Saturday, September 17, 2005


(September 17, 2005) Knoxville Double, 198 miles, 12,000 climbing. W/ Jack, Doug and California Mike (sort of) 5:35-8:03 with plenty of f'n around as not a timed event (20 minute massage, unscheduled rest stops)

Note-Ward Industries saved half of this original post (up to seeing Ish at lunch) when Yahoo Geocities went belly up. The last part of the post will eventually be recreated from emails and faulty memory.

After two hard 200 mile races looked forward to this ride. Not timed so only goal was to finish at 7:30, right before it got dark, and to keep Diablo Cyclist group together, Failed on both items.

As noted earlier dog bite hindered my training--and finally, on Wednesday nite before ride, when I was supposed to be tapering, I went balls out on climb up Diablo and on sprint down Danville Blvd. After a few weeks of riding on a sore ankle, worrying about rabies etc. it felt good to cut loose. And now not worried at all about 200 mile distance.

Lots of the usual doubles crew weren't going to be doing this ride--either vacationing or got their 3 doubles in. One-three and five are the magic doubles numbers. Some people do one double, Davis, hate it and don't do another. Others go for 3--to earn "California Triple Crown" status and yellow jersey. The next level is 5-where you earn placement in the "1000 mile club" and get a white jersey that looks like part of an Admiral Dewey Dress uniform. So I was going (along with Jack) for our 4th, and last one of the year. Ironically, my earlier goal had been to do 3 doubles to earn the yellow jersey--but after the guy in the yellow jersey came up the wrong side of Ebbetts, and the rides had become fun and not a struggle--I didn't care about the jersey any more.

Weather turned unseasonable cool the week before Knoxville, and forecasts predicted 40 degrees through Napa in early morning, and nothing more than 70 degrees in the afternoon by Lower Lake and Lake Bereyessa. It turned out to be a little warmer than predicted, but not by much.

I went for a test ride at night with my portable Cateye's that throw out 90 and 1000 candlepower--the same lights I couldn't see dookie with at the beginning of Mt Tam. Riding around suburban subdivisions still could barely see. As an alternative I have an old unreliable Niterider that takes up a water bottle holder and craps out suddenly after 45-75 minutes (bright bright 10w white changes to quick yellow fade to nada). As we were going to be riding for an hour in the dark in the morning, and who know for how long at night--I went out the day before and got a new Niterider that you can knock up to 15w or down to 6w, and it tells you how long your top tube battery had. Guess I will have to do Devil Mountain Double next year to justify the expense.

Finally staying at nice/ inexpensive motel in Vacaville-unfortunately in the outlet (useless stuff) factory store area. When I set up for my test ride my Zero Gravity brakes were crapping out. I did my best to fix them, got them barely workable, and headed toward a listed bike store that took me away from suburbia and towards downtown. In a nice old 4 block downtown found Ray's Bicycles--where co owner Chris did a quick brake repair and gave me a bicycle map of the area which allowed me to take back streets and a great trail to Pena Adobe Park--where we'd check in later in the day and start the ride tomorrow morning. Saw Diablo Cyclist member and doubles vet Jeanie unload a tandem she was testing for tomorrow. Later met California Mike and Doug in downtown Vacaville where we went back to Ray's Bikes to buy some stuff (damn-beautiful cogset mobile wasn't for sale.) Some of the stained glass windows up high with bike themes reminded me of the Madonna Del Ghisallo Cycling Church--wow, it's been a year since the surreal trip to Italy.
Shoulda brought camera on this ride but didn't. This taken day before in Ray's Bicycle in Vacaville; bicycle themed stained glass reminiscent of Madonna di GhiselloChurch, patron saint of cycling church in Lake Como, Italy--which ironically I was at a year ago.

This marked the third great cycling year in a row, but the first absent associated bullshit and angst. Have Diablo Cyclists and especially our "bonus mile" club to thank for so much enjoyable riding--though I ride better (more competitive) when I'm pissed. Dinner was at a good pasta house in downtown Vacaville--unfortunately I had the same thing Doug (of long trips to the outhouse) had which would guarantee me stomach problems the next day.

Low key checkin Friday night; like most of the doubles you just show up and grab your packet with your number and get to sleep. As only 200-250 crazy people (more for Davis) do these events, no vendors or checkin festivities. Back to motel, and without my usual doubles room mate flipping through old movies it was too damn quiet. Saw part of Ali's title fight against Patterson in 1965, --damn was he fast, and read in the motel lounge, but was quickly asleep at 11pm until the 3:45 wake up call. Outside was warmer than expected, quick drive down to Pena Adobe Park which was also warm, so warm in fact that Doug decided against taking the jacket he had planned on wearing. . No mass start for this ride--many people already taking off. Knowing that there would be a clothes drop at rest stop 1 and that we'd be riding in the dark for an hour I still took glove liners and two vests. Jack, who had driven up from home, was at the start-ready to get going at 5:30 and 0 seconds. Doug had to go to the rest room at the last minute. It is 5:34 and Jack was raring to go. Keeping this group together may be harder than I thought. (At Davis, Jack decided to blow rest stop 1 off so he could jump on a tandem train while Doug got in a long restroom line--which would start the ever increasing time gap throughout the day. Later, when California Mike, who rode with Doug, asked me how much time we spent at the lunch stop, I yelled "lunch stop, what lunch stop, Jack didn't let us take lunch...") But a 2nd ride description said "most of the climbing is in the morning" I was hoping we could 4 man the 2nd half of the course while finishing right before dark..

Beginning of ride is through Vacaville subdivisions. Mike, Doug and Jack were wisely using low power lights as the full moon, streetlights and other riders w/ lights didn’t necessitate a powerful light. I took my new high power light with me. Though mostly (thank buddha) uphill I was still wary of nighttime riding and not setting any kind of pace. Noticed that while some riders were using minimal lights, some riders looked like they stole the light towers from Pac Bell Park.

Light coming up and suddenly ride is so much better as you can see. First I saw that I never switched on my odometer. Then Jack saw me riding about 2 feet from the yellow line and kept wanting to know "why I was riding in the middle of the road." Uh--goatheads all along shoulder and no cars out at 6:45am. Later in the day California Mike riding in middle of the road--told him he's lucky that Jack not around to see this.

Soon hit the Mt George climb and Jack took the lead which was fine as this would help us stay together. Mike is fast on the descents but tends to get sawed off on the climbs, and I am the fastest climber but the worst descended. Jack and Doug good all rounders-with Jack having incredible stamina--seemingly never getting tired. Weather is good--until the downhill into Napa Valley which is encased in fog. Somehow we lost Doug on the climb, which wasn't noticed at first as on the descent we had to pay close attention to the road through fog covered glasses. Feet cold, had to go to bathroom badly, dew on arm warmers, luckily brought glove inserts, too cold to stop--Jack, Mike and I pacelined up Silverado Trail. One partial break in the clouds where hot air balloons float 50' over vineyards, but soon back in the fog. Rest Stop 1-Napa Ecological Reserve-mile 37-@ 15 minutes at rest stop, at 7:45. Did I mention that I have to go to the bathroom.

Wasn't keeping close track of time at rest stop but it was set up poorly in a vacant field. Only two outhouses for mass of riders with two distinct lines (usually large group arrive together at 1st rest stop), line I got on didn't move for 5 minutes. (Banks in the 1960's got rid of separate lines for each window, why weren't outhouses together w/ one line for both.) I got off line to grab some food and went on the other outhouse line as Doug was pulling in--and Jack anise to leave, I'm not nearly ready. Jack and Mike take off--I leave about 5 minutes after them after grabbing some carbs, endurolites and hammergel, and getting rid of lights. When I'm ready to go Doug still taking care of business, and I have to leave NOW if I want to ride back to Jack and Mike.. So much for keeping group together.

Next 12 miles flattest part of ride along Highway 29 and Silverado Trail. I'm hammering and passing a few lone riders, but no pacelines to latch on to or come through. Difference between timed events and this--no urgency among many riders. I picture Mike and Jack riding a 2 man and putting more time between them and me. Soon hit 8 mile climb of Howell Mountain Road, I figure I am 7 minutes behind Jack and Mike. I hammer up climb as here is where I can catch up to them--passing scores of riders. Pass one Grizzly Peak Cyclist who says two Diablo Cyclists passed him about 5 minutes ago--"isn't one of them Jack." (Everyone knows Jack) He asks me where our fixed gear contingent is--told him "the crazy people" are not on this ride. (Later at a rest stop woman, seeing my Diablo Cyclist jersey, would ask me if I was riding a regular bike or a fixed gear.) Diablo Cyclists have a reputation...

Didn't catch up to Mike or Jack on uphill, and now 2 mile sweeping downhill which wasn't bad--I took it well and wasn't repassed by anyone. On Pope Valley Road think I spot a Diablo Cyclist jersey in the distance, hammer and catch up to Mike, and we ride in together towards #2-Knoxville Road/ Lake Berryessa. Told him that we should have all left last rest stop together and could have done a 4 man paceline and stuck together, but in reality course too hilly for that now. Now sun is out and getting really warm--and of course I have to go to the bathroom.

Get to rest stop #2, at mile 71, at 10:15. When we leave this rest stop it will be around 300 minutes since we first started, at this rate we'll finish the ride around 7:35--a few minutes after darkness. But the course supposedly gets easier. Wound up staying here for about 20 minutes.

Two pleasant surprises at the rest stop. I call out my number to checkin and lady says "I already have you down Jay." It is Veronica, old time Delta Pedaler member who usually rides a tandem with husband Tom, who was also working at the rest stop. I hadn't seen them since I drafted off their tandem for half of the Holstein in 2003. They were seemingly the two people who loved riding the most and did their own thing, and were immune from the infighting and chicanery of the Delta Pedalers. Where the heck has the time gone? Other pleasant surprise was that this was ANOTHER clothes drop off--and I didn't relish the prospect of riding around with pockets filled with glove inserts, arm warmers and two vests. Kept one vest and was real happy to get rid of the rest.

Oh the downside--ONE f'n bathroom with another long line. Many people joked on line that we have to move fast when we are in there--shit, I was ready to pull out a newspaper and sit around for 10 minutes. But after loooong wait hustled in and out and planned to stop again at 1st gas station or winery I saw.

Jack ready so he takes off, Mike follows. I am getting some HEED scooped by workers by funnel, wolf down a Cliff Bar and then plan to hammer to get back to Jack and Mike. As Doug last person to this rest stop he is again not ready to leave.

We were almost immediately on Knoxville Road, a 32 mile stretch that goes (slightly) uphill towards Lower Lake. Great plan I had to catch a bathroom along the way--unfortunately the whole road is so desolate that there is NOTHING on the road except the Homestake Mine. For a desolate road it is nicely paved (unlike the Geysers) except for the occasional dip in the road that is supposedly flooded in the winter.

