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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 02-12-14, 07:44 PM   #1
cccorlew
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Mt. Tam Double vs other CA doubles. Need info.

I want to do the Mt. Tam Double, but there's a strict time limit, and I'm concerned because I'm slow as something that's really slow.
You can't start earlier than 5 am, and must finish by 10:30.That's 17.5 hours.

I've done the Knoxville Double in 19 hours, and 18:22
I did Devil Mountain in 20.
Not to swell

But I did manage Solvang in 14:30, and Davis at 15:30 and 16

So, wise experienced cyclists, if you've dome Knoxville, how does it compare to these rides?
Would you bet I can hit 17.5? I've never DNFed a double. I'd hate to pay, ride a long way,and be taken off course
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Old 02-12-14, 09:20 PM   #2
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I'd say that Mt Tam is fairly comparable with Knoxville and the Central Coast Double in regards to climbing. The CCD generally has more wind/heat issues than the other two which I think makes it a little tougher. I would say that your time on Knoxville will be pretty comparable to what you'd do on Tam, assuming you are at the same fitness level and you weren't wasting time. If you are worried about the cut off times, why not try the CCD? The cut off's are more liberal there.
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Old 02-12-14, 10:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Homeyba.
I live in the SF Bay Area, so it would be nice to not have to travel so far. Just getting to Solvang for the Spring Double is a pain. I really hate being stuck in a car. I'm also planning on Davis (It's a jersey year!) and I know doing doubles a week apart is a non-starter for me.

I'd like a CA Triple Crown again, and am looking for a third double that won't kill me, that I can finish, and is somewhat close to home. After Solvang and Davis, that might be Knoxville again. Although, after I see how Solvang goes I may give the Devil Mountain Double a another shot. I lived through it once, though it took a long time to recover. Now that I know how hard it was it will be difficult to convince myself I need to do it again.


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Old 02-12-14, 11:45 PM   #4
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Paso Robles isn't that far! Solvang is another 100 miles south of Paso. There is also the Bass House double but I think that's probably too far too. I'm a little surprised that the DMD only took you an hour longer than Knoxville. I've done Knoxville in 12:30 and nowhere near that on the DMD (16 or 17 I think). I didn't even use lights on Knoxville.
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Old 02-26-14, 12:52 PM   #5
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I've done Mt.Tam only twice, Curtis, so I'm no expert but to me Mt. Tam was quite a lot more difficult (and time consuming) than Knoxville. I've never tried Devil Mountain (on my list for this year though) or Central Coast, so I can't comment on those.

Both times on Mt.Tam I was scary-close to the time limit, but just made it both times. Probably stayed at lunch too long . . .

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Old 02-26-14, 01:39 PM   #6
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I have ridden Mt Tam double once. In my opinion, it's not nearly as hard as Knoxville, which I have ridden 3 times. Any double can be hard, you have potential for heat, rain, cold, wind, digestion issues, etc. Some like DMD are always hard.

The time I rode Mt Tam I saw the sun only twice; on top of Mt Tam when we broke over the clouds, and at the finish as the sun was setting. It was foggy and damp the rest of the time. Next day my fingers were hurting from the constant shifting with all the rollers. Mt Tam and Coleman Valley are the two sustained climbs, Mt Tam climb is very early with fresh legs, and the ride is well supported. It's typical Marin riding, hardly a flat mile, but no real difficult climbs (well, except maybe Coleman Valley).
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Old 03-05-14, 04:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
I have ridden Mt Tam double once. In my opinion, it's not nearly as hard as Knoxville, which I have ridden 3 times. Any double can be hard, you have potential for heat, rain, cold, wind, digestion issues, etc. Some like DMD are always hard. .
Everyone's got an opinion I guess (and I respect MetinUz), but for me Mt. Tam (the 2 times I rode it) was lots more difficult than any of the ten times I've ridden Knoxville.

Your difficult rating may vary (YDRMV)!

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Old 03-05-14, 05:39 PM   #8
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I agree with YDRMV. Here is my ranking for the difficulty of Northern California double centuries:

1. Terrible Two
2. Devil Mountain Double
3. Alta Alpina
4. Knoxville
5. Mt Tam
6. Davis

This does not correlate with my finishing times, but more with how hard it felt at my lowest point in the ride. Last year's Knoxville staff ride we had rain for the first 7 hours. The year before the temperature was in the high 90's in Loch Lomond climb, right after lunch. Similarly, Alta Alpina has 5,000ft more climbing than Terrible Two, which compensates with steep climbs, potholes and brutal heat. Only 35% of the field finished on time two years ago.
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Old 03-05-14, 07:52 PM   #9
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That is interesting as I always thought Knoxville was pretty easy. The last time I did it I didn't even use lights. It just goes to show that the experience we have on a particular double has a lot to to with a lot of things other than the difficulty of the ride itself. The TT often gets the nod for being harder than the DMD but I bet if they held the DMD in July it might not be so. I've done both and for me the TT was more difficult but only because it was 115 degrees on the Skaggs climb and I had some mechanical issues.
If I was to rank the one's I've done it's be:
1. Terrible Two
1. Devil Mountain Double
2 Central Coast Double
2 1/2. Knoxville
3. Mt Tam
9. Davis
I wouldn't even include Davis in the "difficult" range. It's got one climb that isn't too bad. I've always done some of my faster double times at Davis. I haven't done the Alta Alpina or the Bass lake double yet.

Last edited by Homeyba; 03-05-14 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 03-05-14, 10:59 PM   #10
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That is interesting as I always thought Knoxville was pretty easy. The last time I did it I didn't even use lights.
Knoxville has about 12 hours of daylight, 13 if you count "civil daylight". That's a pretty god time.

Quote:
The TT often gets the nod for being harder than the DMD but I bet if they held the DMD in July it might not be so.
Absolutely. Backside of Hamilton reaches high 90's in April, in July it would be much worse than Skaggs.
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Old 03-05-14, 11:21 PM   #11
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This is interesting stuff.
As Solvang approaches I find I haven't done any long rides in preparation, which makes me nervous. But I have almost 1400 miles this year, and have been good about getting up early and doing intervals, so I may well be OK.

I love that you two don't agree on whether Knoxville or Tam is the harder double. For me, after looking hard at Tam I realize I can't hit the time limit, so it's out

I do think,as one friend said, that weather plays a huge role in perceived difficulty. I've done Davis in amazing heat, and in wonderful weather. It's not the same ride at all. I've done Solvang in nice weather, and in wind. It took hours longer with wind. I think I survived the DMD just because the weather was about perfect.

I'm planning on Solvang, I'll do Davis (Jersey year!) and I hope I feel good enough for a third double so I can triple crown again. I've never been an athlete, and now that I'm getting really older this may be my last year of doubles, so it would be nice to go out with a bang.

Anyway, you guys have been great with your info and opinions.
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Old 03-07-14, 07:44 PM   #12
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Hope you have a good ride on Solvang Curtis! I may see you on that double too if Joshua Tree (next Sat.) goes well for me. el Camino Real was a struggle for me, but hopefully I'll be stronger for Joshua Tree.

When I rode Mt. Tam I think I was about 15 min. before the time limit both times, too close for comfort (for me, anyway). If Joshua Tree and Solvang go well I'm headed for Devil Mountain. Could be brutal . . .

Riding the Palomar Century with Chuck Bramwell's group this Saturday (tomorrow, as I type this).

See you out there sometime!

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