OK. DMD is a very tough ride. Don't let anyone tell you differently!
Diablo - I cruised up in 72 minutes. Keeping my HR around 160, cursing my creaky rear wheel. So annoying. I was happy for the first real climb to string the group out a bit. The pack ride in the dark to Diablo was a little hectic. Sunrise on Diablo = magic. Really cool.
Morgan Territory - Didn't get my time, but by this time it was fully light out and very comfortable. Diablo descent at 6:30 was pretty chilly. At the top of MT I ditched my windbreaker and heavy gloves. I felt very good, and dropped down the plunge in record (for me) time.
Altamont - Marco was killing it in this section. I latched on to him and watched him pull 10-15 of us at 30+ for quite some time. We made great time in here. Tailwind made it really feel like effortless flying.
Patterson - I've never been up it before, but yesterday was as good a day as any to see it for the first time. It was still nice and green, the wind was steady and the windmills were flying. The climb is not too bad. A little steep at the end, but I just pedaled within myself and kept the HR under control.
Mines Road - I've never been back here either. I can see that it would get crazy hot in the summer. We were lucky yesterday. It was probably 80f, so warm, but not terrible. I also will pimp my Specialized Solar arm covers here. I felt like they really helped keep me cool/comfortable. There were also nice cool breezes, and lots of running water along the road. Very nice scenery, good road, no cars. I made good time, and caught on with an older guy who passed me. It was a wakeup call to keep my focus and keep moving. Without thinking I'd kind of just settled into a 13mph pace. This guy passed me at 18mph, and when I got up to speed it was easy to hold it.
Lunch - lunch was good. I had half a bbq chicken sandwhich, a bunch of pickles, coke, v8, and chilled in the shade for 20 minutes. Nice to get my shoes off as well. Hotfoot is my recurring enemy still.
Junction to Ham - Made good time chatting with my new friend Reudi. We traded pulls, with him setting pace on the climbing side and me pulling the descents/flats. The last time I rode from the junction back to Ham I was WAY too hot and felt like death. Yesterday it was a relief to feel as good as I did.
Hamilton backside - This was my first struggle of the day. At mile 130, those 10% grades add up fast. It was still warm, my feet were bothering me, and the heed in my bottles pushed me to the edge of vomiting every time I tasted it. The climb was a struggle, but I made small talk with a couple other guys with good-looking calves, so I knew I must be doing OK. The water stop during the climb was nice. The volunteers on this ride were amazing. Really, QuackCyclists rock.
Hamilton Descent - Aside from wondering what was the cause of all the ambulances, firetrucks, and police racing up the hill, and almost being creamed by one of the firetrucks, it was great. The "free" miles were welcome, and I was really throwing my bike into the corners. Significant for me, as I usually waste a lot of energy braking and playing it safe of descents.
Crothers Rest Stop - Again, good support. Shoes off, coke, v8, best cup of noodles I've ever tasted, and some gatorade in my bottles. For whatever reason, gatorade tastes good to me, it cuts through the gross sweet flavor of gel/bars/etc.. Heed does not work for me at all.
Sierra Rd. - Sierra rd @ mile 155 was OK. I guess I had worked myself into thinking it would be impossible, and when I was able to turn the cranks I was pleasantly surprised. I also had the benefit of knowing my mom and girlfriend were volunteering at the rest stop on top. I actually managed to go TOO hard on the top of the climb to get to them. At the rest stop I was wasted. Too foggy to think/talk/properly thank them for coming out; too sick to eat anything. I felt like ****, and just wanted to get off the hill.
Felter/Calavares descent - At the start of the ride, in the literature, and again at the stop I was warned not to miss the turn to Calaveres. I've made this turn before, but in my mental cloud, all I could hear were the warnings. I stopped, checked my map, and determined that I'd missed the turn so I turned around and climbed back up felter for 15 minutes. **** me, when I saw like 10 more ppl come down I knew I HADN'T missed the turn. Son-of-*****. I turned around and went down. About 100 yards from where I'd stopped to check directions was the turn. I was unbelievably angry with myself. Total low-blood-sugar rage. No fun at all. I suffered all the way to the Sunol rest stop.
Sunol - This lady brought me a magic hot dog with mustard and relish. More coke, more v8. MAGIC hot dog. After I left sunol I felt GREAT. I could smell the end.
Palomares - The sun was setting now, and Palomares is a pretty place anytime of day. In the dusk, it was fantastic. The sound of rushing water, the bar-of-soap smell, all the greens, the endorphins from knowing this is the last climb, that hot-dog power, all combined to make this FUN at mile 192. I hammered the climb as much as I could, and passed about 6 ppl along the way. I accomplished my goal of getting to do the palomares descent without a headlight. The twilight gave me enough light to let my speeds get into the 40s. It's such a straight, nice descent. I was feeling GOOD.
Norris Canyon - What a *****. At mile 202 or so for me this road just comes along and goes up. It stair steps up about 4 times for a total of 600ft. Each time (in the dark now) I thought I was at the top, only to turn the corner and see another rise. I was racing my garmin battery now. The low battery warning kept flashing, and I feared I'd not get the full ride on the .gpx. No better motivator than stupid pride. I passed a few more folks in an ethereal endorphin-fueled burst.
Overall, I had a good time. It was hard as hell. I'm tired today (did get in a 36mile "recovery" ride) and can feel it in my shoulders/neck. No flats, no real mechanical issues, no real medical problems, the hotfoot was manageable, only forcing me to stop 2x for maybe 10 minutes at non-rest stop locations. My knees/ankles didn't give out or cause me too much pain. I'm very thankful that everything went as well as it did (for me, Marco had some seriously tough luck causing an undeserved DNF. There was no question that he'd have finished. We were within 20min of each other after 135 miles...) I think what I am most proud of is that I managed a decent time. I did the first 100/10k in 7hrs 5 minutes and the 2nd 108/11k in 7 hrs 10 minutes. No appreciable fade. I even saw my HR in the 170s on Palomares/Norris Canyon. Either half of this ride would make for an epic weekend ride. To have done it all in one day seems crazy to me, even though I managed it yesterday.
Again, QuackCyclists put on a hell of a ride. FANTASTIC support. Honestly, it couldn't have been any better (ok, more gatorade/less heed, but that's just my preference.) They had TONS of coke, v8, boiled potatoes, cup of noodles, hot dogs, chili; so much delightful, just right-on-a-hard-ride type of food.
I made this for kicks. See if you can guess the before-during-after order.