Terrible Two 2013
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  1. #1
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    Terrible Two 2013

    Had a great day up in Sonoma County today! I was going for 13 hours but came in at 13:18 hours... a bit too slow on the 2nd half climbs, I think.

    I rode with Stan for a bit so looking forward to his video - his 45th double - crazy!

    Recap later.. post your own recap here!


  2. #2
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    For those who like to read such things, here is my recap! Link below to the full recap

    After riding the Devil Mountain Double this year, and beating my best time, I decided to go for the CA Triple Crown Stage Race and see if I could improve on my 15th place in 2011. So I signed up for both the Terrible Two and Alta Alpina 8.

    I did the Terrible Two with Dirk back in 2011; we rode it in our typical casual-fast style where usually one of us was feeling good and would pull the other along! It set me up pretty well for the Triple Crown.

    My recap will unfortunately not have many photos as I was in race mode all day.

    Preparation
    I generally don't like the idea of going to an easier cassette - I figure I should be strong enough to ride the whole thing in the gears I usually ride. I tried that on the 2012 DMD and suffered a whole lot more than 2013 DMD when I used lower gears. So, I gave in and installed my 11-28 cassette. My bike is a triple so I have a very low granny of 30x28 guaranteeing I can get up pretty much any hill no matter what my state!

    I had done a great 152 mi, 15K feet training ride the weekend before, stealing Mike's "Mr Bill's Nightmare" route - lots of great climbing in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I suffered on that ride, but was strong at the end so felt in good shape for TT. After the first 100 miles, my bike was complaining so I spent a bit of time on it regreasing pulleys, overhauling the pedals and cleaning/tightening things up.

    I bought a single speed bike a few months ago and have been enjoying the difference on climbs. In a short period, including a climb of Mt Hamilton, it has given me more standing endurance which I expected to payoff on the TT with its endless steep climbs.

    My memory of hills I don't ride much is terrible so I reread my recap of the 2011 TT to refresh myself on the course. I noted a few hits on that blog in the week prior so I hope others found it useful too.

    A few questions remained. Last time we had sent lights to the Monte Rio stop but not needed them. I had decided to aim for a 13 hour elapsed time, which I thought was a stretch but achievable if everything went well. Even leaving room for some (minor) mechanical delays, I figured I was safe to not pack lights. So I took that risk.

    My Garmin 800's battery has impressed me, going 14 hours on one ride. But since I was using my power meter and likely would flick between the screens more on this ride, I expected a shorter lifetime. I packed a USB battery but decided against wiring it in place on the bike and just stored it in my pocket in case it was needed.

    The TT is famous for its hot weather - last year there was apparently a huge DNF rate because of the oppressive heat. But the forecast was for perfect weather, maxing out in the 80s. I left the knee warmers and base layers behind but decided to pack a light jacket; the temperature can drop dramatically on the coast and I didn't want to get caught out there.

    The forecast also called for 9 mph winds from the South at Stewart Point in the afternoon. There's usually a good northerly tailwind here although we got a southerly headwind in 2011. I was disappointed with this forecast, although 9 mph isn't so strong.

    The TT starts and finishes at Analy High School which has showers in its gym. The school uses them for storage now, but the organizers clean them out so we have hot showers at the end of our ride. So nice, especially with a 2 hour drive home. I packed a towel and grabbed soap and shampoo from my hotel.

    I booked late so the closest hotel that wasn't charging "Napa rates" was the Best Western in Petaluma. Typically, as I left home in the afternoon I got 30 minutes out and realized I'd left my toiletries at home, including sunscreen and chamois cream. The latter convinced me to turn around and start the drive again - I didn't want to risk an unknown cream for this ride.

    Once checked into the hotel, I looked around for food options. I didn't want anything too heavy - that can be a mistake before a big ride - so I thought about grabbing some take out and heading back to the hotel room. Dirk had taught me that the best way to get to sleep early before a ride was a couple of beers so I had packed a bottle of Pliny The Elder for this purpose. I like to eat in local restaurants rather than big chains when traveling so when I saw a restaurant called Pepper's, I walked in and ate there. Of course, I ended up breaking my rule and rolling out of there fat and happy: tilapia, mash, veges and hot apple pie a la mode. I had a beer too although its sleep-beneficial effects were wiped out by all the food!

    Sleep didn't come until 11pm but I learned not to stress about such things and I had a good 8 hours the previous night.


    Full recap: Ratpick's Rides: Terrible Two 2013

  3. #3
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    I was just at the Armstrong Redwoods Reserve. We were staying in a cottage about 5 minutes away. It looks like you rode right through it. What a beautiful area!

