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Death Valley Double(7 posts)

Death Valley Doublemr_spin
Nov 26, 2001 8:55 AM
I'm thinking about doing the Death Valley Double next year. I've ridden many centuries (more than 20 this year alone), but never more than 125 miles. Anyone have any comments or suggestions about this particular event?

I've already taken note of Dog's experience drinking Ensure. :)
be preparedDog
Nov 26, 2001 9:16 AM
If you are referring to the spring event (they do it again in the fall), this particular double last year had an attrition rate of about 90%. It was very cold and raining, a bit unusual for Death Valley, but it does happen. Take clothes you would wear in 35 degree rain. Or, it could be hot and dry. Be prepared for anything.

There is a fair amount of climbing (part of the 508 course), but it's not steep. The climbs are pretty long, though. There are also some pretty rough roads at the south end of Death Valley. I'd recommend some 25mm tires at around 110 psi or less, if they'll fit. Might want some with real tread, too, as it can snow on the higher passes.

Drink lots of water if it's dry. You'll lose much more water in Death Valley than you might expect.

Other than that, just get used to riding long distances. Work up to at least 100 mile rides on the weekends. Then, it's just a matter of pacing yourself, eating, and drinking.

Dog
2002=no fall DV event...Js Haiku Shop
Nov 26, 2001 11:11 AM
"October 27, 2001 and March 2, 2002
(Note: There will be no Fall DV event in 2002 - March only!)"

http://www.planetultra.com/deathvalley/

it's a long drive from elvisville, but not unthinkable.
Death Valley is kind of a shock to the system for easterners.MB1
Nov 26, 2001 11:26 AM
Shade-whats that? Plantlife-sure every 10-20 feet sometimes. Whats all that white stuff in the bottom-snow? LOL! Moisture-you're kidding. Humidity-yea, right! A tree to duck behind...good luck. Not to mention those long climbs at the top of which are "Sea Level" signs. Not to mention what the heat and cold have done to the road surface.

Now the moonrise and the starlit nights are something special. And riding at night without a headlite is very do-able. The route slip is great, love only having to make 3 or 4 (I lost track) turns and 2 turn-arounds in 200 miles.

Still to ride all day without any shade can fry your skin and eyes. And the weather extremes can really get you-even from hour to hour. It's not easy for an easterner to get enough miles in that early in the year to enjoy a double. Other than that it is a ride not to be missed.
yup, picture MarsDog
Nov 26, 2001 12:18 PM
The California deserts are like Mars, at least how Mars is portrayed in movies. Add a little dried up puff of grass once in a while.

Other than no shade (none at all for the entire 508, well, except nighttime), the biggest shock for eastern/midwesterners must be the length of the hills. Some climbs go on for 10-20 miles! If you aren't expecting this, you start these climbs and think that around every corner it must be the summit, only to see another 2 mile stretch of climb.

Rocks are considered something to protect out there. There ain't nothing else. Why the heck is Death Valley a national park, anyway? If it were in New Jersey it would be called a Superfund site.

Dog
It is very well supported which is a good thing consideringMB1
Nov 26, 2001 9:19 AM
where it is. You won't need to bring any food but you might want to bring your own drink mix and just use their water. Not a bad route at all although it can be very windy and wasn't it this spring when it snowed?

The climbs aren't steep but they are looooong and you can see the street light at the finish for about the last 40 miles.

We like the ride a lot. Not all that hard for a Triple Crown ride.
Bring your Arctic survival gear...Zignzag
Nov 26, 2001 10:21 AM
Just kidding....sort of. I did it last spring when freezing rain and snow forced most (all but 7) to either quit or turn back before the turn around. I thought: "Death Valley, one of the driest places on earth. No need for rain gear." But the route climbs out of Death Valley to an elevation of 3,000 or 4,000 ft, where it was raining and freezing cold. I was starting to go hypothermic so I flagged down a car - and the driver lent me her fleece jacket so I could continue. Very strong winds too. But people who've done the ride for years said that the weather is usually pleasant. It's a great ride. Make a long weekend of it and do some exploring. I'm doing it again this year.