Other posts related to california

Penumbra of Climbing

| June 21, 2010 10:16 am

On Saturday I did Terrible Two and with that completed California Triple Crown Stage Race.

Here is a recap:

It was totally awesome; I recommend to everybody.

Terrible Two Finish

As for the individual doubles I did so far, here are my comments:

  • Solvang Double ~ great first double. It is relatively mild and the scenery is great.
  • Davis Double ~ looking at the profile it would seem easy, but it is really hard because of 100+F all day. Make sure to start early, get those flat miles in as quickly as possible and have insulated water bottles.
  • Mt. Tam Double ~ lots of climbing, but you do it early in the ride. I recommend this one to everybody.
  • Knoxville Double ~ shares a lot of roads with Davis Double. When I did it it was not nearly as hot and it was still hardly bearable.
  • Mulholland Double ~ absolutely mind blowing scenery. It is a lot of climbing with one of the longest climb towards the end.
  • Devil Mountain Double ~ unlike Mulholland, which has relatively mild climbs, this one is in your face climbing. Just when you recover from one climb, there comes the next one. The toughest climb is Sierra road at 160 miles. And to hit you again, there is another climb at 200 miles.
  • Terrible Two ~ pretty nice scenery of Napa and Sonoma. That said, Sonoma county has in my opinion the worse roads in the area. Be prepared for some serious potholes, gravel, non-paved roads, etc.
  • From organization stand point, anything organized by cycling clubs is best. Knoxville Double and Devil Mountain Double trump everything else. Their organizers go above and beyond. Mt Tam, Terrible Two, and Davis come close behind. Lots of quality doubles, for example Mt Tam and Terrible Two, will have valet bike service at the rest stop. This way you can go grab some food, while they take care of your water bottles and your bike. Solvang and Mulholland on the other hand are organized by Planet Ultra, which for some reason has some serious organizational problems. They do rides on awesome roads, but they do beginner mistakes, such as forgetting water, running out of food, no sunscreen, etc.

    But hey, go out and ride!

    IMG_3004

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Sedulous Hours on the Bike

| August 3, 2009 10:47 pm

On Saturday, I did it… I completed my third double century. This one was Mt Tam Double in Marin county. Check out its route. Unfortunately because of California’s budget problems, they closed Mt. Tam, so we rode around it, but it was just as fun.

Here are some stats:

* 200 miles
* 14:20 hours
* 14,500 feet of climbing
* Over 10000 calories lost
* 12 hours of huge grin on my face
* About 8000 calories lost by running my mouth
* Spending gorgeous Sunday outside… priceless!!

This was by far my favorite double century. The roads were nice, scenery was outstanding, and provided food was exactly what I needed. The only drawback that I can imagine was the wind. There was a lot of head wind.

But, just for the record, with this one I completed California Triple Crown. California Triple Crown is an award given to every rider who completes three qualified 200 mile bike rides (double centuries) in one calendar year. I did the following three double centuries:

* 3/28/2009 ~ Solvang Spring Double ~ 7,200 feet of climbing
* 5/16/2009 ~ Davis Double ~ 8,400 feet of climbing (at 100 F)
* 8/1/2009 ~ Mt Tam Duble ~ 14,500 feet of climbing

Solvang was fairly easy. Davis was hard because of the high temperatures. The interesting thing is that last year it was supposedly even more hot. The high heat makes sure that water you are drinking is warm and not refreshing.

So, what next? Well, there are still several double centuries before the end of the year. Perhaps I could get 1000 miles in. Or, maybe I will focus on something else. So many things to do, but so little time. No matter what, I think I will do some biking.

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Doughty Descents

| 10:29 pm

One more year, one more Death Ride. This time JC and I came to Tahoe area a bit early and camp on top of Ebbetts Pass. There is a lot of things to do there. Like most people we did some riding, but in addition to that, we did some other fun stuff. On top of Ebbetts Pass, there is a little lake and I did take a medium sized log for a joy-ride around that lake. I had to build an oar, but a little duct tape and some sticks and I had a great oar.

One funny story about the tent. The first night we came at 3 AM, so we quickly put the tent up and start getting ready to sleep. But, when we came back to the tent site, the tent was gone. Turns out there was a gust of wind that rolled the tent into the bushes. So, the tent was placed back and some extra stakes were placed to hold it in place.

