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  1. #1
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    More Double Centuries, 1 good, 1 DNF

    It's been a month or more since my last update, so here's the most recent news:

    On the good side of the board, I rode the Solvang Double Century on March 29th, on a mostly beautiful day in the Santa Ynez valley and beyond (North to Morro Bay), and felt strong all day. No problems, the bike and the body worked well all day . . . 13 Hours and daylight finish.

    On the bad side (or at least, not so good . . . ) I entered the Mulholland Double on April 12th and ended up with a DNF (Did Not Finish) at mile 161. This was my 2nd DNF in 31 double attempts since I moved to CA.

    Early Morning Start for Mulholland was 5:00 AM, so still quite dark and kinda cold (38 deg.F) at the start, but down from Calabasas to Pacific Coast Highway (mostly a descent), then warmer along PCH and cold again as we started climbing Topanga Canyon.

    All the morning climbs were no problem, and the morning total in the Santa Monica mountains was approx. 6,000 feet of altitude gain. We hit PCH again at mile 62 (100 KM) and rode directly into a hot dry wind all the way to Ventura. This was the beginning of the end for me. Simply put: I wasn't drinking enough for the conditions and became dehydrated.

    I had a 70 oz. Camelback and a large (28 oz.) water bottle, but it wasn't enough. The next big climb was Protrero (some 20%), and while I can climb Protrero, this time I had to get off and walk (yeah, even with my 30t x 27t triple crank!). That was followed by several more climbs and fortunately a water stop by a fire station.

    I filled up there, and by the time I got to lunch (90 miles, 8,000 feet of climbing) was feeling a bit better.

    After lunch I was okay for the first 20 miles, but suffered on the Grimes Canyon climb (long, totally exposed and into a headwind), so was pretty darn cooked by the time I reached the next checkpoint at about 3:30 PM. The temp was up to the mid 90's by this time, so I packed my Camelback with ice, then filled with Sustained Energy and water. The bottle got ice, then pure water, but the next checkpoint was 40 miles away!

    By this time my speed was down, but I still had to climb Balcom Canyon (part of the Tour de CA), which was very long and super steep (104 deg.F here), so yes . . . I had to walk part of that one too. The descent was good, and finally a bit of a tail wind, back through Ventura, onto PCH, and then the climb up Decker Canyon starting at mile 157. This is the one that did me in. Decker off PCH is very steep, a brutal climb really, and I was in my 30t x 27t all the way up. Going slow too, 3.5 mph on my computer!

    When I reached the Decker Fire Station Checkpoint at mile 161 I was done. No power in my legs, very little power in my brain (early evening by now). I arrived at 7:10 and the official "cut-off" was 7:00 so I was officially "out" anyway. But even if I was allowed to continue, it was beyond me. I accepted a ride back to the motel from a friend of mine who had been working the ride (much appreciated, that!).

    Back at the motel someone asked me "How'd you like Protrero today?" I couldn't even remember Protrero! The name sounded familiar . . . but that's about all. So yeah, my brain was cooked. I was relaxing on the bed for over an hour before I could get up and take a shower.

    In the end, the Mulholland Double was too tough for me (or I wasn't tough enough for it), and in retrospect, i.e. with 20-20 hindsight, I shouldn't have tried it. Still, there's a part of me that's glad I at least tried it. That's probably the same part that found the Butterfield and Solvang doubles so easy, and was looking for more of a challenge.

    Lots more challenges still to come in the 2008 cycling season. I'll let you know if it gets better or worse from here!

    Rick / OCRR

  2. #2
    rck
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    Rick,
    I'm glad to see someone in our age group trying and completing doubles. It's one of those things that is setting in the back of my brain. Maybe your example will bring it to the forefront.

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    Rick,
    Great that you tried it and still put in an impressive performance. One of the guys in our club went off the road on one of the steep down hills around mile 54. I guess he went over the far side of a turn. Sheered the fork on his beautiful CF Orbea Orca right off at the top of the crown. Thankfully, he walked (albeit painfully) away from it.

  4. #4
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    Nice reporting Rick! The heat was definitely the major contributing factor why there were many DNF's on this ride, otherwise you would have finished this ride like any other doubles you've done in the past.
    Still, 161 miles on The Mullholland Challenge in near 100 degree temps is amazing for a ride that's very difficult to begin with even under perfect riding conditions. Great job, Rick.

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    Interesting, thanks for keeping us posted!

  6. #6
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. Having signed up for my first double your story makes me worry a bunch. But what the heck, you lived, go a ride back and will ride again. So maybe I'm not as worried.

    Still, sounds like you were in a world of hurt. I'll try to learn from your experience.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  7. #7
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    All the doubles in this part of the country are more than I could handle. Way too much climbing. I'm shot just riding from Hemet to Mt. Center.