Catch up to Mike and then Jack--who hints that we better ride at a faster clip if we want to get in before nightfall. But I don't care--I feel so f'n bloated I'm going to stop at the first bathroom I see. Meanwhile riding hard, Jack and I playing tag with one of the many riders wearing a yellow triple crown jersey (were YOU the person riding up the wrong side of Ebbetts???) We are zooming past lots of riders when Jack flats--I make the decision to keep going so I can stop at the bathroom that doesn't exist (maybe at the water stop along the road.) I had just met Jeanie, an old time Diablo Cyclist and veteran of doing speedy 200's, the week before and she comes through on the back of a tandem with 4-5 cyclists in her draft. But then the road gets a little steeper and I go forward, and one guy comes with me for the remaining climb--past the water stop with NO outhouse and the Homestake Mine with the cheesy entrance sign, heck, almost no one ever sees it.

At water stop dumped one bottle of HEED--getting sick of it and noticed my stomach reacting to it, and filled up with water. Much better--but 14 remaining miles to lunch stop was oh so painful. Passed lady in yellow jersey who yelled out "don't you say hello." It is Kitty, triple crown stage winner and who I rode with for the first time a week ago. But I chided her for NOT wearing a Diablo Cyclist jersey--"how am I supposed to recognize you when I pass." Now just dreaming of Lower Lake Lunch stop with lots of porta potties.

Pull into #-3 Lower Lake Lunch Stop, mile 108, at 12:59. In retrospect, with a 20 minute lunch, now running to 8pm. But no other Diablo Cyclists in yet so plan to take my time. But once again THERE IS JUST ONE F'N TOILET, and a long line.

On the plus size RAAM finisher Ish and wife Nonnie giving free massages and no one at Nonnie's table. Why not. I must have gotten a 15-20 minute massage. Nonnie noticed bandage on ankle, she asked and told her it was from dog bite. Ish laughed "You don't have much luck with dogs." He remembered when I flipped over dog in 2001.

After this point post has to be recreated

Felt good—saw that Jack was already in, didn’t see Mike or Doug. They came in a little later and Doug went over for a quick massage, then they went over to eat, with Jack ready to go. I planned to hit the Lower Lake bathroom, wanted to fill bottles and didn’t need to rush, so I told Jack to go ahead, and told Mike/ Doug they’d probably catch up to me as I’m going to make frequent stops along the way. So after a half hour I was off.

When left Lower Lake didn’t have to stop at gas station. Last year on the classic from Pope valley to Lower Lake and back I had done this route. Starts off as a climb out of Lower Lake and here I passed a few riders. But all of a sudden my right arch was hurting, had to go to the bathroom, was thirsty, and was tired. A few riders passed me on the bumpy/ rough Big Canyon Road, where you had too stay alert to miss the frequent bumps. All of a sudden stomach, energy level and foot bugging me—my odometer was off but figured not to far from Middletown—the midpoint where I stopped on my solo ride last year.

One thing to mention about the course, marked really well by the Quackcyclists and many roads were straight through with minimal turns—17 segments 4 miles of more. Suddenly in Middletown and stopped at gas station/ mini market.

As no lock started bring bike back to bathrooms with me but guy at counter told me to leave it up front, he’d watch it. Then of course men’s room was taken, but women’s was not. One stall restroom-ridiculous when they designate sexes on it so I went in to women’s. Finally, no line, as long as I want, clean restroom……Two minutes later a knock on the door and a jiggle of the lock. I didn’t answer and came out a few minutes later. Three women waiting for bathroom—dirty looks.

Then I bought a Diet Coke and pulled out a Cliff bar and sat around inside with shoes off eating it. Was there for about 20-30 minutes, figured Mike/ Doug now would be close.

Started off solo but with renewed energy for last 5 miles on Butts Canyon Road. Caught up with a guy—Mr Doubles and women. They weren’t motoring but I got ion their draft for about a mile and then pulled at an easy 15-16 while we talked about Mt Shasta ride. Thing guy was surprised that this was my first year of doing multiple doubles. Was going to now try Sustained Energy, but without knowing my predicament Mr Double said that for people new to SE they sometimes get gas. Oh—no thanks. At rest stop woman wanted d to know when we’d be leaving, but I intended to quicken the pace and was going to try to come in before dark—even with 15-20 minute massage lunch and 20-30 minute Middletown stop. (Rest stop #4-Pelican Lake-132 mile-3:20-55 minutes behind schedule) Even though almost an hour behind schedule the terrain was supposed to get easier. Ha.

Doug of Nevada was riding sag and asked him if he saw Mike/ Doug. Said he just came from other side of Middletown and they were on the road with a sag wagon. Oh crap. Ten-fifteen miles behind, and stopped with a mechanical. Long rest stop at Middletown had not really gotten them much closer and I’d now have to hustle to make it back by nightfall. Probably got out of this rest stop close to 10 minutes—fastest stop all day.

Instead of flat were no on long rollers on Butts Canyon Road. Usually riding in some gully, where might get hit by a tricky wind which would slow the downhill. But more likely got support from a strong tailwind, and was doing uphills at 15+. One guy flew by me, and I got on his wheel, and we traded pulls, ramping up some of the uphills to 20+--though there were enough long uphills without a wind assist that dropped speeds top 8. We seemingly flew into Rest stop #5-Lake Hennessey-Pope Valley Road-mile 157-4:55, still 54 minutes behind.

Foot was hurting again so I took some time, maybe 15 minutes, sitting in chair, rubbing foot, with diet coke and cookie. Told rest stop worker that was sick of HEED, would now be only on water—she wanted to know if I wanted a shake which they had in cooler. Afraid that stomach may revolt I declined, but most workers were really nice though without the insane enthusiasm of the Terrible Two, but more organized than the Mt Tam Double.

At stop girl resting, upon seeing Diablo Cyclist jersey. wanted to know if I was riding fixed gear. We also talked about Strawberry Fields. But then time to leave for rest of easy part of course.

About a dozen folks at rest stop, and lots of pick up bags there, but for next 28 miles on Highway 128 may have passed 1 rider—never saw anyone else in far distance or far behind. In fact, when not worried about boat traffic zooming by on road with narrow-disappearing shoulder, or worried about endless uphill which slowed speed to crawl, worried that I was lost badly. At one point pulled over and took a whiz, and put on backlite in twilight, and though I may see a cyclist come up. No one. Sag wagons which were numerous earlier in the day were now nonexistent. So I just kept going—climbing, climbing. I knew 27 miles to final rest stop where my lights were—and if I was going correctly should get there by 7:00. Damn, would only have about 15 minutes of daylight riding.

Hit rest stop 6-Pleasant valley Road at 7:02. Innocuous rest stop at the side of a store where I found my two bags among not that many that remained. I still didn’t remember my number. I asked worker who told me that half the riders had come through. Only 13 miles remained-found out it was a straight road (good), slightly uphill, but was a farm road with no streetlights. Ah shit—but at least new Niterider had ½ its power still stored-so could easily ride 15 minutes at 6 watts in twilight and then turn on 10-15 watts for last ½ hour. Grabbed a power bar and was off—first time I didn’t have to use the can all day. Still warm-pockets stuffed with extra clothes from the morning (should have sent them back to last stop) except for arm warmers.

Road went slightly up and nice stand of trees and rural houses on each side—dusk has solidly arrived. Figured I’d be riding ½ hour in the dark—but with no turns felt OK. Forgot that on the map Pleasant Valley Road looks like a major suburban thoroughfare on the west side of Vacaville. Forgot that the dreaded Mix Canyon Road intersects it,. Forgot that some years there is a Vaca Valley Climbing loop offered. Now I was intent on staring at the edge of the road to make sure I didn’t slip off the shoulder on a sudden downhill turn, but none was forthcoming.

Oh yeah, my odometer was out.—so no idea how fast I was going or how close I was to the end. Darkness hit and I was traveling about 15mph on the slight uphill, once again NO ONE up or down the road. Time just seemed to drag. All of a sudden a whirl came by, a guy standing on pedals and hammering. Shit—I might as well follow and I did. I think guy, Mark A? from Grizzly peak Cyclists (Jack knew him, of course) though he’d blast by me, when he couldn’t pace me off his wheel I went to the front and we exchanged pulls. Speed now about 20 and much easier either following someone light or having another headlight illuminate the road. Two or three intersection when I’d yell out straight and Mark would yell back yeah—he doesn’t know my penchant fro getting lots. Then sudden left turn-Mark hammers and I follow over Highway 80 boom—we’re back.

No rousing reception like the Terrible Two or adrenaline rush from catching riders at Mt Tam. Jack waiting in street clothes and wondered how I was doing. Felt great-told him I had stayed at Middletown to use bathroom and then see if Doug/ Mike would regroup. Jack had come in at 7:30—in retrospect I should have ridden with him—but then would have forgone massage. Jack said he also didn’t see many riders, just passed anyone he could.

Jack left and I waited for Doug/ Mike to come in. Chewy chicken but two great pasta salads and good salad. Most folks knew each other—many wearing their “triple” jersey or talking about Furnace Creek. Nice incestuous group who really love these 200 milers. This one had great scenery and was challenging but disappointed didn’t ride as a group—though now recognize that you can only ride as a group on 100 milers where there are no time constraints. But letdown as this event wasn’t timed so no sense of urgency. And no pushing to the limit. I think next year I’ll focus on 100 milers for fun and 200 milers for time.

Jack and Doug come in about 8:50, with woman from Sacto that Mike is trying to set Doug up with until they find out she’s married. But they were ecstatic—Doug’s 3rd and Mike’s 5th. Now I’m pissed that I didn’t do a 5th ride—don’t want the yellow jersey and though the white one (for 5) looks like an admirals dress whites…oh what the hell, having 4 is cool. And after all the TT jersey had father time and was orange and black, and I’m only getting orange and black jerseys or ones with skeletons or devils on them. ,

Saturday, August 6, 2005


(August 6, 2005) Mt. Tam Double, 199 miles, 14,500' climbing. 5:00-6:48, 15.7 mph, 36th of 211 riders. Don, Steve, CA Mike, Tom on course but no one rode together albeit briefly

2009 Note: This was my first Mt Tam Double, the ride that would become my favorite. I have to laugh at some of the things I wrote in my 2005 ride report.

