Author – K. Weissburg
Kris, Martha (her family), Marty and James all arrived in Davis on Friday afternoon and checked into our respective hotels. It was warm, slightly breezy. The hotel was nice but Kris and my window was right on the street at “D” and Third. Very busy with a frat house around the corner. This is not so great for a 3 am wake-up call! Thank goodness for Advil PM and ear plugs!
We all went to register for the ride. I hadn’t really wrapped my head around 200 miles. The farthest I had ridden before was 125 at the Tierra Bella 200k and the Wine Country 200k. So, I knew this would be difficult. However, when I arrived at registration, I realized that we not only rode to and around part of Lake Berryessa (which I already knew) but that we ALSO would be riding to Clear Lake! (Lower Lake specifically). “Wow!”, thought…I don’t even like driving that far! What did I get myself into???!!!
We had a leisurely dinner full of protein at the Cattlemen’s restaurant and hit the sack at 8 pm. Sleep was elusive with all the noise but we managed. Up at 3am and on the road by 4 am with our lights. I preloaded with my Hammer Mitocaps, Race Day Supreme and Race Day Boost. We rode in the dark until about 5:30 or so. By then we were approaching the bottom of the climb to Berryessa. We tried to pace line as much as possible and to hop onto other pace lines. The group kind of broke up on the climb but then regrouped at the rest stop (somewhere around mile 60). The weather was comfortable and coolish.
After Berryessa we descended into Pope Valley in Napa (aptly named PoPo Valley some years ago when we were riding the Napa Century). Lovely riding. Martha and I arrived at the mile 95 rest stop feeling fresh and happy. We were on target for a 7 hour century, which felt pretty good since this ride has 7000′ of climb). However, no Marty, Kris or James. Kris finally arrived to let us know that James had had a catastrophic blowout that shredded his rear tire and he was trying to boot it. Fortunately, SAG arrived and gave him a new tire. Yay! We ended up waiting at this rest stop 35 minutes which put us a little off schedule.
The next big adventure was a ride across the valley through Big Canyon, which consisted of riding over a 4 mile stretch of a rolling dirt and gravel road. Yikes! I am not a mountain biker! This was a little scary for me on my road tires but we got through it! Our last climb of the day took us up to a place call Resurrection at mile 133. It was our last climb and I know why they call it that! I felt resurrected after the ice cold coke and the thought that all I had left on the ride was a metric century, flat and downhill!
I need to add that I fueled by taking Eduralytes and Hammer Ammino caps at every rest stop. I use my own BCAA conoction for fueling drink but I also love my FIZZ caps. I was careful to stay well hydrated all week, especially that day. Additionally, in preparation for this ride, I invested in a large container of Hammer Seat Saver, which I applied generously at every other rest stop. It saved me! No chafe or rash at all! As Dianne has said in the past, I was hopped up on Hammer products! I believe they really helped me get through this. NEVER underestimate a cold coca cola however (when all else fails). Otherwise, there were random bananas and PBJ but the food was not so great. I had turkey wrapped in lettuce at the lunch stop and stayed away from all the cookies and sweets.
Our long descent after Resurrection took us down the canyon through Cache Creek. This was a lovely road until we hit the flats and the casino. At that point the road narrowed with no soft shoulder or bike lane. There were lots of motorists and what I called “angry gamblers”. That part of the ride was a little unnerving, lots of horn honking. As we head back toward Davis, about mile 160, I started to have a little melt down. The legs were still great BUT my shoulders hurt, my arse hurt and I started having GI issues. I was miserable and whimpery thinking about 40 more miles. We pushed through and at the last stop (mile 180) I had a cup of noodles and another coke. Then I was smelling the barn. 20 to go and I could not wait to be finished. We skipped the mile 190 rest stop. Unfortunately, we took a twisty-turny way back into town and every time we made a right hand turn we got a stiff head wind. The final approach back into Davis blessed us with a tail wind. A large group of us finished together just before dark at about 8:15 pm or so.
Our total riding time was 12:52; overall time was about 16 hours. Our 5-10 minute rest stops got longer as the day went on. The ride volunteers were wonderful and most of the rest stops were Fire Stations. We all finished feeling great. I would do this again.
In fact, my good friends and I have decided that this is the year to go for the Triple Crown since we are already trained up. We have a double slated in Malibu on June 28th and another TBA.
It was an epic experience for me. I thank Nancy for the opportunity to buy her registration!