Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 12:06:41 AM
Subject: Camino Real Double Century Post Ride Report
First I want to say a special thanks to our veteran endurance riders William and Francis for giving me tips and secrets on how to prepare for a double. I followed every bit of information given to me. If I didn't, I probably wouldn't have finished. We had a choice, either start at 5:30 am or 6:15 am. Since it's my first double, I opted to start at 5:30 am not knowing how long it would take me to get done. Francis met me at the start line. He brought his white bike (colnago) with white wall tires, a backpackfull of his own food since he was his own SAG (bandit) and wore his full ADOBOkit. Dang we looked like Big Brother/Little Sister. While waiting for my name to get called during the roll call, I took my Imodium pill and V8 (tip from Francis). I was so excited to start the ride, but yet I was doubting myself . While still waiting for my name to get called, I looked around me and I saw so many riders wearing their California Triple Crown Jersey and WindVest. I said to myself " Now that's the reason why I'm here, to EARN that JERSEY". All my doubts disappeared and I was pumped up to start and finish the ride.
We finally rolled out of the start line. My watch was set on a timer to alarm every 10 mins to remind me to drink, tip from Francis. The route would take us to a very familiar route, Jamboree to Dana PointRoute, except it was a reverse route through San Joaquin. I remembered William and Francis saying to hook up with the TANDEM Riders, to draft with them and conserve. Well, low and behold, Francis was talking to his Tandem rider friends during the first few miles. He looked at me and said, "Stay on there wheels and don't lose them. When they leave the SAG, we leave with them". And that was what we did for the first 100 miles. One of the Tandem rider said, "Why waste a good draft when you can do it, plus with good company". So TRUE. And they didn't mind it at all. The more the merrier. Follow a tandem, you won't get lost. Well.... we did take one wrong turn but was able to get back on the right track.
Finally.. Lunch stop at mile 87, All Season Campground in Oceanside. Everyone was starving. I inhaled my Subway sandwich, V8, chips, Fruit punch and Tylenol. Offered Francis food but he wouldn't take anything from the SAG not even their water. You know why? Bandito Style. Luckily there was a general store at the campground. I had a feeling they were keeping an eye on him. One of the SAG supporter kept talking to us. Hmmmm.
Like I said before, when the tandem leaves, we leave. And so we did and the climbing begins. A tip from William, "After you eat, ride easy so you won't get a side stitch.
"Climb, climb climb with rollers for the next 15 miles. Francis was way behind. I stopped and waited before the fast descend. Asked if he was okay, he said he lost 5 nipples from his spokes and his front wheel was very wobbly. After carefully descending, we stopped to check his bike again.. He said it would take him awhile to fix his bike that to go on ahead, that he would try catch up or take a cab or something and to just go go go and follow the Tandem.. And that Idid. I caught up with them but they dropped me on the descend. Found myself riding alone for the next 5 miles until 6 riders from Arizona called the BULLSHIFTER creeped up behind me. Ahhh..YES!!! time to draft again.. and so I DID until the very end 200miles!!!
The Bullshifters consisted of 5 men and 1woman. Average age was probably 45 yrs old. They ride like they're on tandems because when one stands up, everybody else had to stand up.. It was very rhythmic. They even took turns pulling, I had my share x3 along Fwy5. GreatPace. Not too fast, not too slow..
We picked up our frontlights at check point 3. Finally got a hold of Francis on the cell. He was 25 miles behind but yet not to wait to just "go, go, go". Before we left I saw Steve Gilmore. The guy who climbed up Fargo Hill x101. He holds the record. This was his first Double as well. What a small world. He told me he will try FargoHill again but on his UNICYCLE.. My mouth dropped with disbelieve. I guess we have to see it to believe it.
Mile 150 was when the big long climbing began with lots of rollers and steep curvy descend along Trabuco Canyon. We rode that curvy steep descend in the dark, pitch dark, like your eyes closed dark. Itwas eery, but yet thrilling.I kept saying to myself "F-O-C-U-S, keep your brakes on". We survived the descend and the last Check Pointthey served CUP-O-NOODLES. Yummyy.. It was getting very cold and that hot soup hit the spot, along with my Tylenol and a coke.. Ahhhh...Still no sign of Francis. At least he got his bike fixed in Temecula..
Susan, I called her Mother hen from the Bullshifter was their timekeeper. She would shout "2 more minutes boys and we're rolling"She would shout out how much longer they had to stay until taking offon every Check Point. What a great job and that she did very well. Steep Climbing began on Mile 170. I'm glad it was in the dark because if I saw that hill during the day, my legs would have probably been screaming for MERCY.. At least in the dark, you focus one pedal stroke at a time. The last 5 miles felt forever. We were on Portola Pky and I told the Bullshifter "Oh ya it's all downhill from here on " NNOOTTTT... It was2% gradient. But yet we kept a high pace because HOME was NEARBY.. Once we got to Sand Canyon it was free for all.. 4 attacked including myself on the downhill. What an exilerating feeling when I saw the FWY5. That meant 1/2 mile left until the END.. We regrouped at the signal light and rode together at the finish line, 8:11 pm. Francis arrived at 9pm via taking the flat route back to the finish line. He still rode 200 miles via detours.
Had dinner with the Tandem Riders Foster and Linda along with Francis and the Bullshifters. THE END MY FAVORITE QUOTE:" It is good to have an end to a journey, but it is the journey that matters in the end. "Next Double, Death Valley Double Century this Saturday. Riders will be me, Pete and Francis.
PS. Of all days of riding, I didn't bring my camera during my double. But one of the volunteers did take pictures.
I will definitely bring my camera and a helmet camera this Saturday's Death Valley Double Century.
Luis P. - Congratulations Rosalie! Wow, I can't imagine sitting on a bike for that long. I sit all day at work and it hurts. That is a great accomplishment. Someday I'll find the time and courage to do it, plus just the training takes a lot of time and dedication.You rule!
Ryan R. - You kick ass girl Rosalie, Congrats!!!
Frank N. - What a " great accomplishment" and a really nice ride blog. Congratulations again!!!
Elardi L. - Congratulation Rosalie to the job well DONE!
Dennis G. - really enjoyed reading your blog about your Double Century. It's as if I was there. I live vicariously through your feats of greatness, Darna. If I can only, someday, do a double century! Have a safe, fun ride. Good luck this weekend to you, Francis and Pete. Weather should be nice this time of year in Death Valley.