Monday, September 12, 2011

White Mountain Double Century by Elpidio Lardizabal Sept.11,2011

It was a challenge to everyone of us. This ride was the toughest so far that I've done, altitude wise (10,000ft)
I started with Joe at 4am with a group of 25-30 riders. Few miles away from the starting point some riders were just so anxious of breaking away.
I decided to speed up to catch those guys. Without noticing, I was by myself chasing. All I saw were lights blinking ahead of me with the distance.
I just kept on going to my speed & before sunlight I caught five guys..  now I was in the front group. 
Almost day light when we started ascending. Hours pass by without noticing... nothing to do except pedaling, watching the scenery, looking at the hills in front of me, counting guys ahead until I was just about to run down my stamina, riders passing by one at a time.
I thought there was no end ascending & I just refused to get off my bike to get a 2nd wind before reaching the top...
Using 36x28t, I managed.. talking about torture, this was one! what a relief! Not too long at the SagStop, here comes Joe.
Descending was no problem. You could speed up to your max if you're brave enough. Joe is one of the brave guy.. he descended like no fear! Opps, not for me! he left me in minutes. I glanced him once & never see him again until the next SagStop. While descending, saw Jess/Tisoy & Louie coming up> At the SagStop, Joe got hooked up with a rider named Annie (BorregoDoubleOrganizer) & we rode together at the last ascending part of the ride. While speeding down hill,  my rear tire flatted & lost them. I ended up riding by myself until I got lost. Made my way back & got to the lunch Stop (12 noon). Decided to ride by myself until some riders caught me & managed to stay with them.
This group was the same group I was with earlier at the ride. We started pace line until the last 2nd SagStop. I was getting hungry then.. had a "pepsi"  then decided to eat "cantaloupe"...... wow!! 33 milesto go, I got a problem. I started getting this sour taste & everytime I drink my water I felt throwing up.. decided to take it easy. I refused to drink my water.. 18 miles to go, getting weaker & rain started pouring. Stopped to wear my wind breaker. I felt getting sick! Saw a sign 10 miles Bishop.. feeling better until another group caught me, by surprised the same group. They stopped at the last SagStop to have hot soup which I refused. They waited for me to adopt to their pace but can't keep up with them so I let them go. At last, the city lights were here. I went straight to sign in (7:35p) & took a quick shower. I was feeling good then for a dinner after>went to Dennis with the gang.
Another memorable double for me. This was my 8th this year.
Kuya el

White Mountain Double Century by Louie Rivera Sept.11,2011

Fellow Adobos, WMD (white mountain double) is tough double. on paper, everything looks
Doable but when you are at 8000 ft altitude and you are about to climb another 2500 ft to
Reach 10,000 + ft of elevation, I questioned Myself. What were you thinking before doing
This. Is there air in here. It felt that my pulse ox was only 40%. I stopped for a while pretending
That I was enjoying the scenery, but it was double take for the color of my nail beds to see
If they are blue now. Suddenly I hear my heart beats, not necessarily that fast but bounding
Really strong, Luckily I was only a couple of 100 meters away before we head down to  the check station at the end of white mountain road.

OK the idea was to see this this "ancient bristle cones" trees that is about 4000 years old
And some that are almost 5000 years old. That went into a flash drive in my head including
A scenery upon descent, where I thought I saw switchbacks reminiscing Alp de Huez.

All above action was for the first 38 miles only of our journey. El and Joe Leon were
Descending from this mountain as we(Jess St Maria, Tisoy Adeva and yours truly) were
Just ascending. we started 0515 and Joe and El started an hour earlier.

Tisoy and Jess were at different zone. they kept waiting for me at each stop and I ended
Up playing catchup. Seeing that their momentum must go on, I just told them not to wait for me anymore. We regrouped and rode together again from Boonies mile 89, where we had
Our lunch to mile 143  and to my surprise I see them again at mile 163. They were having noodles. By the way along the way we had the chance to ride with TROPA guy name Ken B. From bay area But he needed more rest than we did. Back to mile mile 123, Priscila, the
Wife of the organizer Jim Cook, is of Philippine decent and she was very helpful and attentive
To our needs. I ate the killer PBJ sandwich , she made and her brother James fixed us also
Killer smoothies. I believe I had two cups as well as Jess.

