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Central Coast Double Century
2016 ride report
2015 reports follows.
Weather conditions were beautiful. Unlike the dark gray and windy cold at the coast in 2015, the wind at the coast was minimal, the sun was out and it was beautiful all day—which mean hot too, in places. A powerful wind assist in the 2nd half was very welcome.
Two nights prior, I was so tired at 8:30 PM I could hardly sit up in a chair (this strange sudden-onset fatigue I experience randomly; it passes quickly with a short nap).
But Saturday morning starting CCD, I felt stronger than anytime this year; I was making power effortlessly for quite a good bit of the event (though I faded quite a lot the last 50 miles, perhaps from the harder effort the first portion). I guess those grains (sushi rice) are good for you (vs crackpot diets), since I had two sushis, kombucha, yogurt and licorice (wheat) the night before, eating in total ~1500 extra calories the day prior.
The flat and its repurcussions
I had a great start, feeling very strong, and while not with the lead pack (some super fast riders showed up for this Cal TripleCrown event), it seemed that I was in place to outpace everyone else as I was already ahead of all but 2 or 3 riders (fast pack excepted)—and I could see they were over exerting on the climbs.
But just shy of two hours in and a few hundred yards past the first rest stop doing 30 mph downhill, my front tire hit a nasty pothole, bursting the nearly brand-new Paris Roubaix tubular tire. The course map does say in large type “USE EXTREME CAUTION”. I felt like an idiot—30 mph way too fast for that potholed road. Mental note for next year.
It appears to have been a pinch flat, as I could find no obvious cuts, though that is odd given 105 PSI; perhaps it had suffered a small cut and was at lower pressure. The tire had maybe ~100 miles on it—brand new. I started peeling off the tire, then another rider hit the same pothole! His tire held, but he ended up in the weeks, just shy of the barbed wire. He was unhurt and proceeded.
Peeling the tubular and installing a new one including adding Stans NoTubes sealant, pumping it up and verifying integrity took 20 minutes exactly. I added the Stans NoTubes up front, because the spare was the ultra light weight race tire, the Veloflex Record. With 180 miles to go I was very concerned about a DNF from another tire failure. Ironically, the robust Paris Roubaix was toast, but the Veloflex Record lasted to the finish.
The tire swap is not to say all was idea: I had to curb my speed on all turns of sharp radius, which cost me time finishing that long descent, as well as Nacimiento Road. Then I had a scare approaching Fort Hunter Liggett at about mile 115: the tire was nearly flat at maybe ~10 PSI. As can sometimes happen, the valve or valve extender were slightly loose (or so I hoped). I pumped it up to full pressure, and made sure the valve extender and valve were nice and tight—no further problems to the finish.
- Solo effort: I accepted no drafts/pacelining as is my wont. Actually the opportunity did just not happen; having lost 20 minutes from the flat tire, I passed all the slower riders easily, but the fast pack was way ahead and the next fastest riders had the 20 minutes on me, thoughI did catch several of them.
- Weather: gorgeous sunny day, light wind at the coast, powerful tailwind much of the inland area (though almost none in one canyon and a strong opposing wind approaching Bradley).
- Clothing: dual summer-weight jerseys (short sleeve), regular gloves. I took a sleeveless lightweight vest, but did not use it.
- Mechanical: destroyed tire on pothole, as discussed.
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Total caloric intake ~2350 calories, total “burn” according to SRM: 8162 calories which means 29% intake relative to expenditure (a bit high).
- Hammer HEED: 300 calories
- Panda licorice sticks, 100 calories each, 10 (est): 1000 calories
- GU, salted carmel, 48mb caffeine each, 7 (est): 700 calories
- Mountain dew, full can: 160 calories
- Mountain dew (est): 120 calories
- Mountain dew (est): 120 calories
- Potato chips (est): 80 calories
2015 ride report
I had a tough time at the 2015 Devil Mountain Double due to a delay in fueling, so for the Central Coast Double, I resolved to begin fueling early and regularly. Fuel consisted of Hammer HEED, Hammer gel and seven all natural Panda licorice sticks (100 cal each, a good portion of which is glucose equivalent), and a few minor bits at the lunch stop. This worked like a charm.
The reason I like to supplement with licorice is that by 2/3 through a double century, I lose all appetite for HEED and gels, a risky proposition when fueling is more critical than ever. The licorice does not lose appeal and seems to keep things in balance for me. There is some “junk sugar” which serves a critical role of giving the glycogen-depleted liver a job to do, and even a small amount of protein in it.
- Solo effort: I accepted no drafts/pacelining as is my wont. While I pulled the lead group for some miles up the Pacific coast into a stiff headwind, they wanted to switch leaders to go faster (perfectly reasonable of course). So I dropped back, watching the paceline slowly disappear until miles out of sight by the end of the long slog up the coast. I ultimately overtook all of those riders, and finished first (Highland Route).
- Weather: cold/foggy to start, stiff headwind heading north along the coast all the way to Nacimiento Road (the best climb of the route). At the summit, it all went sunny and warmer (but still on the cool side).
- Clothing: Starting out, summer-weight tights, dual summer-weight jerseys (short sleeve), regular gloves. I took a sleeveless lightweight vest, but did not use it. I stripped the tights off at the summit of Nacimiento Rd. When power and fueling are good, temps down to the low 50’s are fine for me, though my arms did stay a rosy red all that cool day.
- Minor delays: I started last in essence, dropping a baggie out of my jersey pocket early on, so I had to stop and get it, thus being dead last about 1 mile out. I also caught two red lights right before the finish. Stops were required at all rest stops, but I minimized the delays (lunch stop forced a good detour to get water unfortunately), but aside from one “pit stop” spent most of the time was on the bike.
- Mechanical: none. The Moots Vamoots RSL with DuraAce Di2 performed flawlessly. But I do want a 32 cog for steeper climbs (to save quadriceps strength), and so I’ve sold some gear to raise funds for Di2 11-speed, which will allow an Ultegra medium cage that allows a 11-32 cassette.
- Bike fit: I am grateful to Kevin Bailey at 3DBikeFit.com for his attention to details of my bike setup. A meticulous master of his craft, all aspects of my bike fit with Kevin resulted in maximum comfort, or properly speaking minimum discomfort, since 211 miles is a very long ride. The afternoon prior, my right wrist went bonkers due to continuing issues with nerve damage and I had no ability to articulate/twist it without severe pain. I considered skipping the ride entirely. But because Kevin set my bar position and reach for three hand positions all keeping the body in the same optimal position (hoods, drops, bar top) and all keeping the wrist in optimal straight/unbent position, I had zero pain in my wrist/hand—non issue. That and the other aspects of reach, saddle height, custom orthotic were all spot-on. Pretty amazing to have it all work so well. If the fit is right, the body can handle things, but if the slightest thing is off, 211 miles can be punishing by overloading some joint or muscle.
I took NO DRAFTS WHATSOEVER, but did pull the lead group of riders for several miles into a stiff headwind up the Pacific coast. So I am rather proud of my effort this day. I felt great; everything worked well for me. Official results.