I have done Davis Double once before and the experience was miserable. Beyond hot. Too hot. Felt horrid at the end- heat exhaustion-hot. Spent the day pulling over to the side of the road to cool down under trees, trying not to fry my brain- hot. Until yesterday, I haven't done it since and I was not going to start this year's ride if temps were predicted above 100, but the predictions were for mildly hot conditions, so I did it.
My facebook staus for the ride was: "Cardiac was lovely, Honey was ok, Cobb was hard, and Resurrection was soul-sapping. I think that the Davis Double is worth doing just for the joy of reaching the rest stop at the top of Resurrection." Reaching the top of Resurrection is such a fabulous feeling. I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy for having reached it. The joy was probably mostly from the relief of the pain from climbing resurrection. Resurrection is just a harsh climb. It is hot and exposed and a slightly miserable experience. Yesterday wasn't too hot and we had a occasional cooling breeze, which really should have made for nice conditions. However, Resurrection is still hard, even when it really isn't overly hot. I think that the expanse of open wide road road, being on a highway, makes the grade appear less than it is. I can still feel the grade in my legs and the hot sun on my back, even with the occasional cooling breeze.
I spent the first 42 miles in pacelines, which is unusual for me on doubles. I don't really like pacelines on long rides. My average speed for those 42 miles was 20.7 miles, a record for me. Jason and I haven't even gone that fast on the tandem for 42 consecutive miles. I skipped the first rest stop in order to stay in the group and did not stop until mile 53 at rest stop two. I was in a sketchy paceline at the very beginning of the ride and the big guy I was behind and I jumped a paceline lead by two tandems. We went from doing 21 to doing 27. That paceline slowed, but it remained too fast for me. I had someone behind me, so I was anxious about being dropped and causing him to be dropped, too. I felt much better when the wheel (big guy) I was following fell off and I turned around and realized that the guy on my wheel was long gone, too. We then followed a white jersey guy and the white jersey guy pulled us onto the 508 guy. The 508 guy was fantastic. He was steady like rock. It was the perfect paceline. His only problem was that he was extremely fast through the corners and would drop us all and we would be clamoring back on. Eventually, after one corner, I gave up, realizing I would not be able to jump on. The big guy said "he's something in the corners. Let's get him." He was able to catch him, but the white jersey guy and I weren't. We got on another line and everything was good again.
I stayed in pacelines until mile 42 when the headwinds blew me off.
Lots of people I know passed me and said hi. Throughout the day, I kept being passed by the same people over and over again. That was really nice. I liked being able to recognize people and I liked the feeling of everyone being in it together. I like riding alone, but I really like seeing people as I ride. Everyone seems so nice and supportive.
Cobb was okay. It was slow, but at least twice as fast as the last time I did it. I was happy about Cobb. I was riding on and off with a SF Randonnuer guy, whose name I never caught. He told me that the last time he did Davis Double and went up Cobb, a guy standing on the side of the road in Cobb offered to sell him some Meth. Wondering if it would help his performance, he considered buying it for moment, but was able to resist the temptation.
The descent down Cobb on Seigler Canyon contained a large and nasty dip. The dip was freshly painted a fluorescent orange when I went by, but it was not painted until after 5-6 people crashed. I could see the fluorescent paint, but I could not really see the dip until I was close to it. The pavement was sunken down, but it was not cracked, so it was difficult to see. At the top of Cobb, we were warned that people were crashing on Seigler and to be careful. At that time the people at the rest stop did not know what was taking people down, they just knew that people were crashing.
Chris of GPC crashed on Loch Lomond when he flatted going fast down the descent. He was so happy that he was not badly hurt. He finished the ride.