All of a sudden at mile 163, we noticed this ominous cloud coming towards us. Lightning,
Thunder is happening along with strong wind. Only thing we did not know where the wind
Is blowing to. So we scrambled to  leave at around 1900 and within a mile I got dropped
From strong pace of Roy and within two miles rain started pouring. so I stopped to put
My jacket on. My lights were working but my cyclometer ran out of battery, so I am guessing
My speed while enjoying the strong tailwind. I managed to turn on my cyclometer and actually saw that I was doing 26 mph, then it died again. Then the road just turned pitch black and I
Noticed hail slapping on my left face, so I fixed my helmet and rode with my head cocked
To the left. Then I kept hearing like it was a big creek filled with water just about to cross the road.I don't know, may be it was my mind playing with me but I suddenly got sacred but not
Panicking, yet. looking for signs of city lights. Nothing. I started to shiver from cold. Then a big
Sign at the side of the road  Bishop 10 miles, so I guess I am on the right direction, route 6
heading south. Then a pick up truck stopped and offered me a ride to town. I guess Even looked crazier when I refused his offer. A couple of miles after that, the road is dry
And now I can see the beacon light from their airport, what a relief. Rolled in at 2105
And went directly to tub bath to reheat my self and got out just in time to join everybody
At Denny's and relived our adventure.

Congratulations to all my buddies and strong performance Roy for your first finished dbl.

Louie R.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 18, 2011

Camino Real Double Century
by ASTIG Elpidio Lardizabal

Not too many started the ride. The day started in our favor but ended up terrible. I believe they gave everybody a credit because of the harsh weather, gusty wind, cold temperatures, road conditions, and riders getting lost after dark. Jun Usi, Richard Reh, and I took our time just to finish under the alloted time. The plan was to finish safe. This was Richard's first double and he was tested.  He called it "brutal". The ride was okay until the rain dropped and it did not stop from there. Then the darkness of the night came. We hooked up with other slow riders and stayed behind them just to make sure we finish the ride in time. The canyon was too dark for me and too dangerous and there were more on the descends. We were unable to see the reflectors on the road. Water streams from one side to another. The road was too dark. I depended on riders tail lights in front of me. Our brakes were wet and slippery. Imagine riding in bad weather conditions... freezing, soaking wet with numb finger tips! I can't even pull out my water bottle from it's cage! I can't even shift to change to my other chainring... I was just depending on my right hand still being able to shift my gears at the back.

That was another experience that I never had before. After all... we felt super good (ASTIGS). Going through challenges, hardship, and obstacles. I'm proud that we didn't quit. I called it the survival of defeat!
While riding I was thinking, why I'm doing this punishment! It's torture! But after all, it's pride, an experience/challenge that not everyone could take.

Frank Natividad endured the event also.

It was the harshest conditions I have ever ridden a double in! The pelting of the hailstones was particularily painful!!! I too could not feel my fingers to shift my gears. I sat in my truck at the finish, shivering for 20 minutes with the heater on , unable to use my fingers to unclip my helmet!

Brad House

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tour de Palm Springs 2011

We had more than 30 Adobovelo's signed up for Tour De Palm Springs on February 12, 2011. The temperature was at 43 degrees Fahrenheit at the start of the ride. Everyone was bundled up as we started one block from the start line. Fifteen Adobovelos waited for the rest to appear. We were waiting on others including Kumander Agimat, Jonas, El, Ed, Egay, Filbert, Carlo A decision was made to regroup at the first SAG stop at mile 16. So off we went. It was a relatively fast ascent to mile 16 considering the 2-4% grade. Everyone climbed with ease, spinning to the tops of the hills. You can tell our riders have been training hard for this ride. As the sun warmed up, we shed our warm layers to cool off. The group swelled to 25 riders at mile 25. Still no sign of the others so we headed for mile 50 SAG stop. We hooked up with a group of 15 other riders when we approached the long descents to reach speeds of up to 40 mph. Once the road flattened out, we maintained a cruising speed of 25-27 mph. We were trading pulls. Gil and Deo were just hammering away. Deo, for his part, kept complaining his bike was too light! He felt he was not working hard on his bike at all. Deo debuted his fully assembled new Adobobelo bike for it's maiden voyage.

