Saturday, April 29, 2006


(April 29, 2006) Devil Mountain Double, 18,600' climbing, 206 miles, start w/ Don, Mike H., & Kitty, 17:24 hrs total time, 79th of 146 riders who finished (? how many started or average speed)

Unfortuantely this is one of the ride reports that got destroyed on Geocities. Below is an email I had sent about this brutal ride, with some notes added in orange.

Sometimes things just don’t work out (Paul Sherwin) Bet when I check my splits I was one of the slowest riders from Junction CafĂ© (mile 116) to end (206) Of course that meant I did real well until Junction. But afterwards I must have gotten off of bike a half dozen times, sweating profusely on climb (was it low grade fever or Amishdale wool shirt?), feet killing me as metatarsal balls digging into arches (ripped them off arch support at Crothers-mile 151), feet, back and knees hurting so couldn’t stand from Mt Hamilton inwards—and po’d that I wanted to sag in.

Couldn’t climb and until feet pain subsided after cosmetic surgery on arches felt every bump in the road when coming down Hammy. Sagging in was a recurring theme from Hamilton onward as riders I had easily passes in the morning were now shooting by me, and I had nothing-but pain. Then at “Pet the Goat” (mile 161) when my lights didn’t show up and I mentioned to Kitty (woman’s 1st place in Stage Races last year) that I was thinking of sagging in she said “you NEVER sag in” just take longer at rest stops. Actually at rest stops I felt better, it was on the bike between rest stops I felt like crap.—what had been 5 minute rest stops earlier in the day were now 10-15 stops along with 2-3 impromptu stops from Junction onward.

I was having so much fun in the morning, well after I missed going into the ditch by the Athenian School in the dark right before we begin the climb up Diablo. (Mini Cat-Eye not cutting it at hight speed in the dark.) Fast morning sprint to Diablo, I lost Don when he dropped a water bottle in the dark. Inversion layer on Diablo lead to a surprise warm top as Grizzly Mark and I hammered up. (est 1:08 climb from South Gate, time 6:44) Downhill wasn't that bad and Donna nicely waiting for me at the base to take excess clothes/ thermal vest before heading off to Morgan Territory Climb (time 9:01). Luckily I retained buff and put over mouth as fruit flies were out on this pothole covered climb. Uncle Steve up at top working the rest stop--he's done this ride the last few years and he climbs slowly (does everything else fast.)

Felt great going down to Altamont and next gentle climb up Patterson Pass. Well gentle when I did practice run with Steve and said how easy it is, and he said "if windmills are turning you are screwed." Well turning they were so whole climb was in block headwind.

Still felt wonderful on start (time 11:39) of long but gentle Mines Road climb; zipping by anyone I saw on the road. Many Diablo Cyclists were doing the "whimpy ride"-- the 125 mile Mt. Hamilton Challenge that runs against us--and I passed a group of them near their Mines Road rest stop. Later many told me how happy I looked--and I was. My plan had been to go hard to the top of Mt. Hammy then recover on the long (20 mile) downhill-- but that was about to change.

Roared into Junction Cafe, mile 116 at 1:27. Legandary long distance rider Ish giving massages but unlike Knoxville this is a timed event so I told him I'd take a rain check and got out of the stop in 11 minutes-hell, up to this point I figure I only spent 37 minutes at rest stops.

As had done the whole ride, nibbled on food leaving the rest stops so as not to lose time. Fast course leaving junction turns into series of harder and harder rollers. Suddenly I wasn't going that fast on the fast portion, and was passed by some cyclists on the rollers who looked like they shouldn't pass me, but I couldn't put in a dig back to them. Energy felt real low. And as I had stood on climbs for much of this ride, the meditarsal domes that prevent my toes from cramping on flatter rides was now digging through my instep with every pedal stroke.

The climb up the steep side of Mt. Hamilton is only 5 miles but it was brutal--and felt like the rolling dead when I reached the water stop manned by Tom of Tandemhearts--his wife was somewhere on this ride. I didn't want to leave the water stop but did after 18 minutes. Another mile to reach the top--where the rough downhill continued to kill me as every jolt just shot up through my instep. Next rest stop at been moved to a house in a small subdivision--LAST house up a hill. Finally pulled into Crothers (time 4:55) and stayed another 15 minutes. I took off my shoes and ripped the domed cushions out of the arch.

