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Old 02-22-11, 10:47 AM   #1
DanteB
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Camino Real Double

The Camino Real Double, starting in Irvine, CA, was the first double of the season and it started out wet. It rained all night before and the weather forecast was not good for the day. I took advantage of the early start and started at 5:30am, the mass start was at 6:15. I didnít any of the usual suspects I ride with during most of the doubles I ride. The first 9 miles are downhill and fast, but being in a city there are traffic lights to slow you down. Then it was time to start doing some climbing and working our way to the beach. Once we were on PCH we started working our way south through Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente and as far south as Oceanside.

Along the way there was a mini stop at Dana Point for water and limited snacks and a full rest stop at a campground south of San Clemente. While I was at the rest stop in the campground it started to rain. It didnít look like it was going to be a very hard rain so I did put my rain jacket on opting to just us the light jacket I had on already. I left the rest stop heading south towards Oceanside with one major obstacle in the way, a 7 mile ride down I-5. It was now pouring down rain, so much for not raining hard, and the traffic didnít slow down for the rain. I hooked-up with a rider to try get through this section a little faster, but couldnít stay behind him because of the rooster tail he was throwing up. Finally the off ramp for Oceanside appeared and off I-5 we went.
Once youíre in Oceanside itís time to head east to the lunch stop on the round-about way to Fallbrook and Bonsall. When you leave Oceanside its 7 miles on a bike path before getting back on the roads. I figured this way safest section of the ride since I had just been on I-5 in pouring down rain with traffic going 70+ mph, wrong. As I was about to leave the path I went under a bridge and made a right turn. There stopped in the middle of my lane was a jogger. I grabbed my brakes and being wet they didnít stop all that well. He never moved and I couldnít maneuver around him since I was now skidding. I hit him dead center, I didnít knock him down if fact he help hold me up since I didnít even have time to unclip and get a foot down. Neither one of us was hurt and all we did was just look at each other.

Lunch was the usual Subway sandwiches, sodas, chips, snacks and a few minutes of the bike. Right after lunch starts some major climbing and it is always fun with full stomach. The climb didnít seem that bad this year and I was up over it quickly. I was headed back to Oceanside after Bosall when the afternoon head winds kicked in. I hooked up with 2 other riders and we pace lined to Oceanside.

On its time to get back on I-5 and head north, but this time no rain, just fast cars. I got back to the rest stop in the campground south of San Clemente and saw some friends who were working the stop, Lynn and John. As I was putting my lights on my bike the weather didnít look that good. I left the rest stop headed to San Clemente and by the time I got there it started to rain. I did even have time to get my rain jacket out before it was a downpour and I was soaked. Within minutes the roads were flooded and then it started to hail, ouch that hurt, the hail was the size of large peas. I was riding on flood roads with cars slashing water on me in pouring down rain, fun. To top it off the temperature dropped and it was getting cold as the sun was setting.

I was now working my way back to Irvine in the rain, cold and dark through I donít know how many towns. The towns all run together and it is hard to tell when you go from one to another. I was getting tired and just before the last rest stop I found a Jack in the Box and stopped and had a burger, fries and a coke. I dropped down a hill to the last rest stop, checked in and quickly left for the final 25 miles. This ride is back loaded with most of the big climbs at the end. The climbs are through dark rural areas on roads with no shoulders. I finally found some friend on a tandem that I had been looking for all day and was able to ride in with them. At time when we were coming down some of the hills it was raining so hard that the rain hurt our face as it hit you.
We finished the ride fifteen minute before the cutoff time wet, it had rained for the last 6 hours and cold, the temp was 40 degrees for most of that time. Now it was off for a warm shower and some food.
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Old 02-22-11, 11:09 AM   #2
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You're a stud. Sounded brutal.

Congratulations on a wet and scary double.. The encounter with the jogger was nuts!
I don't know why people can not just get to one side or the other, I see them stopped right in the middle a lot.
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Old 02-22-11, 11:41 AM   #3
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Nice job. I'm always amazed at the range of human abilities, and biking is a good example. Abilities range from people who get tired riding their bikes around the block, to someone like me, to someone like you, to someone like Lance Armstrong.
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Old 02-22-11, 11:41 AM   #4
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Sounds awful. Is this the one that was called "Butterfield" and people were calling it "Butterflood" after a rainy ride?
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Old 02-22-11, 11:44 AM   #5
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I have successfully complete one double under near-ideal weather conditions, but I don't think I would be up to what you just went through. Congrats!
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Old 02-22-11, 11:45 AM   #6
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You're a stud. Sounded brutal.

Congratulations on a wet and scary double.. The encounter with the jogger was nuts!
I don't know why people can not just get to one side or the other, I see them stopped right in the middle a lot.
Thanks! I don't know about being a stud, I sometimes wonder about my mental state when I'm doing these.
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Old 02-22-11, 11:48 AM   #7
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I had several friends ride it. It did not sound easy, and certainly required perserverance to make it to the end.

Congrats!
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Old 02-22-11, 12:04 PM   #8
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200 miles. OK
Hills. OK
Darkness. OK
Cold. OK.

But 200 miles in rain? I just can't imagine that. Heck, Tricia and I did a 30-mile rain ride and I was never so happy to have a ride be over. From my viewpoint, there is no joy after 10 wet miles.