At mile 50, at long last, most of the Adobovelo riders caught up with the main peloton, except for Jonas' group. A couple of MMCC riders were present and stayed with us for lunch. We then trekked to our own personal Adobovelo SAG on mile 68. Roehl, Froy, Edmond maintained a steady pace of 22-25 mph as we passed other riders. The Adobovelos were looking good. We reached Eva Rivera, Frances Gorospe and a few of her running buddies at our SAG station on 54th and Jefferson where they had food and drinks ready. Non-Adobovelo riders would stop too, thinking we are at an official TdPS SAG station . We told them they are welcome to stay, but the official SAG was another 2 miles away. Some decided to enjoy our hospitality. I overheard some riders say,"They know what they are doing."

As we left, El the Dies-EL, hammered at a blistering pace of 25mph into headwinds as we left La Quinta for Rancho Mirage. We had a quick stop on mile 91 to refuel and restroom breaks. The remaining 12 miles was on easy pace to keep the group together as we crossed the finish line in one large group.

The day finished with, of course, Chicken Adobo, BBQ on a stick, drinks, chips, salsa, salad, beer at the Gorospe residence in La Quinta. About 30 riders with their families, children were present. Thanks to all who brought drinks and food. We had a great company.

We missed Kuya El at the BBQ. I understand he was on his way home to celebrate his birthday ASAP. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KUYA EL!

The Adobovelos used the TdPS as a training ride for Death Valley Double Century. Looks like we will break our last record of 15 riders finishing the DVD. Let's wait and see.

Our total riding time was 5:39 with average speed of 18.1 mph. (from my Garmin, I'll bet Kuya El's average was faster)

Congratulations to all the Adobovelos who finished this year's TdPS.

Looking forward to next year's TdPS,


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Part 4 - Bring a Good Can Opener (or better yet, home-made adobo)

"What?" said one of they guys..... "What broke?"

"The can opener" someone replied. This was a stunning development.

This happened a FEW MONTHS EARLIER, at the Spring Death Valley Double Century. Right after that ride, we gathered at our hotel room at 12-midnight to eat. The restaurant was closed at that hour, but we knew that beforehand, so the day before, at Baker (100 miles from our hotel in Amargosa), Louie bought canned sardines and a can-opener at the liquor store. We also brought a rice cooker.

We had a pot of freshly made steamed rice, and we were going to have CANNED SARDINES at the hotel room. There were 7 of gathered us in the hotel room: Julius, Jesse (who both debuted their 200-milers), Pete, Francis, Victor, Ricky, Louie N, and myself (Mandy). (Jun Usi finished the ride too but was in another room with his wife and daughter Lina and Erika, who earlier in the day bought dinner for him before the restaurant closed.)

We each burned about 8,000 calories to complete 200 miles. (In comparison the average person burns 2,000 calories in a day.) AdventureCorps biking & marathon events are the best-stocked and supported rides: They have Subway sandwiches for lunch, pizza after the ride. All the rest-stops have just what you need to refuel during the ride: Water, bananas, powder drinks, electrolytes, energy bars, Hammer products, PBJs, dates, pretzels, hot cup-o-noodles, soda, etc.

But you cannot stuff yourself with 8,000 calories worth of food during the 12-17 hours that you're biking 200 miles, for many reasons. One is, during intense athletic activity, your stomach doesn't have the usual energy to digest it. Yes, the stomach, like any other organ, needs energy to do its specialized work of digesting food.

During a 200-mile bike ride, you're probably at your aerobic capacity for most of most of the ride. When sustaining such an effort over a span of 12-17 hours, the body will concentrate blood flow to the brain and limbs, leaving less energy for the stomach. That means you won't be craving food. (You're burning fat and muscle to make up the caloric deficit). And even if you manage to stuff yourself with food, your stomach would "protest", by giving you a bloated feeling: The food is just sitting there, not getting digested fast enough. No matter how much you eat in one seating, the stomach can only process and send 300 calories to the bloodstream. Bottom line: During the ride, although we each burn over 8,000 calories, but can only eat 5,000 calories.

