The March 3rd Death Valley Spring Double was SOLD OUT (400 rider limit), so I have decided to do it on my own the same day as a self-supported ride, stashing water and food along the route, which is a very convenient out-and-back route. I’m arriving a few days prior for photography, so this is no big deal to arrange. See my other double centuries planned for 2012.
The pavement near approaching and south of Badwater is very rough with nasty cracks thump-wump every 30 feet (at least in 2011 when I was there), so my plan is to ride it on my Moots Psychlo X RSL cyclocross bike with 700 X 28C road tires for some comfort (28mm tires at 90 psi). North of Furnace Creek the pavement is much better however.
Riding the Psychlo X RSL means carrying a ~3.5 pounds heavier bike+wheels up the climbs, and a slightly less efficient ride (as compared to my Vamoots RSL or LOOK 595 Ultra), but I expect that it will be worth it for the long distance which takes its toll on the body, particularly at the 130+ mile mark: the larger volume tires, the double-thick handlebar wrap, the lower gearing for the climbs, and the friendly Ritchey Super Logic II handlebar.
I plan to leave around 5am (civil twilight is about 6:10 am, and is the earliest official start) from near the Furnace Creek area, so that if 12 hours of riding are required I would finish before sunset at ~17:30.
For lighting, I will take my Lupine Piko bike light or perhaps the Lupine Betty II and while I normally would not bother with a taillight on the all but vacant roads in Death Valley, they will not be vacant on March 3rd, so the DiNotte 300R taillight will be prudent as well. Perhaps to save some weight for the Jubilee Pass /Salsberry Pass climbs (twice), I might stash the lighting gear at a water/food cache point, then retrieve on the return leg.