Ride description indicates that though a touch under DMD and TT, this is a very hard double with 15,000 climbing, with its inaugural in 2004. However, though training hard and wanted to do some course prep, after doing TT well couldn’t concentrate as much, as fear no longer a motivator. Unfortunately still +7 lbs (142 on scale so 148-49), unfortunately have to plan DC trip at same time, unfortunately daughter wound up in hospital and wife chose the time to have her summer shit fit as to my riding so much and her doing EVERYTHING for the kids as she’s under the weather and has not ridden since Death Ride.…

Oh well

Felt like I was coming down with a cold leading up to the event, and focus not the best. And Jack who I finished other two doubles with would not be on this ride. But I had done most of these roads before, and figured a pace that would get me in by 8:00. As this event has four routes going at once, hard to get the precise information as offered for the Terrible Two. Terrible website and download of map on it—tried to take a road map and sketch out the route—the northern half was kind of like a backwards Holstein 100.

Took Friday off, week very warm in east county but fog reported early in Marin. As ride starts out by climbing Mt Tam, figured would be OK with just one jersey and vest. Week before Domo Tom had called from motel to wonder “where I was”—he thought bike ride one week early, and told me motel right off freeway. Motel (Days Inn) a dump-looked like a restored garden apartment complex. About 1 mile from San Rafael but in furniture showroom section, which bordered on poor peoples housing. Later found out that only 1 way to get to downtown San Rafael when I tried to walk there through the barrios and met all the dead ends at the canal.

Took a spin from Nicasion to Pt Reyes Station (Bovine Bakery calling) and back. Cooler by Pt Reyes Station but not cold, and great tailwind back to Nicasio. Thought of Kevin’s Delta Pedaler rides in the past were an out and back from Marinwood to Pt Reyes Station the longest ride I ever thought I’d do—and passed the spot where Gruppo Pumpkincycle photo from 2003 was taken, at the time seemed like one of the great photos ever of 3 people enjoying bike riding. What a sham.

Met CA Mike in downtown San Rafael where we had dinner at Joe’s, and he insisted on picking up the tab. Good guy who is one of the slower riders on the hills in the DC, but has made himself into a good long distance rider with perseverance. He already has nutty goal of doing B-P-B, and if he signs up for a brevet series I’ll help him out on the shorter ones. (Bonanza at Mike’s Bikes-3 tubes for $7 and mini mini tool)

Over to registration which was kinda bare bones but nicer than Davis (actually indoors—so it has to be nicer than Davis table on the street setup.) Lots of sample Hammargel and Endurolites. Domo Tom pulls up, and he wonders if tee shirt is free, can he see it, what does it look like. Told him he only gets a tee shirt if he finishes by 5-. We go back to motel and I am beat so go to sleep at 10- while Tom watches movie. Kinda restless sleep, wake up 3x.

Wake up at 3:15 and it is surprisingly warm. Figure I want to leave at 4:00 so can get to start at 4:30 and prep for 5:00 mass start. Can’t figure out why they start us at 5:45 instead of 5:00—45 minutes no big deal as course 1-2 hours slower than Davis but 1-2 hours faster than Terrible Two, and wouldn’t have to start in the Dark. Maybe it has to do with rest stop convince, as they are running rest stops for 4 routes—some with a dual function.
Photocrazy photo

Also strange is that mass start not enforced, when pulling into parking lot at 4:15 saw at least 3 cyclists already hitting the road.

Mt Tam Double was strange, except for Mt Tam and climbing up Coleman Valley Road, I think the 15,000 climbing is all in 100' increments. Coupled with a nasty NW wind which is NOT supposed to pick up until late afternoon--it seems we had a block headwind/ crosswind from Lincoln School (mile 85) to Valley Ford #2 (mile 143) And weather—nice and warm inland-top of Tam and sudden -15 drop each time you’d get on Highway 1, on the Coast.

While I remember, got to give kudos to Marin Cyclists for BEST marked century course. I didn't take their map with me, just an area roadmap that didn't have the back roads marked. Every turn was visibly marked 50-100' before turn and then turn itself, and with many turns involving 4 different routes we'd get a nice colorful display of arrows--Well done.

Didn’t like mass start at 5:00 (in the dark), especially when a downhill is involved. (Terrible Two mass start at daybreak was fine. If I do this ride next year will probably start 15 minutes later. ) Was originally pissed when dropped chain 2x--first time on climb up to Big Rock when was right behind lead group--had to pull off to left side of road and pull off bike light to fix. In retrospect probably a good thing, as don't think I'd want to go downhill in the dark in a screaming pack, and it was still l very very dark going down to Nicasio and over rollers to Sir Francis Drake.. But took about 3 minute to fix dropped chain as had to go to left side of road (no shoulder, luckily car wasn’t coming down) as lots of cyclists—at least their headlights- coming up right side of road with no shoulder. CA Mike saved my butt on this section, as I caught him by top of Big Rock and I paced off of him all they way on the downhill to turnoff a little short of Nicasio.. Then I dropped my chain again on first roller on Nicasio Valley Rd, and rode with Mike until real steep hill in middle started. (Think in the dark I wasn't anticipating hills so I shifted too late--I didn't drop chain the rest of the day but was shifting very very early.) Luckily I had taken shity cateye light (along with Opticube) so every time dropped chain had light I could hold in my teeth while I fixed it.

Sun started coming up on Sir Francis Drake towards Fairfax. Nice and warm and I started motoring past riders. Gingerly shifting—in fact for most of day I’d early shit-not pedal when doing so. Later on I started shift back to normal. Caught a paceline that pulled me to big climb into Fairfax and I went downhill OK-probably my best downhill all day until the end-o-day.

Turn into Fairfax-I knew what to expect and I started motoring past lots of riders. Probably going to hard but had to catch up to the front—at least to Tom and Don, so then we could paceline down the Coast. See Steve B. on this climb.

Suddenly to rest stop 1 a little after golf course. Mile 25, 6:33-7 minutes at stop. I made big mistake here, along with lights I gave in my arm warms to be waiting for me at last rest stop.

Warmer climbing Tam than I could recall for most 10-11 climbs, and it was about 6:45. Surprised how many riders had never climbed Tam before, when we kinda leveled out before plunge to Alpine two riders asked each other “this is it?” Then told them that we shoot down to Alpine Dam and have to reclimb what we just did—and more.

I did a good job o the narrow descent to Lake Alpine-think passed by only 1 rider and took most of the left turns well except fro one. At dam ubiquitous Marin cyclists was ringing bell-juts like a Twilight zone he’d appear and reappear throughout the ride.

Start off on climb up Tam when a thin guy shot by me. We then did the century two step. I powered past him and he caught up with me, he spun past me and I powered to him. After this “dance” we each decided that we’d ride up together instead of trying to blow each other out of the water. Guy was from Fresno and had never climbed Tam, so I told him about open top with possible headwind, and steep rollers, false tops, where you go down at 20mph and think you can crest the next one-and all of a sudden your at 6 mph and stalled on the middle of the climb.

When we got to the rollers on Tam I took a quick glimpse off to the side and saw the beautiful ocean, at the next opening I took another look, shit--it's not the ocean but dense clouds/ fog hanging about half way down.

Rode with Fresno guy almost the whole way—we’d pass other cyclists in unison-he like to pass on the right and I’d go by on the left. We went past Panatol Parking lot and started climb to summit when first SERIOUS cyclist was tearing downhill. Ish came down, about 8th, around 7:23. We got to summit at 7:43 so figure I was about 40 minutes BEHIND the leaders at this early point. Then the big plunge down towards the summit-Fresno guy dropped me on the descent (like everyone always does), hit steep parking lot ramp and quick call out number-turn around-and head back down.

Actually had to climb the steep decent and I was playing “tag you’re it’ with an annoying recumbent that made strange sounds while motoring (like a toy car) On uphill I’d pass guy easily, on downhill recumbent would shoot by me. Repeated 2-3x—luckily I talked to guy as later his friend would help me out. Wanted to put on vest but didn’t want to waste one minute with Tom and Don up ahead—though what was Turn down Panatol which is a little to steep for my liking and then cutoff to Panoramic toward Muir Woods, a section I had never done. Was going to stop and put I thinking as I’d lose time to them on the descent and they’d be pacelining north on Hwy 1 before I’d come down. But Tom slow to get out of rest stops so maybe a chance to catch him at rest stop 2. But Don probably gets out of stops like Jack… Around turn rider on the side fixing flat—it’s Don.

One of the shocking moments was going down towards Muir Woods and on a sharp left turn the subdivisions begin, so does the fog, and the temp drops -20 degrees. If I wasn’t already going slow due to steep unknown downhill I now was going slower as glasses fogged, breathing screwed, and I’m freezing. See someone pulled off to side of road to put on arm warmers and vest—well at least I have vest. Ass about 100 ft up the road throws banana peel on the road-if I could catch him I’d say something but I can’t catch a cold on a downhill. Take a minute to put on vest and continue cold downhill as I curse why I didn’t keep arm warmers. It is fn cold, and passed by lots of riders. A few of us pass a rider wearing #1—“passed rider jokes-“show some respect, you’re not supposed to pass #1.” I respond that I did check if he was Johan Museeuw before we passed. Lots of cars on narrow road behind me down to Muir Woods, I pull over once to let a few of them that had stacked up behind me pass. Some sharp hairpins that I’m taking at speeds slower than I climb. So happy to get to foggy rest stop #2, 50 miles, 8:21, 6 minutes in stop. Each rest stop would have a good assortment of bulk Hammergel, endurolights, Hammer Heed and Endurolites. Bananas but not much in way of cereal bars. I think at each rest stop I’d have a banana and a cookie (macademia nut) and take a mini Cliff bar or fig cookie in pocket to eat while riding. For some reason only had one Cliff bar all day—somehow not in the mood for them. Wish they had more cereal bars on this ride. Unfortunately no Cytomax-Hammer products or Gatorade. (Note from 2009—shit, have I changed what I eat on these rides)

I got cranking hitting Highway 1-socked in with fog. Actually it was so foggy didn’t realize I was on Hwy 1—a few steep rollers, with mild descents, but in the wet fog I treated them gingerly. I joined 3 guys over one climb and we stayed with each other but I lost them on the next downhill roller.

Highway 1 then flattened out but trio long since gone up the road when along comes a recumbent, passes me and I jump on his wheel. For whatever reason doesn’t blast off but holds a 22-23 in slight headwind. I figure I’ll stay on his wheel until we get to a group of “real bicycles”—ones I can draft well off of. But for some reason, unlike Chico, I could draft of this guy and he kept a steady pace. We soon passed the trip and instead of getting back with them I stayed with the recumbent. Guy had on a TT jersey and we started talking about it—he had done ride a few times—this year he had to DNF when his light failed. I rode behind him (except for a very very very short pull by me) all the way to the rollers to Olema, I thanked him before the first uphill, and luckily his buddy-the recumbent from the top of Tam, came by just when I left.

On Olema rollers (nice rollers-ones that are short enough to power over, not like the ones later on) got into a small paceline, which then formed into a bigger paceline. Now warm again, and in my terrain, so I did lots of pulling--and we caught up to guy from Fresno. We had big paceline until we hit the Marshall Cheese Factory Climb. Think 22-23 were popular number son my odometer.

