Devil Mountain Dummy Part I

January 2nd, 2006

I have been fascinated by the Devil Mountain Double (DMD) almost since I first heard about it in 2003. I mean really 205 miles, more than 20,000 feet of climbing. What’s not to love?! That year it was being held on Thom’s birthday and he decided, since there was no way he was going to ride it, that he wanted to work it. My first thought was, “Yeah great, spend a day volunteering… grumble, grumble.” But as the emails started coming in, describing what we needed to do, it began to sound a little more exciting, especially the staff ride.

About ten days before the staff ride I took possession of Fluffy, my Rivendell Rambouillet. I decided I would ride as much of the staff ride as was fun. Thom was doing SAG on it, so I could stop when I felt like it. The ride starts in San Ramon, goes up Mount Diablo, over Morgan Territory, out Altamount Pass, back on Patterson Pass, to Mines Road, over Mount Hamilton, over Sierra Road, down into Sunol, then back to San Ramon. That year I did the first 91 miles with 9,000 feet of climb. I stopped at the beginning of Mines Road.

In 2004 I again did the staff ride for fun, completing 116 miles this time, 11,000 feet of climb, stopping at the Junction on Mines Road.

In March of 2005 I did a couple of longer days of riding and I knew I did not have the legs for 116 miles. There was no way I could possibly ride less than I had the previous year. So I decided to give the staff ride a pass.

In December of 2005 I turned 39. About a week before my birthday, a fit of madness overcame me while eating pizza at Tomatina’s. I told Thom I really wanted to finish DMD this year and would he help me? I’ve always had the urge to do a double. I might just as well make it the hardest one I can find. This man is the love of my life. Of course he was willing to coach me to get me ready to do this crazy thing. He even agreed to ride many of the long training rides with me.

The Plan

Sat. – a short 90 – 120 minute ride – intense just below my lactate threshold – or a couple of videos

Sun. – long ride, (if weather is an issue – 3 hour video) must stay out of my red zone, must eat every 15 minutes. I hate to eat on the bike. So these rides are also food and drink experiments. I’d like to be using Sustain for DMD, but I think it has a yucky texture/taste. So I’m sort of forcing myself to get used to it and plain water. I’ve been a Gator Ade girl up until now.

Mon/ Fri- off day and back/ab workout, I can ride if I want, easy

Tues/Thurs -AM Spinervals DVD
PM another DVD or if the weather cooperates an interval ride outside

Wed. – Recovery Tape/Ride

Progress so Far

This week, being Christmas, I’ve been a little off the schedule.

Sat. Dec. 24 We rode from Crockett, and did the three bears. It was about 53 miles. Thom had a flat and I had some derailleur issues. We have changed out my entire drive train and the bike needed a shakedown ride. We stopped at the end of Bear Creek for a snack break. When we started up again my stomach was really bothering me. I felt fine if I could keep my heart rate below 170, but the goal was 174. Every time I went over 170, I felt like hurling. This plagued me all the way up to Pig Farm. Just before the climb to Pig Farm, I discovered my derailleur had slipped and I couldn’t shift into my little ring. A little adjusting and we got it there. But then I couldn’t get into the big ring for the descent. We flew back into Martinez and had some coffee. Thom got a better fix for the derailleur, and we climbed up Franklin Canyon and Cummings Skyway. I LOVED this part of the ride. I was feeling good again. The downhill into Crockett was a very pleasant way to end the ride.

Sun. Dec. 25 Weather scratched our planned ride up Diablo.

Mon. Dec. 26 off day

Tues. Dec. 27 I had had two days off so I decided to give my Tough Love video a try. This is a three hour Spinervals video and extremely difficult. I think the worst sets are the low gear, standing ones. I had to do that three times throughout the video. By the third time I had no form left. It became a sitting super spin.

Wed. Dec. 28 Thank God for recovery days! My thighs have not been this sore since my last DMD ride. We did 7.5 miles of errands, riding at a very leisurely pace.

Thurs. Dec. 29 A break in the weather, we initially thought we would do Morgan Territory. But it was kind of cold. We decided instead to scout out where I can do some hill intervals. We settled on Judsonville. It climbs for 9/10 of a mile at an average of 3.1% grade. There is a nice downhill and relatively flat section to get back to the start of the climb. We did this 4 times. My first lap was the fastest naturally, and the next three got slower and slower. I’ve set a goal of 4 minutes. Not sure how realistic that is, but why not?

Fri. Dec. 30 I’m feeling a little guilty because I haven’t done any ab/back work all week. I know I need to get my core stronger. In 2004 a sore lower back was what really took me off the bike. We spent some time working on the bike. Thom greased the bottom bracket. I changed the pedals to a lighter pair, took off the rack and changed my saddle. EEK! I love my Brooks Finesse. But it’s heavy. I ride a Terry Butterfly on my mountain bike, so I decided I’d give it a go on Fluffy.

Random Thoughts

On Monday I test rode an Orbea Orca – sweet little bike, weighed 17 pounds. Fluffy in his current winter set up weighs in at 31 pounds. That translates to 188 pounds of rider/bike. We’re hoping to take 17 pounds off that combination between now and April 22. Some of that will be easy, rack and fenders will be coming off, lighter tires going on. Why 17 pounds? Some online calculator Thom found says that will take 90 minutes off my total ride time. We considered buying a new bike, but I really trust the geometry of Fluffy. I know what I can do on this bike. There’s a lot to be said for that trust.

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