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Hemet Double Century Staff Ride, Sept 2017

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I have ridden the Hemet Double Century 5 times now.  I had ridden the Grand Tour twice, but Hemet was the first CA double I rode (successfully) other than that, so I enjoyed it.  The first time was in 2013. 

The last 3 times it has been a staff ride.  We were going to volunteer at a rest stop the day of the ride, so the CTC allows you to ride the route on another day.  We have volunteerd now 3 times, 2015, 2016, and 2017.  In 2015 and 2016 we rode on Friday.  A couple of guys rode all night a couple of times, and since we expected to have warmer temps (the ride was in Sept this year, rather than April), I agreed to try that.

We left the start at 6:15 pm, with sundown expected about 7 pm.  My main concern was if my batteries would keep the lights on all night, followed by, no drizzle or cold.  There was no fog nor drizzle, so that was ok.  My wind vest was fine, as were my lycra arm warmers until 2am, when I switched to wool arm warmers. 

The Hemet DC is basically 2 loops:  the first loop heads west and north from Hemet to Riverside and Corona, then back to Hemet for lunch, and is about 107 miles.  The second loop heads south from Hemet, then west to Temecula and Murietta Hot Springs.  Both loops go along Lake Elsinore.  The  other guys decided to ride the 2nd loop first.  The biggest climb is about 10 miles in, Sage Rd.  Climbing that in the dark was a new experience.  It was much cooler than normal (not usually much wind in the canyon), and I had not already ridden 117 miles. The only disappointment was I didn’t get to enjoy the view during the descent.  A friend had told me the view reminded him of Tuscany.

Some of the roads had been repaved so that was a nice touch.  Traffic was also light (Thursday night) so that was also a bonus.  By 10-11 pm I was getting hungry.  We passed several open Mickey D’s, but, nobody wanted to stop.  By about 2 am we got back to the start.  Jim’s wife and friend got up and met us, and they went to find a place open to bring us burgers and coffee.  We started riding as they had the route and would catch us.  After about 20 miles or so they got to us.  In the meantime I started getting sleepy.  I would have never thought you could fall asleep on a bike (similar to falling asleep while driving), but I am now convinced you can.  About 4 am I starte yawning and had to keep moving my head around and blinking my eyes to stay awake.  That burger and coffee hit the spot, and I was rechagred then (we ate while sitting on the curb at a place with a very wide shoulder, near Menifee CA). 

We continued to Riverside.  One of the most beautiful parts of the ride is Victoria Drive in Riverside.  I hated I didn’t have a GoPro shot of it (although it is much better in the spring).  There are many roses as well as the different trees along the way. 

After that we rode thru Corona, where we dealt with all the traffic around the schools.  We were rolling along pretty well until about 20 miles from the end, when one guy hit a piece of metal in the bike lane and went down.  He was bleeding pretty good from his elbow, but he finished the ride.  One of our group had a flat about 5 miles from the end.  I went on with the rider that had crashed, since he was afraid of getting too stiff if he stood around and waited.  He got a flat about a mile from the end, which I changed for him.

With all of the flats (5 total) and the crash it took us 18 hours, and , riding in the dark was a unique experience.  My light batteries lasted all night.  Not sure I would want to ride all night again, but , I might consider it for Hemet, and if we were going to volunteer. 

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18 hours ago, Parr8hed said:

Whoa.  And to think that I was tired of being on a bike after just 112 miles.  

but you also swam 2.2 miles before and ran 26.something after

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