  8. #8
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    Thanks for the report. Having signed up for my first double your story makes me worry a bunch. But what the heck, you lived, go a ride back and will ride again. So maybe I'm not as worried.

    Still, sounds like you were in a world of hurt. I'll try to learn from your experience.
    Which double are going to try cccorlew?

    Good luck, and please remember to drink enough to stay hydrated! It's okay to be worried, because it makes you more likely to pay attention to all the little details that really matter.

    Yes, I was in the proverbial "World of Hurt" but it wasn't so much pain as a lack of power on the steep climbs. Unfortunately, that meant my equally proverbial "Suitcase of Courage" was empty by mile 161 as well! Still, yes, as you say I did live and will try again!

    Which means I'm either very determined or not very smart (or both! )

    Rick / OCRR

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I used to do that 100 mile offroad most years and in 10 attempts- Have failed 3 times. Each time was down to bad preparation before the ride. I may have been fit enough but the body just did not find the final bit to get me through the ride.

    I know you Eat correctly but I let myself down on one ride by not building up enough carbs before the ride. Another and I did not eat enough on the ride and the final time- mentally I did not feel right.

    Funny thing was the time I did not eat right before the ride. I did eat on the ride but could tell that I was running out of the body resources too soon- but I never felt thirsty so did not drink enough. After that ride I got a camelback and the Back up crew on the next ride were stopping me each time they saw me and Made me drink water. That was beside the litre of water I was drinking every hour. I think I sloshed my way to the finish on that ride.
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  10. #10
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I'm signed up for the Davis Double. I've been told it's an "easy" one, as if there is such a thing.
    I've got a tune up Saturday: the Tierra Bella Century in Gilroy, and then the Wildflower in Chico next weekend.
    We did 87 through Marin last weekend with no problems, so I think I'm on track.
    My basic plan is to eat and drink my way through it all. Heavy on water and Hammer HEED with a little Hammer Sustained Energy tossed in. That, and eat at the rest stops.
    I may die, but I won't run out of fuel.

    How long did it take you before you felt "normal" after your DNF?
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Great inspirational story. Your detail on the tribulations of the Mulholland Double indicate you shouldn't worry about your brain.

    I've been successful 5 times in double METRIC centuries, although all were relatively flat. Maybe if I
    retire and have more time, I'll "Cowboy Up" with more training.

  12. #12
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    I'm signed up for the Davis Double. I've been told it's an "easy" one, as if there is such a thing.
    How long did it take you before you felt "normal" after your DNF?
    Hi cccorlew,

    Yes, Davis is a good one! There are no "easy" doubles, but yes, Davis is one of the best ones as a first double. Davis was my first CA double in 2003, so you've picked a good one!

    There are lots of checkpoints on Davis (I think they're called "Rest Stops" but whatever), so you should be able to re-fuel and refill bottles often enough. As I recall, Cob Mountain is the really tough climb, but if you gear down and don't try to hammer it, you'll be fine.

    Regarding feeling "normal" with regard to catching up on sleep and basic energy levels, 2-3 days. With regard to climbing ability . . . I'll find out tomorrow. Our club is doing GMR (Glendora Mountain Road) which is 44 miles and 5,000 feet minimum (i.e. before adding the "bonus" climbs).

    I'll let you know!

    Rick / OCRR

  13. #13
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    As they say over in the Road Forum, without pics, it didn't happen.

    But if it DID happen, I am really, really impressed.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Amazing effort! After about 100 mi, I usually have my fill of riding. Our club used to sponsor a double in NJ, but we haven't had enough interest to run it the last couple of years. The randonneur crowd really gets into this stuff, but not me. A couple of our club members (one 50+) did the Paris Brest Paris ride last year. The 50+ guy finished, the younger guy DNF'd.

    Keep doing what you love, and keep challenging yourself. Great stuff.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  15. #15
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    I appreciate the report. One of my goals is to do a double (I'll likely start with the Davis Double, too, but probably not this year). Drink before you're thirsty. Eat before you're hungry. Thanks for the reminder.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    There were a lot of DNFs on the Mulholland century, (like 175), and a bunch on the double, too. The first real hot day, combined with all that climbing took it's toll. Good job getting to mile 161, Rick, under those conditions.

  17. #17
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    Sounds like a tough ride!

    I used to live in Los Angeles, and always tried to avoid riding *north* on PCH to avoid the headwinds. Brutal grind.

    Also, while I have *descended* Portrero, I never tried to ride up the direction I think you were moving. That's a lot of climbing in those canyons, which really get hot when they're hot. Like ovens.

    161 is a lot of miles in those conditions...congrats for making it that far.

