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Old 10-30-06, 05:22 PM   #1
Scootcore
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Death Valley Fall Century Report With Pics!!!!

alrighty....so ill just jump right in to this! after work on friday i headed out to death valley(DV from heree on in!) to do this thing. i had no idea what to expect as id never actually set foot in DV despite living here my whole life...its a long drive from the SFV to DV, about five hours, kinda cool and kinda scary. against my better judgement i took the route on the website instead of the one i kinda knew, mistke. it took me through the middle of the mojave desert, through places id never even heard of...wild but spooky as i saw almost zero other cars. the high point of the drive was going up over townes pass, its the highest point in the furnace creek 508 and it lives up to its daunting image! it just goes on and on(steeply) for a long time!!! after cresting the top you go from almost 5000 feet to oh...zero, in less than ten miles! my ears were popping like mad! anyhow, enough driving! i pulled into the furnace creek ranger station parking lot, blew up my air mattress in the back of the pickup and was asleep by 11:30.

06:30 came sooner rather than later and i was up and getting ready. by 07:40 i was on the road with the first century group allowed to leave once all the double guys(and gals) had headed out. all started out well thank goodness, but it became apparent rather quickly that this would be sort of a boring ride....the scenery never changed...ever. it just kinda looks like the area just past palmdale, dry boring desert...i guess i was thinking it would be like lawerence of arabia or something...not so much.

i hate to sound like im just griping but as stated in another post, some rides are so good you cant help but compare everything to them. in my head i thought," ok, desert, hot and dry....lots of water stops, right?", not so much....there was only three officially stocked checkpoints and two water stops(one of which i never saw...). i had never run out of water on an organized ride till this one...oh well...oh, and the route slip showed the last CP as closing at 3pm. i noticed this AT 3pm with about 10 miles between me and it...suffice it to say i was less than motivated...i came really close to just sitting downon the side of the road and waiting for a ride....and it kills me to admit that...

but in the end i did of course finish...it took me longer than any other century id ever done, close to 9.5 hours...the course was also kinda boring in the sense that it was a straight out and back, and the whole way there was uphill...seriously....i was knackered by the time i got to the midpoint.....ok...ill stop complaining now....hers the pics....










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Old 10-30-06, 05:23 PM   #2
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Old 10-30-06, 05:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the report and photos! I'm sorry to hear that the course was boring for you. I probably would have felt the same. I guess that's one reason I rarely do desert rides. Like you, I have never been to Death Valley so I wouldn't have known exactly what to expect. Glad you finished the ride though...
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Old 10-30-06, 05:43 PM   #4
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nice report and pics. Looks like great riding weather
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Old 10-30-06, 05:44 PM   #5
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Did you at least go up Mud Canyon to Hell's Gate?
HAHAHA

Sorry about your disappointment in the ride. However, you did get to see Scotty's Castle and go past Ubehebe Crater, and the back 50 should have been easier as it was somewhat downhill... The scenery is not much, but the absolute desolation of the area was beautiful to me.
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Old 10-30-06, 05:49 PM   #6
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yeah..it was a learning experience...i learned i really dont like riding in the desert.....give me the mountains or the coast any day of the week! and yeah phil...no hells gate.....i was too damned close to throwing in the towel at that point to even consider it...
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Old 10-30-06, 08:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootcore
yeah..it was a learning experience...i learned i really dont like riding in the desert.....give me the mountains or the coast any day of the week! and yeah phil...no hells gate.....i was too damned close to throwing in the towel at that point to even consider it...

