May 21, 2016

This year is my 13th participation in this event which apparently makes it my favorite double century! I first did this ride in the late 1980’s before it was part of the California Triple Crown series. This year was one of my better Davis rides, in spite of the weather.

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The second rest stop at Capell Valley Fire Station (mile 57)

The weather forecast had been deteriorating over the last few days before the ride and now the chance of rain was at 80 percent. No problem, just clip on some fenders, bring some rain-gear and I’ll be good! An early start might help me beat some of the weather but it was also unseasonably cool with morning temps in the 40’s, so I started off wearing most of my gear.

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Pope Valley rest stop (mile 76)

For this ride I was riding my 2002 Pegoretti Palo Santo, my favorite bike for a double century. With a 4:15 am start I was ahead of most of the other riders and the rest stops were pretty quiet when I arrived. Davis has always done a great job of support and the provided food was fresh and pretty with a nice selection.

After rest stop #4 in Middletown (mile 95) came a 4 mile section of gravel road, and the biggest climbs of the day! The gravel road is quite an improvement over the previously paved and pot-holed section but it seems to make some riders nervous. My 25c tires were fine for the dirt road and my bottom gear of 36/29 helped me manage the climbs (up to 13%)!

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I took my jacket off for much of the middle part of of the ride after it warmed up a little, but later in the day after the rain started all of my gear came out again. I had a pretty steady medium rain from about mile 135 to mile 160 but it was fine. Riding in the rain is kind of cool if you are prepared for it!

When I left rest stop #7 in Guinda (mile 159) I was feeling pretty good. The route home is mostly flat from here and I cruised along nicely, mostly by myself. When you feel this good at the end of a ride you know that you have taken care of yourself well during the day. That is so much better than a fast first hundred and then dragging your miserable butt home!

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The sun came out again and last 40 miles went quickly. I finished well before sunset and still had time to eat and then ride back to my hotel before dark. The Davis Bike Club always does a nice post ride meal for this event.

I finished this years DDC (198 miles) in 13.5 hours. Any other data was lost when my computer failed early in the ride. This is still one of my favorite doubles and I will certainly return to do it again. Thanks DBC!

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