After the ride, once you start relaxing, your stomach gets its mojo back, and the hunger pangs come.

But the restaurant was closed. So we had our rice and canned sardines readied to tide us over.

But after opening the FIRST can of sardines, the cheap, FLIMSY can opener CAME APART ! Yes, it came apart. We couldn't believe it.

Seven hungry guys, a pot of rice, and only ONE can of sardines. We couldn't open the other cans.

Fortunately someone made hard-boiled eggs. Still... dinner of rice and hard-boiled eggs and a smearing of sardines isn't quite satisfying.

It must have made an impression on Julius, because this time around, at this 2010 Fall Edition of the Death Valley Double, his wife prepared HOME MADE CHICKEN ADOBO for everyone the night before our trip, froze it in Glad containers. We defrosted and warmed it on a gas burner on the lawn outside our hotel room. It was DELICIOUS. George V. came by and had some too. Thanks Julius and wife !!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Part 3/Final Report: Oct 2010 Death Valley Ride

START: So we set out at 7AM, wet and cold. After a few miles of chaotic formation, we were warmed up, but the Adobos were already splintered because each individual had varying times required to warm up.

No problem: The weather dried up, so Francis stopped the front group to remove raincoats, and wait for the rest.

Stoppage to regroup

MORNING ADOBO PACELINE: After regrouping, we formed an Adobo paceline. The stronger riders took turns in front. I must mention them and thank them: Francis, Jesse, Louie F., Elpidio, Pete. It was SILENTLY UNDERSTOOD that the other riders were to CONSERVE and not put any work in front. The ADOBO TRAIN overtook countless riders and even other groups along the way. Some of them joined our paceline.

We were intact for the first 50 miles, and then splintered during the last 20-miles (featuring climbs) to Scotty's Castle. Arriving in the front group were "A" riders Francis, Pete, Jesse, Louie F., Elpidio, who carried other non-Adobo cyclists whom they picked up along the way. Behind were Dennis, Jun, Manny, Rosalie, Louie N. Then Julius and Shangrila. I myself got dropped to last place. I begin to doubt my training.

The century riders Ricky, Lester, and Victor were already at Scotty's waiting for us 2X riders. All the Adobos regrouped there. It was Mile # 50 for the century riders, and Mile # 70 for the 2X's. We had lunch. We saw Reggie of Sta Clarita Velo there, he joined our group.

From Scotty's Castle the century riders u-turned, while the 2x riders headed to Nevada to Mile 100 checkpoint (we would come back to Scotty's later on the return trip.)

Francis and Elpidio waited at Scotty's for Reggie to finish lunch.

EARLY AFTERNOON ADOBO PACELINE: The rest of us went ahead. The start of the stage was a 5 mile climb. We had cold muscles, stiffened legs and full stomach, thus magnifying the difficulty of the slope. The group splintered. Pete and Dennis were strong and slowly pulled away. I got my 2nd wind and started to chase them. Dropped behind were Jun Usi, Rosalie, Manny, Shangrila and Louie N.

Later I saw Pete and Dennis stopped for photos. I plowed ahead, all the way to the Nevada Mile 100 checkpoint all alone. Pete and Elpidio overtook me along the way, and as they did I stuck with their wheel, but only for a minute (which was all the energy I could muster). Then I let go.

Way behind me, everyone else regrouped, and rode in a paceline all the way to Mile 100, pulled variously by Francis, Louie F. and Jesse. We all regrouped at Mile 100.

The narrative of the next 26 miles back to Scotty's was told in part 1.

At Scotty's Castle we regrouped. The more difficult stages were ahead, and we already had 126 miles in our legs. We still had to climb up to the crater , and Hell's Gate.

BUT WHY? Sometimes I'm asked by my non-cycling friends/relatives...Why? Why do a gruelling 200-mile bike ride? If it hurts, why do you do it again and again? The same question is asked of people who climb Mt Everest. The answer offered is, "Because it's There."