But what I wanted to talk about is Death Ride. Last year I did not complete. But this year… I guess all those double centuries payed off. Not only that I finished, but I finished in style. The whole thing started in the middle of the night (3:30 AM), when the alarm went off and soon afterwards the marching band started making a huge noise around the campground. Where do you find a marching band these days?

We started riding not that long after and got in the middle of Monitor Pass when the sun came up. Bombing down the back of the Monitor pass was fun as always. I got speeds of close to 52 miles per hour there. Climbing back up was not a problem either. Especially with a bunch of volunteers running and refilling people’s water bottles. Of course I also got speeds of over 50 miles per hour on the front side of Monitor.

Ebetts Pass was more fun for climbing and we also completed it with no problem. On the back side of Ebbetts, some beginner rider pretty much stopped in front of me, as I was flying down at 45 miles per hour, so I had to break. My bike fishtailed, but fortunately I was able to regain control without accident. After completing the back side of Ebbetts, we stopped at the lunch stop. At lunch, there were some racers that were previously bragging about how they will dominate the ride, but now they were sitting there complaining about how hard the ride is. Karma…

Finally after Ebbetts Pass, we continued pass the start to climb Carson Pass. This one is the easiest and hardest depending on how you look. It is the last one, so you are pretty tired by then. But, it is also fairly easy slope, so it is easy. Then again, there was a head wind most of the way, so it is hard. However, there was a rest stop half the way, so you can take a break. And so on. In any case, we completed Carson Pass and got the deserved icecream. Oh, and we signed the 2009 Death Ride poster.

After hanging out at the top of Carson Pass for some time, we rode down towards the finish. The good thing about the Carson descent is that it is about 15 miles long and steep enough, so you actually gain enormous speed. We were flying down this thing at over 50 miles per hour, passing cars, other cyclists, and time itself. The ride finished with a little bit of rolling hills with some refreshing rain. We completed the day with some long deserved dinner, where we met some other friends that also did the ride.

So, Death Ride? Well, took me two tries, but I got it. I think camping on Ebbetts Pass helped. Also, eating proper food and being with friends added to a overall fantastic experience. I am looking forward to the next year’s Death Ride.

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Tyro Running The Relay

| May 4, 2009 11:14 am

This weekend I joined team Solar City to run 199 mile (in reality it was probably more than 200 miles, since there was at least one detour) relay called “The Relay” from Calistoga to Santa Cruz. Our team had 11 people in two vans. Each van did six legs then we rotated the vans and we did this so that each van did three sets. Here is our team:

Team Solar City

The weather was rainy, but since you get pretty hot when running, the rain actually felt really good.

Andy Running In the Rain

Each member of the team was supposed to run 3 legs, but since we were one runner short, we had to run some extra legs. Below are the four legs I ran. To see the +3 Route pages, please signup to +3 Route and add me as a friend.

Leg 7 +3 Route

Distance: 6.9 miles, Pace: 7:09 minute/mile
The Relay Leg 7

Leg 13 +3 Route

This is the extra leg I ran.
Distance: 6 miles, Pace: 7:15 minute/mile
The Relay Leg 13

Leg 19 +3 Route

This leg started at 1:30 in the morning, so I was running with lights and reflective vest.
Transition at night in San Francisco

Distance: 7.1 miles, Pace: 8:05 minute/mile
The Relay Leg 19

Leg 31 +3 Route

Distance: 6.2 miles, Pace: 6:05 minute/mile
The Relay Leg 31

Finally, we all got medals.
I got a medal

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Propinquity to the Glorious Finish

| April 9, 2009 10:55 pm

I finally completed my first double century: Solvang Double. Here are some highlights.

Mid pointRoute
  • Double century is actually not that much harder than a regular century, provided that you eat and drink all the time and don’t stop too much
  • I wish I asked the organizers about the food, so I wouldn’t have to drag stuff with me. Turned out that they had enough vegan options.
  • I should have a small tube of sunscreen with me, just in case. On the first rest stop, they did not have sunscreen, so I borrowed some from another rider. Of course I did not apply enough of it, so now I have some funny tans.
  • I wish I didn’t spend that much time on the rest stops. I should really just have a quick snack, quick bathroom break, and go.
  • I got to get a smaller camera, so I can take it for the rides with me
  • I wish I dropped my clothing somewhere around Saint Luis Obispo and pick it up next day.
  • Either I have to get a better GPS that lasts longer or I have to finish the ride in less time. The GPS ran out of juice after about 12 hours, so I only have 190 miles recorded.
  • Two more and I have the California Triple Crown.
  • I will still call this one as a part of Century a Month.
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