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Yo, E-Dog! howzabout a first double century ride report? nm(6 posts)

Yo, E-Dog! howzabout a first double century ride report? nmJS Haiku Shop
Sep 9, 2002 4:37 AM
First Double Century Ride Report - Birmingham, ALwonderdog
Sep 9, 2002 5:33 AM

This past weekend, JS Haiku Shop and I went down to Birmingham to ride in the Birmingham Cycling Club's annual Double Century. Previously, my longest ride was 115 miles, and I did that about 3 weeks ago. Saturday was my first attempt at a double, and I had a great time. My compatriot had ridden a double last weekend and fought bravely. I'll let him tell his tale.

The day started at 2:25am, when J woke me up. "Damn, normal people don't get up in the middle of the night!" But of course, this was not an ordinary day. We quickly got our gear together and headed to the ride start at 4am. 16 people started the double. We headed out of the parking lot at 4:11am lit up like Christmas trees for the first 40 mile loop. I should mention that we rode the first 40 miles at a blistering pace. The terrain was quite hilly, and we averaged over 20mph. Upon my return, I ditched my lights and headed out for the next 40 mile loop. I tried to keep my stops to a minimum all day.

Because I was with some fast people, we made it back in time to catch the start of the century at 8am. I was feeling pretty good and making excellent time. Kevin, a double century rider who I was with, and I quickly set out on the regular century route. Of course, I forgot to put my sunscreen on! Too late now. The century was very well sagged, and the day quickly became hot and windy. Kevin and I worked well together. He gave me a salt tablet at mile 120 that seemed to perk me up despite the face that I had been consciously eating and drinking often.

Fast forward to mile 180. Back at the high school. The century riders are done and high fiving one another. Poor poor me. My weary legs are not excited to hear that news that I still have to ride another 27 mile loop. By the way, this loop was billed as being "challenging" and would require 2 hours to complete for a strong rider. What the organizers failed to include in the description were the words "sadistic, gravel roads, and total isolation." :-)

part 2 will include my final 27 mile odyssey.

First Double Century Ride Report - Birmingham, AL pt 2wonderdog
Sep 9, 2002 6:01 AM

I remembered the organizers talking about a 2 mile climb on the final 27 mile loop, and I thought that I was up for it. What I failed to realize was that this 2 mile climb was actually repeated twice! Here's how the final part of my double century panned out.

I was feeling good after 180 miles. I had this thing in the bag. All I needed to do was keep those pedals going round and round, so I re-filled my camelback and headed off. As I got out of town, the road started to pitch upward to the top of Peay's Ridge. This was a 2 mile long climb at about 8 or 9%. I was trying to keep a good cadence as I climbed, but my legs were started to feel the ache of the long day. At the top of the climb, I turned off onto highway 54 and started the descent off the ridge. "What's this? Gravel?" More climbing. More descending. Totally alone. No cars. No other riders. No beautiful oasis SAGs. Just miles and far as I could see...of woods. Owned by coal companies, so there was no habitation.

Note: Gravel road descending at mile 195 on the verge of a bonk is not fun.

Back on the main road headed home. Sweet home. I thought I was done. What I did not quite realize yet was that I still had to climb back over the ridge. 2 more miles at 8 or 9%. Still alone. I was beginning the descent into madness. "This 27 mile loop is like an Escher waterfall! It travels upwards in all directions!" Finally, I reached the top and began the blistfull 2 mile descent back into town. I was finished with the ride and was mentally and physically spent.

Here are the final stats. 207 miles. Ride time: 10:53 min Total Time: 12:08 min Avg speed 19 mph Food eaten: Gu, bannanas, powerade, lots of H2O, Oreos. Song in my head for the last 50 or so miles... "Standing in the Safety Zone" by the Fairfield Four. I never considered quitting, and I am glad that I completed the ride. Many of the original 16 double century starters only rode 180 miles. Only 4, that I know of, actually did all 207 miles.

Thanks for reading.


DFL beats DNF, DNF beats DOA (or, ye can sleep when you're dead)JS Haiku Shop
Sep 9, 2002 6:42 AM

209.02 miles

13.15 hours on bike
15.9 mph avg on-bike time

14.9 hours total time
13.9 mph avg including stops

report: DFL with one other guy, attrition got a few, rode mostly unsupported for the last 140 miles. organizers lost us and dropped the ball.


180.64 miles

11.35 hours on bike
15.9 mph avg on-bike time

12.68 hours total time
14.24 mph avg including stops

report: listened to MB1's suggestions re: total time instead of on-bike time for average speeds. stopped at all SAGs (found them all manned and stocked, LOL), didn't stay at many for long enough to unclip both shoes.

my first 40 average 19 mph, had front wheel skewer in backwards, no computer function. fixed, dropped lights, gear, watered flowers, long first stop (11 min). left 40 DFL. caught DC tail at mile 100 (60 mile chase!). let 'em go after an offer from them to latch on.

overall: rode 40 to 120 DFL. rode 40 to 160 solo. started pulling back 100-mile riders at mile 145-150. stopped 20 miles out (mile 160 SAG) for 15 minutes overheated--pouring water over body--despite more than sufficient fueling and hydration, and moderate pace. rode in last 20 miles with tail end of 100-mile riders. saw many calling for broomwagon.

b'ham was much more hilly, the kind where momentum from one doesn't carry to the next. some larger. some ridge crossings. much warmer this week than last. some of the double century riders threw in the towel at around mile 80. i had a rough time mentally getting to 100--strong headwinds (but at least it was mostly uphill, LOL) from mile 77 to 98. unofficial cutoff time for last loop was 4 PM, i arrived 4:52ish. i was not disappointed to have missed out on the fun of the last 27 miles. steep gravel descents. ugh!

wonderdog (modest tho he is) finished second of the double riders. when i arrived with 180 he was eating BBQ with his shoes off with 200+, having arrived 30+ minutes ahead of me, with 27 more (reputedly most brutal) miles.

most appreciative
to find manned SAG stops on route
just where they should be

E-Dog: next weekend
saturday, 140 miles
maybe a few more

tapering, am i
200, then 180
soon down to hundred

then week off, i'll take
drink beer, get fat, watch oprah
dressed in boxers, i

then, switch winter mode
single speed and fixed gear rides
build back up the miles


ta, and so long for now.

Proprietor, J's Haiku Shop
ps: yo, Do(u)g...JS Haiku Shop
Sep 9, 2002 6:44 AM
thanks again from the bottom of my butt. i'm a QR saddle cover convert (zealot?).

You know, I've been thinking about this....MB1
Sep 10, 2002 11:10 AM
You should have ridden your SS. That would have been cool and you wouldn't have overextended yourself keeping up with all those gear heads.

Congratulations for 2 great rides.