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Tour of the Unknown Coast is NOW 

Around about a week ago, some of us who shall not be named exclaimed, "What?! The Tour of the Unknown Coast is here already? But I haven't even trained! And I was going to conquer The Wall this year and be the queen of 'California's toughest century.'"

Yes, the TUC is here. If you have not yet trained -- well, we dare say your chances of subduing The Wall on your way to winning (or even finishing) the 200-mile race/ride ain't gonna happen.

Don't despair. You can still ride the 100-miler (maybe). Or the 100-K if "100" is your goal. Or the 50-miler, 20-miler or 10-miler. So get your squeaky creaker out of the garage, oil up the chain and hubs, flip that kickstand and get on down to Ferndale this Saturday.

Start times are 5 a.m. for the 200-mile ride, 7 a.m. for the 100-mile ride, 7:30 a.m. for the 100-K, 8 a.m. for the 50-mile, 10 a.m. for the 20-mile and 11:30 a.m. for the 10-mile. You'll need to register first: Online registration ends at noon on May 6. Early check-in and registration is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday May 7 at Bellotti Hall at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale. You can also register and check in on the same day as the ride, May 7, starting at 6 a.m. -- allow yourself a half hour for that so you can get to your ride on time.

So why ride the TUC if you're not going to be the meanest-leanest of them all? Snacks, patches and fun, that's why. Plus there's a raffle: a buck per ticket (six for $5) to win a Trek bike from Henderson Center Bicycles, plus some other bikey stuff.

The Tour of the Unknown Coast is this Saturday (May 7) beginning at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds, 1250 5th St. in Ferndale. Entry fee and other info: or 707-845-6117 or

One more thing. A local fellow named Jim Robbins has put together a fantastic website about the TUC -- -- full of legendary winners and more. But even more important, for us slackers, is Robbins' blog Northcoast Bike Rides,, where you will find route maps, mileages and other info on all kinds of beautiful and challenging local rides. No more excuses.

And, as Robbins commands: "(H)ave lots of fun. Stop and hike down to the river, skinny dip to cool off, and picnic with food bought locally along the way."

That's the real reason to ride anywhere besides just to school or work.

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About The Author

Heidi Walters

Heidi Walters worked as a staff writer at the North Coast Journal from 2005 to 2015.

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