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Devil Mountain Double '07

Saturday 4/28/07
206 miles with 20k of climb and 101 degree heat

Why did I sign up for this? I needed a new challenge after having completed the Death Ride a few times and Terrible Two last year. With the unexpected weekend heat wave, the challenge got tougher.

The legs felt great on the Mt. Diablo climb. Morgan Territory was bumpy fun. Hit 47mph on its smooth backside descent. The calm windmills in the distance were a happy sight--a sign of no headwind. Then it got hot. Patterson Pass registered 101 degrees with its motionless windmills. Drinking warm liquids was no fun. With every swallow, I kept thinking I should've brought the polar bottles. Mines Rd was baking at 90+ degrees. I topped off my two bottles at the Mines Rd stop and barely made it to the Junction stop with sips remaining.

Topped off my water bottles again and grudgingly headed toward Mt. Hamilton. Half a bottle remained at the 6-mile summit marker. As luck would have it, a sag vehicle rolled by and topped off my water before the real grind began. While standing, I turned the cranks over at 2.5mph. While seated, I made it to 3mph. A few riders passed me at a turtle pace in this 97 degree heat. Further up the road, I would see some of them again stretching on the side, some even vomiting, or some even walking their bikes. One of the most refreshing popsicles would be eaten at the Mt. Hamilton stop a mile from the top. After a much needed rest and liquid refill, I crested over the summit. Since the 5am start, 12 hours had passed with over 14k of climb and 135 miles in grueling heat.

The descent to the Crothers stop was much cooler. However, the energy regained at Crothers would only be spent again on Sierra Rd. As the sun went down, the temps dropped even further on Calaveras. A chili dog and V8 were just what the body called for at the Sunol stop. After Sunol, Palomares and Norris were just blurs in this 206 mile event with 20k of climb.

At the end lasagna feed, one rider described this ride best as the "survival ride." Riding a mountainous double century is one thing but riding it in 101 degree heat raises the bar tremendously.

  • 190 registered riders
  • 175 starters
  • 122 finishers
  • Quotes from the organizer:

    "First of all, thank you for your participation in this year's event. This was probably the hottest year with the exception of the first year which was held in mid July. Certainly, many if not most were unprepared for the intense heat."

    "A record number of riders started (almost 175) and a record number failed to complete the ride due to the very challenging riding conditions. Unofficially, 122 riders crossed the finish line, from shortly after 6pm until the final rider arrived tired but happy at the Marriott around 3:20am."

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