    I was imagining myself cycling on some of the really twisty roads around there. Unfortunately, it seems many don't have significant shoulders. Loved the recap as usual!
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  4. #4
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    Did the ride for the first time this year - it was great!

    Last year, I thought about doing it, but I had a previous social engagement, which saved me from the misery that a double in 111 deg heat brings. This year, is was probably 30 deg cooler, I was hotter on the backside of Hamilton during the DMD than anywhere on the TT.

    Pre-ride
    I'm fortunate to have in-laws who live 5 min from the starting point. I got up there on Friday afternoon, and road to Analy High School, the start. I did a little spin for about an hour of the beginning and end of the course, to loosen up the legs and get some familiarity with the start and end. Had a great dinner that my sister-in-law cooked, Tuna, polenta, broccoli, and dessert. Easily the best pre-double meal I've ever had.

    Morning of
    Up at 4, quick breakfast of yogurt, cottage cheese, museuli, and fruit. Plus a breakfast sandwich of fake Canadian bacon and low fat cheese. I like to make sure I get carbs and protein for these events. Drove to the high school, parked and got my number. Pinned it on, got a hammer gel. Now I tend to drink a lot of water, and asked if there would be any available before the first rest stop (55 miles). Was told no, so I put a 16 oz disposable bottle in my pocket. Went to my car and did clothing choices, got a pack of shot blocks and a hammer bar, just in case. Last year in the Marin DC, I couldn't stand up after the last rest stop due to sore knees, so I've made it a policy to have knee warmers on if the temp is below 60 -- so I put them on and a light jacket. In hindsight, arm warmers and a vest would have been better than the jacket.

    The Ride
    Got back to the starting area and it was pretty full, I'd be starting at the back. Heard Bill give his shortened speech and we were off! Always a bit dicey with so many people riding, but this pack seemed pretty smooth. I wanted to make sure I wasn't split from the pilot car, so I worked my way up in the pack. Pace wasn't that fast, so this was easy to do. Got talking to Patrick a bit as we went through Santa Rosa.

    I had forgotten my chest strap for my heart rate monitor, so I'd just have to go by feel as far as exertion was concerned. Honestly, I don't know if it would have made a difference, either positive or negative. Anyway, I wanted to balance staying toward the front (good opportunities for drafting early in the ride) with being sure not to blow up. I think I managed pretty well. After the first little climb, I saw Patrick pulling a long line of riders, I bridged up and sat in at the back. Up Trinity, staying a a good sustainable pace. Seemed to keep my position pretty well. At the top, they did have someone with water jugs -- I had been misinformed at the check-in. No real harm done, I just carried an extra pound up the first climb. I have more than that one extra on my body ...

    On the descent into the Napa Valley (Oakville Grade, I believe) Sarah Schroer, who would be the women's winner took off like a rocket and left a half dozen of us guys in her dust. An awesome display of riding skill. At the bottom of the descent, a pace line formed, with Sarah, a guy with a SF Randoneers jersey, someone from Pen Velo, and a bunch more, perhaps 8-10 total. This group worked together quite well, and we made good time to the first rest stop. I tried to do my share, but not take super long pulls, as we certainly had a long way to go!

    In and out of first rest stop in 5 min, but no one around to ride with. So I took off on my own. Very pretty section, a few turns, but all were well marked. A bunch of miles later, a pace line comes up to me and I jump in. Sarah (I think) and SF Randoneer are in it, along with some new faces. We continue riding along at a good clip.

    During these two pace lines, a couple of things happen to highlight the risk of riding with people of unknown group riding skills. Someone had a fast blow out, I think from hitting a rock that no one pointed out (I was second man at the time and share some of that responsibility, sorry to whomever had the blow out). Second thing was a guy got in the habit of half wheeling me (on my side with his front wheel about even with my back). After a couple of times, I explained to him that if I moved to the right, he would be going down, though I should not do that.

    Time to start the real climbing! Got into a pretty good rhythm on the climb, but our group split up, of course. Terrain was a little unwordly, no trees, pipes in the ground and exposed to the sun -- glad it was a cool day. Stopped at the water stop at the top of the first hill. Stanley went by me here, as I can see my back at 10:57 of his video, though I didn't know it at the time. Now the mystery of where Patrick passed me needs to be discussed. From his report, it does look like I was ahead of him into and out of the first rest stop. So it must have been on the Geysers climb, or on the flats. I don't think we were in the same paceline, and mine didn't get passed, so I think he just flew by me on the climb!

    A little while after the stop I ride by Stanley and say hi. Now I must admit that I was a bit surprised to see him there, as I thought I was in front of him!

    Up the second Geysers climb and to the rest stop. Somehow this stop took 7 min, off again to descend. I took it easy on this descent as the road surface was quite variable. Some nice scenery on the way down and chatted with one fellow on the way into lunch.

