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Before the ride:
I picked up my friend Kristin, my roommate for this ride, in Berkeley on Friday afternoon and we headed over to Davis. We beat the weekend getaway traffic and arrived in Davis at around 2:30 and checked in to our room at the Hallmark Inn in downtown Davis. We were hungry so we grabbed a bite at a Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean place downtown and walked around for a bit. We met Kristin's friend Alex at the hotel, and drove over to Davis High School and checked in. Afterwards, we partook of the happy hour at the hotel, met Kath, went out to a pasta place for dinner, and retired for the evening.
I woke up at 4'ish, suited up, chugged down a bottle of Spiz, we met Alex, and we all rolled out. Since the hotel is under 2 miles from the start/finish and parking is limited there, we biked over there. I had a cup of coffee to warm up (and get some caffeine in me), we met a bunch of Kristin's friends Lawrence, Barit, and a bunch of others whose names I forget, and hit the road for real at around 5:20.
It wasn't quite fully light when we rolled, so I had my headlight on. There were a lot of other riders on the road, and we made our way out of Davis. Several pacelines formed up, so I hopped on one of them that was going around 20mph and we cruised towards the hills. It was a lovely sunrise, so I dropped off the back of the paceline to take some pictures. I'd lost Kristin & Alex when I joined the paceline, but I figured I'd meet them at the first rest stop. I pulled into the first rest stop (23mi) in short order and grabbed some food and waited for Kristin. I ran into Deb, who I'd ridden with on the 2001 Davis Double just as Kristin arrived, and we all headed out together. Alex must have gone by while I was at the stop, and we didn't see him again.
Deb is a strong rider, and went ahead on a fast paceline. It took much self-control to not hop on it myself, but I was trying really hard to keep my heart rate in a comfortable zone, so I let them get away. After riding past some lovely vineyards, I caught up with Deb and we rode up SR128 ("Cardiac Hill") above Lake Berryessa. This was an easy climb, and we talked and enjoyed the lovely scenery. Before long, we pulled in to Markley Cove and rest stop #2 (48mi). Deb was in and out in a flash, but I wanted to take a little longer. I mixed up another bottle of Spiz and ate some fruit and PB&Js. Kristin arrived shortly, and we headed out after she ate.
We continued climbing Cardiac for another 2 miles and enjoyed the lovely scenery. I bombed down the backside of Cardiac and hit 51mph - wheeee! I met up with a nice fellow wearing a 2001 Knoxville jersey and we rode together along Hwy 128. This is a lovely rolling stretch of road and the miles passed quickly. Before long, we turned onto Lower Chiles Valley Rd and the 3rd rest stop (64mi). I again stuffed my face and used the facilities, waited a few for Kristin to arrive, and we headed back out.
After a few miles, we turned on Chiles & Pope Valley Rd. This, too, is a lovely rolling road with virtually no traffic. There were plentiful wildflowers in the fields, and the weather was perfect. We soon arrived at rest stop #4 (76mi). I mixed up some more Spiz and chowed down on various munchies. I was determined to not let caloric defecit get the better of me this year! I met two cyclists, Emily and Ivan, wearing Grizzly Peak Cyclists jerseys and thanked them for the wonderful Grizzly Peak Century a few weeks earlier. Turns out Emily is the ride director for that ride! After stretching and filling our bottles, Kristin, Emily, Ivan and I headed out.
We went past Hubcap Heaven, which is always fun to gawk at, and enjoyed more nice scenery. We climbed Honey Hill, a lovely little climb, then descended and rolled past Detert Reservoir. We lost Emily & Ivan on the descent, but would see them later. This is my favorite stretch of road on this ride as its perfect terrain for me (I'm strongest on flat or rolling courses, and relatively slow on large climbs), and it has almost no traffic at all. The weather, in the mid 70s, was a huge improvement over last year's blistering heat! After a little while, we arrived at Middletown High School and rest stop #5 (95mi). We didn't spend long at this stop, and just topped off our bottles and got some grub.
We turned onto Big Canyon Rd and climbed a short little hill with absolutely awful road surfacing, then continued on Big Canyon for quite a ways. Big Canyon is nicely shaded, and not too steep. We weren't going terribly fast up it, but it was a comfortable pace. I saw the same fellow from last year riding a single-speed cruiser bike, and I was passed by someone on a mountain bike - I hate it when that happens :-). The road turned more upwards, but still not steep, and rest stop #6 (105mi) was upon us. We just stopped a couple of minutes here, then rode onwards.