I stumbled upon a theory on this ride: While admiring the desert scenery far from civilation, I wondered about life before civilization.

Like Pre-Civilization

Before Man invented agriculture, he hunted for food far away from home base.

Prehistoric man's foraging strategies were no different from long distance biking (although his was a matter of survival, not recreation). But the point is, it must still be deep in our DNA thousands of years later.

Prehistoric man arose before dawn with his buddies, rain or shine, and set out to hunt. Check.

To seek out prey they walked (easy pace), ran (hard pace), and sprinted (full-out). Check that too.

Occasionally they stopped to rest, eat, or take a dump (sorry, there's no gentle way to say it). Yeah Check that. And IF they were a close-knit group, they must've told stories and jokes . Perhaps that's how speech got started. Other tribes that were less close-knit took longer to develop speech. Must've been boring in that tribe.

Team work was needed to corner and overcome prey. Check that too.

They hunted until the sun set. Then they u-turned and headed home with their catch. Anyone hurt during the hunt would be carried home. Finally they arrived late at night. Check, Check. Check, and Check.

Heck, even Neantherthal's crouched position was aerodynamic, just put a road bike under his legs.

Point is, it's in our DNA: We can keep going the whole day and into night.
Endurance and the need for camaraderie is in our DNA.

And we needed them in spades. From Scotty's Castle, we had to climb to the crater. It was 4:30pm. By now the century riders Ricky, Lester and Victor, in that order, had arrived at the Furnace Creek finish line. The 2x riders had 70 miles to go.

The crater is a stunning site, but getting there is a short but steep climb. When we got there, it was getting dark.

From the crater, it's a 40 mile trip to the bottom of Mud Canyon road. The stage featured a mix of rollers, some long descents. But there was a headwind.

Our target next stop was Mud Canyon where hot soup waiting.

THE HAPPIEST CLUB ON EARTH - At the start of the stage we were joined by a cyclist named FRANCESCA, who was riding alone until we came along. This was Francesca's 5th 2x of the year. She saw that our group was fun, so she joined in with us. I told her our group of Adobos were riding together and finishing together, and waiting for the weaker riders. As we rode, I told her the story of what happened to me last year (getting dropped big time), and how the group pulled me through. She observed that the group was relaxed and always joking among ourselves.

We were the happiest bike club on Earth.

After a few miles, Manny cramped up and dropped back with Julius and Shangrila. Francis and Louie F stayed with them to pull them.

In the front group were Pete, Jesse, Elpidio, and Dennis trading pulls, with Jun, Rosalie, Louie N, Reggie, Francesca, and myself drafting.

Later Pete, Jesse and Elpidio inched away. Jun and Louie N decided to chase and stick with them. I couldn't, plain and simple. So I dropped back to conserve for the climb later. So did Rosalie and Reggie and Francesca. We rode together. Reggie pulled most of the way.

Meanwhile, in the front group, Jesse and Pete spent many miles pulling, then eased up a bit. At that point, Louie was feeling great and didn't feel like slowing. It so happened to be on the downhill, so he sling-shot himself and dropped everyone!!.

Elpidio, Dennis and Jun watched, not reacting right away. Unfortunately for Louie N, it made Jesse mad. So Jesse immediately gave chase and established contact. The other bad news for Louie was that he underestimated the hill . He ran out of steam before reaching the apex, and was overtaken, and then unceremoniously dropped. (We joked about it later at the hotel.)

Jesse plowed ahead with Pete and Elpidio. Dennis behind, then Louie N and Jun.

We all regrouped at Mud Canyon (the rest-stop before the most difficult stage, the 7-mile climb to Hell's Gate). The SAG volunteers Lina and Erika (Jun's wife and daughter respectively) and Imre set aside hot soup for us.

We had LOTS of time. The climb started. This climb is the race of truth. There is no drafting.

Soon the usual suspects pulled ahead: Pete, Jesse, reached the top first

They were followed by Elpidio, Dennis, Francesca

Followed by me. (Last year I stopped 20 times, this time it felt like an ordinary training lap on GMR.)