One car pissed that we were “blocking” the road and honked, and then when we got to intersection he wouldn’t move so everyone started yelling at him. A course marshal was right in front (where usually someone sells strawberries) so driver pulled over to no doubt complain about us.

On climb up Nicasio Reservoir—one I had “waited” for Mike & Reene's Tandem in 2002, I was in the front and kept the speed up at 18mph. I couldn’t hold speed the whole way and had to drop off the lead. Guy behind me said he wondered if I could hold the speed the whole way up, pointing to #3 guy in paceline—guy from Fresno, I said “blame him for kicking my butt on the Mt Tam Climb earlier in the day.” Over cheese factory hill only 2-3 riders stayed with me and we pacelined to rest stop #3-mile 85-Lincoln School on Hicks Valley Road., 10:31. Don’t tell Jack-15 minutes here. 16.5 average, which includes climbing Mt. Tam!.

Don’t know what I did for 15 minutes except a little tired from the morning festivities. Thought of first year doing Davis Double where I burned myself out racing everyone. Know I pissed 2x, filled up water bottles. Saw Tom who was enamored with talkative woman who had started Death Ride at 4am and did all the passes. Sun tan lotion., More bananas and cookies. I might have even stretched—which I’m not doing enough of. Told Tom time to go but he said he was staying at rest stop-thought he may catch me but he emphatically said “I doubt it,” sounded like either he ran out of energy or he wanted to talk to lady. Hopefully the latter.

After that ride became "sucky," steep climbs into a headwind, cool again on Hwy 1 with crosswind. (2009 note again—am I high when writing this—Marshall Wall run in is GREAT) Did Marshall--Petaluma road the way I had done it with the delta Pedalers on Olema Camping Trip, with Donna on Jo-Jo ride, opposite way from Holstein Hundred. Riding alone for a long stretch—one rider passed me but my energy as low and I didn’t bother chasing. I was actually a little tired—like going to the rest stop after Skaggs on the TT, but that was after mile 130. Apart from that some left knee pain, and left foot discomfort (but far from hurting.) Desolate and some headwind. Later a group of 3-4 paceline passed and I just jumped onto their wheel—just going 16mph but I was resting well. This was fortuitous as they pulled ma couple of miles until the start of the big climb back to Highway 1 past the “Peace Bell Church.” When the climb started I motored away from gruppo and caught a few riders on the climb.

When I got downhill to Highway 1 time to turn up the Coast, Cool but not cold like earlier—sun was out, but still a headwind. Joined by talkative local rider joined me w/ lots of nervous energy ("his first double, everyone tells him he is a strong rider, his girlfriend is a Cat 1 who blows him away, he is a good all rounder, owns a Campy Nueveo Record ________(Italian name ?) bike an this new Time.......') However, he was able to tell me when the hills were coming up, and listening to his monologue passed the time/ kept me awake, and we could alternate pulls when he wasn’t bs’ing off to the side.. Earlier in the day we were on Hwy 1 for 25 miles, now only 7 and it passed very quickly. He warned me about Dillon Beach Road after Tomales--steeper than it looks with headwind, and he was spot on. Was in totally wrong gear as my bike went from 12-10-8-6 mph on what looked like a slight uphill. Damn headwind.

I tried to power over climb, which was not the right thing to do, and I felt beaten up. Tried to get yapper to go to the front but he didn’t. Then suddenly two girls from Ophera Milano-racing team shot by—I think they were on the regular century. . I held their wheel until I could recover than went to the front to pull them for awhile. (One looked like Holly from Sierra, but wrong team.) On downhill one blasted by me, I caught her on then flats, and then we raced for awhile. I got ahead of them and then hooked with another rider, who pulled me into the Valley Ford Rest Stop (first time), mile 114, 12:38, 9 minutes in rest stop.

One problem with this Double, you didn’t get the special attention like you do at Davis or Terrible Two. This was a rest stop we hit again after doing a northern clockwise loop, and it was open to riders on other courses. Unclear if we needed to check in (one of two times we didn’t have to), unclear if this was our lunch stop our when we come back. I heard conflicting information, and later Mike would also hear conflicting info. As I had started to get tired I vowed to sit in a chair for first time all day and have a half can of soda while pulling off shoes. Here they had a cereal bar, and cookie and banana, and saw Don come in while I was leaving after remembering to stretch.

The next part of the ride was terrible, back to the Coast with a huge headwind/ crosswind. Climb back on a ridge and battered by the wind. Caught a few solo riders and passed on the downhill. When I hit the Coast again no one to paceline with but only a two mile stretch before hitting the serious climb of the day Coleman Valley Road.

The Santa Rosa Century goes DOWN Coleman Road, with a skeleton at the top to warn riders how steep the plunge is. Now we had to go up it. Not incredibly steep or long—probably 2 miles at 12% max but at mile 125 ranked behind Ft Ross Road on TT and Slug Gulch on Sierra, but not much behind the latter. I repassed all riders who had passed me on downhill. Ubiquitous guy with cow bell was ringing it half way up climb,. I kept trying to remember where skeleton is-signifying end of climb. Stood a lot, and enjoyed rollers back over ridge. At some place over ridge a sag wagon playing classical music loudly passed by.

Ubiquitous guy was again on side of road—asked him where special water stop was. He said there was none (ride description said there would be one at mile 1230) and next stop was 1 2 miles away, if I wanted water. I said no as didn’t want to stop but then realized that water bottles almost drained. Luckily secret water stop was a little after mile 130—no porta potty sop pissed on side of road right before Mike’s friend, Lori pulled in.

Needed 9 minutes at water stop, 2:03, grabbed chair which was in the sun. If it had been in the shade would have probably still been there. Drank a lot, took off shoes, stretched, had mini Cliff bar. Trying to regain energy.

Coming back to Valley Ford was great--as it got us off the COLD coast and we'd have a tail wind (finally) to Petaluma, and when it warmed up I’d get more aggressive,. Joy Road had a few to many screaming downhills for my liking, where I was of course passed by a couple of riders. But otherwise quickly into Valley Forge 2-mile 143- at 2:58 for 10 minutes. Many less people here now-don’t think anyone was there to check numbers (there would be a surprise check in somewhere on the road) Some sandwiches provided for us but I’m not really hungry.

When I left VF I was riding solo--no one behind and one rider 1/4 mile up the road and two more 1/2 mile up. Road was going slightly uphill with tailwind-my favorite--so my plan was to catch the solo rider and then paceline to the couple. Ponytail tie off-time to hammer. Two miles on Middle Road-riders still in distance, 4 miles on Two Rocks Road and I start to make up some ground. Got to the solo rider--he pulled for awhile, and then when it was my turn I inadvertently paced him off my wheel. Finally caught riders ahead--turns out one being Lori, CA Mike's friend from Fresno, who I met the night before, so we pacelined to Petaluma together along long-10 mile stretch of Chileno Valley Road. One rider shot by-fast-and I just muttered “in my next life.” But another guy came by without saying a word, got about 100’ ahead of us, and then stayed there. When the hills to Petaluma started I decided to reve it up and get on the guys wheel. On three successive rollers he stood and tried motoring away, I just sat and spun on his wheel. He finally pulled over.

Around some suburban streets and mile 170-rest stop #5, at 4:44. Aware that I didn’t want to lose time only there for 8 minutes-in a nicely shaded park and I could have easily stayed there for 3x as long. Complaint at this rest stop especially, but a feature of many of them, the porta potties were a long block away from where the food was. But “time to go.”

Interesting way they got up back from Petaluma, some more esoteric back roads, but again with headwind. A couple of riders caught me (noticed when riding solo had little energy, when I was trying to catch up to someone or if another rider joined me I'd pick up the pace to match.) We hit the Marshall hill, one guy a good climber and we picked up the pace--his friend dropped out w/ foot problems (damn, my left foot and knee hurting also) but I had company again, as when we made the left hand turn to Niacasio, and had that tailwind, could trade pulls at speeds I hadn't seen all day-28 mph.

Another observation-Marin roads have No shoulders and I was riding 1 ft from the sideline. Marin Sheriff comes by and bellows move to your right. Where. But I guess they are just thinking safety as Marin drivers come very close to cyclists and are in a rush, much worse than East County drivers.

(Need a way to station Big Mike, Chris, and the other strongmen of the DC pelaton on the course, on long headwind section of these doubles--and they could do time trials back and forth as they bring each of us over the more nasty segments)

Into Nicasio School at 5:58 and my knee isn’t any sorer than it was earlier in the day. I grab my lights and arm warmers-it is nice and warm outside-probably high 80. Jack's voice ringing in my head all day (well at least after Lincoln School Rest Stop) "time to go", and got out of Nicasio in 6 minutes--not wanting to be passed by anyone for final placement. Unfortunately, no one else coming down the road or I would have waited for paceline. Again saw a couple of riders about 1/4 mile up the road, but would be hard to catch them on fast track back to San Rafael. Only on straightway as I'd catch a glimpse of the rides ahead, then they'd disappear. When I hit Big Rock I stood the whole way and didn't slack off on downhill. When we hit the uphill on Los Galindos they were only 2-3 blocks up the road so I dug in again and caught them right before we flew through the yellow about to change to red traffic light.

Came in about 6:45-6:50. Putting on changing kilt when Don pulled in. He had two punctures—so we came real close to riding in together. (Don’t think I would have taken as long at Lincoln School if I was chasing up to him) Funny, on this double few noticeable clubs except for ours-would have been cool if we both were hammering the Nicasio stretch together in our DC kits. Steve comes in about a half hour later—and pulls a Mike when he almost twist out of his seat when a looker passes by. Don, Steve and I had a good dinner--Steve-knew every rider who came in. Lasagna, pizza, salad, 2 ice creams. Total rest stop time 80 minutes plus 6 minutes for chain drop fixing, and 1 minute for putting on vest.

Good support considering they are running 4 events at once, but didn't have that unique doubles focus that Terrible Two support crew has. Gained a few pounds on ride--think at every rest stop I'd have a cookie and banana (I'm sick of Cliff bars) Guy with cowbell that would drive from spot to spot ringing it cool. Coleman Valley climb from opposite end of Santa Rosa Wine Country route (mile 125) ranks up there with Slug Gulch on the Sierra. Will sign up for Knoxville-Quackcyclist event--will be great way to compare.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Terrible Two 2005

(June 25, 2005) Terrible Twos, start w/ Domo Tom, Steve and Jack, finish with Jack, 208 miles (special edition with 10 bonus miles), 16,480' climbing, 14.8 mph, 5:30-8:43, 82 of 227 riders

As didn’t want to do DMD where it gets dark around 7:00—knew I’d have to do this one if going for Triple Crown.

