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Old 10-24-13, 11:49 AM   #1
jmX
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Death Valley Fall 200

Who's going, and what'll you be riding? Maybe we'll cross paths out there on the road.

I'll be on a black/grey S-Works Roubaix with aerobars, and I'm 90% sure I'll have a neon green camelbak on. Say hey if you see me, it'll be a long day out there and it might be nice to have a 2 minute chat.

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Old 10-24-13, 12:28 PM   #2
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Pretty bike, wish I was there. Good luck and have fun, I should be there for the spring double. By the way which of the two rides is easier considering when the climbing is and the seasonal weather i.e. winds and temps (if that determination can even be made)?
Hamster will be there on a black and white Cannondale Super Six (I think).
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Old 10-24-13, 01:45 PM   #3
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If I can get some mechanical issues resolved tomorrow, I'll be there in my yellow banana:


If there is no wind, and no major difficulties, I'm optimistically hoping to finish before I need lights. We'll see though, and I don't want to jinx myself.

I suffered half the ride with knee pain last spring, so that is a bad memory, but even in a medicine-induced stupor, last Fall's ride felt very easy. On paper I think Spring is even easier though -- climbing Daylight Pass Rd/Mud Canyon at mile 170 in the Fall is absolutely brutal if you didn't save anything in reserve, while in the Spring all the major climbs happen by the mid-point.
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Old 10-24-13, 02:28 PM   #4
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Hamster will be there on a black and white Cannondale Super Six (I think).
Yep.


Took me 13:30 to do the ultra distance last year. Hopefully I'm faster than that now (just moved the critical power curve up a bit a few days ago, from 4.35 W/kg to 4.63 W/kg at 4 min mark) but, to be safe, I'm starting in the slow group at 7:20. So you probably won't see me except on the way back.

Not decided where to stay overnight. Hotel rooms in the park start at $150/night and I refuse to pay that much. I stayed in one of the campgrounds across the road from the starting line last year. I'll try to do the same now. Friday night low is 63 F so camping should be fine. Problem is, two out of three campgrounds are still closed and the third may be full by the time I get there. So I'm not sure what to do. Fallback option is to drive to the campground in Stovepipe Wells. On Saturday night, I'll probably get a room in Pahrump.

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Old 10-24-13, 02:58 PM   #5
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anotherbrian, I've done 4 of these AdventureCorps rides in death valley, and 2 of them the wind would have totally annihilated your banana. One of those rides there was no prediction of high winds. You're nuts!
Anyway I'll say hi to "banana brian" if I see ya.

hamster, that's a pretty slick looking ride. I'll probably start in the 'slow' group just because I usually sleep in a show up late to the start, and if I left with the fast guys I'd be too tempted to draft which I generally try not to do for prolonged periods of time. I signed up for a personal challenge rather than a team challenge. Hoping to be riding solo for the last 150mi of the day, I think the 25mi climb will break up any groups. I'd offer to split my room with you but I've already split it with another rider.

PS, here's the 'segment' for the entire ride....the top guy is who won last year: http://www.strava.com/segments/2599170

13 hours would put you pretty high up on the list!
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Old 10-24-13, 03:28 PM   #6
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anotherbrian, I've done 4 of these AdventureCorps rides in death valley, and 2 of them the wind would have totally annihilated your banana. One of those rides there was no prediction of high winds. You're nuts!
Anyway I'll say hi to "banana brian" if I see ya.
I've done the last Spring and Fall, and don't remember any appreciable wind (yes on the ride out to NV last Fall there was a headwind, but not bad). As long as it is below 15mph constant, I should be good. If it gets above that or is gusty, the yellow fabric is coming off and I'll see if a SAG van will take the nose. :-) Worst case I'll be going a whole lot slower, but should hit the cut-off easy. I'm counting on getting to the first climb before it warms up ... pacelines?, who needs 'em.

