Sunday, April 22, 2012

Devil Mountain Double Prep-Solano Ramble (2012)

Mt Diablo with the mothball fleet from the North
Will go into the Devil Mountain Double about 4 lbs higher than I wanted to--I was hoping for 139.  A few years back I read that good climbers should be 2 lbs an inch, which would put me at 136.  I hit that two years ago until I flew over a fallen cyclist and my season ended.

Fear is a great motivator and years ago real easy to stop eating and go slam up Mt. Diablo every time while quaking about thinking about my first Death Ride.  Of course that was to get my weight down from 155 to 150.  That's the trouble with goals, you meet them and they get lower.

Well, I was scared about one thing on Devil Mountain--the road to Roubaix, aka the road leading into Mt. Diablo State Park that we'd do before sunrise which had toilet bowl sized potholes.  For once the State of California got its head out of its butt (the same state that couldn't figure out the proper property tax deduction until April 15th--when taxes are due) and in less than one week repaved the @ 1/4 mile of road.

My bike is about 17 1/2 lbs, which would have been awesome 20 years ago--and now is a tad on the heavy side compared to the new minimal carbon models.  But it doesn't really matter--if I have good legs and good cardio on DMD I'll do fine, if I start falling apart a 12lb bike with 12-34 mountain gearing wouldn't help.

Personal weight and bike weight are just a part of the total weight anyway (a team car riding along would solve lots of problems).  Besides the helmet/ clothes/shoes one wears (and I wear a ridiculously large amount in cold weather) for my last few self supported rides

Handlebar bar w/ sandwich, 6 energy bars and drink mix......1129 grams
Bottle with 3 scoops of Cliff Electrolytes.................................806 grams
Bottle with 7 scoops of Perpetuem/ Hammergel......................773 grams (??)
Exposure Light......................................................................278 grams
Saddle bag, 2 tubes, lock, tyre levers, 2 CO2, wallet...... .......736 grams
Shoes (w/cleats), Helmet........................................................1089 grams
Gloves, Shorts, Jersey, Socks, Glasses, Headband.................497 grams
Tee Shirt, Sock Liner, Glove Liners........................................144 grams
Knee Warmers, Arm Warmers, Toe Warmers........................213 grams
Vest, Jacket...........................................................................207 grams
So one could easily carry 5872 extra grams of stuff on a cool self supported ride.   An organized ride can save 1129 grams.  A warm weather ride can save 564 grams.

Century #11 Solano County Backwards Ramble, w double bonus miles 115 miles, 16.9 mph.   7' climbing (Club web site says 3000' climbing--I must have missed it.)   Diablo Cyclist bonus mile ride of 93' miles w/ Ward, Dr. Dave, Christine, Jack, Stephen, Andy, Norm

Don't know if I should have gone a climbing ride in prep for Devil Mountain Double--Cisco Dave went off to do Diablo a few times.  But should start to taper--if not ready for DMD at this point then it's too late.  Hell, Dave was already checking the 10 day forecast for DMD weather--a 10 days forecast is like a long range  economic forecast which may be right...or may be wrong.   Club ride scheduled for relatively flat Solano County, so it is always popular.   Our running joke is our average speed is usually 15.4 mph as if it is higher than that we add a few more hills--the average speed today should make us feel good about ourselves.

Mother nature decided to throw in a monkey wrench which I enjoyed, but most others did not.  Out of nowhere highs in the upper 90's were predicted.  GREAT--NO VEST, NO GLOVE LINERS, NO TEE SHIRTS..... I felt so fn loose, like I could ride in the drops forever.  But always hard to acclimate on the first hot days of the year, push too hard and energy quickly zapped.  Likewise climb too much and overheat--can't do much to lower core temperature on climbs.  So a pancake flat ride was what the doctor ordered.

Already nice and warm when drove into Solano Community College to start the ride.  Rumor has it that Dr. Dave was already running his a/c at 30 degrees.   (Just 70 degrees) Usual building at the college with bathrooms was locked up--which would portend how the rest of the day would go.

Solano Ramble Video--Don't Worry MF Bike Music Free--(Pumpkincycle Cinematography and Ward Moto 2 Video)

We started doing the ride in reverse of usual--all the roads were familiar to me but I was always disjointed re what came next.  Luckily Stephen gave everyone route sheets and plastic bags to prevent sweat from melting the route sheets away--double lucky that Stephen gave himself one as late in the ride he was the only one checking it.

We started on Wooden Valley Road that was either flat or a series of baby rollers.  Nice vineyards off to the side with some funky art that they probably wouldn't allow (sniff) near Napa vineyards.  Nice route though marred by many people towing boats hell bent to get to the water.  Apart from the bonus group we had 4 more riders including Don on a fixed gear and Brian on a recumbent.  On Wooden Valley we kept together well as a group, with Ward and I getting in each others way when he was taking stills and I was taking movies with a real scenic vineyard behind our group.   Half the riders had Lion of Flanders Socks or Some Honeybadger-Gnome of Flanders Socks that looked similar except under the electron microscope.

