I will be rider 218 in the 2007 Davis Double Century. 🙂
Started tiring badly towards the end, but could probably have done another five loop-de-loops of the Portola Loop if fed enough GU. In general, I feel pretty good about the whole thing – I managed a respectable distance with considerably more climbing than on the Davis Double Century, in a short enough time that I think I might be up for the DDC. Right now I’m giving myself a 2/3 chance of completing every mile.
Oh, and the pastries at Fleur de Cocoa really ARE fantastic. I started out my tour de Peninsula with a trip to Los Gatos and back (60 miles, 4.5 hours), to warm up with a vanilla latte and a chocolate-caramel-banana mousse cake. Yum!
Today I did a short ride (down to Los Gatos and back), but tomorrow, in preparation for the Davis Double Century (200 miles) next week, Lorri wants me to do an 8-10 hour ride. Lorri suggested (and I seriously considered) trying a new route up in Marin County (north of SF), but I finally decided that my complete lack of sense of direction + unfamiliar route + 10-hour ride would be a recipe for disaster. Instead, I’m going to combine several of my training ride loops on the Peninsula for an 8-10 hour ride. Primarily, I’m going to start in Menlo Park, bike to Los Gatos for some hot chocolate, ride back, go up to 92, and then do a round or two of the Portola Loop, which ought to fill out 8-10 hours. Varied terrain, quite a bit of flat with some good climbs on the way to Los Gatos and a bunch of rolling hills on Canada Road. I think it will be OK.
Finished threading up the loom today (yay!) and am halfway through sleying the reed. I expect to get no weaving done tomorrow, though, as 8-10 hours on the bike translates to 11-12 hours including breaks, lunch, driving time to/from, and so on.
Which means I’d better get to sleep. Big day tomorrow!
So, I rode the Grizzly Peak Century today, one of the harder century rides in the Bay Area. I “only” did the metric century – which was 71 miles and 6400′ of climbing by my GPS. I had harbored vague thoughts of attempting the 109-mile full century, but by lunchtime I decided that 71 miles would do. I could probably have completed the 109-mile version, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it.
At any rate, it was a gorgeous day for a bike ride – I arrived at 7am, skirting the ruins of the 80-580 interchange (where the freeway melted down, remember?) via Powell Street in Emeryville. (By the way, I am impressed: Google Maps had the detours worked out and a corrected map up by the time I printed out my directions on Friday.)
Anyway, I checked in at 7:03am, and was off. The first twenty minutes were entirely downhill, then we went up a long hill to Skyline (a different Skyline from the one on the Peninsula), then we settled down for some more climbing. Lots of climbing. In toto there was more climbing than I’d done before, either on Mt. Hamilton or Mt. Diablo – Mt. Hamilton is about 5000′ of climbing, this was 6400′. Mostly shorter climbs, though – the tallest single climb was about 1800′, if I remember correctly. (Must look it up on my GPS.)
The ride should have been a fun exercise, but I actually found it rather depressing. People kept passing me, and passing me, and passing me. Probably about a hundred people had passed me by the time I passed my first rider, who casually mentioned as I went by that he was about to become a great-grandfather. Joy.
The rest of the day was pretty much like that as well. I guesstimate that about 300 people passed me. I passed nine people, all day long. (Yes, I counted.) On hills, on the flats, there were continuous groups of people going past me. It was very depressing, and made me seriously wonder what on earth I was doing attempting the Death Ride.
Now, I realize that there is a fairly simple mathematics to this. If you start near the beginning of the pack (which I did, arriving half an hour after registration opened), then the faster people will pass you all day long, while you’ll never see the slower people, because they’re all behind you. Intellectually I understand this. If I were really that slow, I would have been passed by every single fucking rider instead of merely a couple hundred – but it was still morbidly depressing. I seriously considered dropping out of the Death Ride.
At any rate, with those cheery thoughts in mind, I biked along for almost exactly six hours. The food in the pit stops was fantastic – home-made chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin cookies; bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, strawberries, and pineapple; banana bread and a bunch of different kinds of pound cake; and a wide variety of fantastic foods at lunch. If you like to eat, this is the century for you. It’s also not a particularly difficult century if you’re into hills – I finished it relatively uneventfully, anyway. I did enjoy the food.
I also managed to accomplish two things I’d been working on:
- I rode the first 2/3 of the way or so in my second chain-ring, not the smallest one (except for a few steep hills). Gaining strength is one of my big goals, because it means speed as well.
- I managed to ride with a minimum of breaks outside the pit stops, which is something else I’ve been working on – I tend to stop a lot and that costs time. Outside of the pits, I stopped only twice – once to take off my jacket and once because my butt was aching unbelievably and I had to get OUT of th saddle.
So I did achieve something despite my extreme frustration with the day.
I continue to have saddle issues – the new shorts seem to be helping somewhat, but it’s just a matter of spending lots of time sitting upright in the saddle. I’ve been working on getting up out of the saddle and standing more, which also seems to help, but pain continues to be an issue. The legs are willing but the butt is a serious problem. Not sure what to do about it, I may just have to practice standing more.
Anyway, I am not giving up on the Death Ride just yet, but I think it may be more realistic to narrow my goal to four passes instead of five. I’ll think about it over the next couple weeks – I really want to do five passes, but neither do I want to beat myself to death doing something that my body isn’t going to manage by July. We’ll see how it goes.
Next on the hit parade is the Davis Double Century, May 19. Stay tuned!
So I started my new job at Wallop on Monday (part of why you haven’t heard from me), and I love it! I think I’ve already had more fun than I did during all my time at Adobe put together. I’m writing specs and designing the user interface, back end, etc. as well as project managing the feature, and I LOVE it. I’ve written two small specs already and am working on #3 and #4.
What is not so fun are the commuting options. There is a parking garage nearby, but parking costs $240/month AND you have to get your car out by 6pm, when the garage closes. (6pm? How lame is that?!?) Individual days are only $9/day – except on Giants game days when the price goes up to $30 (or more) per day! So driving in is both high-cost (in $$) and high-hassle.
I tried the 3rd Street Light Rail. Door to door, it took 44 minutes to get to work (including time walking on either end), versus a 15 minute drive. Clearly, this was not working.
I tried driving partway (to get past the scary 3rd Street corridor) and then biking the rest. That sort of worked, but I felt really silly driving and biking to move a total of 5 miles (!).
In desperation, I finally sat down and scrutinized the bike map of San Francisco, and discovered that cycling out of Bayview isn’t that hopeless after all. I found a route that seems workable, and am now commuting in by bike. It’s about half an hour each way, relatively easy (I bike around the really steep hills), and although I do have to be on my toes w/r/t drivers, it’s not too bad. So from now on, I plan to bike to work. I figure that should burn an extra 300-400 calories a day, so maybe I will lose some weight before the Death Ride.
I’ve made hotel reservations for the Davis Double Century. It’s still two weeks away, but the first 13 hotels I called were already booked. Mike and I will be staying at the Best Western in Dixon, from which he will drive me to the DDC’s starting point. The earliest you can leave is 5:15am, and given my tendency to be slow, I plan to be there early.
I have no idea whether I’ll actually be able to finish the Davis Double Century (I’ve never tried anything that long before) but am curiously relaxed about it. It’s not my target event, so if I get too tired, I can just stop and get SAG’d back to the finish line. I’d obviously rather not – it is my intent to complete it – but it doesn’t feel as intimidating as the Death Ride.