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The Eastern Sierra Double Century


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Only 3 of us Bulls were riding the Eastern Sierra.  I was going to carpool with one guy, and the other guy was driving up with his wife.  Kim, my carpool partner, called me on Wednesday to say he had a cold coming on, and he was not sure about the weekend.  At that point he felt good enough to make the trip.  We touched base again on Thursday, and he felt better.  We were a good to go.  He was at my house by 4:50 Friday morning, and we were on the road by 5 am.

 

We were staying at the La Quinta in Bishop, CA, which was where the ride would start and end.  We met at 4:45 Saturday morning for the 5 am start.  It was about 52 degrees, and I wore my wind vest and wool arm warmers.  That turned out to be the right choice. 

The first 20 miles or so was a flat loop around the valley.  After the first check point, at about mile 30, the climbing started and continued until about mile 70.  Kim and Jim both had heart monitors that they were watching.  Kim was struggling some because of his cold.  ( if I continue to do doubles I may think about a hr monitor).  There was a breeze in our face during the first of the climbs on Sherwin summit, which was not fun.  We next climbed into Mammoth Lake.   After mile 67 there was a downhill, then another climb from mile 74 to 77. 

I wasnt eating as much as I should have for the first 70 miles.. more on that later.
 
The June Lake loop started at mile 80 and was the most beautiful part of the ride.  The first part of it was actually flat, but a headwind made it seem uphill, About a third of the way into the loop the road turned to the right into a downhill, and we had the wind to our back.  Both Jim and I hit a rock a few miles into the downhill,  I heard the pop from Jim's front tire. Since we were going about 30 mph, he took his time slowing down.  Fortunately one of the sag cars stopped by, giving us access to a floo pump and saving our CO2 cartridges.  We aired up Jim's tire, and saw a cut in the sidewall. I had a spare foldable tire in my seatpack and got it for Jim (the sag guy had a used tire too).  When I got to my bike I found my front tire was flat too (pinch flat from the same rock Jim hit).  Fortunately I had no sidewall breaks. 
 
We got rolling again and headed to lunch at Mono Lake. This is where my lack of eating early in the ride was starting to catch up with me. I could not quickly eat all of the turkey sub we had for lunch... got down 3/4 of it, and drank a couple of cokes.  Kim's cold was getting the best of him, and he decided to call it a day.  Jim and I left the lunch stop at 2:30, along with two other riders from San Diego Bob and Ron.  We had one big climb left, Sagehen Summit, at 133 miles, then it was mostly downhill the rest of the way.
 
The climb to Sagehen Summit started at 121 miles, or about 14 after lunch.  It was not too bad at first, and Bob mentioned the last 4 miles were mostly flat.  A few miles into the climb I was stating to hurt bad.  I kept going though, then finally reached the summit.  There was kind of a small check point there, and I was able to drink a coke and eat something.  Jim told me it was all downhill from there, but, I needed more recovery time.  Jim and Ron started, but Bob noticed I needed more time and waited even though I told him to go. 

The downhill was nice.. I hit 49 mph  at one point.  There were a few rollers and one short hill before we got to Benton and the last sag/ check point.  Again I was there well ahead of the cut time.  As we entered Benton Bob looks a a flag and tells me that is a good sign;  we will have a tailwind all the way back to Bishop.   I took some time to eat a honey stinger, drink a coke, then put some Lantiseptic on my sit bones.  Jim and Ron headed out and Bob waited for me.  Bob said this stretch required some mental toughness because it was more or less 30 miles of straight road.   A couple of miles into it we were doing 35 mph and not pedaling!  That didnt last the entire 36 miles back to Bishop, but it was definitely easier riding.  I suffered a bit when the road bent to the right and the wind shifted, causing a cross wind.  But Bob hung with me and we got back to the start in 15.5 hours.
 

We met for the dinner ( at a BBQ place a block from the LaQuinta).  I was still in early stages of bonk (which I had been in since mile 120 of the ride), so I only ate half of my pulled pork sandwich and potato salad.  Still it was nice to rest and shoot the breeze with Jim, Bob, and Ron ( and other cyclists there). 

the next morning I got up at 6 am and started packing.  We met for breakfast at 7, where I truthfully told Jim I would ride the Eastern Sierra again.

http://www.strava.com/activities/148555479

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I really want to hit the like button on your post, but I can't. I appreciate the effort you put into the ride and the report, but double centuries make me sad. They just seem so masochistic to me!  And then tons of climbing and headwinds and.... ugh.

 

Having said that... Great job on the ride! And thanks for the report!

 

But I still can't "like" it. 

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Upon further review....   I looked at a few other ride reports here, and you are insane!!  Holy mackeral!! Double Centuries all the time???!!!  UGH!! You're killin' me!

 

Actually, I guess I"m just jealous. That's a lot of time on the bike, and it sounds like they are supported rides.  I like supported rides, so that's always good.

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Smudge, I only started riding doubles 3 years ago.  Several friends rode the Grand Tour Lowland route in 2010, and that got my interest.  The sag stops for the California doubles I have ridden are very good, as is the support for the rides. I was lucky to find a great group of cyclists to ride with to ride these events.

 

Yes, I am pretty tired at the end of these rides.... :D

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  • 2 months later...

Yeah, good essay.  I've driven through Tahoe to L.A. via 395 and know of those areas you speak of.  I'm lucky to get in a century let alone a double.

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I heartily agree with smudge that you must be certifiably unsane!  Very inspirational, though!  The scenery had to be incredible, 'specially Mono Lake.  I have always wanted to see that ever since I read a nice article with great photos in Outside Magazine ages ago. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I heartily agree with smudge that you must be certifiably unsane!  Very inspirational, though!  The scenery had to be incredible, 'specially Mono Lake.  I have always wanted to see that ever since I read a nice article with great photos in Outside Magazine ages ago. 

Thanks Master.  The scenery was best before lunch, when we were in the pines.  Having said that it was still good up to the Sagehen summit.

 

I guess riding doubles just kind of gets in your blood.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Badass!

 

I am not badass, DH..maybe just a bit stubborn (at times, maybe)

 

I will have two more centuries in November.  The Bull Shifter Heart of Arizona, this Saturday, and the McDowell Mtn Century (by my other club, the Arizona Bicycle club) on Nov 15. 

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