There was another 1.2mi of climbing on Big Canyon, which was just lovely! It had great views over the Canyon, and was verdant. Again I was happy for the wonderful weather and not suffering in near-100° heat as we climbed. We arrived at the summit, the highest point on the ride at 2175 feet, then started the descent to Lower Lake and lunch. A couple of miles after the summit, my seat felt odd, and when I stood, it fell right off - ACK!! On further inspection, the clamp that holds the seat to the seatpost sheared off - arrgh! Kristin called the ride HQ on her cellphone and they sent a SAG vehicle to pick us up. They said there was a well-stocked mechanic at the lunch stop which was just a few miles down the road. After a little while, the SAG car pulled up - a Mercedes SUV with a bike trailer. At least we were going to travel in style ;-) The driver was very nice, and told us about the communications setup they had. Very elaborate - they had an airplane circling Clear Lake with a repeater so the radio signals could get to Davis! We soon arrived at the lunch stop in Lower Lake and I went over to the mechanic's tent. Happily, the mechanic had a spare seatpost! She installed it, I adjusted it to my liking, Kristin & I grabbed some food and water, and we headed back on our merry way. We lost about an hour and a half due to my problem, and missed out on the fun descent of Big Canyon - rats! Still, we only shorted a few miles, and were going to have 4mi extra anyways from riding from and to the hotel.
The route headed north on Hwy 53 for 6 miles. This is my least favorite bit of the ride, as its a pretty busy road and there was a bit of a headwind slowing us down, but before long, we turned off on Hwy 20 en route to the climb up the Resurrection. Before that climb, however, there was a fast, fun descent where I again hit 50mph :) The Resurrection was much, much easier than last year, as I'd been training much smarter, and the weather was far more pleasant. Warm, but not hot. Its a scenic climb, and we soon arrived at rest stop #7 near the top (133mi). I had another Spiz (I was getting tired of drinking thick choclately liquid by this point, but I needed the calories!), ate some pretzels and such, and drank 2 cans of V8. There was a little girl on the back of a tandem - she was 10! She was carrying a baggie of McNuggets & fries and made sure everyone knew that they were hers and she wasn't going to share them :-) After a few, Kristin & I headed back out.
After a little bit more climbing, I bombed down the backside of the Resurrection at a fast pace, then enjoyed the wonderful scenery when the road levelled out a bit. After a little ways I turned onto Hwy 16, and 8 scenic miles later, I pulled into rest stop 8 (148mi) to pee. I didn't see Kristin, so I figured she'd skipped this stop and I headed out quickly.
I continued on Hwy 16 along lovely Cache Creek, through the small town of Rumsey, and finally caught up with Kristin in Guinda. After 6 miles of gentle rolling hills, we arrived at rest stop 9 (165mi) at the Canon School. Despite my eating tons, I was pretty hungry - uh oh! I had my last bottle of Spiz, a cup-o-soup, lots of cookies, and PB&J, and some fruit. Lawrence pulled in, a little bit after we did. Kristin & Lawrence picked up their lights, and after relaxing a little while, we all rolled out.
We rolled along still on Hwy 16, past the Cache Creek Indian Bingo Hall. Traffic picked up considerably after the casino, but 7 miles later we turned off on Road 85B. The rest of the ride would be on numbered farm roads until we got back to Davis. A handful of turns later, we rolled into rest stop #10, in the same location as rest stop #1. We didn't stay long at all at this stop. Two women were at this stop without lights, and the staff said they could only continue if they were with a group that did have lights. We volunteered, as did another group that was there, and the lot of us rode out together. After a little ways, Mia (one of the lightless riders) and I pulled off the front as I wanted to go a bit faster (as I often do on the final legs of a long ride). We rode along at a good clip, eventually reaching the last rest stop (mile 193). We had tasty chili, regrouped with the other riders, sans Kristin and Lawrence, who skipped this stop, and all rode out for the last 8 miles.
My butt was getting rather sore, but there was only 30min of riding left tops, so I endured. Fred, one of the riders from the other group, pulled us along at a decent pace back into Davis, then I pulled us the rest of the way to Davis High School. We rode in at 10:25, and that was that! Congrats to Kristin on getting the California Triple Crown! We checked in, had some rice, beans, and chicken, hung around for a little bit, then biked the last 2 miles back to our hotel. We had a bottle of hard cider, then crashed out.
It poured on us driving back from Davis on Sunday - we really lucked out on the weather for this ride!! This was the most comfortable I've ever been after a double (not to say that I was exactly comfortable, though!), with a minimum of aches and pains. I might actually be ready to try the Terrible Two in a few weeks (eek!)!
|Total Time:||17h 7m|
|On-bike Time:||12h 47m|
|Total Climbing:||~7200 ft|
08 February, 2011 MST
Copyright © 2009 Adam R. Paul