The Lyle Pearson 200 is a long-standing road relay ride that stretches 200-miles from Boise to Sun Valley, Idaho. This year’s event will take place on May 30, 2020 and is the 14th edition of the ride. Previously run by Mike Cooley and George’s Cycles, the shop turned the ride over to timing company OmniGo! and the team of Katie Hedrich and Tony Restuccia. In the announcement earlier this year, Cooley stated, “The LP 200 is a one-of-a-kind classic but it is time to breathe some fresh air into it, and OmniGo! has that capability”. We caught up with the new organizers to ask them some questions about the event.
[Editor’s note: With a sense of optimism that the COVID-19 pandemic will be under control, the organizers of the Lyle Pearson 200 are still moving forward with the event at this time. They are, however, still closely monitoring the situation. A final decision on whether or not the race happens will be made in early May.]
Cycling West: Tell us about the event? Is it a race? A ride? Or both?
OmniGo!: The LP200 is technically a ride but the spirit of the participants makes it more of a race. Most everyone is trying to go for their best time and the event is timed. Real time results are posted on a large screen at the finish BBQ and online. There will also be KOM/QOM sections for bragging rights and everyone receives a finisher’s award. One unique feature are the time bonuses given which really evens the playing field. Weekend warriors will be able to compete right along with the experts. This has been a long-time popular feature of the event.
CW: What’s the course like? How long does it take to finish?
OG: Both the 200- and 100-mile course travel through some of the most beautiful mountains in Idaho. There is plenty of climbing, fast descents and long valley flats. The fastest time on the 200-mile course is under 8 hours, and most teams finish between 9 and 11 hours. The 100-mile route generally takes between 5 and 8 hours.
CW: It’s a relay ride, how does this work for teams? What logistics should teams be prepared for?
OG: The 200-mile route consists of either 4 or 6 person teams and starts at BarClay Bay just outside Boise by the Lucky Peak Dam. The 100-mile route starts in Grandjean, Idaho and is for solos or 2 person teams. Each team is allowed 1 or 2 team support vehicles. There are 9 fixed transitions areas for the 200-mile course and 4 on the 100-mile route. Teams can decide how many riders will be on the road for each section with a maximum of 3 and in some sections, only 1 for safety. All team members can ride the final section to the finish and time is taken from the first team member across the line. Transition areas have porta-potties, but teams should be prepared to bring all food and water. Full rules are listed on the event website.
CW: Tell us about the history or natural history of the area. What sort of sights will riders see along the way?
OG: The most amazing part of the LP200 route is the scenery. The view is unsurpassed as participants ride on the more remote Idaho highways staying away from any busy urban areas. It passes through 4 different Idaho counties and showcases several mountain ranges including the mighty Sawtooths with 57 peaks over 10,000 ft! Also included are great views of the White Cloud and Boulder Mountains. The Salmon and Wood Rivers border the highway at times and much of the route is either nestled in lush coniferous forests or wide-open mountain valleys. Galena Pass has a breathtaking vista and is the last big climb before dropping into the historical resort town of Ketchum in the Sun Valley Area. It is a great way to experience some of the most stunning scenery in Idaho.
CW: When the ride is over, where can people stay in Sun Valley? Is there camping nearby?
OG: The Limelight Hotel is the LP200’s host hotel and has a special rate for participants. It is in the heart of downtown Ketchum and a great location to access Ketchum’s nightlife. Use this link or call (888) 218-3282 and mention you are participating in the LP200: https://bit.ly/395FUg1
There are also several campgrounds north of Ketchum including the Wood River (928) 537-8888 and North Fork (928) 537-8888 campgrounds.
CW: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
OG: The LP200 is truly a one-of-a-kind event. It has a strong loyal following and we are happy to carry on the tradition. Year after year participants gather at the finish BBQ and share great memories. We feel once you have experienced it, you are sure to come back again. Welcome!
Ride details: May 30 — Lyle Pearson 200-mile Team Challenge, Boise, ID, 15th annual team relay race from Boise to Sun Valley. 200- and 100-mile route through challenging mountain terrain. 200-mile route consists of 4 or 6 person teams and 100-mile route either solo or 2 person teams. Participants finish with BBQ and Sawtooth brew in beautiful Ketchum., Katie Hedrich, 951-733-5198, [email protected], lylepearson200.com