Mile High 100 draws many new riders

M. Kate West
A lone cyclist rounds the bend newar Chester in the 29th annual  Mile High 100 .
Chester Editor

The 29th annual Mile High 100 drew an amazing 450 riders to the Chester Park on Saturday, June 18.

Hosted by the Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend each year, it’s hard to judge what demographic participates most in the event.

While it’s apparent persons of all ages, ethnicities and bicycle skill levels enjoy taking to our high-mountain roadways, observed groupings seemed to contain more women this year. There also seemed to be fewer children riding.

Co-chairman Don Van Alen offered some interesting statistics from the overall registrations.

Traveling the farthest was a participant from Seattle, Wash. Van Alen said there were also several riders from Oregon, the Bay Area and Santa Cruz.

He also said, “We had only 10 Lake Almanor Basin riders register. The majority of the riders traveled in from Chico, Redding and Reno.”

Likely the most interesting fact: 50 percent of the registrants had never ridden the Mile High 100 before.

This event offers riders the choice of three routes:

The century ride is 108 miles long and takes riders from the Chester Park to Warner Valley, back out again, around the East Shore of Lake Almanor, around Indian Valley and around the West Shore back into Chester.

The metric century is 56 miles long and encompasses the entire Basin by going from the park to Warner Valley and then the 35 miles around Lake Almanor.

The half metric century is 35 miles long and travels the circumference of Lake Almanor.

“Another telling fact about the draw of the Mile High 100 is that more people rode the century than any other of the offered options,” Van Alen said.

The next most popular ride was the 56-mile long metric century.

“There were some very heavy duty riders this year,” added Van Alen.

As part of the annual fundraiser, the chamber sells tickets for a new bicycle.

“This year, Lake Almanor resident David Bruker purchased a single ticket and won the Gary Fischer bicycle provided by Bodfish Bicycles and Quiet Mountain Sports,” Van Alen said.

The retail value of the bicycle is $800.

As part of the packet, their registration wristbands entitled riders to snacks at rest stops and an enticing spaghetti dinner prepared by the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge.

Van Alen said the Elks fed about 340 people this year.

He added, “It was a very relaxing afternoon in the park. We heard nothing but compliments about the ride and the local area.”

Open to the non-riding public, the event featured an interesting array of vendor booths and live music by the Funky Gators, a Bay Area band that plays Cajun-style rock.

The 2011 Mile High 100 was co-coordinated by Don Van Alen and Mike Willhoit. Joyanne Soderholm and Valorie Chisholm co-chaired the Friday and Saturday night registration sessions.

For more information about the Mile High 100 and other Lake Almanor events, visit

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