Get answers to the most commonly asked questions...
While RAMROD is traditionally the last Thursday in July, permit requirements or other unusual conditions could result in a change. The latest information available will be posted on the web page.
RAMROD is scheduled with permission of the National Park and other permitting agencies. While RAMROD has never previously been cancelled, it is always possible that circumstances may arise that will require an unexpected cancellation at any point. Potential reasons for cancellation could include severe weather posing extreme safety risk, unsafe roads or adverse decisions by permitting agencies. In order to prepare for RAMROD we have to incur a lot of expenses in advance. If a cancellation were to occur RAMROD will in good faith pay the expenses that are already incurred or unavoidable. After evaluating the net finances, RAMROD may choose to issue a partial refund of the registration cost to riders. The decision on refund could be delayed for several months after the cancellation. RAMROD’s decision on issuing a partial refund shall be final and not subject to review. RAMROD is a nonprofit event and has and shall always act in the best interests of the ride and the cycling community.
No. The permit with the National Park allows a "rally", not a "race". You will need to track your own time.
The traditional course involves 152 miles and approximately 10,000 ft of accumulated climbing. There are three major climbs: Inspiration Point, Backbone Ridge and Cayuse Pass. The grade varies but rarely exceeds 6%. Keep in mind that by the time you begin climbing Cayuse Pass you will have already ridden 100 miles and climbed approximately 5000 ft. Detailed course directions, including mileage and elevation profiles, will be provided in your rider packet. See the profile for the traditional course here.
Road conditions can be affected by weather and construction activity. Occasionally we have to find an alternate to the traditional course. We try to keep the same level of difficulty. We will post periodic updates on the web page.
RAMROD is run in Western Washington State in remote areas over mountain passes up to about 5000 ft in elevation.
Western Washington summer weather is unpredictable. It tends either to be sunny, warm to hot and dry, or cloudy, rainy and cool at lower elevations. Even on warm days the temperature usually drops to the 60's at night.
You will need a jacket or windbreaker even in nice weather. The mornings tend to be cool and misty and the mountain passes can be chilly particularly on descents. There is usually little or no humidity. Mountain climbs can get quite hot. The climb to Cayuse Pass faces south, there is no relief from the sun and the mountain blocks prevailing winds in dry weather. Lately we have had heat waves and temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit are possible during the warm part of the day. You will need to hydrate well.
By early afternoon in nice weather strong thermal winds can be generated. It is quite common to have fairly strong head winds during the final run in to the finish line.
Western Washington has some of the wettest places in the continental United States. The wettest places are west facing mountain slopes. Rain and temperatures in the 40's are common on mountain passes even in the summer. We have even had to contend with snow one year.
You should watch the forecast closely as the event approaches. Make sure to bring enough clothing to stay warm and dry.
Because of the length and remoteness of the ride, we are NOT able to pick up clothing for you. What you bring with you will have to be carried all the way through the ride.
All cyclists must be familiar with and follow the following safety and road rules and regulations. While many of these rules have been required for years, a new rule was been introduced in 2016 to increase rider safety in critical areas in the park: a rear flashing strobe light is now required to be on and working when you enter the park and while you ride in the park. Failure to follow any of these rules could lead to being removed from the ride or future RAMROD events. The complete rules and regulations for RAMROD are as follows:
1. A SAFETY HELMET, VISIBLE CLOTHING, RIDER BIB NUMBER and RFID TAG are required to be worn at all times while riding;
2. A REAR FLASHING "BLINKIE" (SAFETY STROBE LIGHT) is now mandatory for riding in the National Park. The light must be on and operating while riding in the Park. ENTRY TO THE PARK WILL BE DENIED TO ANY RIDER WITHOUT AN OPERATING REAR STROBE. Mechanics will have a supply of these lights available for purchase if you leave yours at home on event day.
3. LEGAL FRONT LIGHTS REQUIRED FOR OPERATING IN FOG: If we encounter fog, you WILL NOT be permitted to continue if you do not have legal lights.
4. Ride single file at all times, except when passing
5. Ride on the right, on the shoulder or available pullouts to allow vehicles to pass
6. NO PERSONAL SAG VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED: This will be strictly enforced. Anyone caught using a personal sag vehicle will face permanent ban from RAMROD.
7. Obey All WA traffic and bicycle laws
RAMROD is open to all cyclists and does not require a Redmond Cycling Club membership. If you're looking to join a unique cycling club in the Seattle area and you're into challenging cycling, consider joining RCC!