Known for heat on the afternoon climbs, but weather report for 60’s and 70’s with morning fog. One jersey, vest and arm warmers, and buff was fine—but had to keep stopping and put on vest throughout the day. Often cold, never freezing. Right calf/ knee got tight. Weather kept changing.

Trinity Climb-Overcast & fog up and down
Geyers Sun on climb-overcast and cool on downhill
Skaggs-Sun on climb-cool on downhill
Stewart Point-Partial sun on climb-cool on coast
Coast-Overcast cool but not freezing, tailwind
Ft Ross-Overcast but steaming warm

Seems that each year there is a ride I do that makes me a little nervous—which is good motivation for training and then get preoccupied with trying to figure out how I’ll do ride in reasonable time. This year the ride to make me nervous was the Terrible Two—though I didn’t get nervous enough to lose that last 5-7 lbs I’ve been carrying. Truth be told, the climbing-16,000 feet—didn’t worry me, it was the 208 miles of this original edition. After all, I had finished Davis twice feeling like crap and barely hanging on, and Davis is the EASY double while this was one of the two hardest.

To prepare I read half dozen Terrible Two web ride accounts from the web—unfortunately half the stories ended in a DNF. Downloaded and studied an elevation chart profile of the course which showed 8 relatively short (2-4 miles) but steep (many sections of 20%) climbs. As wanted to finish course by 9:00—right by nightfall, I came up with a pace calculator based on the stories and elevation profile. Some of the “universal truths”—the 2nd half of the ride much harder than the first (1st 109 miles, 7500’ climbing, 2nd 91 miles 9000’ climbing), with the downhills e universally treacherous (windy, pothole marked, gravel laden.) The Skaggs climb was often over 100 degrees with the Coast very very cool. And as "luck” would have it—for the 30th anniversary of the ride the organizers were going back to the original route—which added 11 hilly miles (“adding appx 45 minutes”) to the course. (Note: they remeasured the course and discovered the regular route was only 197 miles—not 200.) Finally, everyone universally took a page out of Jack’s textbook and said to hustle in and out of the 6 rest stops en route--the first being at mile 50!

Luckily I like climbing and hot weather—though most Diablo Cyclists looked a me like I am crazy and didn’t know what I was wishing for. The saving grace was June, who is a super climber while tentative on the downhills—she said she didn’t like Davis, found it hard, while she had a great time on the Terrible Two.

So I figured out that to finish by 9:00, before nitefall and an hour before the coveted free tee shirt deadline, the prevailing wisdom would be to conserve energy to the lunch stop, and get there by 12:50. And spend less than 90 minutes total at all rest stops.

The 4 big climbs of the Terrible Two. TRINITY (3.2 miles, 8% average) is fairly steady with some steep sections that gets your from the Sonoma Valley to the Napa Valley--the downhill is fast, wide open, curvy and damp. GEYSERS climb is also fairly steady--now warm, with a double summit. Probably my favorite--the downhill sucks over a road under ill repair. Right after lunch is the longest climb of the day, SKAGGS--which is hot, steep, and also double summited. The worse is FT. ROSS--only 2.5 (10.5% average grade) miles but after 170 miles, its uniformly steep and seems impossible. Graphs from Santa Rosa Cycling Club website.

Other training included some epic rides. Week after Sierra Century did a 100 miler with Jack and Big Mike, then next day went back to Gold Country and did my own Terrible 2 with 3 epic climbs—including Charleston Grade. Then I came in first on Wednesday night Ranger Station slugfest, first on Diablo Cyclist ride with bonus miles on Morgan, and next day 2nd on flat Diablo Cyclist ride on rollers with 4 racers and two triathletes and Big Mike. I was happy as was doing long miles at speed, and seemingly ready for 200 miles of hell.

Weather report called for patchy clouds with morning fog and partial clearing with 60’s-70’s. So much for an Indian Summer Terrible Two. But I didn’t want to bring tons of clothes to weigh down my pockets while climbing, my exercise induced asthma would flare up if cool and damp until it hit the magical 70’s (on Thursday it was less than 70 Santa Rosa until close to noon), and I tighten up when cool and feel real loose when warm. Of course I rather it be in the 80’s than 100’s, but given a choice I rather it be 100 than in the low 60’s—but it looked like 60’s would be the call of the day.

The day before got to expensive crappy motel (Ramada-Ronhart park)—thanks NASCAR--whose scores of fans jacked up motel prices. . Cambria Bike shop used to be by motel, now moved to other side of tow. Took a ride from motel to Willowside School to loosen up—20 mile roundtrip was horrible, narrow country roads jam packed with cars. Roads had no shoulder or a shoulder/ bike lane that would suddenly end. For once riding near the venue was worse than riding in East Country.

Was going to eat at Tuscany Italian restaurant but got email from Steve Berry a few days before that said he would probably eat at Mary’s Pizza Shack. Niceness of Diablo Cyclists have slowly moved me away from “loner” mode after Pumpkincycle chicanery, so I contacted Tom, Jack and Steve re dinner palns—first two coming up later in the day. Steve was already eating but invited me over. I hardly ride with him but he has sent some very informative emails in the past and rides with an ACL brace which I can relate to.—wasn't sure I would recognize him at restaurant. But found restaurant and Steve was looking out for me, he was eating with a guy who regularly does 800 mile brevets and would race the course the next day. Steve gave me lots of encouragement and said I’d do fine, he said it with so much conviction I almost believed him. 'But but but—if I suddenly collapse like I did in Davis…' was always in the back of my mind.

Back at tiny motel (world's smallest room for 2 people) met up with Tom who brought his Seven instead of a vintage steel bike—he was going as light as possible for this one. Tom is about equal to me on the climbs (better on the short ones, less so on the long ones) , much much better on the downhills, and probably a little quicker on the flats. I have more endurance. In short a real good rider, and he DNF last year.

Only woke up once, didn’t need the MP3 player and got almost 5 ½ solid hours of sleep.
Over to the Willowside school at 4:50 which was already packed with riders. Between getting number pinned onto jersey, depositing lights for designated rest stop (either #5-Ft Ross or #6-Monte Rio; I was living brave and had them sent to Monte Rio, as people said you don’t want to climb Ft Ross with added weight and if you need lights leaving Ft Ross, with 28 miles to go, you will miss 10pm cutoff for DNF (this year 11pm with added miles, but who wants to ride country roads for 2 hours at night.) At 5:10 some people in lot said :10 minutes to THE SPEECH.” I went over at 5:25 and was way in the back of a huge pack of cyclists—could hardly hear organizer. He was talking about mile neutral lead out through town, to be careful on descents, and how course was re measured for this edition and they found out that they were 4 miles off. Great the course was just 7 miles longer than usual. Later Jack told me that the error was at the beginning, so it was 11 miles longer—in the past riders did 197 miles—not 200.

Start in huge pack with many riders not holding a great line. Some riders jumping in oncoming traffic lane and then jumping back in at last minute when they pass a few riders. I am tempted to be aggressive and move up a few riders at a time, and to move up on small rollers out of Santa Rosa, but I keep reminding myself that this is not a 48 mile race, this is not “won” in the first half, my goal is not to beat anyone (except Jag-wire Jeff's first TT time) but just finish while not being half dead, I see Steve up ahead but about a dozen riders between him and me and I’m taking the passive approach, Jack looks real determined and in his own zone, Tom and I bsing while I watch for the speed up and slow down, speed up and slow down and FULL STOP. The pace car is supposed to be tripping lights but we hit a few red ones along the way.

Soon out of Santa Rosa and mob still as tight and unruly as before. Some guys aggressively ride though, and on Bennett Valley uphill rollers I start moving up slowly. One or two steep sections and then there is a gradual breakup. Steve and Tom right in front in a paceline and I’m about 15 seconds behind chasing by myself. Not a good move for conserving energy but we’re not going that fast and a tailwind. All of a sudden Steve’s group goes one way, some riders behind them yell wrong way and they take the other side of the fork. Then boom-we hit Trinity Grade, I shift and click-click-click-drop my chain and can’t recover. Stop-put chain back on but am on a 10%+ grade, have to go downhill ('what is he doing?' other riders probably wonder) so I can get to a flat section and clip in.

Start going up but chain drop has unnerved me and the air is thick with fog, not the greatest for my exercise induced asthma. I went by lots of riders but not really digging in, a few riders passed me on the climb and thinking back to the Death Ride repeated the mantra-“ride at your own pace-ride at your own pace.” A few times took deep breaths and my glasses steamed up.

Passed one of the Fighting Bobas, fun group race team from last year's Tour of Unknown Coast with “How Ya Doing” plastered on their butt. This years slogan on butt “What's Not to Like.”

Seemingly finished the 3.2 mile Trinity Grade (8% average, max 15%) unscathed but set no time record up it. In any event 1 of the big four climbs done, this was easy. Now remembered it was twisty and fast down to the Napa Valley and the description was spot on. And as an added bonus it was super foggy outside and couldn’t see 50’ in front. A few guys came by on the downhill but I was seemingly in no mans land—the racers/ climbers had already gone and I was at the head of the 2nd tier riders. I kept riding the brakes, listening to the squeak from the wet brake pads hit the wet rims.

Then found out what Terrible Two is about. At start there are lots of surly riders-preoccupied with finishing, mass start. But en route you forge alliances, seemingly with the same people you will see over and over and over. On Hwy 29 I hooked up with 3 riders and we rode hard, each sharing the pacemaking, until we caught up to a large paceline that had been about ¼ mile in front of us. We latched on right before the Silverado Trail turn, and after we hooked on we were content to sit in the back.. A guy named “Norris” (late found out he's the Campy Only guy) and two guys in Death Ride jerseys (one the Blue Lakes jersey) did most of the pulling, some times the yo- yo on the back was so bad I’d go onto the road to slow down, be tempted to go to the front but remembered to “conserve energy.” One time a guy with a Quickstep kit went to the front and picked up the pace but he was a rarity and promptly he came back in line. Hit rest stop #1-Calistorga (mile 51) at 8:23, 17.1 mph average. +17 ahead of my planned 9pm pace.

Rest stop impressive, you call out number, workers cheer you on. Premeasured endurolights and tums, packets and big jars of Hammergel. Mini cliff bars and usual centuy food. Only disappointment that no Cytomax (ha-reading this years later), only Gatorade and Hammer Nutrition products—all which warn you that if you switch from them to a simple sugar product during a ride terrible things can occur. So if you get sick of HEED or Sustained Energy you are stuck—and I still had Cyotmax in one of my bottles.

