More than 200 cyclists braved high temperatures Saturday to ride in the 42nd annual Climb to Kaiser.
Most who tested the 155-mile route departed Clovis East High School at 5:30 a.m. Race director Dennis Ball of the sponsoring Fresno Cycling Club said no one challenged the record fastest time (Brandon Franklin's 8 hours flat in 2011) with the first finishers returning to Clovis East in 8 hours 47 minutes.
Ball said the total number of Climb to Kaiser riders is down from its peak of about 400, attributing that to a combination of more rides (including the CoK's sister rides on Saturday, the Tollhouse Century and Millerton Metric) and the fact that many of its original devotees are getting too old to complete 155 miles on a July afternoon.
Temperatures for Sunday's predawn start were about 75 degrees, rising on the Valley floor past 100 and tickling 90 in the Sierra including 9,184-foot Kaiser Pass, the turnaround point of the ride that's rated one of the 10 toughest and most beautiful in the U.S. by Bicycling Magazine.
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