We are limited by the National Park to 800 riders. Demand for tickets greatly exceeds available supply, so we select riders by lottery. Pre-registration is from our website at http://www.redmondcyclingclub.org/RAMROD/RAMROD_registration.html. Lottery Registration is open during March (check the website for specific dates each year). In early April, the results of the lottery are announced by email. Those not selected are placed on a waiting list in the order of their lottery selection. Wait List registrants are given the opportunity to register as those selected in the lottery drop out creating openings.
Final Registration will close ten days before the ride.
Each rider pays a non-refundable deposit to enter the lottery. This deposit will be applied to the total cost of the RAMROD registration if you are selected from the lottery or moved from the wait list.
For tandems, each rider must be registered individually. An online registration fee is added by ImAthlete. For fees and costs, please refer to the online registration for updated yearly pricing.
A rider under the age of 18 on the date of the ride must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian. Consequently, the minor rider must register with one or more adults as a group so that all riders in the group are either selected or not.
Each year, if you register and are declined, your entry will automatically be weighted with one preference point. You do not need to do anything in particular to alert us that you qualify for a point. If you register the next year, your odds of being selected will improve. The system as a whole gives applicants who have had the misfortune of never being selected or rarely being selected a greater chance/opportunity to eventually experience the challenge of RAMROD. A weighted lottery means we adjust (weight) an individual's odds of being selected into the ride any year following his or her application being declined. The system is based on the concept of "preference points."
Two things about the weighted lottery:
1) Each year a person is not selected, the odds of them being selected increases to where if they are not selected four years in a row, they are guaranteed a spot the fifth year.
2) The weighting system begins with the person's name (making it important to be consistent!) and then uses other items that tend to be consistent from year to year. Address, phone number and email address may be used but are not necessarily the most important identifiers.
Preference points explained: One preference point is awarded if you apply and are not selected into RAMROD. If you apply the following year then that one preference point will increase your chances of being selected. This is not a guarantee. If you do not apply the following year then you lose your preference point. Priority goes to those with the most preference points. Preference points accumulate until you are selected to ride at which point they zero out.
If you were not selected in the lottery, you may get into RAMROD if you have a low number on the waitlist. If you did not participate in the lottery, you cannot be added to the wait list after the lottery has been run.
Each year, several tickets are auctioned on eBay and one is auctioned at the Sunday Barbecue. All proceeds from these sales go to the National Parks. The eBay auctions are typically held in mid-May or early June. You will see announcements on the RCC Home Page when bidding on the eBay RAMROD auctions is active.
You can also guarantee yourself a spot in NEXT year's lottery by working as a volunteer (see below).
Operating an organized ride in a National Park requires a Special Use Permit. A ride like RAMROD interferes with vehicle traffic on the narrow mountain roads and impacts access by other Park visitors. RAMROD also imposes demands on the Park for enhanced Ranger patrols and emergency services.
After balancing the competing interests, the Park service allows us to present one event a year, limited to 800 riders on a midweek summer day. The Park has consistently applied these restrictions for a number of years and we do not anticipate any changes.
Individual results from the lottery will be announced by email in early April. If you do not receive a spot in the ride immediately, you'll be placed on the Wait List. At the RCC Website, you'll be able to view your number on the Wait List within one week of the lottery results.
The number of people who are invited to register from the wait list can vary dramatically from year to year. In the past, it has been as few as less than 100 to as many as more over 200.
Determining factors include:
- Weather in spring and summer which may affect some people's training.
- Expected weather the day of the ride (too hot, too wet, too cold).
- The course and route alterations because of construction or damage in the park.
Any or all of these may affect a person's decision to withdraw.
The Wait List will move VERY slowly until mid to late May when people find that commitments (or injuries) will keep them from riding. It will move much more quickly in June and July so if you have a low Wait List number - keep on training!
Once your wait list number drops below 50, be sure to check your email regularly. When you are moved from the wait list, you will have just four days to complete your registration or your spot will go to the next person on the list.
No, your prior year's positions are not carried forward, just whether or not you were eventually selected (initial or waitlist). In next year's lottery, you'll stastistically have a better position which improves your chances of selection.
No. The weighted lottery is intended to improve the odds for those unfortunate enough to not be selected in consecutive years.
No. Preference points are determined solely by selection, either from the lottery or from the wait list.