    My plan had been to minimize the time at lunch so as not to stiffen up. I had loaded up on food at the previous stop and was eating it as I could while rolling into the lunch stop. This is due to the Skaggs Springs climb immediately after lunch. At the lunch stop, I did have a sandwich made, and put it into my pocket. Reloaded on water and perpetum, loosened the shoes for a bit (I had had some hot spots on Geyesers) and hit the bathroom. All told, took 20 min, so much for a quick stop.

    Somehow I didn't feel the effects of the lunch stop, felt pretty good climbing Skeggs (at least as good as one can expect!). Came up to a guy who was really struggling, and said "you could make a killing selling 28 tooth cassettes here!". He asked what mine was and I said "25, but I have a triple -- 30/25 is like a 34/28". He said he was using a 39/27, and I said "you're a tougher man than me!". To tell the truth, a 30/28 would have suited me much better on this ride, more spinning, less standing.

    A descent followed and a couple of guys caught up to me. We worked as a 3 man pace line, but only for one turn each. One of them dropped off, and I let his buddy know that. He pulled off and I was back on my own. Next came the climb up Rancheria wall. The profile of this climb didn't do it justice. It certainly was steep! Lots of standing, but it was not that long, so I got over it. Nice rest stop there, saw Sarah leaving. Ate my sandwich, put the knee warmers back on and got ready to descend.

    Nice descent to the coast and GREAT tailwind down to the Ft Ross rest stop. Take care of business here and start this climb. A really pretty "road", perhaps a glorified bike path is more like it, I wouldn't really want to drive this road! Nice forest all around, and only a few cars, very nice!

    A bit of a run into Monte Rio, again nice and pretty along the river. Picked up my lights, actually a rest stop volunteer said I wouldn't be needing them and offered to stuff them in my pockets. I let him, but after I left the rest stop, I decided to mount the light on it's mount on the handle bares to be more stable, and put the contents of my pockets back where they belonged. The guy meant well, but I guess I'm a creature of habit!

    Rolling along to the finish, feeling pretty good. At 7:12 I look at my watch and see I have 194 miles. Up to this point, I hadn't been thinking about time, just riding what felt like a good effort, and trying to minimize stopped time. Hmm, if I average around 18, I can beat 14 hours, might as well try. So I upped my speed. I must say I got extremely lucky, only had to wait at stop lights for 15 sec or so. When I go to the school, I could see the clock, got to the check-in desk and it said 13:59:57! I made sure the person taking the time got it right and was quite pleased with myself.

    Had a great meal and chatted with a few folks, both 200k and 200 mile finishers. All in all a great ride.

    Two nits to pick:
    1) The misinformation about the water stop at the top of Trinity
    2) All the water tasted strongly of chlorine. Probably from disinfecting the water jugs. Better than the alternative, but not pleasant to drink.

    That's about all I can complain about, showing just how awesome this ride is!

  5. #5
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    Last edited by freighttraininguphill; 11-25-2018 at 09:31 AM.

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    I saw him all throughout the day. You can see him pass me while I'm zig-zagging up Fort Ross at 31:06. I managed to catch up to him on Austin Creek road and was hoping to pace line with him. By that point the weather was cooler and I was in time-trial mode to finish before 9pm after suffering quite a bit on Skaggs.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    I just finished my riding partner's video of his TT ride. He had a GoPro on his helmet like he did on DMD, which I think I posted video of in that thread a month or two ago. I really enjoyed all the shots of the ocean, and the helmet mount worked out very well to show all the beautiful scenery.

    While I was editing his video, I heard the familiar power-down beeps from a GoPro HD Hero2 after my friend passed another rider on the Fort Ross climb. As my friend was approaching, that rider said "it keeps going up". I thought to myself "that must be the other rider (Stan) who records all the local doubles". Nobody else does such a great job of covering those rides. Sure enough, I saw my riding partner at 8:09 in Stan's Part 2 video.

    You can see Stan at 30:42 in my friend's video.

    Matthew's Terrible Two double century 6-15-13 - YouTube
    I watched the whole video. Great job! It really gives the viewer a sense of the ascents and descents. The scenery was spectacular!
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    Last edited by freighttraininguphill; 11-25-2018 at 09:31 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    Right now he's up in Tahoe riding the Alta Alpina, so assuming all goes well I will have another video of that ride from him. I am going to Tahoe tomorrow to climb both sides of Kingsbury Grade with him (we'll both be recording that one), so I'll get his memory card and get busy on his latest video (hopefully!).
    I saw him riding Alta Alpina and said hi. Passed him up Ebbetts but saw him a few times through the day. Some long beautiful climbs to capture.. video should be spectacular.

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