still!?! #fc508 – October 8 at 10:32 a.m. PST
Asiatic Wildcat done with stage 1. 12:40 p.m. 83.6 miles done! #fc508 – October 8 at 12:42 p.m. PST
Two women have been following me in a car for 3 hours. Stalkers. Climbing Townes Pass now. Steep. #fc508 – October 8 at 9:12 p.m. PST
Stage 3 in Death Valley Natl Park. The crew says I kick butt on hills. #fc508 – October 8 at 9:20 p.m. PST
Just passed a Spotted Ass on the pass. #fc508 – October 8 at 9:26 p.m. PST
Still on pass, passed by Spotted Ass. Giddyup! #fc508 – October 8 at 9:52 p.m. PST
Finished Townes Pass last nite at 10:38 pm. #fc508 – October 9 at 9:16 a.m. PST
Completed stage 3 Sat morn at 1:15 a.m. #fc508 – October 9 at 9:18 a.m. PST
Finished stage 4 at 8:00 a.m. Strong climbing on Salsbury. Smiling again after some snacks and caffeine. Working on stage 5 now. – October 9 at 9:21 a.m. PST
Clydesdale and Asiactic Wildcat playing leapfrog approaching Baker #fc508 – October 9 at 10:58 a.m. PST
Asiatic wildcat checked in and left baker ts5 at 11.20a…off to the next hill #fb #fc508. P.S. My crew rocks! – October 9 at 11:31 p.m. PST
Asiatic Wildcat and crew in race for 29hrs so far, working their way up to Kelso. #fc508 – October 9 at 12:12 p.m. PST
What’s up with the busted up road to Kelso..goes on forever. Busted up road on classic bike = so not fun. #fc508 – October 9 at 1:46 p.m. PST
Asiatic Wildcat through TS6 at 2:11 p.m. Working up mtn section nine now. #fc508 – October 9 at 3:08 p.m. PST
Watch out for a sandy descent in stage 7. #fc508 – October 9 at 3:34 p.m. PST
@torifoco and @raquelnotrachel are the best support crew ever – October 9 at 4:51 p.m. PST
Asiatic Wildcat checked in TS7 at 5.05p, took a break and started the final stage at 5.30p. Taking this one nice n easy. #fc508 – October 9 at 6:12 p.m. PST
Asiatic Wildcat working up sheep hole summit as our 36th hour on the road passes. Last mtn section! Hooray! #fc508 – October 9 at 7:06 p.m. PST
Moon and temps perfect for the riders still working the field! #fc508 – October 9 at 7:08 p.m. PST
Asiatic Wildcat crew just saw Felix polish off the final mountain stage. Twentynine Palms lights visible from descent. So close. #fc508 – October 9 at 8:06 p.m. PST
Furnace Creek 508, done. Asiatic Wildcat did great! #fc508 – October 9 at 10:32 p.m. PST
2011 Furnace Creek 508 Race Magazine
In January 2022, I scanned the official 2011 Furnace Creek 508 race magazine into PDF format. It talks about the history of the 508 and includes information on the original four “fathers” of trans-American bicycle racing: Lon Handeman, John Howard, John Marino, and Michael Shermer.
It also lists all participants of the 2011 Furnace Creek 508. Every cyclist gained entry by invitation only after submitting their race qualifications.
View or download the 2011 Furnace Creek 508 race magazine (scanned PDF, 49.1 MB).
Congratulation, we saw you came in. Our team the Ukalerk got there just about an hour before you. It is amazing to see you came in the the old double cassette and the classic shifters. I would love to be able to do solo for the 508 one of these days.