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!