Dearest intrepid explorers,
We must regretfully inform you of our decision to postpone Stetina's Paydirt until May 21st of 2022. Your entry is automatically valid for the new date, and there is nothing you need to do.
For some time now we've been closely monitoring the steady march of the Caldor fire which began sixteen days ago on August 14th, doom-scrolling on Twitter and monitoring AQI levels in and around Carson City, trying to remain optimistic that fire suppression efforts would gain an upper hand. But the bone-dry west has made all of our fires formidable foes.
In the last 24 hours the graveness of the Caldor fire has come very much into focus as the fire makes a hard run over Echo summit and, at the time of this writing is burning on the opposite side of Christmas valley south of Lake Tahoe. This recent escalation of the already disastrous wildfire has mandated the evacuation of 30,000 residents from the South Lake Tahoe region all the way to the Nevada state line. Their destination: Carson City.
It so happens that the evacuation center for large animals is none other than Fuji Park, where our event was scheduled to take place, and our partner hotels that would host you are now filling with evacuees.
Together with Carson City and various partners who are all facing simultaneous uncertainty about their ability to support our gravel race in under twelve days, we need to bow-out and let everyone focus on what truly matters right now--protecting, serving and saving those affected by this incredible natural disaster.
We've had a hard run of it over the last several years with fall events due to fire. While we held out hope the desert of Nevada might have shielded us from the severity of climate change, it hasn't. Gambling on fall events is a game we just can't continue to play, even in Nevada.
Stetina's Paydirt will move to May 21st. Many race organizers are likely to position their events in the springtime as well, and for this there is no answer other than to say that we're all going to have to be open to, and willing to ask for a little bit less in order to continue to provide the experiences you all seek, do what we love, and hopefully do more than simply contemplate what we can each do to impact our world less.
If you want to help with the current impacts of the Caldor fire, please stay tuned. We will share information on our social media channels with ways you can contribute to those affected.
We hope that you may all join us on May 21st of 2022 when, hopefully, some moisture in the soil will offer a faster, greener pasture for us gravel afficionados to finally lay claim to the Silver State with what will inevitably launch as Nevada's largest gravel race since gravel was invented and laid down on a road bed.
Pete, and all of us at Bike Monkey.
Stetina’s Paydirt is scheduled to take place in less than three weeks from today. Of course, we’ve been very much looking forward to introducing all of you to the practically-undiscovered Pine Nut Mountains, where the jails are made of tin.
After a year and a half in the dumps of uncertainty amidst the pandemic, Paydirt has been our light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, we’re grappling with the potential reality that yet again, one of our hard-earned events could face a postponement due to the weather. But not just yet.
We want to be clear about the factors that would force our hand in deciding to postpone Paydirt to a future date, and also have an actual backup date in place if we were to do so.
The health and safety of you, our partners, staff and volunteers is number one.
On a daily basis we are monitoring the ongoing wildfires choking the west. For our bout in the Pine Nuts, air quality is the major concerning factor. We’ve been able to assess through ongoing monitoring of numerous weather sites that we can make a reasonable approximation that the air will be either safe, or potentially hazardous in a given locale as close as about 3 days out. If you want to look at the same resource we’re using, you can check for yourself: https://www.iqair.com/us/usa/nevada/carson-city
If the PM2.5 AQI is forecast to be 150 or below, we will race the full course.
If the PM2.5 AQI is forecast to average between 150 and 175, we may abbreviate the course by eliminating the final climb of the day. The decision to abbreviate the route will be made on race-day.
If the PM2.5 AQI is forecast to average above 175 AQI we will postpone the event.
It’s hard to nail down just the number, so we’re pushing on it a little here with some logic that if the following day shows an improving trend per the forecast, an AQI reading of 175 should improve over time. If the opposite is to occur, we may choose to lower our tolerance for postponing the race at 150 AQI on race day.
We’re using this as our guide, which details the risks of pollution levels for both healthy and sensitive individuals. https://www.airnow.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/air-quality-guide_pm_2015_0.pdf
It’s important we don’t make a call about the fate of this year’s race too soon, and equally as important we don’t make a call too late. So we have to sit on our hands a bit, and wait to make a call much closer to race day unless other obvious factors become more informative (such as an impending asteroid strike, in which case we may just race anyway since it could be our last).
Until we make a final decision about a postponement, we will not announce our backup date. That’s just a distraction at this point in the game. But mind you, we have one. We’re prepared like that, and we don’t think our backup date is all that shabby. Heck, our backup date is pretty awesome actually. But it’s still second fiddle to the main event.
This is about the best we can do. Like all of you, we’re hopeful that conditions improve. But it’s important to sometimes state the obvious, even if we don’t want to. Please understand that this is an incredibly dynamic situation, and we’re only race organizers working with the best information we have at our disposal. We May adjust even these guidelines as information continues to evolve, but rest assured, we won’t put your health or safety at risk.
Now in the meantime, let’s all hope for the best, and hold those affected by the wildfires burning in the west in our thoughts. Please keep training, and thinking positively about finally throwing a leg over the saddle with us on September 11th!
That will be all for now!
All the monkeys (and a couple shop rats) at Bike Monkey.