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2005 Year of the Triple Crown


What is the California Triple Crown? If you ride three or more double centuries on the list at www.caltriplecrown.com, you get the opportunity to buy triple crown clothing and merchandise.

Death Valley Double Century
Saturday March 5th
Start: 6am Finish: 7:45pm
Originally, the spring route visited Scotty's Castle but a political celebrity was in the area and due to security issues the ride was rerouted. The rumour at checkin the night before was that governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was in town but it turned out to be first lady Laura Bush.

Some people would think Death Valley is a flat ride since it's below sea level but the course is definitely not flat. The course is an out and back over Salisbury Pass (3315ft summit) so that's over 6600ft of climb right there. Add another 2400ft of rollers and you have 9000ft of climb over 200 miles. The Spring Death Valley Double was actually a nice ride. Lots of blooming wild flowers in the desert and temps in the low 80s. Could've done without the massive headwind on the way back though. Also would've been nice if daylight savings had kicked in earlier since we did have to ride the last hour in the dark.

Solvang Double Century
Saturday March 26th
I registered for this ride but my back went out the week before. Visited the doctor and had some x-rays taken and got prescribed some vicodin for the pain. The kind folks who run the Solvang Double moved my registration over to the Eastern Sierra Double. Ended up taking a few days off work and two weeks off the bike to recover.

Davis Double Century
Saturday May 21st
Started: 5:25am Finish: 5:40pm.
This double was fast and fun. Averaged 18mph. I would've liked to stop at the fire station for some chili and a cold drink but fast Mike kept on pushing til the end. Only 7000ft of climb on this double through the rivers and fields surrounding Davis.

Eastern Sierra Double Century
Saturday June 4th
Start: 5:15am Finish: 6:58pm
Maybe I wasn't fully recovered from Davis or maybe my body doesn't like working hard at 8600ft of elevation, or maybe a combination of both. Either way, this double century took the most energy out of me. Also had some great views of the Sierras and Mono Lake while climbing 10,000ft.

Will I ride three double centuries within a year again? Probably pick and choose one or two I haven't ridden yet, but I'm not committing to three a year. You really have to stay in good health for the events, take vacation time to get to the venues, and then hope the weather stays nice for the duration of the ride. Not to mention the preparation and training to comfortably finish a 200-mile ride. The killer part was getting up before 5am for each of these rides. That may be easy for most of you, but not to a person working the swing shift 3pm-1:30am four days a week.

Death Valley Photos


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