If you're the very last person on the Wait List when the list is first published after the lottery, you hold the distinction of being the Wait List Lanterne Rouge! With this distinction comes an automatic bypass for that year's RAMROD event - congratulations!. You will be notified by the Registrar and your fame will spread throughout the social netowrks. Your bypass is good for the current year and may not be transferred.
RAMROD is held in difficult and remote areas with limited emergency access. We are required to distribute rider lists and emergency contact information with the Park rangers and with our HAM support team. These lists have to be finalized two weeks before the event for us to be able to get our work done on time. WE CANNOT ADD NEW RIDERS THE DAY OF THE EVENT AND YOU WILL BE TURNED AWAY IF YOU SHOW UP SEEKING A TICKET.
Riders can now register in groups of up to five to indicate their Lottery entry is to be processed as "all or none". Tandem riders can register as a group of two. The members of a group will be selected in the lottery or placed on the wait list as a single entity. Please note that riders registering as a member of group cannot also register individually.
When you register as a tandem or group during the lottery registration, you'll notice that you have the ability to register as a 'team'. Our registration partner uses the term 'team' which equates to our concept of groups.
The concepts of tandem, group and teams only exist during Lottery registration. A group will be treated as a unit in the Lottery and invited at the same time from the Wait List. After the Wait List is determined, riders that are initially selected from the Lottery or are eventually promoted from the Wait List register as individuals. If one member chooses to not register, it does not affect the rest of the original team members. Similarly, if one member cancels RAMROD, it does not affect the registration of the rest of the the original team members.
Your lottery preference as a member of a group will be set by the lowest preference point of its individual members.
Your odds are essentially the same as a first-time registrant with one exception:
RAMROD is limited to 800 riders. When the lottery selects the first 796 riders (which may include one or more groups of two to five riders) the next four accepted in the lottery can only be single riders or one or more groups totalling four or fewer. Consequently, it is possible that a group of any size could be bumped into the waiting list if it has a high number in the lottery. This same situation could affect the likelihood of a group being moved from the wait list in the last five days before registration is finalized.
Note that five riders, all with preference points as a result of not being selected in previous year's lotteries, would have NO preference within the group. However, if the group were not selected, all riders would have higher preference in the following year.
The answer to both of these questions is yes. To change from single to group registration (or vice-versa) during the lottery registration window, log in to www.imathlete.com. Enter the confirmation code you got with your confirmation email. Click on "Go" beside "Edit: alter your registration details". You can make changes to your registration details including T-shirt size and either create a team, leave a team or add to an existing team.
To change groups, log in to www.imathlete.com. Enter the confirmation code you got with your confirmation email. Click on "Go" beside "Edit: alter your registration details". Note: group changes must be done prior to the closing of the lottery registration window.
No. The group is seen as a single entity. The pool of group names is added to the pool of single riders for the lottery.
No. As riders drop, whether single riders or members of a group, the available spots will be filled in order from the wait list.
When you embark on a plan to ride RAMROD, there are many events that could derail your training regimen and result in your inability to ride. Every year a number of riders drop out. In order to be fair to all riders and honor the lottery results queue, RAMROD does not permit the sale or transfer of your ticket.
Note: we have modified the cancellation policy to reflect time in cancellations. If you cancel before June 1st, your refund is ~60% of the ticket price. Between June 1st and 15 days prior to the event, your refund will be ~40% of the ticket price. If you cancel within 14 days prior to the event, there is no refund. (* There is a small vendor fee associated with cancellation transactions).
You will be able to cancel your registration from the RAMROD cancellation page. After processing the cancellation, you will receive a confirmation email from ImAthlete when the request is entered into their system. Credit card refunds may take several weeks to post from ImAthlete.
No. Once you are selected, you will no longer have preference for succeeding years. This also applies to the wait list. If you are on the wait list and prefer to increase your chances for next year, you must withdraw from the wait list before you are moved to the active registrants.
Yes. As long as you withdraw before you are invited to register from the wait list, is does not matter if you register individually or as a member of a group.
Send an email to the registrar with the name and email address you used to register. As long as you send it before you are selected for the ride, you will not be charged more than the $6 registration fee and you will receive your preference point for next year.
A rider can guarantee a spot in next year's ride by volunteering in this year's ride. There are many volunteer opportunities both the day of the ride and prior to the ride. Volunteer activities have different point values and a volunteer must earn 10 points (approximately 8 hours work) to earn a lottery bypass.
A lottery bypass earns the owner the ability to skip the lottery and receive a bypass registration opportunity in RAMROD. Note: the owner of the lottery bypass is still responsible for registering and paying all registration fees during the registration window otherwise the bypass is forfeited.
