Davis Double Drivel

May 30th, 2006

Well, I finished!

I started riding with a couple of friends who are much faster than I am. We jumped onto a tandem train and that shot my HR up. I was afraid that if I stayed that high I’d crash and burn, so I jumped off the train. In retrospect, I wish I had stayed longer. I think I can probably push my HR 5 beats higher than I have been.

I rode by myself most of the day. Every now and then I’d latch onto a group as they passed me. I’d usually hang with them until we started a climb. Being men, they climbed faster than I do. I skipped the first rest stop, I didn’t need anything other than a bathroom and there was a line for it.

At the second rest stop I discovered that this ride does not have Sustain or Gatorade. They refuel you with Cytomax – bleech! I know some folks love the stuff. So I was now on a water only in the bottle regimen. Usually I eat something solid every 30 minutes and drink food every 15. I started eating every 15 minutes at this point. That worked well. I especially liked the orange sport beans my friend Sarah gave me. They are tangy and that was good.

I skipped the third rest stop. At the fourth rest stop, they didn’t have any ice. I tried washing my Advil down with warm V8. It was my first experience with V8 and will not be repeated. I can’t imagine liking it even when it’s cold.

I stopped at rest stop 5 because they had real bathrooms. It’s so nice to be able to wash your hands with real soap and water, instead of wet wipes. I also wanted to make sure I had full water bottles because the climbing began after this. One of the workers had just finished making a honey and peanut peanut sandwich. It looked yummy, so I took half of it off his hands.

Due to storm damage there was a route change this year and the ride had 800 more feet of climbing than in the past. I was somewhat amused to hear people whining about the climbing. You gotta remember, my last big ride had more climbing in 100 miles than this did in 200. But Davis is often the first double for a lot of people and the climb was tough. I had a lot of people comment on my small front chain ring – wishing they had one so small – 24 teeth. It’s tiny! I like it!

I was going to skip the 6th rest stop at mile 105, I was doing okay on water and didn’t need a bathroom and it was a mile below the summit. But I noticed the riders had soda cans! A soda! Yeah a soda would be good! That coke really hit the spot. AND… they had more orange flavored sport beans! Yes! I grabbed a couple of packs and continued up the climb.

We had been warned that the descent was treacherous – twisty, bumpy and a gravel section. Okay – I’ll agree with the gravel section. But not what I would call a treacherous descent. It was fun! I passed a few people here.

The Lunch stop was next. Another peanut butter sandwich, this time with jelly, some pretzils, a few strawberries and I was on the road again, with more climbing. I climbed up this section with a guy I had ridden with at Solvang. He has an orange Rivendell, which I recognized from behind. It was good to have someone to chat with on this climb.

Rest stop 7 was at the top of the last climb. I think I had a soda here and refilled my bottles. Then we had some more fast descending. At the bottom of the fast descent we turned right and had a beautiful section of road along the Cache Creek. This was my favorite part of the ride – in spite of the headwind. We were still descending and it was just so gorgeous. Most of the time we were next to the creek, in the middle of this narrow canyon.

I skipped rest stop 8 and was pretty much by myself for a long time. I was beginning to get tired, after 160 miles I think that’s appropriate and my back was beginning to hurt like it did on DMD. Hello stupid – start doing some yoga and swim! I don’t think it had fully recovered from DMD, as it’s bothered me a little bit on just about every ride I’ve done since. And it’s the muscles, they’re just not up to the task of supporting my upper body for so long. We know how to fix that. The route is still descending at about a 1% grade. And I’m playing this game with myself. When I get to 19 mph, I can coast. When my speed drops to 18, I have to pedal again. Whatever it takes to get you through.

I get passed by a train, and one of the women says, “Hop on.” So I do thinking, “Okay they caught me, they must be going faster.” But something went wrong. We’d be doing 19 – 20, then slow to 12. The train broke up before the next rest stop, where I had an orange soda and turned on my rear lights. it wasn’t quite dark, but I had a little more than 20 miles to go and didn’t want to stop again.

The last twenty miles were hard. My back was bothering me, my butt was beginning to hurt and I just wanted to be done. The return into Davis was kind of confusing – a lot of turns and some of them not really well marked. I was so happy to have my GPS at this point.

The end was nice, there were a few people there cheering you in, including my honey and a woman from my local club. I gave Thom most of my pasta dinner. It was good, but I just wasn’t ready to eat a lot. I didn’t have the same euphoria at the end that I had at Solvang. I think part of that was the course. The first 30 miles and the last 40 are BORING! Flat, nothing really to look at…It’s a good first double to do. I’m a little disappointed with my average speed. I’d hoped for more than 14. I don’t think I pushed myself hard enough at the beginning. I averaged 13.4 for the first 105 miles, and 14.5 for the second hundred. But it’s so hard to judge with such a long ride.


Total Mileage: 205.1 miles
Total Climb: 8458 feet
Total Time: 15:50
Avg. Speed: 13.9 mph


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