My favorite part of the ride occurred about 2 minutes after the start. I had parked on the street along the high school a block away from the start. The course went right by my car, so I was able to stop and turn off the dome car lights I had left on.I bonked around mile 150, going along highway 16 though the Cache Creek area toward Guida and the Cache Creek Casino. The ride to the Guida rest stop was slow and very painful. I thought that I would never get there and I was dreaming of food. I hadn't eaten breakfast, because I didn't want to have to get up before 3 am and is the meal you eat at 3 am really breakfast? Isn't that just a late night snack? Honestly, who thinks that getting up at 3 am for a bike ride is reasonable (or before 3 am, if I were to eat?) What was I thinking? I skipped lunch, because it was hot at that rest stop, I didn't feel like eating, and the last time I ate before going up Resurrection, I spent much of the climb chanting "Don't puke, don't puke, don't puke." I wasn't really surprised that I felt lousy at mile 150, but that knowledge didn't make me feel any better. My on bike temperature for the day also reached its maximum during that section. I saw 101 at one point. (The on bike readings are always higher than regular air temperatures.)
I sang the Merry Minuet to myself over and over. I haven't heard this song in years. My mom would sing it too me when I was a kid. I learned this song at the beginning of the Iran religious takeover and hostage crisis in the late 70s. At the time, I was stunned that lyrics seemed so timely for a song written in the late 40s/early 50s. My mom had said that people don't change.
By the time I got to Guida, mile 162.8, I felt pretty bad. I felt like I was starving, but all food was unappealing. I ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich, which was quite unappealing but I ate it anyway. I had a can of V8, because it was the only thing that actually appealed. I paced around the rest stop, hoping to feel better, but I never really did, so eventually I left. I don't sit at these later rest stops, because I have a hard time getting going again. I feel very faint and become unable to get back up. My blood pressure seems to plummet. I do better if I keep moving. I am like a shark.
CASINO! The last time I did Davis, I rode by the Cache Creek Casino in complete darkness, which was horrible. Dreadful. The traffic was heavy, the road was narrow and I was blinded by the lights from the constant stream of oncoming cars. I couldn't see the side of the road, so I rode further into the lane than necessary. Riding by the casino during the daylight is not that bad at all. I can see the road and the traffic is much lighter. The lane is wide enough for most cars to pass me without problems. The difference was night and day.
I threw up along this section. I have never actually thrown up while actually still riding and I was really happy that no one was behind me. Pierce referred to it as a moving violation, a quip I appreciated.
I hung around the last rest stop, looking at food with a combination of longing and disgust. After I while, I grew tired of circling and left with Steve, Alfie and Pierce. Hanging on their wheels was great. Eventaully we hit a headwind and I was blown off the back, dropping from 19 mph to 13, but I was feeling better, so all was good. I was slightly confused at this point and completely alone. I was glad for the road markings, because I wasn't really able to deal with the route sheet. I got on someone's wheel for the last few miles, which was great. He seemed to be happy that I was with him and I got in two minutes before sunset and everything seemed fantastic.
I was eventually able to eat again. I ate slowly, but got down some beans and a coke. I am fond of beans. I needed the coke, in order to drive my self back home and not fall asleep. I visited with LisaJ, Tony, Alfie and LisaLisa, Steve, Jim and Pierce. Steve showed me how to operate the spot tracking system I had been carrying around all day. JasonMc had wanted me to use it, but I couldn't figure out how to turn on the tracking in the 15 seconds of consideration I had given it in the morning before starting the ride. Steve told me to turn it on for the drive home, so that when I drive off the road into some bushes, they would be able to find me.
LisaLisa tried to die last year when her aorta dissected. She was at home when it happened, Alfie called 911 immediately, the ambulance responded quickly, she had the surgery at Summit for the repair and she did not die. The odds weren't in her favor and she is lucky. She is facing possible more surgery in the future, a scary prospect for them both. LisaLisa did a little over 40 miles today. Steve's regular riding partner, KenE is in the hospital recovering from coronary bypass surgery after his heart attack last Saturday. He went into cardiac arrest while on a bike ride and was found by an off-duty nurse, who did CPR. The ambulance came quickly and he also lived. LisaJ did 46 miles today, riding out to the first rest stop with her husband, Tony, and Steve and then retruning to the start. She is having surgery on Thursday and will find out then the stage of her cancer.
I only have a limited number of riding days left to me and I was glad I did yesterdays ride.
The most questionable part of the whole day was the planned ride home. If I felt sleepy I was going to stop in Dixon and stay the nigh there. I am not a good driver and I once feel asleep driving home after a 300k. I did fine and didn't even feel sleepy as I drove along the highway in the dark, singing old disco songs along with radio.