Saw Tom at rest stop and after 9 minutes told him I was going and he followed. When we left a wave of cyclists were now arriving including a 70 year old (at least he looked 70) that some workers fondly called “the King.” For a while not pacelining, impetus had left and Tom and I just bs’d for a while. Though some vineyards where some big dog named Buster was chasing after another dog on a leash—to the amusement of the NACAR type owner while terrified woman of the smaller dog called out “please get your dog away from us.” A little climb out to the Alexander Valley, then a sudden downhill that Tom took well and I didn't. I saw him up the road hook onto a 2 man paceline, and I’m in no mans land. Knew that I couldn’t catch him on flat terrain and didn’t want to use up needed energy so just sat tight until a 4-5 man paceline came buy. I hop on the end and rode in the back until we were back with Toms’s paceline. Here we all started rotating, and as luck would have it I went to the front on an uphill extended roller. I felt good and I didn’t want to slack so I just kept the speed up from where it had been on the flats, soon I had enough and looked back and everyone had dropped off. I waited, reintegrated and took another pull and soon dropped off. Next time we went though I just pulled for ½ mile. Tom said “you don’t pull for long, do you.” Heck, with a 7 man paceline we should all be taking short pulls. In race-1/2 would be an eternity.

I don’t recall how we got there but soon we hit “The Geysers." At the start of the climb the sun came out, my breathing became better, I loosened up, and I pushed up hard. We rode for awhile with a guy who had a Litespeed Siena—bought it because of daughter with same name, and then we talked about Italy. Soon we reached first summit, fast downhill which Domo Tom rode away from me on. Second summit and I pushed hard to regroup with Tom—going by two guys from morning paceline with Death Ride jerseys. If this was the hardest climb, damn, this ride will be easy, I thought. Sun is now out strongly, I bug Tom about his wearing wool jersey. We get to about 300’ of the summit rest stop and Tom says "race you to the top." He wins, stupid thing to do but lots of fun. In at Mile 81 rest stop at 10:41, +19 ahead of schedule. 15.7 average speed. In rest stop for 12 minutes—take a V8 but it doesn’t sit well with me so I don't have any others. Reload hammergel, endurolights, stuff pockets with mini cliff bars and more gatorade.

Rode much of the beginning of the ride at the same pace with Doubles Vet and Campy Only guy Eric. He kept getting photos of my bike at rest stops--no doubt because of it's Campy Record seatpost. I actually would have been in one photo at the top of the Geysers climb (arrow) but of course blocked by another rider. (Campy Only photos)

The next part of the ride was damn scary, diving into the Geysers crater on a steep, bad twisty roads covered with potholes and cracks. Strange illusion—after steep part it seems like road goes uphill but you are flying. Here Tom shot on way ahead of me, I didn’t even have the illusion of keeping up. Then, all of a sudden a “slow” spray painted warning would appear on the cracked pavement, and the cracked pavement would suddenly end and a 100’ stretch of gravel would begin. Thank buddha for gravel riding in Italy.

Passed a woman in a Terrible Two jersey on a slight uphill and she secretly gleaned onto my wake—I didn’t know this for a couple of miles so I didn’t say anything when dodging a pothole. When I discovered her she thanked me for the pull—no problem. Then a downhill section appeared and she easily passed me—and a guy wearing a nice looking orange jersey from a Mountaineering Store shot by and I was back all alone.

Soon a slight uphill and I easily rejoined orange jersey and woman. Luckily we were soon back on paved Dutcher Creek rollers and three manned towards lunch at Lake Sonoma, across from where Santa Rosa Wine Country ride turns around. Hit the lunch stop at 12:18-109 miles in the books (was so busy in 3 man paceline had no time to really celebrate 100 mile mark) +32 ahead of 9:00 finish pace. 16.4 average. My bike at the lunch stop. (Campy Only photo)

Domo Tom already has big sandwich. But big climb of day is starting-Skaggs Sprigs, so I just go for one slice of bread and a few slices of turkey. Great not to be eating a cliff bar and hammergel. I see Ish-he had crashed on a tandem, tire blowout from brake overheating on fast section of Geysers. Little bloody but OK-but his ride is over. I tell Tom I’m leaving as Jack must be up the road, but Jack still at rest stop. I’m leaving anyway, don’t want to get tight, feel good, sun is out-“time to go” Only 15 minutes at lunch stop.

Sun is out and now I’ll find out what is beyond Lake Sonoma rest area—on Wine County Century we turn around and head back the way we came. But this isn’t the Wine Country Century. The frighting Skaggs starts off gentle and finally warm. I roll up sleeves, put on some sun tan lotion as I’m cranking up hill. About every minute I see another rider on the climb and I go past with ease. I pass the guy in the orange jersey. One guy goes flying by me and I decide to pick it up a notch—with Phil Ligget’s description of Museeuw in the back of my mind “Museeuw is now in trouble, but there he goes again….he NEVER GIVES UP—EVER” and I catch up to him. Turns out young guy is riding with a low 39x25. Ouch. We eventually make a left turn on a narrower road and the grades start picking up. Meanwhile I’m munching a Cliff bar on the climb like I had on the others—which saves time at the rest stops.

See water stop set up but I don’t need water. Nice—finally-downhill with nice quick glance of Lake Sonoma off to the side. Downhill ends to quickly and it is back to climbing. Climb goes on for awhile and I’m feeling great—van off to the side of the road with water but I again decline to stop.

Now big descent starts-wide open, but as soon as I start going down I’m cold. And kinda hungry. I pull over for third time tody to put on vest—when sag wagon pulls behind me to see if I am OK. I am but figure that while I’m stopped might as well get a water refill, which they do nicely. I ask if they have any food and more mini Cliff bars—which I’d eat en route to next rest stop. Great great support. After appx 3 minutes at impromptu water stop I’m off and suddenly I am tired. Not weary tired but sleepy tired. I think I’m at work and it is time for my afternoon nap.

I’m riding all alone and could have pushed it up to 17-19 but just tooling around at 15—thinking that if tarps set up at next rest stop I’m going to lay down for 15-20 minutes—like I had done at Fiddletown a few weeks ago. I am really battling staying awake—which is a new feeling on the bike. Ironicaly everything else doing OK, meditarsal cushions on arch seem to be working well, right calf is a little sore from the cold, my arms are hurting a little from riding in the drops on the cold downhills, and left instep kinda sore—but these are not big problems compared to my need to sleep. Soon “Norris” (turns out to be Campy Only Eric Norris comes by) we chat and I pick up the pace to match his. Traveling a nice strectch of tree lined road with creek off to the side—kind of like Volcano run, and soon at Camp Gualala. Mile 137, 2:53-42 minutes ahead of schedule which would be the high point of the day. My bike at the Guala rest stop--more interesting photo if camera was pointed 45 degrees further right and I'm seen dozing in a chair. (Campy Only photo)

Hit bathroom and got rid of a lot of Cliff bars. Then headed over to chairs (no mats) and made a deal with myself to sit quietly for 10 minutes—no looking at food or eagerly wanting to jump on bike and leave. After about 5 minutes Jack pulls in—I say hi but stay quiet—want the full 10 minutes of rest.

I’m staring into space and woman rolls in and asks workers how she is doing. They answer “Rebecca—except for a woman on a tandem you are the 2nd woman to come thought.” Wow--I'm keeping pace with teh 2nd woman on the course. Throughout the day workers will know riders and riders will know other riders—as someone said not a lot of people do these rides. Then Jack pulls in. After 10 minutes I finally move—now sick of Gatorade so vow just to use water the rest of the way. They also have a choice of a strawberry Hammergel and chocholet—I fill with chocklet which turns out to be a mistake-it is like drinking Bosco. But taking a page out of CA Mike’s playbook, I get a regular rootbeer and drink half of it—it taste great. Jack has lost track of Tom—he started Skaggs climb ahead of Jack but Jack hadn’t passed him and I didn’t see him go by.

17 minutes in the rest stop—by far the longest of the day.

Jack and I start out together and noticed that after each rest stop (except Lake Sonoma where you immeidately hit the Skaggs Spring climb) kinda lazy and some of the impetus is gone for a few miles. As Tom and I had done after Calistoga rest stop, Jack and I spend a few minutes bs’ing and riding at a slacked off pace. Then we hit a bunch of uphill rollers and the intersection where we’d ususaly go straight and hit a 1.6 mile, 10% grade “The Wall.” But today the ride was back to it’s original course, we turned left, and a bonus 11 miles that wasn’t nearly as steep as the wall, but relentless in and of itself. On the long uphill I rode away from Jack and hooked up with 3 guys—two of whom I had ridden with earlier in the day. (Mountaineering orange jersey guy and 25 cassette guy) On the short flat sections I’d ride with them, I’d go out on the uphills, they’d catch up on the downhills. On a long downhill I said that I’d see everone later—guy in Sacto Wheelmen jersey who I bs’d about the Sierra Century jersey said “right,” but sure enough I was soon off the back and had to scramble hard to get back with gruppo on next uphill. They all complained that they rather do the steep wall and be done with it than this additional 11 miles of attention getting hills. Finally we were at the top, and the blast of cool air from the ocean was hitting us. I pulled over—gruppo went by to start downhill plunge, and for fourth time today stopped to put on vest and arm warmers. Rebecca and big guy from last rest stop went by and sped downward. I followed and—surprise—road was actually paved.

Glad I had stopped to put on vest and arm warmers—not cold or foggy but overcast and noticibly cooler. Wound up coming out at Sea Ranch, left turn onto Hwy 1 South, which creates a series of rollers while the ocean crashes onto large rocks. But once again, nice tailwind going my way (had lucked out in last two Wine Counrty rides and Tour of Unknown Coast—getting tailwind on the Pacific) Looked down the coast—trio I had ridden with about ¼ mile away—starting 18 mile coastal ride to Ft Ross and next climb from hell. Rebecca and Big Guy about 500’ up the road, so I put on the afterburners and put in an effort to catch up to them. Thinking about it—all hard efforts today were good tactical decisions to catch paceline in th front. Hooked onto the back, big guy doing all of the pulling. Turns out that both real friendly and this was a EZ event for them. Guy put on pro races and did Boston-Montreal-Boston. Rebeecca had done Bres-Paris-Bres. Both 800 milers.

Coast is overcast and cool but not foggy and cold. Occassional car passes-maybe one a minute. We’re bs’ing and when big guy looks like he is losing some steam I go to the front. He tells me about Mix Canyon Road in Vacaville—supposely a 25% at the top—when the Navigators saw that they scrambled to put a 28x on the back of their bikes for a race. Rebeccca told us about B-P-B.

All too soon we were at Ft Ross rest stop. Both thanked me for helping pull—big guy was real happy there was no headwind. Supprisingly big guy and Rebecca weren’t riding together—this ride is about making stratigic alliances whenever you can. Unfortunatley only 1 porta potty and everything from breakfast wanted to come out. Jack rolls in about a minute later—I look at him and say “time to go.” Jack says he is feeling a little low oin energy, but he leaves w/ me as I tell worker about revenge I just enacted on Jack for bypassing Davis Double reststops. In at 5:34, 9 minutes at rest stop, 36 minutes ahead of 9:00 pace.

