This is a hard ride report to write. 1) After missing every planned double this year--I was looking forward to this one; after all, last year when I did 6--this ride was soooooo easy. 2) Four years ago I DNF'd on Central Coast when it suddenly became hit, my stomach shut down, and I shut down after not eating/ nausea for 50 miles. In retrospect I thought that this was cause by both wearing a dark colored jersey and I should have immediately gone to a liquid diet (eg. Perpetuem and hammergel.) Since then I did a few hot rides--including two 100+ degree Davis Doubles, and a Terrible Two and though energy was zapped I never felt close to shutting down.
Climbing Mt. Diablo I love hot weather and hate when it is cool and damp. But that is only 12 miles. In retrospect my highest energy double is the Mt. Tam Double "time trial" which is always cool.
So after feeling good for half of Knoxville- the tough half with most of the climbing, albeit the unseasonable hot weather (Vacaville, 96 degrees at 4pm, Lower Lake 92 degrees at 3pm), I stopped eating at mile 113 and was totally out of it 2 hours later--by mile @150. I tried going on a liquid diet but was going to upchuck Perpetuem & Heed. One Gatoraid stayed down but didn't help much. On top of Cobb Mountain, when I felt this coming on, I was hoping the local store would have a frozen fruit bar which would have carbs--but all they had were popsicles.
So after finishing 13 doubles in a row, through snow/ hail to 100 degree weather--it will be a long winter trying to figure out what went wrong.
The first 112 miles were alot of fun. Knoxville is a "fun", untimed event, which runs backwards over part of the Davis course. But it is MUCH DIFFERENT. As no mass start but with limited riders like the mass start doubles, Knoxville breaks up like no other double, you can go miles before you see anyone. And with the signature climb desolate Knoxville Road (climbing gently for 30 miles), there is much more climbing on Knoxville than on Davis.
And though the Knoxville course is easier than Mt. Tam, due to the time of year, while I've always finished Mt. Tam in the daylight, I've always had to ride the last segment of Knoxville in the dark--though near a suburb the course stays rustic until the end so there is no ambient light. This would be in the back of my mind as we were lagging our usual time for most of the course and probably didn't rest as long as need be in order to limit nighttime riding.
The support is 1st rate--the Quackcyclists (tied with the Santa Rosa Cycling Club's Terrible Two) do the best job supporting the riders. Though a desolate course sag wagons constantly drive by, emergency water stops kept appearing. Pena Adobe--first house of Vacaville.The lagoon that we circle but never see at 5:30am.The first part of the ride goes through suburban housing tracks--by the time the sun comes up we are out of the neighborhoods. So never saw the turkeys running around the houses.
The rest of the ride is rustic to the end--and just a few miles away there is a desolate road populated by garden centers and small farms.
The ride starts between suburban Fairfield and Vacaville at Pena Adobe Park. The ride starts in the dark, and for me always ends in the dark. The day before I took at 15 mile preride of the start and 15 mile ride of the finish. Timed my return to coincide with the opening of registration, then it was back to nice sized room (and cheep (sic)) motel in suburban outlet hell half way between San Francisco and Sacramento.
Quackcyclist check in at the park--unfortunately their supply of ride shorts matched Bike Nashbar's clearance outlet choice, XS or XXL.
I really like doubles, riding the whole day--as Uncle Steve used to say "at one point on every double you are suffering and wondering why you are doing it, then at the end you can't wait for the next one." But one thing I HATE are the pre sunrise starts which necessitate going to sleep at 9:00 the day before, waking up during an ungodly hour, and then riding in the cold and dark. As I didn't start any doubles this year (the Davis 300k brevet started at 7:00), though I had gotten used to this insanity last year, it was suddenly very strange again.
Going down the Silvarado Trail joined by another rider--though dressed in 'Mellow Johnny' & "Hincapie' gear he was a nice guy, and funny that he was number 113, while Jack and I were 114 & 115.
There is a great water stop 7/8 up Knoxville Road--last year Jack blew it off, today he needed to stop. I overheard someone say only 60 riders behind us, so with 240 riders we were in the last quarter of the ride, and our time would mean much more night riding than usual. This got me real anise. Though I rode most of Knoxville at Jack's pace, I picked it up at the water stop to get to the lunch at mile 107 before Jack and be ready to leave when he wanted to--he never hangs around for a long time at lunch, and we had to pick up some time.