The Furnace Creek 508 offers a great chance to dip your toe (as a spectator) into the world of extreme road biking.

This event runs from Santa Clarita to Twenty-nine Palms, so the best places to catch the riders are California City, Randsburg, Johannesburg, Trona, or Baker. Because it’s only 80 miles from the starting line, California City is probably the best spot, not only because the first time station is there, but also because it should be easier to see riders during daylight hours (roughly 10:00 AM through late afternoon) … and the riders won’t be delirious from being on the bike for 45 hours.

If you think only a nut would do a ride like this, watch yourself: Our own Chuck “Honey Bee” Hanson completed this ride in 2000 in the 70+ division. Other locals who have participated are Steve “Desert Duck” Teal of Phelan (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010), Tony “Polar Bear” Rodriguez of Victorville (2002), and David “Wolf Bird” Hunter-Inman of Victorville (2007).

I’m going to be in California City between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM (or so) to cheer on Team Raven Lunatics (no relation).

2010 Furnace Creek 508 Time Station 1 - California City