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Joshua Tree Double Century

Last updated 2016-03-14 - Send Feedback
Related: cycling, Hard Core, Rides

Joshua Tree Double Century is officially 193 Miles with 9343' of climbing.

2015 experience

Due to a faultily memorized map lacking a “Y” turn (lacking in my mind), I took the wrong turn and did 12 extra miles and about 1400 vertical feet more than the standard course. So it was well beyond a double century.

There was no support within the park, so I rode unsupported for over 80 miles, which left me dehydrated and hot. Scarfing a liter of cold water upon reaching the interstate highway just out of the park, I partially revived, but It seemed to kill my performance for the rest of the day (120 miles or so to go after that!). Temperatures ranged from 39°F at the higher elevations at sunrise within the park to 90°F or so on the post-park outer areas. It’s never really possible to rehydrate properly while riding once too far gone, so this screwed the day. I was very, very glad to be done.

Still, I recovered faster from this one than the Southern Inyo (above). Just 48 hours later, I had a nice strong ride, albeit the muscles still need a full 4 days to be back at 90%, and probably 6 days to be truly back at 100%.

Course: About 68 miles is through Joshua Tree National Park, which are enjoyable miles with good pavement. The rest of the course ranges from boring to “the road never ends” slow climbs to some really unpleasant junk miles along the interstate highway, including dodging bits of tires, rocks, screws, bolts and having to wait ~5 minutes for a semi trailer truck with billowing brake smoke. By a miracle I did not flat on this section or this day.

Kilocalories: 7560

Graph shows roll time, not clock time (excludes rest stops).

Power and heart rate with elevation profile for Joshua Tree Double Century 2016

2016 experience

No wrong turns this year.

Around mile 155 just after the blender strawberry smoothie at the radio tower summit (around the 8:45 mark), my stomach went AWOL. The problems may have started a few miles earlier—not sure. Or maybe it was the fruit—dubious.

And at mile 150+ or so, even plain water and Hammer gel were unappealing. I had to force myself to gag it down even as my belly felt bloated. When this happens, nothing get processed and I get no energy and I dehydrate (maple syrup urine at end as peeing into a bottle can show, a good test BTW).

The power output (green line) shows the substantial drop in power from the 8:45 mark or so to the end. Figuring out what causes this stomach upset is not obvious, but I’d really like to figure it out. I did take Endurolytes, so I think I can rule out electrolytes. I did eat a sandwich and chips and soda at lunch at mile ~100, but I felt good and charged up for at least 40 miles after that, so that seems unlikely to be the cause. Anyway, I limped in the last 45 miles or so with low power and not much energy, losing time steadily. Still, it was good for #7 out of 87 finishers.

Kilocalories: 7064

Graph shows roll time, not clock time (excludes rest stops).

Power and heart rate with elevation profile for Joshua Tree Double Century 2016
Rigorously lab tested and OWC certified.
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