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Mt Tam Double Century Ride Report

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Mt Tam Double Century Ride Report

Old 08-08-11, 09:36 AM
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Mt Tam Double Century Ride Report

The weather looked ominous as I drove to the start with my wipers on the whole time. The fog had rolled in overnight and the road surface was wet and slick. The mass start was at 5am, and I had planned on riding with ahmose, but was unable to meet up with him as some 300 cyclists lined up in the dark. We rode the rolling hills to the start of the Mt Tam climb as the daylight broke.



The climb took us through the fog, which sometimes was so thick that you could not see more than a few feet ahead. The the sun broke through at about 2200 ft.



Looking back over my shoulder, the fog looks like a layer of cotton down below.



The descent took us back into the fog. I braked the whole way, not trusting the limited visibility, unfamiliar roads, and the slick surface. Even then, I did not see a single rider until Muir Woods turn-off, which made me think that I may have taken a wrong turn.

After a quick stop, it's a lot of rolling hills to Point Reyes on Highway 1. As I took the last turn into the rest stop, I hit a patch of gravel and went down, which was captured on video by chidonchea, who was riding right behind me. Not too bad, just a couple of cuts on my knee, and the derailleur was a little mangled. My last wipe-out was over 6 years ago, so I guess I was due for one.

This is the rest stop manned by Lanceoldstrong and family. I also found ahmose waiting there, so we rode the rest of the way together.



As we turn inland, the weather changed from damp and foggy to sunny.



More rolling hills and cow pastures



After the lunch stop, we go back on Highway 1, and a diversion on Bay Hill, which is reminiscent of Stage Road.



Back on the coast, it's cloudy and foggy again. We ride to the start of the steepest climb of the day, Coleman Valley.



The climb is steep and you can see the ocean at each switchback. Unfortunately the view is soon obscured by the fog, and I have little energy left to take a picture. The scene at the top is beautiful, cows grazing in a meadow, seemingly at the horizon. I need to shoo 3 sheep before I can pass.



A fun but real bumpy descent, and we are back to Valley Forge rest stop. Another hill on Middle Road, then a bunch of rollers along the ocean.

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Old 08-08-11, 09:45 AM
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We get to the last big climb, the Marshal Wall. I have no idea what to expect, and am relieved that it's not that steep. We stop and enjoy snacks and noodle soup, and I am getting hopeful that we can finish this in daylight.

The descent is fast and fun, then we hit some rollers with a head wind at around mile 185. My legs suddenly feel weak, I tuck behind ahmose and still can't keep up, ask him to slow down. We catch up to another rider, Roel, who tags along. We find out he took a wrong turn and added about 40 miles, also bonking in the process!

As we get to the final uphill, I get my second wind. At the top of the last hill, it's a nice 5 mile descent from here to the finish. We finish just before dark.

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Old 08-09-11, 12:22 PM
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It was great to see you. Sorry you biffed it.
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Old 08-09-11, 04:48 PM
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Some video of the ride


Sorry about your fall. The gravel shouldn't have been there.
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Old 08-10-11, 01:24 PM
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Your videos are always great. I really enjoy those. By the time the ride is over I forget half of what happened and those are a nice reminder. They'd definitely be a good resource for anyone who plans on doing any of these rides next year.

Anyway, I am anxiously awaiting the results. I did the stage race and I have a chance to finish top 10 if not too many people were under 12 hours. My ride started off really well and went downhill from there.

I made it a point to start near the front and I was able to stay with the front group for a while. I think there were 4-6 people in front of me at the top of Mt Tam. I had no idea where I was going with all the fog and the closed gates and stuff, so I waited for a couple guys who looked like they knew where they were going. That backfired because ended up making a wrong turn. We backtracked on 1 and as we were doing that one of the guys crashed pretty hard on a wet, downhill corner. He didn't seem to get much road rash, but something was wrong with his fingers that looked potentially serious. He got back on the bike pretty quick and I kind of hung behind him (an attempt at moral support, but I'm no good in those situations). We took the corners real easy and made it to the rest stop. He asked someone for first aid and I never saw him again. I hope he was OK. I doubt he finished, but I hope he did.

I felt like a real moron for what happened and I was worried it was going to cost me my top 10 spot in the stage race. Of the other two guys who messed up, one was in 9th and I think the guy who crashed was in 12th, so from there I kind of made it a goal to beat the guy in 9th. The ride was mostly uneventful the rest of the way. My legs felt good and my stomach wasn't giving me any problems. Everything was fine until the finish where I somehow rode right past the school. I guess it was just one of those days. After it was all said and done I ended up with 202 miles, which is bad because it probably added about 20 minutes to my time, but it was good because I wasn't a few miles short of a true double. The volunteers at the table told me I finished in 12:24. As I was eating I noticed the 9th place guy roll in, so I hope my top 10 overall is safe.


My favorite part of the day was being above the fog clouds like this.

I've done some doubles in the past, but this is my first year of doing the triple crown and I had a ton of fun. I had a bad day at DMD, but I felt good for the Terrible Two and Mt Tam. I think the Terrible Two is my favorite. I felt the strongest that day and the profile suits me the best. Now if they'd just re-pave all of the roads.
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Old 08-12-11, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo
Anyway, I am anxiously awaiting the results. I did the stage race and I have a chance to finish top 10 if not too many people were under 12 hours.
The stage race results are posted. So, how did you do?
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Old 08-12-11, 02:41 PM
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I ended up in 6th place. A lot of guys ahead of me either didn't start or didn't finish, so that's a lot higher than it should have been. I passed one guy in the standings, but one guy passed me, so I probably would have ended up in 10th if everybody had finished.

On a positive note, the guy who crashed did end up finishing the ride, so congrats to him. He finished slower than he would have normally, so I'm guessing he rode through pain all day but refused to throw in the towel. Gotta love that fighting spirit. That's what these rides are all about.
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