I don't have any lodging plans either ... am anticipating that Sunset campground across the street from Furnace Creek is open, and if not there I'll see if a can bum/share a spot in Texas Springs (?) a little further across the street ... and if that fails, I'll try to find somewhere to sleep in my car. I'd split a room at $150/night if I knew the other wasn't a weirdo ... but then I'm riding a banana, so you never know.
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Old 10-24-13, 03:36 PM   #7
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13 hours would put you pretty high up on the list!
That was ultra (144 miles) (And I misremembered, that was 12:30, not 13:30.) Would have been 15:30 to 16 for the full double, in the bottom third, assuming I had strength for that (which I didn't.)

Interestingly, I estimated how long it would have taken me to do the century (what I rode minus detours to Stovepipe, the crater and the climb up Mud Canyon) and came up with 8:40, which would have been in middle of the list. Double riders are clearly faster.
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Old 10-24-13, 03:39 PM   #8
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Well for the 2012 Hells Gate Hundred I think something like 95% of the field dropped out due to a wind storm, and I looked like this at the finish (my second ride ever on my S-works roubaix...ahhh....memories):


I had to hold on to my bike to keep it from blowing away when I stopped to fish out my swim goggles and mask. Why did I have swim goggles and a face mask with me? Because this isnt the first time I've been caught in a sand storm in death valley. The 2011 Spring Double also would have probably been unridable in the banana, but I can't say for sure. I certainly had trouble staying in my lane from time to time due to cross winds.

Anyway, you'll probably be fine, and as long as you can ride the thing without the fairing it's no biggie.
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Old 10-24-13, 03:45 PM   #9
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anotherbrian, I've done 4 of these AdventureCorps rides in death valley, and 2 of them the wind would have totally annihilated your banana.
Haha--I didn't read the thread history, and thought you'd just coined a new mildly vulgar term for Urbandictionary.com.

"So how'd your date go, Leroy?"
"Capital, thanks. She totally annihilated my banana."
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Old 10-24-13, 03:46 PM   #10
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That is a nice looking ride Hamster. Those wheels would look even better on my bike but I think I will pass for the regular or at least much lower profile wheels.
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Old 10-24-13, 03:50 PM   #11
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That is a nice looking ride Hamster. Those wheels would look even better on my bike but I think I will pass for the regular or at least much lower profile wheels.
I think it would look even nicer if I moved down a frame size and had more seatpost showing. But this works too.
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Old 10-24-13, 04:10 PM   #12
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I'd split a room at $150/night if I knew the other wasn't a weirdo ... but then I'm riding a banana, so you never know.
I can vouch for Hamster, I shared a room with him in Solvang and Bishop.
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Old 10-24-13, 04:54 PM   #13
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I had to hold on to my bike to keep it from blowing away when I stopped to fish out my swim goggles and mask. Why did I have swim goggles and a face mask with me? Because this isnt the first time I've been caught in a sand storm in death valley. The 2011 Spring Double also would have probably been unridable in the banana, but I can't say for sure. I certainly had trouble staying in my lane from time to time due to cross winds.

Anyway, you'll probably be fine, and as long as you can ride the thing without the fairing it's no biggie.
I was signed up for the S'11 double, but decided to DNS based on weather forecasts and the need to drive all the way down to Barstow to get in the park (I'm coming from NorCal, so come down 395, and everything in the Sierras was closed at the time). I absolutely wouldn't have finished the ride at the time, though would like to think I could (but no desire -- 150mi of rain for Knoxville is hardcore enough for me) now.

It was around that time I read a ride report from someone who carried swim goggles and a dust mask on their Death Valley rides. Was that yours?
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Old 10-24-13, 05:06 PM   #14
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Bummer. Just uploaded last years Fall ride and it didn't match the entire length, though did match a bunch of the segments. 12h45m moving, 15h+ total ... can't be stopped nearly that long this year.
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Old 10-24-13, 05:17 PM   #15
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It was around that time I read a ride report from someone who carried swim goggles and a dust mask on their Death Valley rides. Was that yours?
Yup, that was me who posted about the goggles and mask a while back,altho that was for the HGH2012. Spring double 2011 was just extremely windy (literally a headwind both ways thanks to a poorly timed cold front), no sand storm.

