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Davis Double (Finished!)

Bib number

So far this year, I’ve done the Southern Inyo Double Century, Joshua Tree Double Century, Solvang Spring Double, Devil Mountain Double, and Central Coast Double and now the Davis Double. On the TO-DO list are the Eastern Sierra Double Century, then Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge and in September, perhaps the White Mountain Double Century, that is, if the Everest Challenge doesn’t happen this year.

The Davis Double was exactly one week after the Central Coast Double. I generally need 5 full days to recover fully from a double, but my quads felt a bit sore in places, so maybe that was just from stiffness from hours of being in the car and tow truck (more on that below).

Davis Double was my 6th double in 2016, and my 26th in 4 years (my first double was a self-supported Death Valley Double in March 2012).

Weather conditions were cool most of the day, for which I was very glad: 90°F would have been unpleasant. I was hit with hail twice and a drenching rain once, but briefly. I had forgotten my cycling jacket, so I took the excellent North Face Diad, but that only fits half-way into a jersey pocket, but it worked fine.

Doing 70 mph on the freeway in heavy traffic, my car tire hit a nail or screw half way to Davis—instaflat. Towing it back towards home (I wanted a new wheel/tire which I keep at home), the tow truck quit, so a tow truck for a tow truck was needed. Then another flatbed truck back-to-back against the dead one, in order to back up my car from one flatbed to another (the dead one had no hydraulics). Bottom line: I got to Davis at 02:45 AM, slept until 04:20, registered and started the course at 05:13 (riders are requires to leave by 05:15).

I had a very strong day, finishing stronger than I started, with steady power output in the ~227 watter range for the last 50 miles or so (stop signs and turn checking dropped the average as shown below, ditto for the start.

At around mile 40, I was pulling a train of people (I soloed, taking no drafts), a very careless rider yanked his bicycle in a U-turn right in front of me (he did not look) in order to apparently pick up a just-dropped water bottle from some tandem riders. I rammed into him (having no time to react), the rider behind me crashed into me and went down on the pavement. I was unhurt, but thereafter my front derailleur was disabled in the big ring for the rest of the ride, including all the hills! Well, that's a lot better than losing the rear derailleur. I checked all the plugs but everything looked plugged in. But back in the bike shop, it turned out that the cable had just been yanked loose maybe a millimeter or less, so replugging it restored it to operation.

At about mile 150, my power was dropping off. I jammed down two Panda licorice bars (100 calories each) and within 5 minutes my power bumped right up from ~195 watts to 230 watts. This is a valuable “feeding” clue that I am going to explore in future doubles.

There were nearly 700 riders, most of them some degree incompetent in a safety sense, meaning next to zero situational awareness: riding on steep blind curves near the center line, weaving and turning without looking, riding widely spaced side-by-side in places where it forces other riders over the center line (with no awareness of other riders), etc. It reminds me why I never have done the Death Ride—the risk factors go up by 10X from careless or fatigued or unaware riders. Fatigue is also a bad combination with poor situational awareness, but when it’s 40 miles in, that doesn’t explain it. Some of these people really are taking their own lives in their hands from what I saw.

2016 Central Coast Double power (watts) and elevation
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