This year the Sierra Century invites you to choose an adventure from among four different routes (41/65/102/122 miles) through the beautiful rolling oak woodland and pine forests of Amador and El Dorado Counties, including the wine country of Fair Play and the Shenandoah Valley and the historic Gold Rush towns of Ione, Sutter Creek, Volcano, Fiddletown, Mt. Aukum and Slug Gulch.
We refer to these routes as adventures because this largely undeveloped country is highly scenic and uniquely historic, the roads are in good condition with little and often no traffic, and the available routes have a wide variety of terrain. All of the routes have significant climbing.
If you are looking for routes that are flat or mostly flat, this event is not for you.
All routes are fully supported by rest and water stops, SAG vehicles with HAM radio communication, bicycle mechanics, flaggers, law enforcement personnel and a large corps of volunteers.
Buy your registration before March 1 and save $10. Day-og $85.
As part of your registration fee, a continental breakfast will be available during registration.
A post-ride meal will be served from 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM. A beer concession stand operated by the Amador County Fairgrounds Foundation will be open.
Slug Gulch Road is a 5.4 mile 1300 feet climb that begins at Mile 77 on the Century and Double Metric Challenge routes and at Mile 24 on the Metric. The most difficult part of the climb is the first 1 1/2 miles which include grades of up to 15 percent near the start and around the one mile point. After the first 1 1/2 miles, the road grade becomes more moderate and varied in the single digit range for about another mile. At about mile 2.5 of the road, the road takes a short steep hairpin turn after which the rest of the climb is moderate and increasingly gentle and even flat near the end.
Riders who reach the Rest Stop at Indian Diggings School at the end of the climb are awarded the Slug Gulch Pin. Despite its name, the road includes several ranches, residences, and wineries as well as many scenic vistas and usually at least a few curious and supportive spectators.
The website of the Oakstone Winery–which is located on Slug Gulch Road–offers the following history of the road's name:
"Like almost all of California's gold rush, the truth is clouded by countless retellings of oral history, but the prevailing version is that a prospector was poking around an old river bed at about the 3000 foot elevation of southern El Dorado County when he first came across a piece of gold the size of (pick one) a man's thumb, or a man's fist. Gold comes in dust, flakes, nuggets and slugs, with slugs this size being very desirable, indeed (the $50 gold piece of the late 1800's was known colloquially as a "slug" as well). The name was applied to the name of the mine that was developed at the site, and then to the road that led from the settlement in Fair Play to the mine."
Rather than use a plain and obscure-looking slug of gold for its logo, the Sierra Century founders decided to adopt instead a friendly, athletic version of the shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusc commonly know as a slug. Some local residents have suggested that the logo is more like a metaphor or icon for how fast most century rides move up Slug Gulch Road.