This monthly newsletter will contain information and tidbits to help you prepare for the 2023 Tour des Trees. For more information, visit www.treefund.org.

Arrival Plans and Start of the Tour

Did you know that we have 21 new riders at the Tour des Trees this year? That's fantastic! With all the new riders, there is bound to be some nervousness upon arrival to Reno, so below we have created a simple timeline for arrivals, check-in, and the evening's activities. (There are great tips below for seasoned riders, too. Nervous thoughts don't limit themselves to newbies, you know.)


In the previous Ride Guide (August 2023), we provided details on flights, hotels, and other travel tips for arriving to Reno. If you have not looked that over or booked your travel arrangements, be sure to do that as soon as possible. Our host hotel in Reno is the Whitney Peak Hotel, located at 255 Virginia Street, Reno. Be sure to also check the Travel Logistics document on the Participant Resources page for info on parking, etc.

For those that are flying into the Reno airport, you can get a cab from the airport to the hotel. There is no hotel shuttle. Most of the riders tend to arrive at the hotel by lunch time and we will be set up in our Bike Room, where all the shipped bikes will be delivered, check-in will take place, and bikes will be stored for the evening.

Your hotel room for Tuesday evening should be ready for check in at the front desk when you arrive, though, as a fully booked hotel, the usual rules apply and sometimes rooms are not cleaned and ready until later in the afternoon, so please be aware of that possibility. You can always leave items in the Bike Room if you get there before your room is ready.


Check-in for the ride officially is from Noon to 4pm, though if we are able to, we can get you checked in outside of those times, as well. At check-in, you will receive your name badges, goodie bag, helmet, shirt, water bottles, and Voler order.

Bike Assembly

For anyone that shipped their bikes or have them broken down, we have mechanics and equipment in the Bike Room to help you get that assembled and ready to go. We will also be separating any boxes that need to go into the truck for those that will need their bike boxes in Half Moon Bay, so please be sure to help remind us of your plans and make sure your stuff is in the right place for later.


There is a traditionally pre-ride ride that takes place after lunch around our host city. This is a non-supported event, but a good way to get your legs moving a little after traveling. While there is no official start time for this ride, we have arranged to have a self-guided tour and meet-and-greet at the May Arboretum in Reno, just a couple miles down the street, from 2-3pm for anyone interested in visiting. There will be a tent to greet you when you arrive.

Orientation and Dinner

The Rider Orientation Meeting will begin at 5pm. During the meeting, you'll get a chance to meet all the other riders and staff and learn all about the course and what will be happening the next few days. We will have a couple of special guests from ISA and the City of Reno there to greet you, as well. All full-time riders should plan on attending.

After the meeting, we will enjoy dinner together at the hotel.

First Ride Morning

On Wednesday morning- our first ride day- breakfast will be available at the hotel. Before our day starts, you should eat breakfast, prepare your bike and yourself for the ride, pack up your things, and drop your luggage at the luggage truck to be taken to the next location.

At 9am, we will have a tree planting ceremony in the park just outside the hotel. We'll hear from some city representatives, plant the tree, preform our tree blessing, and walk back to the hotel to grab our bikes, take a quick group photo, and be on our way for the day, officially starting at about 9:30am.

Stay Engaged:

We want you to connect with our other riders! If you have not yet joined our Strava group or liked the Tour des Trees Facebook page, be sure to do so now and prep for this year with everyone else.

Reno Shipping/Parking Info

The host hotel in Reno (the Whitney Peak Hotel) has asked us to collect the names of anyone that will be shipping their bikes to the hotel and anyone that plans on parking their car at the hotel.

If you are planning on shipping your bike or parking at the hotel, please reply to this email and let Jonathan know so he can get you on their list. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

The address for the Whitney Peak Hotel is 255 N. Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89501. Anyone shipping their bikes should make sure to put ATTN: Tour des Trees on the label so that it ends up with our collection.

A Note From Paul:

I’ve referenced the 2021 Colorado Tour several times in previous Ride Guides this year because there are a number of similarities. There are several long climbs, with four of the days being defined by a primary or series of big climbs, and the first two days we’ll be cresting climbs that are above 8,700 ft. 

So my advice for the 2023 Tour des Trees mimics what I recommend that year. Gear selection and proper pacing will be two of the, if not the, most important elements for an enjoyable and successful Tour. 


