Yes, I tried to take it easy on the Davis Double, still waiting to see if my chiropractic adjustments had cured my back problems from Camino Real. The good news is that I had no back pain (thank you Saralie!) and very minor bike lean (only after the Chili/Grilled Cheese Firehouse Checkpoint) issues.
I started with Linda Adams about 4:30 AM, and stayed with her all through the first flat section (50 mi. approx), but first her rear flashing light dropped off her seat bag (splitting apart when it hit the ground, spilling the batteries out on the roadway); then ten miles later her pump dropped off her bike.
Riders and Workers at the First Checkpoint
Fortunately some kind young Asian rider stopped, picked up all the light parts, reassembled them, and got the rear flasher working good as new. We also were able to find the pump and Linda re-attached that to her bike, so some time lost but no harm done.
Linda at the base of the Cardiac Hill climb
When we hit the climbs I pulled away from Linda, but waited for her at Checkpoint #2, which is also where I saw Lisa and Tony, plus Justin whom I'd met at Borrego Ordeal. We ate a lot at this Checkpoint, probably too much in retrospect. Back on the bikes I pulled away again on the next climb, but we stayed together through most of Pope Valley.
Above, Tony and Lisa at the 3rd Checkpoint
Below, The Very Famous Hub Cap Farm
When Linda's friend Keith caught up (he started at 5:45 AM) I left her with him and took off again, going at an easy pace for me, talking to riders along the way, and getting into the Middleton Checkpoint about 10:30 AM.
Keith showed up, but no Linda. Where could she be? We waited around, then I called her on my cell phone.
Above, the start of the climb up Cobb Mountain
"Yes, Rick, I'm lost."
"Where are you, what road?"
"I don't know, I'm lost!"
At that point I gave the phone to Keith, but he didn't really make any progress either. He told her to go back the way she came and look for bikes/riders on the course. I didn't see any point in both of us waiting there, so I took off for the climb up Cobb Mountain; Keith waited patiently . . . or not, but at least he waited.
The Welcome Sign on Cobb Mountain
The climb up Cobb was lots cooler than last year, so fairly easy esp. in my 30t x 27t. I saw lots of riders stopped along the way (always in the shade!), and two or three walking their bikes, but overall an interesting climb and not bad for those of us geared for it. I stopped for a short time at the rest-stop near the top of Cobb (7 mile climb total), then had a great time leaning into the corners, going fast on descent!
Paceline up the Pre-Resurrection Climb
Lunch was the next stop, pretty darn wonderful as usual. Wow, that Davis Club really does a great job with this ride, and the lunch was excellent. I talked to one of the fixed gear riders at lunch and he pointed out that this really is 9,000 feet of climbing packed into the middle 100 miles, which he didn't fully understand when he started, but sure did by lunch!
After lunch I took off with a "Doing my first double!" guy from Central CA, so tried to tell him what to expect from Resurrection. On the pre-Resurection descent a whole pace line of us hit the same bump and I was (almost!) hit in the face by a bike computer that bounced off a tandem. Fortunately I moved my head to one side without really thinking . . . And the tandem couple didn't turn around and try to retrieve it.
Once I hit the bottom of the Resurrection Climb I was feeling really good, plus thinking this was the last big climb of the day I just powered up it, hammering really (well, for me), passing lots of riders and feeling pretty darn pleased with my level of fitness. At the Resurrection Checkpont a nice young lady poured cold water over my head using a garden sprinkling can, so that was fun.
The view off the mountain road to the Valley below.
I ate some Fig Newtons, some Oreos, some strawberries, a banana (sheesh, you wouldn't know I'd just had lunch an hour and a half ago!), plus drank a Mt. Dew and a Coke, talked to a different fixed gear rider and some other Calfee rider about Calfees in general. Seemed to be a popular bike for this ride! After the checkpoint / rest-stop I'd forgotten about the post-Resurrection climb!
It's not all that bad, but mostly just annoying, and I was riding with Jesse from the Quack-Cyclists when I got passed by a beautiful young woman. I then realized that I was climbing kind of lazily and kicked it up a few notches and started sucking her wheel up the rest of the climb. Over the top we started talking, and continued to talk all the way down the long descent to the first Fire House.
Turned out I'd had dinner with her before the Knoxville Double last year; but it took us awhile to figure that out. And she figured it out, really, not me. We talked a lot about the scenery (cliffs on the left side, lovely river on the right side), about tough rides (she was wearing her Climb to Kaiser jersey), Breathless Agony, the Mt. Shasta hill-climb, etc. You know how cyclists are . . .
Peggy in her Climb to Kaiser Jersey
At the first Fire Station she (Peggy) took off long before I did, so I was on my own on the road by the Casino (lots of traffic, true), but as I approached the Farmhouse Checkpoint (same one as the first checkpoint in the morning) I decided to just blow past it, since visions of Grilled Cheese sandwiches and Chili were dancing in my head. Well, they were there; not sure they were dancing. So I just waved and blew on past as the checkpoint workers merrily rang their bells.
Having ridden the first 150 miles fairly conservatively I was feeling pretty good along here, though it is boringly flat. No matter because a few miles further on I caught up with Peggy again and we took up with our conversation pretty much where we'd left off. We caught another rider just before we got to the Grilled Cheese and Chili checkpoint (the one you, Dante
, blew by).
Peggy at the Chili and Grilled Cheese Fire Station - 7 miles from the finish.
I settled in here (just starting to get dusky now, so 8:30 PM approx.) talking to the firehouse folks, other riders, about whatever, eating Grilled Cheese sandwiches (on Sour Dough bread, YES!), and the Chili (carnivore for me, though they had veggie too) until it was way dark outside. Getting ready to leave I phoned my wife, Jackie, told her I was doing fine and was only 7 miles from the finish (she's ridden this double before too).
I re-put on my light base layer, arm warmers, knee warmers (getting a bit coolish by this time), hooked up the headlight, turned on the flasher in back and headed off for the last bit with four or five riders on my wheel. In about 3 miles I looked around for someone else to take a pull . . . and there was no one there. Didn't think I was going all that fast!
Otherwise no worries, following the markers on the street (white arrow showing which way to turn and "DC"
; I guess for D
entury), rolling into the finish about 9:20 PM. At dinner I saw Lisa and Tony, you (Dante
) and a few others who have escaped my memory for the moment . . . but I'm sure I saw them! Probably even talked to them! After the wonderful post-double dinner I rode back to the Motel (1.5 mi.), showered and was in bed (and probably fast asleep) before Linda and Keith finished at 11:00 PM (and they were sure not DFL).
Overall a lovely ride on a beautiful day over some breathtaking countryside. I took lots of photos, and will insert the better ones here, probably Wed. night since I have a club ride this evening (Tues. May 18th).
So for all of you 50+ers (yes, I'm 60) who are looking to do your first Double Century, I would recommend either this one (Davis Double) or the Grand Tour (Malibu to Ojai and back) as relatively easy and very well supported doubles. YMMV or course!
I'll post my stats as soon as I figure out where I stashed the bike computer as I was packing on Sunday morning . . . but I'm thinking 17 hours approx. total and 13.5 hours of riding time (lots slower than Dante
!). See revised stats below . . .
Rick / OCRR
14.7 Average Speed
38.5 Max Speed
13 Hours, 10 minutes Riding Time
16 Hours, 50 minutes Total Time