Lottery bypasses are valid thru the end of the lottery registration window the year after they are earned. Owners of a lottery bypasses are contacted prior to the lotter registration window. Use of a lottery bypass must be submitted and validated by the registrar.
Volunteers are limited to one bypass each year. A volunteer can gift his or her lottery bypass to another rider but that rider must register and pay during the registration window.
A few days before the lottery opens, you will receive an email message from the registrar with instructions on how to register. This email will also include instructions on how to "gift" your entry to someone else if you are not riding. In either case, the volunteer or the gift's recipient must register during the March registration window or the bypass expires.
Packets can be picked up at the Sunday Packet Pickup Barbecue. This is held the Sunday before the ride from noon until 4pm at Element Cycles, 8215 160th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98052 425-881-8442
Packets can also be picked up at the Start line on the day before the ride from 4pm to 9pm and the morning of the ride from 4am to 7am.
No. All riders must provide photo ID for packet and jersey pickup.
If you order the jersey with your RAMROD entry through imAthlete by May 15 you will receive your jersey in the mail on July 14th in time for RAMROD. New this year: All jerseys will be mailed, there is no option to pick up your jersey at packet pickup. There will be a limited supply of the most popular sizes for sale at packet pick-up and event day. If you decide to order a jersey after the event you must order through imAthlete by August 31. If stock is on hand you may receive the jersey within a week, if we are out of stock your jersey will be delivered mid-October.
A special note for our female riders. We usually do not get enough quantity in the second jersey order to meet the required minimums. It is best to order your jersey by the mid-April deadline for the first jersey order. There will be some women's jerseys for sale at packet pick-up in the most popular sizes but we frequently sell out.
Yes, but the customer is responsible for all custom fees and duties. Once your jersey reaches the border you will be contacted by FedEx customs and informed of the fees required to continue moving your jersey. This step may cause a delay in receiving your jersey.
We make every effort to ensure you have a jersey you can wear and enjoy. We do accept unworn jerseys in exchange. Your best option is to exchange at the packet pick up or the day of the ride, we usually have extra stock to facilitate exchanges. Otherwise contact the Jersey Coordinator at . If your size is not in stock and you contact the Jersey Coordinator before the August 31 deadline for the second jersey order she will order one in your size. If you wait beyond the August 31st deadline your request will be fulfilled from existing stock if the desired size is available.
You may return a new, unused jersey for a partial refund by contacting the Jersey Coordinator at . Your refund amount will be the cost of the jersey minus the original transaction costs and shipping fees.
Prior year jerseys, if available, may be purchased through imAthlete or on the RCC Gear page. Click here to view available jerseys.
There are 3 RV Parks and two State Park campgrounds between 5 and 11 miles from the start line. Please see the complete list of camping options here.
Please note that there is no room to park overnight at Thunder Mountain Middle School. There is no camping allowed on the school grounds
In general, there is limited parking available at the Start/Finish line and on streets, parks and other facilities nearby. Because parking locations and rules can vary each year, please review the updated guidance on parking options here.
Breakfast will be served from 4 - 7 am at the Start Line.
The RAMROD breakfast is provided to cyclists to fuel up for the ride and is sponsored by Enumclaw Rotary and Lions clubs. It is a separate $10 donation, all of which goes directly to these two community organizations. Pre-register online at the RCC site; very limited walk-ins will be available. NOTE: no bike shoes, not even ones with recessed cleats. There will be a shoe cop at the door.
For more information and pre-ordering online (if online ordering is active), click here
You are responsible for your own mechanical support. There is limited SAG support but it is there. It is not that unusual for someone to find this ride is more challenging than they expected. We also have emergency medical support available.
NO! NO! NO! The number of PSVs is a major complaint by riders and a significant safety issue. If you need a support vehicle, DO NOT RIDE! We work hard to provide all registered riders with sufficient food, water and safety support. If your spouse or friend would like to help, have them volunteer for one of our many staff positions. Click here for more information. They can earn points towards the WIMPROD ride (a 2-day version of RAMROD) or a lottery bypass for the following year's RAMROD.
Yes, gluten free food will be available at the three major food stops but only by prior arrangement. You must request it no later than July 15th from the food wrangler. Please send your gluten free food request to
Yes, photographers from Hovde Productions take rider photos at several locations on the course. After the event, you may visit their site to review and order your photographs.