sorry to hear this one wasn't too exciting for you The report and pics are great though.... thanks for sharing them!
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Old 10-30-06, 10:01 PM   #8
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Bill, I think it refreshing that you're so honest about your thoughts on the ride. Hey, desert landscape isn't for everyone! Looking at the photos, I definitely saw beauty, but 100 miles of that would have challenged me as well. Good for you for sticking it out (you don't need any SAG back! ) and putting another 100 on those legs (and wheels).
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Old 10-30-06, 10:24 PM   #9
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Way to go Bill...
Great pix and ride report...
Sorry it wasnt as good as you hoped!
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Old 10-30-06, 11:05 PM   #10
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Yep...I was right.
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Old 10-30-06, 11:12 PM   #11
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Sorry the ride wasn't really to your tastes. Looking at that route, I doubt I'd really enjoy that route, either. But good for you for sticking it out and completing the ride.
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Old 10-30-06, 11:24 PM   #12
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Personally I like long rides like that in the middle of nowhere, but to each his own. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-31-06, 12:42 AM   #13
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i like long rides in the middle of nowhere as well...just not out and backs like this one!!!
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Old 10-31-06, 12:43 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
Yep...I was right.
right about what??????
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Old 10-31-06, 12:53 AM   #15
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i feel like such a whiney, pessimstic bummer....sorry guys, this one just wasnt for me....and i like riding the canyons up in santa clarita(san francisquito and boquet..). maybe it woulda ben more fun if i had a partner.......oh well.....
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Old 10-31-06, 12:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootcore
i feel like such a whiney, pessimstic bummer....sorry guys, this one just wasnt for me....and i like riding the canyons up in santa clarita(san francisquito and boquet..). maybe it woulda ben more fun if i had a partner.......oh well.....
No need to apologize! I probably would have been doing the same thing if I had been riding that alone as well. I haven't been to Death Valley since I was a kid...see it hasn't changed much.
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Old 10-31-06, 06:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootcore
i feel like such a whiney, pessimstic bummer....sorry guys, this one just wasnt for me....and i like riding the canyons up in santa clarita(san francisquito and boquet..). maybe it woulda ben more fun if i had a partner.......oh well.....
Don't beat yourself up Scoot, we have all had rides that just didn't work. I am with you, I like the mountains better than the desert. Others like the desert more. Different strokes.... I think it is great you gave it a shot and finished it despite your displeasure. I bet your next ride be great!!
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Old 10-31-06, 07:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootcore
i feel like such a whiney, pessimstic bummer....sorry guys, this one just wasnt for me....and i like riding the canyons up in santa clarita(san francisquito and boquet..). maybe it woulda ben more fun if i had a partner.......oh well.....
You didn't sound like either, Bill. And, yeah, if you'd had a buddy! Of course - then the two of you could have sang 99 bottles of beer on the wall all the way...
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Old 10-31-06, 08:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootcore
right about what??????
From the longatious thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootcore
so....death valley kinda sucks....kinda boring out and back and not really that well supported...pics, maps, and more details coming very soon!
And I replied:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
Yay...pics and details of a boring, poorly supported desert ride.

Yippee!!!


/joking, kinda....you really know how to inspire enthusiasm.
But, your recap was more interesting than I was led to believe.
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Old 10-31-06, 11:53 AM   #20
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If you think this route is bad, just try the southern route that goes down Death Valley through Badwater to Jubilee Pass and back. At least on the northern route you got to see Scotty's Castle, which is at least somewhat interesting. The turnaround at the top of Jubilee Pass has nothing at all.

I did the double century on Saturday. I'd have responded to your carpool thread but my travel plans were distinctly different.

How did you manage to run out of water with two bottles and a hydration pack? I carried two insulated polar bottles and a bladder, which I never bothered filling. Stopping at the ranger's station for water was key. Although I managed to not get de-hydrated, I did lose around 10 lbs, which is not unusual for me on a double.

I think I remember seeing you. Based on your pics at Scotty's Castle I should have passed you on the way to it. I was riding the dual high wheeled black recumbent (not the type I see in your pics).

For me the trick to keeping away the boredom was an iPod, which I almost never use while riding. My preference is to ride in more urban areas, preferably with some ocean scenes. I need to see more people to keep my mind going. Either that, or I find some internal "happy place" for my mind to hide in while my body uses autopilot to operate.
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Old 10-31-06, 12:45 PM   #21
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i didnt have a camelback, thus my issue!!! i only saw a few bents, si yeah i probably saw you as well! i dont think i ever got to dehydrated but my mouth was super dry coming into that last cp....tongue sticking to the inside of my mouth, fun....mouth still isnt quite right, but getting better...i never ride with an ipod but id have killed for mine on saturday!!!
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Old 10-31-06, 02:01 PM   #22
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Sorry Man!

Hey bud,
Sorry to hear 'bout the ride. Sounds grueling! Cool pix though!!!!
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Old 10-31-06, 02:03 PM   #23
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right on man, thanks...are you gonna be able to go up to solvang this weekend???
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Old 10-31-06, 02:12 PM   #24
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out and back is the worst. especially when the terrian all looks the same. it must have been discouraging to pedal over the horizon only to see....more dry desert road. and then you realize that you gotta pedal back the same way.
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