  18. #18
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    As they say over in the Road Forum, without pics, it didn't happen.
    But if it DID happen, I am really, really impressed.
    Yes Kerlenbach,

    It really happened but I sure wasn't carrying a camera and it wasn't a big enough ride, I'd guess, to have one of those "Paid to be there" photographers.

    Thanks for all the positive notes from everyone else . It was quite the humbling experience for me. Today (one week later), I rode Glendora Mountain Road (5,000 feet in 44 miles), but took it fairly easy, riding with Tiffany from SoCal bikeforums.net. My legs felt okay, but not wonderful.

    Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm riding a training ride on the Breathless Agony course, including Oak Glenn, which is a pretty brutal climb, then Damnation Alley and probably all the way to Angeles Oaks. So that will be the real test to see if I've recovered. Will report back on Sun. evening!

    Rick / OCRR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
    Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm riding a training ride on the Breathless Agony course, including Oak Glenn, which is a pretty brutal climb, then Damnation Alley and probably all the way to Angeles Oaks. So that will be the real test to see if I've recovered. Will report back on Sun. evening!

    Rick / OCRR
    You do know there's a perfectly nice, flat bike path along the ocean, don't you....

  20. #20
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Rick great report, don’t feel bad about the DNF. It happened to me at the same point, but I didn’t get a ride back to the finish, lucky, I had to ride my bike back. The main thing is you attempted it and learned from it. Someday I will attempt it again, I just don’t know when. The day I tried it turned cold and started to rain, I wasn’t dressed for it and was having a hard time keeping warm. I sometimes think certain rides are for the kids. Anyway what’s your next double? Mine is CCD, then Eastern Sierra, Grand Tour Highland Triple, ToTF and Bass Lake. Hope to see at one or more of them.
    Make mine a double!

  21. #21
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Thanks Dante,

    Yeah, I know DNF's happen, but I really hate it when they do. Today I rode Oak Glenn, Damnation Alley and all the way to Angeles Oaks, 55 mi. and 6,072 feet of climbing. I felt pretty good actually. Well, except that it was foggy, mid-30 degrees with a cold wind on top of Oak Glenn!

    Good ride though, all in all, and esp. after 5,000 feet on Glendora Mountain Road yesterday.

    Regarding my next double, I don't know. Suffering motivation loss at the moment. I'm doing Ride Around the Bear instead of Eastern Sierra (on the same day this year). Riding the Wildflower Century instead of Devil Mountain. Will do Grand Tour Highland Double and hopefully Knoxville, but I need one more to continue my Gold Thousand Mile Club.

    Oh, I know, the staff ride for Hemet. Should be doing that with Lynn Katano and Dave Evans, so that will be fun (randoneur style, of course), when Lynn gets back from Tour de Georgia.

    Will see you out there sometime, I'm sure!

    Rick / OCRR

  22. #22
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    You do know there's a perfectly nice, flat bike path along the ocean, don't you....
    Oh yeah BengeBoy,

    You funny . I like the ocean and all, but "perfectly nice" and "flat" don't work in the same sentence for me. I'd rather ride the rollers along PCH and take my chances with the traffic than ride anything flat.

    But that's just me. Your elevation may vary (or not)!

    Rick / OCRR

  23. #23
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
    Thanks Dante,

    Yeah, I know DNF's happen, but I really hate it when they do. Today I rode Oak Glenn, Damnation Alley and all the way to Angeles Oaks, 55 mi. and 6,072 feet of climbing. I felt pretty good actually. Well, except that it was foggy, mid-30 degrees with a cold wind on top of Oak Glenn!

    Good ride though, all in all, and esp. after 5,000 feet on Glendora Mountain Road yesterday.

    Regarding my next double, I don't know. Suffering motivation loss at the moment. I'm doing Ride Around the Bear instead of Eastern Sierra (on the same day this year). Riding the Wildflower Century instead of Devil Mountain. Will do Grand Tour Highland Double and hopefully Knoxville, but I need one more to continue my Gold Thousand Mile Club.

    Oh, I know, the staff ride for Hemet. Should be doing that with Lynn Katano and Dave Evans, so that will be fun (randoneur style, of course), when Lynn gets back from Tour de Georgia.

    Will see you out there sometime, I'm sure!

    Rick / OCRR
    I'll see you at the Wildflower this weekend.
    Make mine a double!

  24. #24
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Okay Dante, good!
    I'll see you on Wildflower, so you're not doing Devil Mountain either.

    That's a Quack Cyclist ride I have yet to try. I've heard it's tough, but the Quacks do take good care of riders (as I've learned after four years on the Knoxville Double).

    So maybe next year. Still looking at Heartbreak for this year, but can't decide whether to do the double or the single (KOM) century.

    Rick / OCRR

  25. #25
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    As a mostly utilitarian-type cyclist, I'm just floored by the rides that you do, Rick. Terrific!
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

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