Gear Selection:

While I am a proponent of "ride what you brought" and am not suggesting that you have to make a significant investment in your drive train, having enough gear to tackle the big climbs on this year's Tour will make the experience much more pleasurable. In general, what will make your climbing experience more pleasant will be having a climbing gear that has at least a 1:1 ratio (as an example, a 34 tooth chainring and a cassette that has at least 34 teeth). Nowadays there are numerous ways to accomplish this; a compact crank (50x34 crankset) coupled with a cassette with a 34 tooth sprocket, or better, the new gravel drivetrains offer an even wider range, with either (2x cranksets of 48x31 or 46x30 chainrings or a 1x crankset with either 42 or 40) coupled with rear derailleurs & cassettes that can accommodate either a 34T or 42T max sprocket. Personally, I now ride bikes equipped with gravel drivetrains on the road (48x31 with a 11x34 cassette).


And speaking of your bike, make sure to arrive at the Tour with:

  • Tires are in good condition (I recommend 28mm+ tire width, which will allow you to run lower pressure for comfort and better handling on the long descents).
  • A bike that is shifting well- you’re going to be shifting a lot! - and has a cassette, cables and housing that are in good condition. 
  • A chain that is in good condition. (You're going to be putting a lot of stress on it.)
  • Brakes that have new pads and good rotors and are properly tuned. (There will be a number of long and occasionally steep descents and good working brakes will be critical to maintaining confidence so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery.)



The next critical element is pacing, especially for the long climbs that we will tackle this year. As a reminder, we have four primary climbs, two of which are HC’s (Hor's Categorie), one Category 1, one Category 2 and numerous other lower category climbs.

  • On Day 1, we tackle the Mt. Rose climb.  Rated as an HC, it ascends over 3,100 feet in 11 miles and reaches an elevation over 8,900 feet.
  • On Day 2, we tackle Ebbetts Pass. Rated as an HC, it ascends close to 3,000 feet in 13 miles and reaches an elevation over 8,700 feet.
  • On Day 4, we will actually spend most of the morning "climbing” (2,000+ ft) to start of the Mt. Hamilton climb. Rated as a Cat 1, it ascends over 2,300 feet in 7.6 miles.
  • On Day 5, we tackle our last big climb, Saratoga to Skyline Blvd. Rated as a Cat 2, it ascends over 2,000 feet in 6.7 miles.


So with these climbs in mind it is going to be very important that you develop a pacing strategy. Your strategy can be based on power, % of FTP, heart rate or perceived exertion. But all of these strategies will need to take into consideration the fact that on the first couple of days we’ll climb to high elevations and there will be less oxygen and those efforts are most probably longer than the typical duration you are accustomed to. I recently saw a chart in some coaching literature that addresses pacing for events at altitude, that indicated that at 5280 ft there is only 85% of the O2 available that there is at sea level. At 7,000 ft, that falls to 75% and at 9,000 ft it falls to less than 65%. Thus you will need to develop a pacing strategy that incorporates these challenges. You will need to reduce your pace correspondingly to maintain a similar perceived exertion. As an example, say that on your local course during a time trail effort you can maintain 200 watts and a HR of 150 BPM; you will need to reduce that effort level by some 15-35% so that your high altitude sustainable effort correlates to your local effort and its perceived exertion.


Ok, that's probably too much information and maybe it is best to fall back to the old adage, ride within yourself, pay close attention to your respiration and heart rates, and always remember that "you're better than you think you are, and can do more than you think you can.”


Ride On!


Paul Wood- Tour Director

Black Bear Adventures bicycle tours


And Finally...

Randy Miller, while hard at work on other tasks, came across this article he had written in Rocky Mountain ISA's Tree Leaves magazine, from the summer of 1992, announcing the first ever Tour des Trees. Enjoy this bit of history and thanks Randy for sharing.

Hey, look at the area where they did a one-day ride at the end.

Safety First!

Once again, RoadID has provided our group with a nice discount on their products to help keep our riders safe during their training and during our ride. Use the link below to get a 20% discount on RoadID identification tags and accessories. It will ask for your email and name and direct you to a code to use when you order.


Click here for more information

Thank you to our

Crown Level Partners! 

Visit treefund.org/partners to see

all of our partners

Connect with us

This email has been sent to all current and some previous registrants of the Tour des Trees. It is not a confirmation of event registration.

Contact info:

Jonathan Cain

Community Engagement Manager

Send Jonathan an email


1755 Park Street, Suite 200

Naperville, IL 60563


Paul Wood

Tour Director

Send Paul an email

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram