Tuesday, January 6, 2004


(May 2004) Davis Double, 201 miles,. 7,400' climbing, solo, 17.6 mph, 4:40-6:31-156 minutes at rest stops, way to long

Once a week century rides passing by much to fast, got to the point thatt I had NO CLUE what ride was coming up the next weekend. On Wednesday would see what was coming up, get a little nervous, glance at the course map (we go to Clear Lake? discovered 3 days before the ride!) , look at the weather, figure out what pace I'd probably do, and look for ride reports/ secrets on the web. I had never done a 200 miler but Dr. Y., from last years great Sierra Century ride had done the Davis Double, and said the Sierra was harder. Also, a long distance training book made it sound like the jump from 120 to 200 miles was easier than a jump from metric to 100 miles. I figured that I'd finish this at 8:30, right before it got dark, if everything went off well. After soloing 3 1/2 century rides I was getting used to riding alone, and had expected to do this one solo, --so wasn''t worried about this like I had been at TUC--but during dog miles would think alot about Gruppo Pumpkincyle falling apart.

Had figured I'd start close to 5:30--I hate riding in the dark, but woke up a little early and got to start area at 4:15. Disappointed in day before checkin and the start of this ride--unlike "fun" century rides this had no vendors, food or fluff. Here is a map-start when you want. Blinking tailights made it seem like we were riding around an airport--with Davis Double workers at intersection to make sure we were going the right way out of town. An hour of moderately paced riding through, I guess, farmland. I couldn't see anything but blink-blink-blink.

Nice thing about course is that there are more than nine rest stops (I hit nine and passed a few)--so instead of riding 200 miles you are doing a series of 20 milers. Was told that it would be uphill to the middle and then a gradual downhill back to Davis. This is kind of true but doesn't account for the afternoon crosswind which comes making coming back harder. It is also harder when you go out way to fast; without the "directeur sportif" to keep me in check I would soon be riding at a stupid pace.

To FARMINGTON RANCH rest stop (mile 23, average 16.5) -Did most of this in the dark following blinking lights ahead of me. Surprisingly cool but not freezing. The light on my bike is super lightweight, and gives off almost no light, and I don't ride in teh dark miuch, so was grateful when sun finally came up ofver the farmland we were going through. Once sun came up a medium speed paceline formed and I rode sainly, well in mid pack. At rest stop someone complained that they only had Cytomax, not Gatorade. Oh please. (By the end of the day I'd hate Cytomax) As would return to this rest stop later could have had a real light and more clothes, and left them here to pick up later. Only 7 minutes in rest stop. (In 6:00-Out 6:07)

To MONTICELLO DAM rest stop (mile 45.5, average 18)-At Farmington lots of riders waiting around and not leaving until a tandem would pull out, and then a train formed behind. Fast on the flats through WINTERS, and surpising pockets of cold air. After WINTERS headed west in a huge pack though an undulating tree lined valley. Paceline had broken down,; lots of cyclists not holding their line, or pedaling; lots of , coasting and weaving. Glad when uphill began, as this broke up drunken mass and I went to the front. Nice climb to Monticello Dam though headwind blowing through gap; tandems would bog down but then speed past on downhills--always nice to say something friendly to a climbing tandem. CHP officer going in the opposite direction bullhorned out "single file"--no comment. 10 minute rest stop (In 7:14-out 7:24)

To NICHELINI WINERY rest stop (mile 64, average 17.6)-Leaving dam had rollers where would go back and forth with tandems, and then Cardiac Climb, but not bad--and nice straight downhill. Hear that Davis Double is flat but there is 7000+ of climbing on the ride. Now 8- , when DELTA PEDALER ride typically began, and I already had 55 miles in. Sweet. Was on Highway 128, flat and not much car traffic. Pulled into rest stop and saw Dr. Y, from last years Sierra Century. He asked how Joann was doing, was surprised when I told him I had no clue. We bs'd before riding out together, so in rest stop for 18 minutes, longer than I needed to be. At 8:30 I had done a metric, and 109 minutes ahead of the pace I had figured for ending at 8:30. (In 8:29-out 8:47)

To POPE VALLEY GRANGE HALL (mile 76, 17.8 average)-Rode out with Dr. Y, and we stayed together for a few miles until we hit some rollers on some narrow backroad which was void of any traffic. Two guys came by pushing the pace and I got on their back wheel--Dr. Y started with me but was soon off. Our three man was heading toward Ink Grade/ Hubcap Ranch. and each of us would pushing the pace when we went to the front. When I got into rest stop it probably wasn't over 70 degrees but I quickly striped down to a sleeveless jersey. I saw Dr. Y arrive when I was rolling out of rest stop--unfortunately later he'd have a bike accident. 14 minute rest stop, a bit to long but due to changing clothes--still felt great. (In 9:24-out 9:38)

To MIDDLETOWN (mile 95, 17.9) Here is where I needed Joann around to talk some sense into me, as I got caught up in the excitement and pushed way too hard. Now getting warm and on multi-lane road with gradual rollers and with little auto traffic. Three young guys wearing Lombardi Sports gear were hammering, would speed by me on the downhill portion of the rollers, but I'd fly by them on the uphill. On one long uphill roller their strongerst guy contested it and I beat him up the roller. On the straightaway they pacelined by me again. Damn-it would have been fun riding with a group. Then one racer with aerobars (I'd ride with him later) flew by us all on the flats, and we hussled to get on his wheel. . It was 20 miles of fun, surrounded by less grapes and more trees/ orchards than in Pope Valley. I felt good but would soon pay for it. MIDDELTOWN was lunch stop. Big/ busy rest stop, well stocked (but why pickles) saw Ish--RAAM racer who lives around corner from me. When he left DELTA PEDALERS a few years ago I couldn't figure out why--now was starting to have a clue. 16 minutes in rest stop, rest stop times are starting to extend, in 10:40, out 10:56-118 minutes ahead of 8:30 pace, average speed would now startt to come down.)

To LOWER LAKE LUNCH STOP (mile 114, 17.4) Holy crap, we were going to LOWER LAKE, part of the PEDAL ROUND THE PUDDLE course. Earlier had been on part of TOUR OF THE NAPA VALLEY course, and PEDAL ROUND THE PUDDLE seems light years away. Very desolate stretch through Butts Canyon Road, and Big Canyon Road. Realy nice-no cars, no civilization, just a big gradual climb over lousy, pot holed roads. (Best move of the season, after wheel taco'd in Chico getting all alloy nipples pulled and replaced by brass before TOUR OF UNKNOWN COAST.) On BIG CANYON really nice, sunny valley--one rider pulled over to take photos. I chuckled--it is what I had done last week but now going against clock so just focusing on passing whomever was in front of me.

Caught up to and got in with two DIABLO CYCLISTS--I had ridden more with them on century rides this year than DELTA PEDALERS/ GRUPPO PUMPKINCYCLE combined. The guy in front didn't say a word, but guy in back told me about the club, how they come out en masse to do century rides. (Wish I could remember who they were--I don't) Good pace, miles were going by quickly riding with them. Dodging potholes--and odometer suddenly showed 100 miles! It had been easy to this point, and had been told that the last 1/3rd was all downhill. Cool. I get stronger the longer a ride goes, and I ride better when it is warm and it was now 80 degrees. Passed up BIG CANYON REST STOP at mile 105; just got a water refill while sitting on the bike. Beautiful downhill to LOWER LAKE, guy with DOMO FARM FRITES jersey pulls up besides me. Lower Lake High School crowded with riders sprawled on the lawn; shoudn't have eaten the oily pasta salad that I'd be tasting for the next 30 miles. At lunch stop for 22 minutes, too long as I got a little tight and should have done more stretching, but had bypassed the last rest stop so still riding a great pace. In at 12:11 -out 12:33

To RESURRECTION climb (mile 134, 17.3) Left lunch stop and quickly things turned sour. Kept tasting pasta salad, wanted to barf. Water bottle shook lose from cage, and when I retrieved it a bunch of riders I had passed came through. This shouldn't have bugged me but it did. Ridiing this solo bugged me, started thinking about Gruppo Pumpkincycle weirdness--something wasn''t right but couldn't put my finger on it. Lost concentration--lone rider ahead but I had hard time catching him. Nice break on huge downhill-I hit 45 coasting but was easily passed. Then began long uphill of the day, 7 mile climb of Resurrection. Racer with tri bars and friend passed and I hooked on with them--racer was wearing DEVIL MOUNTAIN DOUBLE jersey so was fast and had endurance. I was now slowing down--before MIDDLETOWN I was able to stay close to racer; now his friend and I were falling way off the back. Still passing lots of people, but my legs were hurting so I dropped off before the big climb.

On the climb I held my own, I passed alot of riders but I was also passed by many. Seems everyone had on a DEVIL MOUNTAIN DOUBLE, TERRIBLE TWOS or CA TRIPLE CROWN JERSEY. I talked with one guy in the CA TRIPLE CROWN JERSEY-when he found out this was my first double he gave me a big pat on the back. Another guy climbing on a FIXED GEAR. I wanted to kick it into high gear but couldn't-still wanted to upchuck pasta salad, thirsty as hell, general leg pain was now becoming point specific as a few knotts on my inner thigh.


The Resurrection climb wasn't bad--just like a very long Papa Bear. At rest stop grabbed some cans of coke and held them on my legs. Some riders from Eureka talking about TOUR OF THE UNKNOWN COAST. I didn't want to leave this rest stop--found reasons to stay for 20 minutes--what happened to in and out in less than 12? (in 1:44, out 2:04)

Paraphrasing Liggett and Sherwin from 2001 PR-"The group, lead by Hincapie and Dickerekson finally catches the sole leader Wilfried Peters who has been out in front since the Forest of Arenberg. Peters doesn't know about all the chaos behind him, and is wondering what happened to his team leader and best friend, Museeuw, who has flatted. Peters is dropped and can't even catch onto the wheel of his teammates Knaven and Vainsteins who could not even look at Peters, they couldn't even give him a nod as they went by, as they are so committed to trying to hold onto Hincapie and Dickerekson's wheel"

Barely making it to GUINDA Rest Stop..(Mile 160, 17.7) Steep downhill, short uphill and then 10 mile downhill that eventually flattened out. Earlier had quickly come upon rest stops, now, as soon as I left Resurrection, I was looking forward to next rest stop. Legs hurt, feet sore, nasua, low energy (was this bonking?) and I had to go to the can. Tried to get a song in my head, tried conjuring up the image of Museeuw flying at the end of P-R. Nothing worked.

On long downhill was passed often-no news here, but on uphill section was easily passed and I didn't have the energy to join in--first paceline I missed all day. No tandems on this section--fast ones were well ahead and slow ones were well back. Rivendale shot by and I joined rider who complained that his feet hurt--told him I'd turn him into Grant as nothing is supposed to hurt when riding a Rivendale. Big laugh which we both needed.

I thought my odometer was broken as miles weren't turning fast enough. Passed trashy CACHE CREEK REGIONAL PARK and made impromptu stop at bathroom, mile 151.2, 6 minutes, in at 2:47 and out at 2:54, 17.5 mph pace. Felt better, picked my way through the broken glass onto Highway 16, and almost immediately I heard "on your left." A big paceline driven by a women racer from Florida and her husband/boyfriend. I jumped on and barely, barely held on--I would slip off the back on the flats and then regroup on uphill rollers. Eight miles to GUINDA, which couldn't come fast enough. At rest stop racer chick told me I had done good on the uphills-great I needed encouragement, but quickly declined to join them leaving the rest stop. Enough punishment for now. I found more cans of Coke to put on the knotts on my legs, and shades of the Sierra Century they had a wading pool to soak feet in. One rest stop worker found out it was my first double and made announcemnt that I was a rookie to cheers. Great support all around. No cold Diet Coke so more disgusting Cytomax which I was beginning to hate--and corn chips for the salt. Finally, finally left rest stop 27 minutes later. (In 3:28, out 3:55, on pace for 118 minutes ahead of 8:30 finish).

Back to FARNHAM (Mile 178, 17.6) These were the dog miles. Now on Highway 16, which was crowded with traffic around Cache Creek Casino. Slight downhill negated by crosswind which was killing me. Was going to stop at general store for Diet Coke, but lone rider came by at a good pace so I didn't stop and sat on his wheel. He didn't mind--found out he had left 1 hour after me and blew by many of the rest stops. Joined by a young guy, Young guy never pulled, I took a few short ones, and other guy did most of the work after saying we should ride single file on busy Highway 16. Thankfully we weren't going at a killer speed, just a consistant 16-18 mph, but it felt like 25-30. ' Hold that wheel-hold that wheel," I kept saying to myself, -if I dropped off I would only be going 8mph. Felt like we were in no mans land, not to many cyclists around us--we were passed by a couple and we never passed anyone. We made a sharp turn off of Highway 16 and I went to the front to pull. Guy who had taken giant pull fell off my wheel 2x--showed me what happend when you bonk. Luckily we came to rest stop quickly--no more Cytomax as I downed some V8 with cans of soda on leg knotts. Now in rest stop for 15 minutes, double,my stay from this morning. (In 5:00, out 5:15, 17.6)

Back to DAVIS (200 miles, 17.6) On flat route with crosswind and huge 20-22mph paceline was forming. Had little left but knew I better catch this train. A benefit from racing where the pacelines shoot from 20 to 35 mph, I knew there was an upper limit ceiling to the ones I was joining in today even if half dead. Nice and smooth through the flat area around Davis that i couldn't see that morning. A few times I wanted to go to the front, like I had done earlier in the day, bt my legs screamed at my brain "are you nuts" and I stayed well in the back. Thin girl in CENTRAL COAST jersey with aerobars pulled alongside, she said that her legs were dead, and couldn't speed up or slow down. Exactly what I was feeling.

People were falling out of the double paceline and we were down to about 8--with the same two saints pulling--thanks guys. I passed one guy wearing a Paris-Brest-Paris jersey who didn't like that and he dug in and repassed. I was too dead to play and just rode behind him. Some chatter with other riders in the back. Two recumbants shot by, no one chased. On the lookout for the Davis Water Tower, it soon appeared, over the last hill-a freeway overpass, and suddenly we rode back into the parking lot with half a dozen people cheering. Instead of going in (where they record times) I went down the block to my car and change. It was 6:31. I called Donna to let her know I finished;, she was driving up to surprise me and was 20 minutes away--"you said you'd finish at 8:30!" Great having Donna come up. Saw Eric (Cutter) outside, had trouble with new wheels and sagged in. Taco chicken salad was perfect, though needed more soda to wash down Cytomax. Saw Ish who was disappointed that I didn't think riding 200 miles was the greatest thing ever. Free massages--and I got one for 45 minutes. Massage therapist told me that my leg muscles were tight--no shit.

Three days later muscles sore and still off the bike. Even though I finished at a better pace than I thought I would, I was disappointed that I had to hang on for dear life. Would do a 200 miler again if could ride parts of it with cyclists I know. Sane pacelines and company help dog miles go by, but with the abandonment of GRUPPO PUMPKINCYCLE "friends", who last year did the longest rides out of all the DELTA PEDALERS, fat chance this was going to happen. Also reread training book, which recommended 150 mile training rides going into a double. So figured that I'd have to concentrate on climbing century rides, which are less pack dependant, in the future. Still, I held out hope for more double century rides, I wrote in my log after the ride that "in any event life is strange and unexpected, and this will be the easiest ride next year if I go for the California Triple Crown--if I don't fall apart beforehand." The next few month would get stranger and more unexpected than I could ever have dreamed., (201 miles, 17.6 avg, 4:40-6:31, 156 minutes at rest stops--way too long)

No pictures from the Davis Double or Lodi--so let me throw in a few of my cycling inspiration, Johan Museeuw. He had won Paris Roubaix 3 times and set up his team for victory also, and the hardest one day race was going to be his last before retirement. In this spooky strange 2004-with 5km to go Museeuw is in the lead group and he FLATS "what a shame-what an awful shame" Paul Sherwin. Of course that night there is NO mention of this on any sports news--as if when Lancy is not at the race it doesn't count--but over and over about some golfer winning a green jacket. So Johan disappears but some more Paul Sherwin commentary "he's a tough man I tell you" had me decide to go cycle alone in Italy later in the year. Below photo Museeuw with Servais Knaven--who I really like also, always seems happy on the bike, will work for his team, and sometimes unexpectedly lands a huge victory.

"I am not a climber... I was never really a sprinter...But I can win the occasional sprint, but only because it is at the end of a very long and very hard race. When everybody's legs are hurting, when everybody is tired, then I can take advantage."--Johan Museeuw

(May 2004) Sunrise Century, Lodi, century, almost perfectly flat not counting freeway overpasses, with Donna and Philip, 105 miles, 16.5 mph, out at 6:50--in at 2:20

This is the old favorite, one that is nearby, cheap and relatively easy. You could keep a paceline together on this all day, and there used to be a big DELTA PEDALER turnout. I told Donna to sit on my wheel as much as possible, and we'd get her home with a 16 average--and she wouldn't miss out on the salad like she did years ago. Donna has been riding a shade under 15, but she's been training hard and is strong on the flats so shouldn't be a problem.

We were joined by Philip, who rode on and off with the DELTA PEDALERS. He was on the Atkins Diet and had dropped lots of weight. I emailed him the week before, and told him when I did Atkins I did it in the offseason--during the riding season he needed carbs. The day before LODI he broke into the bread loaf for the first time in months and had some newfound energy. This was Philip first century attempt. I usually give some attention to the jesey on a ride, and for this one picked the GRUPPO PUMPKINCYCLE jersey, which we finally got after a 10 month wait (companies not to keen on making 4 custom jerseys) and I promptly had slit off my body by EMT's at Metric Giro in Lodi. . Took it in to tailor shop for repair, they did a nice job sewing up the body length cut (year later I talked to the seamstress when she altered another jersey for me--she asked about this one, said "she wondered how it was cut in the front.") I figured that accident had happened in Lodi--so this was a way to get rid of the "evil spirits."

Lodi says they have 2000' climbing and an attention getting hill--cigarette manufacturers say their product doesn't cause cancer. Nice views of Lake Camanchee and Pardee (from other direction from Party Pardee) and a nice run through orchards near Linden. Otrherwise incredibly flat, with some wide open ride on the shoulder dog miles Support prepackaged deli meat good--though nothing special. On the way to the first rest stop we saw Frank, Verena and Pat in for the metric. Also saw Railroad Larry and Bruce, also in for the metric. Nice to see people we knew on the course, though too bad they weren't in for the 100, as we could have kept together for the whole ride. .There was an incentive to do this ride quickly (beside the salad)--weather forecast called for 15mph westerlys in the afternoon.We started out with a favorible tailwind and I was pulling at a consistant 17-19 mph--but soon Donna complained that we were going too fast and couldn';t keep up this pace for the whole ride. So she went to the front and promptly pulled at 18-21 mph! Philip was being dipliomatic when he just smiled when I yelled out "now we are going too fast." In reality we hadn't ridden together much, so she wasnt used to staying on a wheel--and was more relaxed being in the front.

Passed the Clements Cemetary and it was real sunny', the first time did this ride I had to have taillight on as we were disappearing in the fog.Gradual but long climb around Lake Camanchee went off well--Donna/ Philip close behind. Then some uphill rollers to Pardee Dam. The first year water was running down the spillway causinng a hypnotic effect--I had never seen water released since then. If we went left we'd go on the very long Jesus Maria--where I had reached the snow level months ago-- but route turned right. Got on the "attention getting climb" and one guy tried to race me up (comes flying by standing and thrashing at the pedals)--I dusted him. Philip caught light on Pardee Dam and Donna and I hadn't--when we went across I motored up to Philip to tell him that I was circling back for Donna and we'd regroup at the next stop. Mr. Thrasher came flying by--I wanted to chase but was now on good behavior as I circled back. They upgraded the middle rest stop on the course-which we hit keeping a 16.5 average.)

Then we started the WALLACE to LINDEN dog miles riding the windswept shoulder of Highway 12. Here we would have benefited from a paceline but Donna wasn't comfortable in one. Passed by a bunch of riders--a couple came by wearing a Sierra Century Jersey and were going at a moderate pace--I suggested we hook on to their wheel but no one shared my enthusiaum. Sprinted out to the water stop and Donna, the energizer bunny, just kept going. Soon saw the beautiful BIG TREES indicating that the ratty highway was ending and we'd have some beautiful twisty miles through dense orchards. Sierra couple, who had stopped at water stop, now passed us again and I got on their wheel and we whipped around the tight orchard turns with little traffic.

Regrouped with Donna and Phillip in outer LINDEN and we rode in together to Linden High School rest stop--one of the nicest on any century with dense trees provdiing a canopy of shade. Still at 16.5 mph.Back to LODI-more open windswept roads. Donna wouldn't get into a paceline but got her second wind and was riding strong on her own. With a sidewind I tried to block the side for her. We got close to LODI and looking back saw a huge group quickly approaching. Not wanting to get passed with 3 miles to go I took off--someone in an Eden Cyling racing kit bridged to me and stayed on my wheel. Philip wondered if guy who flew by him had passed me--no, but it was damn close.Donna came in at 16mph-GREAT.

End of ride meal only 1/3 full, no real energy. Next day did large part of the Sierra Metric and was an incredibly better course. Next year, I may start out on this one and then take a turn off and go up to Jesus Maria after Pardee Dam. Unless there is a promise of a 6 man rotating paceline.

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