I am looking for my first double century, and I've found this one: http://total200.com/. I like it because it is close to home, however, I am concerned about it because the average pace is 18-22 mph. Has anyone done this ride? The only thing that gives me any hope of finishing the thing at that pace is that its a flat course. Would I be better off finding a ride that doesn't have such tight time restraints/high average speed?
The maximum time to complete the ride appears to be 15:45, which is fairly reasonable, depending on your skill level and ability to find a pace line at your speed.
According to the elevation plot, the course has over 9000 ft of climbing. Although it's not extreme, I wouldn't call it flat.
Have you checked out the DC Randonneurs? A 300K is pretty close to 200 miles and can be stretched into one by riding a few bonus miles at the finish. The minimum average speed is only about 9.5 mph (including stops).
The suggested pace is an average of 18 - 22 mph with short breaks every 25 miles or so and an hour lunch (half way point). So if you break that down it's about 10 - 11 hours of riding (in the saddle) and about 2 hours of breaks to stay on track. Teams and groups are welcome and encouraged to ride paceline formation to maximize efforts. The route is generally slightly faster the first half because of the decrease in elevation.
Aid Station Schedule (exact milage on Cue Sheet)
Mile 0 20 46 74 101 127 155 182 201
Open 5:00a 7:00a 8:15a 9:45a 11:00a 1:15p 2:30p 3:45p 5:00p
Close*6:00a 7:45a 9:30a 11:15a 1:30p 3:15p 5:00p 7:00p 8:45p
* Close times are also the cut-off times. Riding at a slower rate will not allow a rider to finish the course before dark. If a rider can not make it to the Aid Station OR leave that station by the "close" time they will be sagged. That means the rider will not be allowed to continue to ride the course and will be picked up by a support vehicle. This is critical for us to maintain the required support teams throughout the route.
Sorry -- I saw this on the website too, and posted before I looked at the pace list:
All the stuff you should read BEFORE the ride.
START / END
Start time is 5:30 am. We will get rolling as soon as we can- NO LATER THAN 6am. End time is obviously flexible but ideally around 6:00 pm. Start from 265 Kentucky Ave SE, Washington DC 2003.