Later came Rosalie and Jun. Further behind them were Shangrila, Louie N, Julius, and Manny. With them were Francis and Louie F, two of our strongest riders, who purposely stayed behind to shepherd them.

We regrouped at the top of Hell's Gate.

Then we downhilled 9 miles.

The last 11 miles, we rode a tourist pace to the finish line, in the dark, as a united group, telling stories, laughing, joking, singing.

With less than a mile to go we saw the lights of the finish line. We started to whoop it up. If you were dead tired a while ago, not anymore. The camaraderie was real. There is a feeling, it's called "exuberance". No matter how empty your physical reserves, you feel invincible and on a "high". Perhaps it's a chemical reaction. Defintely an emotion. Whatever it is, it's one of the reasons I went along for this ride.

Most clubs arrive splintered according to individual ability. Nothing wrong with that. Competition is one of the primary reasons for doing this ride. But we arrived together, carrying the proud Adobo colors, along with some friends picked up along the way.

The elite competitors (NOT US) finished in impressive times of 10+ and 11+ hours, riding solo. Adobos came in at 15 hrs 42 mins. We had about 2.5 hours of cumulative stoppage time at rest stops, regrouping. If you're an elite rider with a chance of placing top 5 or 10, of course you should not wait, you should go all out and compete. But none of us were going to place. Might as well ride together and finish together. It was more fun, even for the strong Adobos who had to pull our pack most of the way.

The end (mandy g.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Part 2: Post-Ride report 2010 Oct Death Valley Double (by Mandy G)

It was cold and sprinking at the start of the ride. Chris Kostman said hey, this is Death Valley, so expect all kinds of weather. Anyway, he said, "This being the desert, it's a DRY RAIN". Everyone laughed.

The basketball legend BILL WALTON was in the group, he was doing the century. He was so exhuberant he kept repeating Thank you Chris Kostman / We love you Chris Kostman. Clearly we was a fan of the outdoors. Later in the ride he would joke with the other Adobo century riders Lester and Ricky, and even literally give them a push with his long arms. A friendly guy, that Bill Walton.

We rolled at 7AM. Many of the Adobo riders were going achieve important milestones in this ride.

VP DENNIS was attempting his first double. He had already purchased a Death Valley jersey in the spring, but didn't feel he earned the right to wear it yet because he missed the Spring double century due to illness. He was hospitalized with a lung infection, and in the aftermath vowed to get in shape, stay healthy, and complete the double. He showed great fitness during Adobo's TDF Frazier Park Century in the summer.

LESTER was trying to complete his first century. He attempted the Cruisin-the-Conejo century in the spring, but got drunk with friends the night before, so he did only the metric. Then he SAG'd the TDF Frazier Park edition for additional motivation. But most importantly he trained by doing multiple laps on GMR (for readers who are not familiar, that's Glendora Mountain Road in So. Calif., a 10-mile climb with 2,500 feet climbing).

VICTOR was one of the first to register for the ride, signalling his serious intent to complete his first double. He has been trying for the double for a long time now, but has had the bad luck of getting a cold/flu as the race approaches. Again he had the cold, but he's a trooper, so today he was doing the century, along with Lester and Ricky.

RICKY just had cataract surgery only a couple of weeks ago, so his training lost some momentum. But before that he was putting in serious miles, and lost weight and gained fitness. He was going to do the century today.

El Prez JESSE, who only completed his FIRST double just this year in the February Death Valley Double, was now gunning for his 5th double of the year, to achieve the California 1000-Mile award. He was looking strong.

EMILIO "JUN" was targeting his SEVENTH double of the year ! Last year he completed the difficult KOM series. His wife LINA and daughter ERIKA are very supportive, always presemt at these events as personal SAG support. However personal SAGs are not allowed by Chris, the organizer of this event, so they became official volunteers, manning some of the rest stops.

