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Old 12-02-06, 09:30 PM   #1
spingineer
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Preparing for Solvang Double Century

Solvang Double will be my first double of the year, but it is so early in the season, and weather can be pretty unpredictable, clothing can be very strategic here. Don't know if I should do layers, or go weatherproof, or go with warmth. How does everyone else prepare for doubles, where weather may not be the best?
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Old 12-02-06, 11:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by spingineer
Solvang Double will be my first double of the year, but it is so early in the season, and weather can be pretty unpredictable, clothing can be very strategic here. Don't know if I should do layers, or go weatherproof, or go with warmth. How does everyone else prepare for doubles, where weather may not be the best?
Normally I ride it with jersey, bibs, base layer shirt, arm and leg warmers and a vest. This past year, it rained, I added a rain cape and helmet cover. If I'm going to carry extra clothes I'll take my CamelBak with me without the water blatter to carry the extra clothes.
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Old 12-03-06, 09:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by spingineer
Solvang Double will be my first double of the year, but it is so early in the season, and weather can be pretty unpredictable, clothing can be very strategic here. Don't know if I should do layers, or go weatherproof, or go with warmth. How does everyone else prepare for doubles, where weather may not be the best?
I usually ride with a rack trunk strapped to the rear rack of my bike; and will keep a rain shell, extra pair of socks and extra pair of shorts in a ziploc bag. For an early ride, like one in March, I'll add a pair of leg warmers to the kit. A Carradice seat bag also works well if your bike doesn't come equipped with a rear rack.

As far as clothing strategy goes -- go with layers and aim for weatherproof. You can build up sufficient heat with pedaling; so long as your body stays relatively dry and you have something to block the wind.
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Old 12-03-06, 09:27 AM   #4
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Last years double was a real monsoon. Not just light showers. I remember a food stop at about 80 miles that people were huddled under the bathrooms roof, shivering. I rode into a headwind with driving rain. Piercing rain and cold. Many people dropped out due to the cold. I was frozen and a bit unprepared. I'd ride with a base layer(tights or legs/ sleeves/vest/and a light jacket) and a heavy rain coat in a seat bag (I use either my Carradice or my Jannd). Often, the cool thing at doubles is to ride with little or no gear but toss that if there is a chance of bad weather. Get the large seatbag or handlebar bag. Check the weather report and be ready. By the way, carry good lights, unless your fast. Good luck.
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Old 12-03-06, 08:55 PM   #5
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Good luck at Solvang. Pack some extra energy bars--support leave a lot to be desired. Last year a cold driving rain in the morning--and the afternoon was beautiful--you never know, so dress in layers with a waterproof shell.

people were huddled under the bathrooms roof, shivering

I was in the bathroom camped out under the hand dryer as my buddy changed his 3rd flat of the morning under the playground equiptment.
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Old 12-04-06, 11:46 AM   #6
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Layers work for me. On the 2006 Spring Solvang Double I wore:

shorts
short sleeved jersey
wool arm and leg warmers
gortex waterproof jacket with hood (love the hood)
performance illuminite jacket (probably useless)
windbreaker vest
buff headband
full booties (because I hate soggy feet)

I was only cold when I wasn't moving. That is the key. I was the coldest at the mile 80 stop, but I knew the fix was to get moving again. By the time I made it to Morrow Bay the weather was starting to clear.

Btw, fixing flats in the rain sucks.

The best equipped people were running fenders. Those are the people you want to draft.
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Old 12-04-06, 04:38 PM   #7
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I was sick as a dog last year after the Solvang Double. Mile 80 was where I screwed up. I was moving along fine and staying warm (jersey base layer, SS jersey, arm/leg warmers) and then put on the Performance Illuminite jacket (the heavier one) at mile 80...

Then again, I am a little crazier than some and enjoyed singing in the rain

Now I bring along the extra gear and am more inclined to use it.
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Old 12-04-06, 10:17 PM   #8
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fwiw, I completed a 250 mile ride last year that was pretty much 20 hours of constant rain, with a waterproof shell, light tights, regular jersey and shorts. Granted, the rain wasn't that cold (new england june rains don't get that bad) and so long as one was on their bike, the heat generated kept hypothermia at bay, but I also learned the strategic benefits of knowing when to stop for a hot bowl of chili.
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Old 12-04-06, 11:52 PM   #9
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Something I found to help in the rain is a pair of SKS RaceBlades. They're a pair of small fenders that clip on your bike. They stop the water from being thrown up on your backside. The main thing they stop is all the fine sand that is also thrown up there and gets in your shorts and rubs you raw.
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Old 12-11-06, 06:26 PM   #10
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We rode our tandem at Solvang last spring and, besides our regular jerseys and shorts, wore only leg warmers and arm warmers (no vests, coats or rainclothes of any kind). I thought if it rained it would probably be warm rain like we had at Solvang in 2002.

We skipped the first rest stop and by the time we reached the infamous 80 mile stop we were so cold and wet we were afraid to stop for fear we wouldn't be able to get started again. As a result, we did the first 100 miles nonstop and saved enough time to finish in less than 10 hours. I'm sure we would have enjoyed ourselves more if we'd dressed more appropriately and made the ride a bit more "social," but posting a good time was also fun. The cold and rain were certainly excellent motivators.
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Old 12-11-06, 11:24 PM   #11
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Solvang last year was my second double ever. I wore arm warmers with a jersey over a synthetic running shirt, shorts and leg warmers. I wasn't too miserable, so long as we kept moving. I will always remember mile 80, though...

(One thing to note on all Planet Ultra rides - you need lights before official sun-up and after sun-down and you must have ankle reflectors. They're pretty serious about it.)
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