As leaving mile 172 at 5:43 I start imagining that can do the last 36 miles in two hours. HA. Ft Ross climb is all that it is cracked up to be. A super steep "The Mt Diablo ramp section" is right at the beginning, which catches me by surprise. It is now real cool and foggy again-glasses steamed up. When I go to stand and power over climb my lower back ties into a knot.

Huh—it isn’t the SI joint—my lower back hurts—badly. So this is where I collapse on this double-huh. I go and stand again to make sure-OH SHIT. I sit forward and keep bowing towards the bars, like usual, but back is killing me—though better when seated than standing though front wheel is lifting off ground when sitting..

I get off bike, take a naperson, and do some stretches. Jack comes along “You OK!” he calls out. Tell him my back just gave out but I’ll be OK and I'll catch up to him. After a minute I get back on bike—it still hurts but a little more flexible. I also find that if I sit straight back, like I’m riding no hands, helps. Air is damp but I’m sweating bullets, Repass Jack and hit anothr steep section. Thinking about getting off the bike and walking but no fn way—even if odometer keeps showing 3-4 mph—I can’t gett any power.. On map climb is only 2.5 miles (average grade 10.4%), Trinity was 3.2 but seemed much shorter—this is going on forever. Another steep section, I start doing a wheelie so I have to stand—OUCH. Reach the top—get off the bike—do about two minutes of streches and then soft pedal starting the downhill. Jack is soon back on my wheel.

Rolling, curvy downhill starts. The good news is that my back feels great when I stretch out in the drops, and the sun comes back. The bad news is that the curvy. Steep downhill surface is “not the best. “On your left” Jack Passes with big guy from the coast—on the uphill roller I scramble to catch them and pass. “On your left,” Jack passes on the downhill again. This goes on seemingly forever. I tell both of them that I’d love just a nice flat portion of real estate where I could spin and loosen up.

Jeeze—for once I get my wish—we get on the Cardoza highway and have about 9 miles of flats. Everyone takes a turn at the front and we pass one rider who hops on, and then another who hops on…we pick up about a half dozen riders including Rebecca who had left the last rest stop 3-6 minutes before we did. It is now close to mile 190 and I feel so much better than at Davis—when I get to the front I stay there for last 2 miles into Monte Rio rest stop. Workers clap when we come in-9-10 paceline strong-I am stoked, as I thought I'd be dead by now. It is 7:29—last 22 miles took us almost 2 hours. Now only 16 minutes ahead of 9:00 pace, but I feel real good.

At Monte Rio-like all the other stops, worker grabs bike and voluenteers to fill drink—I just want water. Bags O lights and tee shirt waiting for us, I just use 1 of 2 lights I brought for front and back, and return other lights and tee shirt where they’ll bring it back to the start. Some good trail mix—I’m sick of cliff bars and hammergel so I get a few portions of it. Look at Jack and tell him to sound the alarm—“time to go” and we’re off after just 7 minutes at rest stop. But shortly stop again as Jack needs to change glass lenses—another 3 minutes.

Hit Occidental rollers, elevation chart says average grade 2.5% but feels a lot steeper and they are right. If at beginning of ride or in a big paceline we’d have zoomed over it but now we’re not doing much more than 11mph. No one is in front of us, and no one coming from the rear. In the twilight, with heavy stands of trees, it is now real dusky. We are on Bohemian Hghway when Jack says that “he is not sure this is the right road.” Oh crap—this zaps a little energy.

I recognize this section—back 6-7 years ago, when Frank, Verena and I got off course on the Santa Rosa Wine Counrty Century, and were scared to do 100 miles, this is where we backtracked to get back on the 60 mile route.

Jack and I finally get off the uphill rollers and start the downhill rollers on Graton Road. Finally a non steep, non twisty, paved road. I am motering—so is Jack, and we pick up two riders along the way. One rider, Max, askes if we did the DMD. He says this ride is harder due to the steeper climbs. (Finishing times show the TT to be faster than DMD. TT winning time 8 minutes faster, #4 rider who did both did TT 19 minutes faster, though #20 rider who did both finished DMD 25 minutes faster. Steve finished the TT 93 minutes faster, Campy Eric 116 minutes faster--not sure faster translates to easier though.) Jack and I just missed making the sprint to the stoplight crossing Highway 116—which had us waiting for 2 minutes, and in retrospect killed our chances to catch the next group up the road who finished 2 minutes ahead of us

In any event we four manned while Jack and another rider got into a heated discussion on how to pronounce Guerneville Road. Heck, I didn’t care, we were on track, I felt great and we still had daylight. As a precaution I turned on my front light, zoomed as hard as I could when I go to the front with 2 miles to go, and pulled our mini paceline into the Willowside School. checkin "119" I yell "118" Jack yells out. Sounds cool.

I felt great and was pumped. Psyched—turns out new jersey is NOT R Crumb tee shirt look alike as I didn’t like that design or old rose, green, white jersey. The new one is a great looking orange and back one. Put bike away and got two helpings of lazanga and mexican payeta. Saw Dan and Doug who had written TT story on web that I read. Steve had come in about a half hour after Jack and I. Saw Bob M. by decaf coffee machine—he came in a little after me. A real respected rider, so I knew I had done well. We got a reading on Tom who was an hour out—he came in about 10 minutes before the free I DID IT Tee shirt cut off—he had thrown up, bonked and gotten lost. Some other rioders came in complainming that the were only a few minuts late for the tee shirt—but no allowances made.

Turns out 82nd place—upper 36%. Less than a half hour off of the top woman finishers time, and 2 minutes behind the 78th place gruppo—damn stop light. Not bad for rest stops-Calistoga 9m, Geysers 12m+1m vest on downhill, Lake Sonoma 15m+3m water stop, Camp Gualala 17m+1 m vest on downhill, Ft Ross 9m+1m stretch half way up climb and 1 m stretch on top of climb, Monte Rio 7m+2m Jack glasses. About 78 minutes plus 2 minutes at Highway 116 red light—and seemed to get shorter as day went on.

Went back to motel—unpacked and saw Toms car sitting outside. Went downstairs after 10 minutes and Tom had phased out @ drivers seat. Reminded me of college days when someone would get plastered. I carried his bike upstairs and he tumbled into bed without watching any old movies. Next day I left seedy motel early so I could meet up w/ Big Mike, Donna, John et on Delta Pedaler coffee break—only problem, on a beautiful day only 2 Pedalers were at the coffee stop.

Love the beautiful orange and black jersey with the grim reaper—only problem is that is says we did 200 miles and we did 207 (jersey is year specific) and it says it was 100 degrees and it wasn’t even close. Funny, when I saw that I thought for first time all day about Jo-Jo and Whiny Mike, who talked about the 100 x 100 (miles by degrees) ride they did the two years I couldn’t ride—though second year it wasn’t 100 degrees or when it was 100 degrees they didn’t do 100 miles, or something like that. Excitedly, I tried to get them to recreate the ride in 2003 so I could try it, but it was just anyother little secret thing with them, so they’d just talk about it but wouldn’t do it again when I could ride it. (In retrospect, apart from "Gruppo Pumpkincycle chance to shack up Deathride" we never rode 100 miles as a trio.) But now, three years later, had done a 200 x 85 and you know what they could do with their 100 x 100.

Thursday, June 9, 2005


(June 9, 2005) The Death Ride, 5 passes, 125 miles, 14 avg, 5:30 to up Carson at 2:38. Bike Mike, Ca Mike & Jack on this ride but hard to ride together.

Yahoo Geocities dumped the site this report was originally on--recreated from email & notes.

-Temp -Warm in Morning to Markleeville, Partially Sunny on Monitor but clouds moving in, cool on Ebbets, clouds picking up—prediction of thunderstorms. Partially sunny back in Markleville—felt like 80 but much cooler. Switched from sleeved jersey and DC vest (ditched arm warmers) to sleeveless jersey and clear vest. Cooler by 10 degrees up on every pass but OK.

-Kirkwood-got to switch to one bedroom-nice place ($100 more for 3 days)

-Ate at Kirkwood Inn, built in 1890’s—nice place.

Instead of cheezy Lake Tahoe Motel made a good move staying at Kirkwood Ski Resort Condo. Yup--that's snow in the hills in JULY!.

-Mike came in at 11:45. Had dozed off when he called, had to flash lights on balcony, in car to find place. Beautiful-- pitch dark outside.

-Friday Big Mike, CA Mike, Jack and Donna and I did Blue Lakes Road. Really nice 24 mile out and back at nice pace. Later in day would get Blue Lakes headband for Donna and Mike. At 7500 feet drinking like crazy-note a little SOB when pushing hard, slight headache. But notice that when it is 60 degrees it feels warmer than where we live-when 80 it feels cooler.

Day before the gang went up last year bonus pass Blue Lakes Road for a warm up.
-Went to check in at 2:30. What a zoo. 30 people on K-L line, no one on other lines at end of alphabet. Then long long line to pick up preordered clothes. By the time we finished didn’t want to look around. Donna told that spaces would be opened, for $100 cash, at 10pm. (Had to park on road, Turtle Rock Park stuffed)
-CA Mike comes over for pasta, sausage dinner. We drive over at 9:45—wait in line-Donna & Mike get in—packet only has number-no patch etc.
-Sleep 114:45, wake up 12:30, alarm clock 3:30—leave Kirkwood 4:30—park on road about ¼ mile away. People camping on shoulder of road. Long trek to bathroom—I’m barely ready at 5:30-Donna going to leave at 6:00. Pass both Mikes at start who are milling around. CA Mike rides downhill with me but I’m out to BEAT LAST YEAR BY 1 HOUR. Figure I can get to Carson with 30m less rest stops and 30m quicker.
-Warm-warm warm down to Markleville on speedy downhill, feel good. Think it is going to be a 90 degree day. At the end of Blue Lakes Road, Donna and I pose in front of what CA Mike dubbed the Big Mike Memorial. After saying that we saw CA Mike quickly leave the area.