IMRE, the funny and always reliable and indefatigable adopted Pinoy (of Hungarian descent) was someone who could be counted on to be there rain or shine, either as rider or support. He was planning on doing the century, but decided to SAG due to lack of training. He SAG'd along with LINA and ERIKA

IMRE on right, with basketball legend BILL WALTON and fellow giant LESTER

PETE was a veteran of double centuries, this was going to be peanuts for him. But he wanted to come because he knew it was going to be great fun in a big group. Being one of the stronger riders, he would be relied upon for work in front.

LUISITO "LOUIE" F. also only completed his first double just this year at the Grand Tour, posting fantastic times for a rookie, and was one of the strongest Adobos on this ride. We were going to count on him to do some pulling.

MANNY has been very busy with work , so he was not in peak form. Yet he felt he had just enough juice to finish a double. He signed up for this ride to motivate himself to get back on training.

The always smiling JULIUS completed his first double at the Spring DV, and his second at the Grand Tour. He was on a roll, and was looking strong and his morale was high. This would be his THIRD 2x for the year, earning him the Calif. Triple Crown. (His wife made HOME-MADE ADOBO enough for everyone after the ride. She made it before the trip, froze it, and we heated it in the lawn outside our hotel room after the ride. Thanks Julius and wife)

SHANGRILA is a tri-athlete who completed her first double at the Grand Tour and quickly followed it with a Solvang double. She met the Adobos at the Grand Tour, and joined us for this ride. This would be her THIRD 2x for the year, earning her the Calif. Triple Crown.

ELPIDIO rides 400+ milies a week in the San Gabriel River bike trail, frrequently riding alone. He wanted to have some fun and camaraderie with the boys. He had done the Spring version of the Death Valley double many years ago, but not the Fall edition. He was looking forward to riding with his fellow Adobos.

FRANCIS, the one who started the double-century trend among Adobos, had just completed the 508-miile Furnace Creek race also in Death Valley just 4 weeks ago. That puts him in a class by himself. On this ride, he was going to help the other Adobos, taking the majority of responsibilities of pulling in front.

If the immortal Francis started the trend, it was ROSALIE who proved that even mere mortals could do it, blazing the trail by being the first Adobo (besides Francis) to complete the California 1000-mile achievement, and being a model for the rest of her fellow average mortals.

In any competition, there are always many "mini-races" going on. In this 2xCentury perhaps only the top 5 elite riders had a shot at winning. But it's not the only race going on, and not the most important. No, Really, it's not the most important.

The rest of the riders are in their own mini-races which rank more important to them.. Some of them have a RACE AGAINST ONESELF, attempting to outdo their previous personal best. Then there are the MINI-COMPETITIONS during the long ride, because usually you will chance upon anothe rider with similar abilities, and you race them during the whole ride or portions of it, until one gets dropped.

Yet others have a long-standing friendly mini-competition going on with a friend who has similar abilities. The running gag in this group was the "featured" mini-race was between LOUIE N and myself (MANDY). When we go up GMR or Crystal Lake, we watch each other. Often we do "mock attacks" on one another. But we have to be careful to do it, because usually we're evenly matched. If you attack, better make it stick. But Louie is definitely the stronger one.
Score: Louie: 2, Mandy: 2

Most of the time Louie has the upper hand. Both of us completed our first double at the Oct 2009 Death Valley double a year ago. But a few months later, at the 2010 Spring DV, he bonked early and completed only the century. Mandy 2, Louie 1. We joked about it on the drive home. At the Grand Tour I could not make it due to the flu. Louie completed it. Louie and Mandy tied 2 all.

It was a tight group. On Friday on our way to Furnace Creek we all had lunch at the Mad Greek in Baker.

Then like tourists we stopped along the road in Death Valley and posed for photos.

Then in the late afternoon we relaxed at the hotel and joked and told stories.

We had a communal dinner on the eve of the ride.

So it was only natural that we would all decide to ride together and finish together.

On the long stretches we pacelined, with the "A" riders taking rotations in front, and "B" riders drafting. On long climbs drafting does not help, so the B's would inevitably get dropped. We would then regroup at all the rest-stops. Anyway the gaps were only a few minutes. It was fun. And it strengthened group cohesion and fostered camaraderie. That's what a club is all about.

To be further continued. (Mandy G.)