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Is March too early for my first double?(6 posts)

Is March too early for my first double?PseuZQ
Dec 14, 2002 7:38 PM
Hey all,

I'm thinking of trying the Death Valley Double, and am wondering if I'll be prepared in time (3/1). I can do 100+ mile solo rides no prob and still feel like I have something left (the only limiter on my last two 100+ rides has been the absence of light. BTW, I have lights, just haven't used 'em yet.)

Last Saturday, I did 106.7 with 4500 feet of climbing in about 7.5 hours (speed may be an issue in the future -- although last weekend I had to deal with the dumb gates along the California Aqueduct). I followed that up Sunday with a short (30-mile) ride, that had some reasonable hills. Still felt I could have gone longer. In general, I like to ride hills, even though I'm kinda slow up them.

The closest I've come to doing back-to-back centuries was in May, doing an 80-mile ride Sat. followed by a 108-mile ride Sun. (The Grizzly Peak Century, in case you're reading from NorCal.)

My mid week-training consists of commuting about 3x/week, about an hour each way. (Although I've not commuted by bike for the past three weeks.)

What do you guys and gals think? I really want to give this a go but don't want to set unrealistic expectations.

Thanks for your input!
I hate this question but I think its more than half mentalPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 14, 2002 9:16 PM
Bike magazines are a huge culprit here. They come up with a plan to let you ride a century by slowly ramping up your mileage to get the "endurance". But the thing is a fairly *experienced* cyclist with very little training (6 hours a week) could hop on the bike and finish a century. It comes to how your feeling mentally and how you pace yourself. You may not do a sub-5 hour century but you'll fairly comfortably finish. Just ride and challenge yourself in the spring.

Nick (slightly overtrained and irritable)
Gotta agree with Nick...outofthesaddle
Dec 15, 2002 9:16 PM
Most of it is mental at this point. Its easy to get psyched out and think that you need to be putting in 30 hour weeks to do a double -- and its just not so. If you're comfortably riding centuries, you should be able to stretch to a double. Most of the same principles apply - eat early and often and drink more often than that. It sounds like its time to give it a shot. Even though its early in the year, most of the climbing happens by about half way. You've got a slight climb out to Stovepipe Wells in the last 50 but the big climbs (Jubilee and Salisberry) are done by 100.

Let us know how it goes.
just do itDougSloan
Dec 16, 2002 6:51 AM
If you are comfortable with centuries, doubles are doable.

You will need to watch your food and hydration more, especially in Death Valley. You'll need to ensure you don't go too fast in the first half, too, particularly up those long Jubilee and Salsberry climbs.

My recommendation, counter to intuition, maybe, is don't worry about the mileage so much in training, but rather work on some speed and climbing. Do some hard climbs, and even some intervals. That way, you'll be more comfortable on those long climbs, recover faster, and have more fun. Also, do some hard group rides; a big part of DVD you'll do in pacelines through Death Valley.

Dec 16, 2002 1:29 PM
Sounds like a plan.... I think my endurance is good, but I would like to speed things up a little. Don't mind long climbs at all, and try to incorporate them into rides as often as I can. (What goes up, must come down! :-D) But I've honestly not done a lot of tempo work, nor intervals. (Rationale is that well, rollies are *kind* of like intervals...ok, maybe not.) This is good feedack, as my intuition was in fact to focus on increasing distance.
Thanks again!!
It's a fun ride, do it!Lon Norder
Dec 16, 2002 3:45 PM
You pass the start/finish at 150 miles so you can bail out there if necessary. Actually, many people stop there rather than ride the last 50 miles in the dark.