-Woman drafting off of me to checkpoint, we get on Monitor I think I’m going to ride away from her-wrong-she just jumps out—breathing a little labored in coolness of morning but no way I’d catch her. LOOSE WEIGHT NEXT YEAR.
-Passing lots of people, but passed by lots of people also (10:1 ratio) but tons of riders on road. When do they start? 5:00?? Again have to pass people close to yellow line. See Steve on way up. EZ to Monitor 1.
-MONITOR 1 6:51 (last year 6:55) +4 min
-Real long shadows down Monitor. Sunny but some clouds in sky. Comfortable. Can see riders come by from shadows before they pass. No one says on your left—which is scary when I’m passing a slowpoke on right and someone screams by. Suddenly 4 bikes in front of me hear POP-blowout, everyone jams brakes and slows down. Unbeknownst to me Steve had passed me on downhill and was behind the guy.
-Topaz Rest Stop (mile 25, first rest stop+10 minutes)—no Cliff Bars but mini Cliff Builder Bars.
-Start climb up and scores of riders now coming down with whining gears and occasional screech of brakes. CA Mike arrives when I’m leaving. Small stones falling off rocks in right. Soon pass Big Mike who had not stopped yet. Pass Steve—then he digs to get back to me, which helps on headwind when we get close to Monitor top. Took advantage of running water guys who did a great job. Saw Donna coming down when near top—only about a dozen riders followed, but then after 5-10 minutes lots of other riders on the road coming up.
-MONITOR 2 8:37 (last year 8:48) +11min
-On way down feel really good. Actually start by munching mini Cliff Power Bar but sits in throat—toss in bushes after one bite. Settle in behind some medium speed downhillers. Get to a roller, ready to power over when some chubby person yells “I’M ON YOUR LEFT” and zooms by me—rest of downhill I stay behind them and on part I could get to 50 they were blocking road so I couldn’t pick it up. As soon as we swing to climb I pass and say nicely “ON YOUR LEFT. “
-Have been standing a little to much so going to cut back a little. Stop at Centerville for serious bathroom stop #2 and drink. Guy at sink says clouds, still very high and white but covering much of sky, means that thunderstorms may be moving in. Oh shit. Impetus to ride harder, Women (who supposedly looked like St Pauli Girls) yelling from house on Ebbets but I had pushed past without looking around., Start up Ebbets and feel good. Half way up start riding w/ Colnago rider from Auburn who Big Mike zoomed past at Sierra Century. This year they had kilo markers on road which was cool. Speaking of cool-it was cool outside. Get near top and worker singing a folk song-called out to get him to sing Doors, sang a little “Light My Fire. Arrive at cow grate very quickly.
-EBBETS 1 10:23 (last year 10:38) +15min .
-Very quick down to Ebbets 2. Not to many people coming up-road narrow enough so not to many people passing. Mentioned to someone that road was knarly-someone else surprised that I said it and found out until the end road isn’t bad at all—a great road compared to Morgan Territory or the crap found on the terrible Twos. Saw a few people with new Terrible Two jersey and always talked about lousy downhills there. Hermit Valley stop great—someone had pre sliced bananas as they said that in years passed loads of banana wrappers in bushes-trees after event. Here they had massage therapist also, as well as packets of hammergel. Serious potty break #3-fig newtons and wheat thins. Jack pulls in when I’m leaving, Big Mike and CA Mike seen while climbing. But real cool (not cold) and overcast-started climb with arm warmers and vest—though quickly taken off. Passed by guy on Bianci with SPD shoes that resembled hiking boots—had to repass him (as earlier in day young guy with mountain bike shots and button down shirt.) Usually stayed as far over to the right as possible as loads of cyclists screaming down unlined road—one or two passing very far to their left. Nice tree lined road. Very quickly to—this pass only 6 miles compared to 8-12 miles of other passes (and 14 for Carson later on) Remark to someone at top that we now have two downhills but only one climb to go. Chuckles.
-EBBETS 2. 11:24 (last year 11:38) +14 minutes but in reality all rest stop time saved--26 minutes of rest stops thru Hermit valley this year, 43 minutes last year so 17 minutes less this year.
-Best downhill on ride (12 miles-ez turns that turns into rollers) marred by hordes of people coming up. Hoards is right word and you can’t set up on a sharp right handed turn as most likely 3 cyclists across road so one is over enter line. Sometimes 4 across. I yelled at two cyclists coming down—had to check behind guy in black Pink Floyd Jersey who slowed every time we passed a 3 across---and lucky he did as after a blind right turn some ass in a YELLOW TRIPLE CROWN JERSEY weaving on our side of the road. I yelled at guy and later some other cyclist bsing 4 across.
When we hit rollers I tried to get into paceline, but with wind aid I couldn’t pedal fast enough to catch group in front of me, so took it easy and flew into lunch. Mile 80—11:49, +16 last year) Thought I might see Donna but she missed lunch stop completely. Like Terrible Two lunch—one slice bread, 1 slice roast beef (no turkey this time, in case you do get sleepy) and one slice ham. No diet soda so ½ can of Coke. Only at lunch stop for 18 minutes (last year 23)—Jack and Steve pull in-Steve stays for lunch, Jack just grabs banana and fills water bottles. Jack and I ride back together, no headwind into Markleeville this year. On downhill rollers we catch paceline—on an uphill I go to the front but other guys want to pull so happy to let them. At Markleville lawn filled with people cheering. Steep uphill from Markleville to Turtle Rock park-Jack says he may get rain jacket—to Jack’s amazement I tell him I am changing jersey, shorts and may take rain jacket. I get to car-mile 90-12:42, 24 minutes ahead of last year.
After checkin relaxing on the lawn of the Alpine Courthouse, the next day this will be full of people cheering when we ride through.
Donna waiting, she did 2 passes, feels great, but argued w/ sheriff when he wanted to send her to lunch stop/ Ebbets that she wanted to get back. Additionally her cleat was lose. But she had a great time. Jack pulled up, said he had changed his mind-I told him I was going to take 5 minutes so he pushed on, saying I’d catch him. In 8 minutes (last year 12 minutes) left behind arm warmers, changed socks, jersey (to tri top) and shorts, and took thin clear vest instead of Diablo Cyclist one. Left mess behind that Donna said she’d take care of. New Hammergel and Jojo nut bar grabbed and I watered a bush.
Fast downhill (oh shit, well have to come back this way) to Woodford. No sign of Jack-but I figure better stop here to top off with drink—and I have since give up on Cytomax so fill with water and grab a few wheat thins while still on bike. While starting to ride pop some endurolights. Great-hammergel apple cinnamon instead of chocolate/ banana mix.
Two guys pass—one doing lots of work in the front and I hop on the back. At first a real effort to stay with them but with headwind—really string from the beginning, I work to stay on. After 5 minutes I go to the front and tell guy I’ll do work, but unfortunately pace them of my wheel. Guy going downhill shouts a greeting—must be Ish. Get in terms with Asian guy going towards Pickets Junction—at first he does work and then I take over, don’t know if I paced him off wheel or he stopped, but no need to stop at Pickets so I pressed on. Jack was in Pickets as I found out later—but I thought he was up the road. I looked back and in the near distance, no cyclists to form paceline with—on flat portion from Pickets to Blue Lake much worse headwind than last year. Cool but working so hard was real comfortable in tri top.
After Blue Lakes road steepness picks up. A few cyclists passed me but going at too fast a pace for me to stay with. I passed dozens of cyclists basically crawling in the cross/ headwind. No one remotely going my speed for me to tag team with. Nobody. The wind was brutal—at one point I got into the 27 for the first time all day. Couldn’t believe that I hadn’t come across Jack—he must be flying with his end-o-ride energy. See smiley face indicating 4 miles to go—4 mile is ez—but not on an uphill battered by a relentless wind. AT least no signs of thunderstorms.
Two guys whiz by—Terrible Two jersey and Pinnarello guy. Can’t let these two get away but I am sapped of all energy trying to catch them. Actually they aren’t riding together-Terrible Two guys surges on ahead. I get in back of Pinarello guy and he does all of the work. Smiley face on road-1.2 miles to go-I can hang on. Phil Liggets’s “he never gives up-never” reverberates in my brain. We hit the wall and make the turn—battered by side wind—comment to Pinarello guy how we never get tailwind—suddenly we do, for about 500’, but this allows me to recover 1/ 2 way up turn and I go to the front. Now just have to get ½ way up wall and final turn. We catch Terrible Two guy, and I now start standing and kicking it into 2nd gear while leading the climb. Catch a few slower cyclists who are blocking an unofficial cameraman, then see the real cameraman and the visitors center and start of downhill to Carson Pass stop. Cameraman is urging a fist pump but no need to elicit an exuberant response from me.
-CARSON PASS 2:38, +33 minutes faster than last year.
-I exchange stoked congrats with Pinarello guy as we thank each other for the work. Make sure I get crunch pop from cut kid-not a fudgeicle. Here they are handing out 5 pass pins—trouble is one of my stickers fell off (actually at car two others were coming off, due to the humidity—Jack would also be missing a sticker.) Funny banter with guy checking for 5 stickers but got pin. Looked around for Jack, didn’t see him. Grabbed some wheat thins, banana, filled bottle (it was almost empty) and sat in lounge chair—in cover wind was blocked and sun was shining down strongly. Wound up sitting next to Pinarello guy who was from San Jose. Didn’t care if Jack was going to rush through this stop, after rushing though rest stops all day long, and rushing out of this one last year when doing bonus pass, I was going to enjoy this one. Jack arrives about 5 minute s later—and he is of same mind frame—to sit around and relax at this rest stop. We don’t leave for 34 minutes—later CA Mike tells us he “pulled a Jack” and when he got to Carson just grabbed a banana and split. Hee hee hee. New Steve pulled in about 20 minutes after I did, he enjoyed the ride.
-Start going down and Jack passes. Terrible crosswind and I get huge case of bike shimmy—brake and it still goes on—forgot to hold top tube with legs. Ready to pull over but wind is fierce where bail out is so I keep going and shimmy subsides. Passed by loads of riders screaming downhill—a few cautious ones. Love when I get back to flat section by Blue Lakes Road and have to actually pedal. Steep down to Woodsford but wind has subsided so fun—sign posted 35mph, and that is what I’m doing so I can stay in middle of road. A few guys pass on downhill, when road straightens out I dig to catch up with them. Two guys really strong and I just sit in the back. We hit first series of sharp uphills and I spot Jack ahead—tell people that I’m with that I need to make junction, so I pull back to Jack. “Hey, want to get into a paceline.” Then big steep uphill where my legs cracked last year, this year didn’t crack but one guy takes off, I stand and though putting out a comfortable pace can’t come near to what guy is doing. Donna at car-I’m back at 4:04, 11 minutes ahead of last year (if I deduct Blue Lakes Road) but 12 less minutes of breaks. 14.0 average speed-slightly higher than last year.
Finishing the Death Ride--the last climb back to Turtle Rock Park.

Donna and I go over to fest. Sign death ride poster-pumpkin in lower right corner. Donna gets patch. , we wind up (2nd year in a row) at table in front of speakers. Music OK but it is like sitting in a bar where you can’t her anyone. Jack joins us. Good bow tie pasta salad-GREAT chicken. Big Mike comes in 30 minutes later-CA Mike in about another 20 minutes. Band takes break—everyone sounds jazzed about Death Ride.
After doing 5 passes for the first time the day before--CA Mike &Big Mike both jazzed--I'm pretty happy also.