The ride is one of the “Down Valley” rides typically reserved for the weekends when the traffic is light. After the mad descent into Placerville, stay right and take advantage of the wide shoulder to ride two abreast and socialize; that is until the pace picks up and words are replaced with desperate attempts at maximum oxygen intake.
At the top of the pass there is a sign officially marking the legitimacy of the climb. Watch for traffic before turning around.
For the descent, do yourself a favor and get in a paceline as the westerly winds you will face will do quick work of your individual effort. Although a significant downhill, the winds are enough to shoot you backwards. Make friends and use each other; work together and contemplate collectivism.
This is one of the most beautiful rides in the spring and fall.