Scenes along Wooden valley Road that we missed in the morning when riding in a paceline--these were taken on bonus miles later in the day

(above) Captain Jack ready to pull a practical joke.  Jeanna and Christine planning a Club membership drive--see the movie (Ward-O-Photo)
If I would have looked at the route sheet I would have noticed "mile 18.5-onto CA-128 E.  Store with bathrooms, and supplies."  Trouble is no one told the store.  It was closed as well as the gas station across the street.  Now, we are used to having one of these places closed but first time anyone every remembered both closed at the same time.  We still sat around the side tables and bs'd for awhile.  Jeanne and Christine put forth the Diablo Cyclist Feminist manifesto whereas we need more women in the Club as women ride differently.  I heard something about shopping for shoes while riding but don't recall who said that.   Luckily for us there was a spigot in the back--though may not have been certified by any Board of Health.  It was reported that Tom had problems in the 60 milers return trip--not sure it was related to the water of his heavy use of Hammer products.

Regroup at the corner with the long communist sounding "M" word--with no stores open.  (top) I'm happy its hot (bottom) Stephen and Ward (Christine-o-vision)
The spigot had been found by a big group of Team in Training who left about 10-15 minutes before in the same direction we were traveling--towards the only climb of the day--Cardiac, on the Napa-Yolo-Solano border.   The road into the climb is recumbent friendly--aka very fast.  Brian did a great job on his 'bent, he ameliorated his speed so I could draft behind him, and from practicing with Dr. Dave I've found you still can get 75% of a draft benefit behind a bent.'   Also fun to ride behind Brian as he has mirrors on each side of the handlebars so I can check to see if my jersey collar is straight and what funny face may work best when Ward comes along with his camera.  Brian got us to the foot of the climb when Dr. Dave, today on a wedgie bike, and I took off.  We caught up with the Team in Training folks--a nice group that wasn't blocking the road, and slowed.  Stephen soon joined us and even though he swore off going for the County line like an addict swears off cocaine; he and Dave came off my wheel for the first County line and then Stephen went uncontested for the second.  This is why on every ride, if he's on it or not, we expect Stephen to suddenly come out of the bushes whenever we ride into another County.

OK--I'm cheating--taken the next day of Brian with his Hell's Angels mirrors
Ward, Dave, Stephen, Christine and I got into a good paceline for a long run in to our next stop--rustic road, slightly downhill, with a slight tailwind, nicely paved, low volume of traffic.  In short a road where you had to work to go fast but your effort was rewarded.  All of a sudden a large motorcycle group pulling off on the other side of the road--a lady stops but falls over---motorcycle behind her almost stops but rolls into her and she's on the road.  Stephen and I start yelling at motorcycles coming up fast to slow down, Christine freaks as she didn't see accident, she just hears us yelling.  A few miles later I'm dreaming of the frozen fruit pop at the general store by Lake Solano.   Other riders pining for Gatorade with the temperature being in the high 80's.  The General Store a fixture on the Knoxville Double and the last rest stop--Lake Solano Park next door a fixture as the last rest stop on the Foxy's Fall Century.

The Gang by another closed store at Lake Solano
As Soup Nazi would say "no frozen fruit bar for YOU."  The store was locked shut.  At least the park was nice and shaded--though wasn't carrying extra drink mix today and water wasn't really cutting it.

From here the 60 milers headed back and the bonus mile group headed along Putah Creek Road towards Davis.  Towards as in, when I said lets go to Davis I was quickly outvoted 100000-1.  But we were going to Winters, the quiet town about 20 miles from Davis with a nice little business area complete with a bike shop.   But I remembered the Spanish Grocery store across the street from the bike shop where I could score Hammer Mexican Fruit Bars (may not have sucrose, frutose and mootrose--who knows, I can't read Spanish.)

Hammer Nutrition Una Fiesta Para Su Paladar Bars
Good paceline to Winters--two good guys from UC Davis hung in the back.   Norm never rode with the bonus mile group--he and Andy are our grandpa division, and they did great.  Stephen wanted to stop for a big lunch--that went over as well as my wanting to go to Davis.  Spanish Grocery had great fruit bars washed down by soda.  Bike shop cool to look at though I don't need anything--yet (new bike 2 years away.)   Regroup at the park where Team in Training had ended their ride.

(above) Dr. Dave and I enjoying our Hammer Nutrition Una Fiesta Para Su Paladar Bars while poor Ward only has water (Christine-o-vision), OK--from far away everything  looks like Lion of Flanders socks. (Ward Home School Evolution Material)

Andy and Dr. Dave trying to get into the painting--I think Andy is doing a track stand
Next portion was worse part of the ride as we zig zagged around the ag fields of Davis--perfectly flat--just mindless pedaling.   I remembered why I don't like the last 30 miles of the Davis brevets or the Davis Double.  