Every time I do one of these I tell myself it'll be the time I don't dilly dally off the bike at all the stops, but in reality I'm gonna enjoy myself and if that means chilling and chatting while eating a sandwich or ramen, then so be it. Having said that, this time I'm gonna try not to dilly dally off the bike.
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Old 10-25-13, 10:58 AM   #16
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Here's a little cheatsheet to tape to your handlebar/stem area incase anybody wants to print one up and cover it in tape:
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Old 10-25-13, 01:56 PM   #17
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Here's mine



I got the word that Sunset campground is open.
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Old 10-27-13, 12:35 AM   #18
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Success! I worked with a few other cyclists for about a total of 20 miles (much of that me pulling), so I'm pretty happy calling this a mostly solo effort. Weather was perfect, no sand storms or high winds (except for 5-6 miles around the Ubehebe crater). As is typical there were physical highs and lows, but by the end after ramen and redbull (for real!) I was feeling great and went out for an extra 5 miles to push me over that 200mi mark.

anotherbrian started in the same wave as me, and he was gone by mile 1 in his magical banana. Saw him a few times throughout the day when I'd hit a turnaround point, but never saw hamster.

http://www.strava.com/activities/91528613

Anyway, 9/10 - would ride again.
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Old 10-27-13, 01:03 AM   #19
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Impressive - I can't believe that you can maintain HR 150..160 for close to 13 hours (excluding stops). And 6900 kJ in 13 hours? How do you even fuel this titanic effort? Almost seems arithmetically impossible. My last full double was 5900 kJ in just under 16 hours and I was definitely out of juice by the end.

Anyhow, I wussed out and did 150 miles. Not the least because I managed to forget the phone in the car and the idea of doing 15+ hours without head phones wasn't very appealing. In retrospect, I don't really regret the decision. It's a fine line between long, intense workout and total torturefest and I fell on the right side. Tried to taper the effort the first few hours, tapered so well that I was fifth from the end at Stovepipe, started moving up during the big hill, and in the end had so much energy that I could climb Mud Canyon at 70% FTP without dismounting (was still pretty painful though - mainly because it was 90+ F, I left the checkpoint with two full bottles and I still got dehydrated before I got to the top). And I even did some sprints in the last few miles. Improved my time on the ultra course from last year's 12:30 to 10:30.

P.S. Clip on aero bars really help. I managed to stay on them almost continuously for the first 50 miles and then occasionally later. I probably shaved at least 20 min. off the total time because of the bars.

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Old 10-27-13, 01:45 AM   #20
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Some pics of the banana:

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Old 10-27-13, 06:36 AM   #21
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Hamster that would have been your 5th double? Are you doing dead of winter? Do you have a volunteer ride?
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Old 10-27-13, 10:22 AM   #22
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Hamster that would have been your 5th double? Are you doing dead of winter? Do you have a volunteer ride?
4th, I'm still waitlisted at dead of winter. I'll do 5 some other time I guess.

I need to train to the point where I can do 200 at the same level of intensity that I had for 150 and to have something in the tank by the end.

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Old 10-27-13, 02:23 PM   #23
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Fastest double I've ever ridden, by the numbers (which doesn't including baking time) the easiest double I've ever ridden.

http://www.strava.com/activities/91698399


I'm on my way to stay with a friend for the night in Riverside before heading back to NorCal ... will post up my randomness later.
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Old 10-28-13, 12:49 PM   #24
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nice job guys!!! I still want to try a double one day
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Old 10-28-13, 12:49 PM   #25
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Hamster, I agree on the aerobars. I find them pretty comfy even with my slammed -17 degree stem and near zero pad height. They're essential for a double IMO - unless you're in a banana. I didn't do anything extraordinary for fueling...ate ~150 cal at each rest stop and had 2 gu's and 1 pack of shot bloks. Drank about 24 pounds of fluid which was probably another 1200 calories total. I'm pretty happy considering I've ridden one century in the last 19 months. Having a 1 and 3 year old means most of my rides have to be short.

Great job Brian! It was nice to meet you out there, and I bet you're up there in the top 10 overall with that time. I'm surprised you didn't top 50mph on the hells gate descent.

Sure was a great day out there on the bike. DV is such a scenic place to ride.
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