As mentioned I love the Double--with two tough climbs we wouldn't do today. But the rest of the Course is filled with "Italian Rollers*"--the ones that are too long and steep to attack and have to grind up, and "Eddie Stanky Rollers*"--the ones you can fly over if you get a running start off the downhill section if the previous roller. I like the Italian Rollers, Ward flys over the Eddie Stanky Rollers. (*In Italy seemingly every roller looked gentle at the beginning, and after a curve in the road suddenly apparent that the road still went up another 600' and grade had jumped 10%+. Eddie Stanky was "The Brat" of the NY Giants who, on third base tag up plays would stand 10' BEHIND third base and then get a running start just before the catch--baseball had to amend the rule book to ban this.)
Ward and I started out near where the Double starts, but instead of going towards and over Mt. Tam we kept inland through the very familiar Nicasio. Near Big Rock (short
While almost ready to leave an English (or Australian, or Kiwi (Ward's guess), or South African (my guess) pulled in yapping and wanted to know if we were on the ride or training for a Century. When I told him training for a Double he whined "oh, doubles are for girls--I do back to back doubles--you must be a type A personality." I was too tired for his shit, so just walked away to take some photos.
Leaving Petaluma a familiar subdivision climb, a few sudden turns, but soon on a 12 mile stretch of Chileno Valley Road though cow country. Yep--a headwind. We passed a guy in a Garmin-Cervelo kit--he joined us and shared the workload for part of the road. Slow course, but more from headwind than rollers.
Long stop at general store in Valley Ford, we had really been hoping for the bakery in Tomales that Cervelo guy had told us about. Of course I wanted to go the wrong way leaving Valley Ford--Ward properly turned around and all was good until the first short 12% climb followed by a short 10% climb followed by.... You get the idea. Ward kinda knew where we were as he remembered the pain from these hills in the Century. I didn't remember much until we hit a fast downhill outside Tomalas, and first advantage of doing course in reverse became apparent--usually have to do this as a tough climb into strong headwind.
Instead of the slow 9 mile East to West run in to the Marshall Wall (slightly uphill rollers into a headwind) the West to East reverse course was fast. Soon at the Cheese Factory for the last rest stop. Cheese Factory climb was easy--and the usual fast run in through Nicasio and back up to Big Rock--it is mostly a gradual climb but we have the usual tailwind and while the Big Rock portion is steep it is real short from this direction..
Coming off Big Rock I count the 22 turns--downhill here used to terrify me but counting the turns was a good calming mechanism and I still have fun doing same. Now 4-5 miles of a slight downhill with a wind and Ward is pulling me along at 25mph+, amazing with 199 miles in our legs from the weekend. This was a great ride--a lot more climbs than yesterday--luckily climbs alot shorter. Another ride to do again when 100 degrees in the East Bay. Luckily Mt Tam Double will have arrows in the ground but great to become re-familiar with the old sections of the ride and familiar with the new reverse sections.