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Devil Mountain Double Century

Last updated April 29, 2012 - Send Feedback
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See the official Devil Mountain Double Century details.

I rode the Devil Mountain Double Century on my Moots Vamoots RSL with the Lightweight Obermayer wheelset with Veloflex Record (front) and Sprinter (rear tires. My Vamoots RSL uses SRM Cannondale Hollowgram SL power meter.The Moots Vamoots RSL ride quality and wheel ride quality were superlative in every respect.

The 2012 ride offered stunningly beautiful green hills, perfect weather, and ideal wind conditions. Hamilton Challenge riders were not so fortunate with the wind which was reportedly brutal on Mines Rd. as in 2011.

Temperatures were cold until 9am or so, and double layers and a wind vest still left me chilled after descending Mt. Diablo. The temperature warmed steadily after that, but remained quite cool through the shaded Morgan Territory section. I ditched the tights and 2nd layer at the Morgan Territory rest stop, forwarding them to the Pet the Dead Goat rest stop (seriously, the goat died! Can't make that stuff up!).

Of special note was the high-speed ascent of Altamont Pass (the wind farm area), where I spun out at around 40 mph going uphill in my 50 X 34 chainring with the wind at my back. Speed in that section was 30-40 mph and that was a hoot!



Unlike the Solvang Spring Double which was dominated by 40-60 year old men, there was a greater mix of riders for DMD, including more women and more younger men.

I suppose I could have worked harder and got sub-14 (easily done just by cutting 14 minutes off the 45 minutes or so of rest stops, and avoiding wasting a few minutes at the end before time was taken), but sub-13 would be much harder. Still, I am quite happy with my results at #13.

Top 15 finishers in the Diablo Mountain Double Century, 2012
Top 15 finishers in the Diablo Mountain Double Century, 2012
142 riders completed the full course

Quality miles, nearly all of 'em

Nearly all the miles are quality ones— very enjoyable with exceptional scenery in spring green over 90% of the miles.

Exceptions include the Niles Canyon (nasty) and Crow Canyon (not quite as bad) mileage approaching the finish— being tired and dealing with the high-speed traffic is a bad combination, so stay alert.

2012 Route

I had trouble getting google maps to do the route in one piece. There might also be errors in these map.s

Google map: part 1 San Ramon to Altamont / Grant Line Rd

Google map: part 2 from Altamont / Grant Line Rd back to San Ramon

Devil Mountain Double Century (2012)
Devil Mountain Double Century (2012)

2012 Ride Analysis with power and heart rate


Clock time: 14:13
Roll time:  13:29:54
Power (watts)*:  187.9
Heart rate**: 124.0
Ascent:  18,827'
Distance: 207.0 (nominal 206)
Kilojoules*: 9087 (8687 calories)
Speed**: 15.34 mph * Power and kilojoules computed while pedaling only ** Heart rate and speed averages while rolling (does not averate in rest stops)
Devil Mountain Double Century power
Devil Mountain Double Century power and heart rate with elevation profile

2015 Ride report

See To Draft or Not to Draft: What Does it Accomplish? I do all my double centuries as solo efforts, strictly refusing to draft (I will pull), and dropping back or springing past if necessary to avoid taking a draft.

I had a tough time at the 2015 Devil Mountain Double, losing power for much of the ride and never being able to get warm, my time a good hour longer than in the 2012 Devil Mountain Double time. The reasons seem clear, and they were not reasons of fitness, but foolish errors in fueling.

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Fueling, power, catabolic muscle damage

Steve Born of Hammer Nutrition was kind enough to spend some time with me discussing what might have gone wrong. His assessment (which dovetails with mine) on the ride and the recovery is that my foolish mistake to take in any fuel until having burned about 1300 kilojoules meant that I used up a good portion of my glycogen stores. I also worked the first part of the ride too hard sprinting past riders and always riding solo (never taking a draft as is my wont) and “burning some matches” too early.

All of which added up to greatly reduced power output for the 80-170 mile mark or so. And which it seems, forced my body to eat its own muscles for fuel (protein), which explains the swollen feel in my quads for 4-5 days following—muscle tissue damage.

Anticipating warmer temps I made a crucial mistake: I stripped my tights and left them (still with a double jersey, outer one long-sleeved). But it never warmed up, with cloud cover blocking the sun too often. I never did feel warm again, not even on the climbs. My body, not properly fueled, seemingly could not both warm itself well and produce power. This is atypical for me; see the Central Coast Double discussion; I don’t have a problem staying warm down to the 50’s if properly fueled.

I had some wasted time on the ride: a stop light that would not change (most riders just run red lights and stop signs, I usually do not), a need to refuel/rest for a some minutes fairly late in the ride), and (ironically) finally feeling strong for the last 20 miles but having to back off the pace to stay with other riders who knew the route, because I could not read the route map without stopping (dark).

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Recovery reflected my execution errors: it took at least a full 7 days, versus 4-5 days for all the prior doubles in 2015.

Unlike the three previous double centuries, I had a feeling of swelling/puffiness in my quads for 4-5 days which was fluid gain as the muscles went through a process of repairing significant damage (weight swing of 8 pounds!). This I attribute to the failure in proper fueling and the body eating muscle tissue for energy—a lot of damage incurred in a 15 hour ride.

I had a MUCH better time with the Central Coast Double.

Devil Mountain Double 2015-04-25
184 watts @ 118bpm, 209 miles, roll time 14:21, clock ~15:32
Devil Mountain Double 2015-04-25, Mt Diablo portion
257 watts @ 140 bpm, 11.14 mile,3282' ascent
Devil Mountain Double 2015-04-25, Mt Hamilton East portion
213 watts @ 123 bpm, 6.55 mile,2315” ascent
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