So, congratulations to you! I continue to be impressed and amazed.
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Old 02-22-11, 12:57 PM   #9
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That most certainly qualifies as a HTFU effort. I have yet to attempt a double century and am envious and respectful of guys and gals who complete them. I have a portable rear fender that I take on wet rides that at least keeps my butt dry for a while. If I was riding a double century, and it began raining, for the rest of the ride I would have been berating myself for forgetting the fender.
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Old 02-22-11, 02:45 PM   #10
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I had several friends ride it. It did not sound easy, and certainly required perserverance to make it to the end.

Congrats!
Must be the Bullshifters! I saw them several times during the day and even at dinner after the ride.

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200 miles. OK
Hills. OK
Darkness. OK
Cold. OK.

But 200 miles in rain? I just can't imagine that. Heck, Tricia and I did a 30-mile rain ride and I was never so happy to have a ride be over. From my viewpoint, there is no joy after 10 wet miles.

So, congratulations to you! I continue to be impressed and amazed.
Thanks Curtis! You could do it, remember I've seen you out there on doubles. Are you doing any doubles this year?

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That most certainly qualifies as a HTFU effort. I have yet to attempt a double century and am envious and respectful of guys and gals who complete them. I have a portable rear fender that I take on wet rides that at least keeps my butt dry for a while. If I was riding a double century, and it began raining, for the rest of the ride I would have been berating myself for forgetting the fender.
Thanks, I sometimes wonder about my sanity. Knowing there was a chance of rain I had the fenders installed on the bike when I left the start line.
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Old 02-22-11, 02:48 PM   #11
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Must be the Bullshifters! I saw them several times during the day and even at dinner after the ride.
Yes, it was the Bullshifters! I will be riding the double at the Grand Tour with them in June. I finished a 300k (it was actually 197 miles) with 5 of them who rode Camino Real in December.
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Old 02-22-11, 02:53 PM   #12
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Congratulations on your finish! I am glad I opted out and didn't start. I saved the SAG driver some gas money, I never would have finished in those conditions.
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Old 02-22-11, 05:22 PM   #13
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Congratulations, DanteB; what a fantastic accomplishment in the most trying of conditions. Hope you give yourself a well-deserved reward.
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Old 02-22-11, 07:23 PM   #14
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Congrats on a great accomplishment. Any more the centuries are all I can handle. Not sure I would have ever tackled what was on your plate. Great job.
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Old 02-22-11, 08:22 PM   #15
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Congratulations on your finish! I am glad I opted out and didn't start. I saved the SAG driver some gas money, I never would have finished in those conditions.
I didn't see you at the start and was wondering what happened to you. It was a hard double with all the wet conditions. Do you have any other doubles planned?
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Old 02-22-11, 08:25 PM   #16
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Thanks pmcq and Phil85207. I didn't think the day would get that bad. Now that you're out there that else can you do but finish.
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Old 02-22-11, 09:35 PM   #17
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I didn't see you at the start and was wondering what happened to you. It was a hard double with all the wet conditions. Do you have any other doubles planned?
I'm hoping to do Hemet and Davis.
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Old 02-23-11, 12:20 AM   #18
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I'm hoping to do Hemet and Davis.
I should be at both.
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Old 02-23-11, 07:51 AM   #19
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Good ride Dante. Sounds like almost as much fun as Butterflood in what, '06? Which is where I met you, as I recall.

Sorry I couldn't join you but I was in England by then, still in England now. I did get in one short bike ride (on a borrowed Look carbon w/SRAM), but quite short compared to your double. I really wanted to ride that one to get my 50th, but work came first. Hope to see you on Spring Solvang, which will be right after I get back from Taiwan. Lots of bike business travel in Feb. and Mar. for me.

I know we've had rain on Solvang Spring in the past too, so I might get a double in the rain after all!

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Old 02-23-11, 09:34 AM   #20
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I should be at both.
At least one of the Bullshifters has mentioned Hemet. I am looking to see if that can fit in my schedule.
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Old 02-23-11, 09:55 AM   #21
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Good ride Dante. Sounds like almost as much fun as Butterflood in what, '06? Which is where I met you, as I recall.

Sorry I couldn't join you but I was in England by then, still in England now. I did get in one short bike ride (on a borrowed Look carbon w/SRAM), but quite short compared to your double. I really wanted to ride that one to get my 50th, but work came first. Hope to see you on Spring Solvang, which will be right after I get back from Taiwan. Lots of bike business travel in Feb. and Mar. for me.

I know we've had rain on Solvang Spring in the past too, so I might get a double in the rain after all!

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I was wondering where you were, of course I could have dropped you a PM. The Butterflood was '05, I had to look it up. I think the Butterflood rained for a longer time, had more flooded roads with mud, but this year the rain was colder. The weather for Death Valley this year isn't looking much better, some weather sites are even calling for snow showers.
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Old 02-23-11, 09:57 AM   #22
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At least one of the Bullshifters has mentioned Hemet. I am looking to see if that can fit in my schedule.
I hope the Bullshifters will be there. What would a double be without somewhere along the route you didn't hear "Bullshifters 2 minutes".
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Old 02-23-11, 10:15 AM   #23
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I hope the Bullshifters will be there. What would a double be without somewhere along the route you didn't hear "Bullshifters 2 minutes".
ROFL... that is distinctive. I have ridden with ABC (Arizona Bicycle Club) chapters for 7 years, and joined the Bullshifters in December. I rode a couple of Saturday rides, then the Vulture Mine 300k (which was kind of informal). I then rode the Casa Grande Century with the Bullshifters in January. A fun group to ride with.
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Old 02-23-11, 08:41 PM   #24
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The weather for Death Valley this year isn't looking much better, some weather sites are even calling for snow showers.
Not a problem for you, right? Is there anything that will keep you from starting a ride?
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