Experience Report: 2019 Southern Inyo Double Century
Southern Inyo Double Century was run out of Ridgecrest, CA this year. I presume it will stay there in futureu years; I am not a fan as I prefer the Lone Pine start location and route.
Going out, it was raining steadily. My feet swam in water for nearly all the day, and I was soaked by the rain and dried out again at least three times. The upside was that by mid-day, it was spectacularly beautiful seeing rainclouds over the mountains while riding in the sun and getting soaked, what with strong winds pushing the rain for a mile or more.
Strategy, issues, etc
As the first double of the year and unsure of whether I would do the double the next day, I paced myself pretty slowly, averaging ~200 watts for the first five hours or so.
At mile 60 or so, I started to feel thirsty, so I started drinking (Tailwind @AMAZON mix)... only to have to pee frequently for the rest of the day, a very frustrating and not a very fast process each time.
In total, I stopped numerous times to shed or don clothing (rain jacket), and to take some pictures. I just did not know what to expect on my first double, so I just rode at a measured asy pace.
A key factor is that I still was suffering an unreasoning fear of crashing, triggered by my Dec 30 crash. Any downhill more than 25 mph made me very nervous, or even 10mph with high wind (which we had a lot of, to the point of hazardous). This psychology caused me to go out more slowly, not to use my ideal riding position, and to slow to a crawl on downhills where there was any wind buffeting me. I did not master that fear that day or even the next few, but by Joshua Tree Double Century I was able to descend (on dry roads with no wind) at up to 38 mph or so with only a little anxiety.
I’m not sure of the finish, but no one passed me except a 3-man team drafting each other. I started at 05:00 and finished at 16:11 — 11:11 or so. Riding time (rolling time) was 10:21, so I spent 50 minutes stopping, etc.
Unlke most doubles, I took a few pictures since I had to stop to remove or don my rainjacket and/or to drink safely (high wind).