(top) Andy in paceline cycling around Davis (middle) I'm about to go to sleep (bottom)  Dr. Dave and Christine see wildlife (Ward-o-photos)
 Finally on some rollers, nothing significant but after the Davis ag fields this was great.  I didn't think I had ever been on this route though was reminded that this is an early part of the Foxy's.  We were in full sun and temperature started creeping up, and a few people were getting short of water.  Christine was going to ask someone at a house for a refill--Ward and I rode up a short hill where we discovered some good rural art--when we came back down the whole club was at a different house/ mini farm where the folks out there were, to Jack's delight, bring out real glasses of cold water.  The little kids wanted our autographs.  Really nice people.

You never know what you are going to find in the front yard
We got close to a cutoff where there was a significant climb of Cantelow Road.  When we do this ride "the other way" we hit this in the early hours and its popular.  Today this option was unpopular--I was the only one who wanted to do it.  Unfortunately left to my own devices I had no clue how to get back.  Dr. Dave shortly declared "OK, we're now at 100!."   When a chorus answered back that no, we were just at 66 miles or so Dave said "no, I'm talking about the temperature." 

Paceline down Pleasant Valley Road where we soon hit some short/ steep rollers and Dr. Dave and I started riding shotgun to help bring Andy back if need be.  I might have been the only person NOT complaining about the weather on the ride back but I was downing bottles as fast as we could fill them--and we stopped at a big Safeway we passed dozens of times for Gatorade-Water-Bananas.

I think we came down Gordon Valley Road--it was nice but lots of traffic.  We eventually merged on Wooden Valley Road and much less traffic.  I knew we'd have about 93 miles coming in and I was feeling good so I threw out if anyone wanted to do another 3.5 out and back to get 100.  No one was game and Ward reminded me that "the ride is the ride," and what I was proposing was akin to riding circles in the parking lot in the old days to get to 20 miles. (Yippie)  He was right.  So I decided that I would go back on Wooden Valley Road which we had been on this morning, and go out to the Wooden Valley School, the area where Ward and I were taking group photos in the morning.

So I did a uturn in front of Solano Community College and started up Wooden Valley Road--keeping my eyes open for photo ops--and there were a few good ones.  Road generally had a nice shoulder and was just tilted up gently, with farm stands, huge homes, and wineries off to the side.  Later the road would go up a little more but then be in full shade so heat wasn't a problem.  The nice thing about this ride was that the return would be nice and fast.

One problem--almost out of water and just had one shot of Hammergel left.  The Wooden Valley School best have a water fountain.  Passed another CHP officer giving someone a ticket--lots of CHP/ Sheriff's out today trying to control the speeding boaters.  Finally got to the Wooden Valley School but BIG FENCE in front of it--O crap.  Looks like I'll have to go to a winery, but they don't appear until half way back But fence was there only to keep out cars and ended 20' away--no water fountain but another spigot in the back.  Luckily still had remnants of the good NUNN fizzy that Dr. Dave gave me earlier (now why wasn't I carrying any?)   Nice fast going back--some return boaters were now even slowing and not crowding me when passing.  Seems like I was back to the college in now time so took a side trip to see the Mother Earth statue on Earth Day Eve.

Bonus miles to the Wooden Valley School and Mother Earth
True to form i don't have much of an appetite when it is hot out (which sometimes kills me on long rides) and dinner was a protein shake and another frozen fruit bar.  Next day was at 141--lowest weight of the year.  Hell, I may come in where I want to for DMD.

(above) The next day Ward, Mark and I climb the Muur de Crockett, Mark and Ward the dots half way up--by the parked cars.  Then Ward gets a series of me climbing the Muur (Ward-o-photo)  (below) Later lots of pumpkin flowers on Mt. Diablo.

Next day was a real lazy club ride--everyone drained from the day before.  Except for Craig who raced across the parking lot before my car was stopped to tell me about the DMD staff ride which he helped support.  Still nice and hot.  We rode out to Crockett which meant the (painful today) Muur de Crockett.    Mrs. Pumpkincycle on a trip so coming back I took the long/ hilly route to Mt. Diablo southgate, saw a copy giving a cyclist a ticket for running a stop sign with no traffic out (how about cops giving motorists a ticket for passing on a blind turn) and had a nice hot run up to the Junction from the easy side.  Loads of pumpkin flowers were in bloom.


Curtis Corlew said...

So, you are all DMD ready. The weather forecast keeps moving, but right now it looks really good, 75 high in Livermore.
This is my first DMD and I an scared shI%&^%less. You on the other hand look ready to rock.

Pumpkincycle said...

Looks like a little warmer than last year with much less wind--heat of the day will be when we do Mt Hammy, full out in the sun.

I'm always surprised on these rides--either I fall apart very suddenly, or while waiting for the "other shoe to drop" I'm suddenly steaming for the finish with only 1/2 mile left. I'm a lousy predictor of how my ride will go, so whatever happens happens. Good luck to you and hope we have fun out there as that is what it's all about.

Now have to get back to the 'New Testament' for inspiration--Paris Roubaix 2002 video.