Continue downhill and then onto Sierra Road--a brutal 4 mile climb. Well, wasn't so bad a few weeks before when I did it in @35 minutes, while scrubbing speed so I could set a target for Mike who is not a climber. Well now I was trying to go hard and I "sped" up at 48:29. Every steep hairpin was kicking me in the you know what.

I'm getting close to the top of Mt. Hamilton from the hard side and in the last 10 miles I've lost energy and feet hurt. Note BMX glove on my left hand as it is covering a brace on my broken finger. (Tom of TandemHearts photo, later his wife would call it quits at this point.)

More rollers off of Sierra Road and on the downhills I'm just coasting and trying to alternate taking my feet out of the pedals. Get to the "Pet the Goat" mini-rest stop (time 6:25) where I sent one of my two 10 watt lights; it is still light out but still have to go over Calavaras and will probably pull into Sunol just when it is turning dark. Go to get my lights--they are not at the rest stop. That is when I lose it and am ready to quit--luckily Kitty is there. She isn't the fastest rider in the world but probably manages rest stops better than anyone, she eventually won the women's division of the Triple Crown Stage Race series. She gets her schoolteach voice on and says "you NEVER sag in." After 10 minutes and NOT PETTING NO FN GOAT I continued through Calavaras, usually a fast section if the course, now everyone was moving fast except for me. I was surprised to have not seen Don, but he was pacing Mike through much of the course.

Twilight set in as I came into Sunol (8:00) but the fast road in and cooler weather had me get back some energy--also knowing that most of the climbs were now behind me. Was ready to leave when Don pulled in--prospect of riding with him was nice, he's real easygoing, and now we'd be riding rural roads in total darkness so two lights are better than one.

We went down the Niles Canyon mini highway--narrow shoulder and lots of cars. Wish I wasn't such a weight weenie now and had something more than a mini-LED backlight. Then turn onto Palamaras climb which was cool in the darkness--strange animal sounds and running water. Then back into civilization, nasty Crow Canyon Road with no shoulder and lots of traffic-Don almost got wiped out by a boat on a trailer, and lightly traveled Norris Canyon Road--who cared about more short steep climps as there was no traffic. which dropped us into surburbia and one business park away from teh finish at 10:24 pm, 17:24 total time with @74 minutes of rest stops.

So good news is I did ride and finished—which would have delighted me years ago. Actually it would have delighted me when in I and Jessie were in Intensive Care this winter. But I had bigger expectations (a top third finish and feeling strong at the end) instead of feeling like crap. Part of my motivation had been to finish at 8:45 so I wouldn’t have to ride in the dark so much, bit finishing at @10:30 kind of killed that plan. (Actually Palomaras at nite is kinda cool with running water off the side. Crow canyon Highway sucks.) Mike was the last rider to get to "Pet the Goat" in the light and get his picture taken there. He didn't finish far behind Don/ I, and in a much better mood that I was in.

And is it harder than the Terrible Twos. 6 weeks of less training and endless climbs (TT had 2 great long straight sections on Silverado and along Ocean, DMD really just has one around Altamont—whole ride is climbing) and more climbs (TT had 5 climbs-DMD has 7).Sign of the times—day before I was po’d to learn that we’d have to get off the bike and walk it on Sierra Road at a 40’ closed section. On the ride I was delighted.

I guess I got my wish—the whole week I thought it would be great to finish with Don. But he had been riding with Mike and taking a long time at rest stops earlier. So I guess my wish should have been more explicit. To finish with Don but 2 hours earlier.

Weather notes
cold foggy below 2500’ on Diablo, clear and sunny on Top Sunny going up tree shades Morgan-cold, fogy and windy going down. Overcast and block headwind on Patterson Pass. Sunny up most of Mines Road-scorching (someone said 90) up Hamilton. Sunny but cooling on Sierra.

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