Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hemet Double Century - My First Double!

I've had a Double-Double at In-and-Out, and a Double scoop at Thrifty's, and I've seen a Double Header, and a Double Rainbow, but I've never done a Double Century - until now.
The Hemet Double Century is a two loop 200 mile ride. I signed up for the ride just two weeks before the start, having completed successfully a "trial" ride of 140 miles. I chose this ride as my first double because it is relatively "flat", returns to the starting point midway (which allows you to abandon the ride after doing a century), and it allowed private support. I began the ride at 3:40 AM and rode north to Moreno Valley in total darkness with the moon setting in the west. The route went through Perris, Moreno Valley, Riverside, Corona, Lake Elsinore, Minifee and back to Hemet. There were no major hill climbs although the last 50 miles is an elevation gain of 950 feet.
After a lunch break, I began the second loop at about 12:30 PM headed south up the 4 mile Sage Rd climb with sections of 11% grade in 109F degree heat. This was rewarded with a nice downhill to the Temecula De Portola Wine Trail. A loop around Lake Elsinore via Murieta, north to Minifee and a long 10 miles in the dark with the moon rising in the east, back to Hemet at 8:45 PM.
So both loops look like this on a map. While riding around for 12 hours it occurred to me that going in circles and back tracking just to get in a 200 mile ride seemed kind of silly - as opposed to say, like riding from Long Beach to get to Las Vegas. My camera refused to work so no pictures from the ride. Instead I'll mention some of the special considerations that a DC entails.
On The Ride hydration, nutrition, and protection from the elements are key to surviving a 200 miler. I use a combination of gels, chews, energy bars, and powders and try to consume 200-300 Calories per hour. 1-2 water bottles per hour (24 to 40 ounces) seem to keep me hydrated enough even on the hottest days. Sunscreen, anti-friction cream, lip balm, electrolyte capsules, and Aleve are essentials for me. I use little craft storage bags to store powders and pills. Each bag holds about 150 Calories of drink mix. At every rest stop I dump a bag into my water bottle ready from the next 2 hours.
On The Bike there are special considerations for a double. Extra lighting is needed because unless you can do the ride in 13 hours or less, you'll be riding in complete darkness. I use the Cygolite MityCross 400. It has 400 lumens of power, a Lithium battery which lasts 3.5 - 17 hours, and weighs about 200 grams. The battery can be mounted on the head tube nicely out of the way. I also use a small light on my helmet to read my monitors and the route sheet.On my longer rides I use a top tube bag ("Bento Bag") to carry things I may need while pedalling - gel packs, snacks, camera, cell phone, route sheet.Behind my saddle is a bag, an Aquarack by Profile Design and rear lighting. The Aquarack holds two extra bottles (highly recommended), and 4 Co2 cartridges. It's mounted to the seat post and weighs about 170 grams. What's in the bag? - spare tube, patch kit, tire lever, mini tool kit, CO2, and an inflator valve. Oh, and some cash for an emergency bus ride home or a burger and shake. I also carry a mini hand pump just in case I blow a few CO2 cartridges, or get attacked by dogs.
Completing a DC requires physical stamina, mental fortitude, logistical planning, and a little bit of luck. The Hemet DC allows you to have private support and I couldn't have done this without the support of Donna who met me at three rest stops - 8 AM at Tom's Farm in Corona, 12 PM at the Motel 6 in Hemet, and 6:30 PM at the 7-Eleven in Murieta. This hot dog had no chance of surviving. Rolling into the finish at 8:45 PM after a 17 hour bike ride - feeling kind of goofy, but very relieved. My first Double Century - on to the Davis Double Century.
Polar data: Total Distance-213.6 miles, Total Time 17 hours, Ride Time 14 hours: 36 min, Avg Speed-14.5 MPH, Total Calories-9,670, Avg 520 Cal/Hr, Total elevation gained-6,248 ft, Highest Temp-109F. Total stopped time 2 hours: 30 minutes which included 15 minutes to change a flat, and 25 minutes for a lunch break. 50 minutes of ride time was wasted back tracking for missed turns. I got lost 4 times and rode 13 extra miles. I tried to keep the time spent at rest stops under 10 minutes. There were 6 rest stops at about every 25 to 30 miles.
Solid filled in red area is elevation, bright red is heart rate, blue is speed, green is pedal cadence, and dark red is power. Data is collected every 15 minutes.