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Terrible Two '07

Friday June 15th, 2007
Preride bike check at 8:30pm in Santa Rosa

Noticed a one inch section of my rear tire with threads showing that weren't there the previous night. That 52-mile spin earlier in the day put the tire over the edge. Immediate thoughts were that there's no way this tire is going to survive the Geyser gravel sections. Grabbed the phone book and the first bike shop I found with a nearby 101 exit closed at 7pm. Found a Santa Rosa REI that closed at 9pm so I called them and got directions. They didn't have any folding 700x23 blue Vredestein tires in stock so I went with a black folding 700x25 Michelin tire. I put that on and packed two spare tubes for the ride.

Saturday June 16th, 2007
55 degree 5:30am mass start

I lined up close to the pace car so I would start in the front pack to catch all the lights. Speed stayed in the consistent 25s for most of the first 16 miles. A few riders yelled at the driver to go faster but he stayed at the speed limit. Dodged a few stray water bottles that launched on bumpy curves and potholes. Front tire hit one but I stayed upright. Rear tire slid when I hit the brakes when the rider in front of me suddenly slowed to avoid a branch in the road. Sprinted a little to cover the gaps when the riders who could no longer hold the pace got shelled off the back. The pace car tripped all the stoplights except for one that was on a timer instead of a sensor.

Enjoyed cloud/fog cover until 10am when the sun broke out. Slowed up a bit thinking I would save some energy for Skaggs Rd in case it would be a repeat of last year's 108 degrees. A few minutes after I slowed, Bill Brier and Janet Martinez who I met on Fremont Freewheeler rides caught up. I stepped up the pace to ride with them to the next rest stop. After the stop, it was the descent through the Geyser gravel sections. Each gravel section seemed to have a person pulled over with a flat. I made it through with no issues this year. Dropped in behind a tandem and before you know it I was enjoying a nice roast beef sandwich at the lunch stop.

After lunch, temps were a consistent 93 degrees on Skagg's Rd with a section that briefly spiked to a 100 from all the heat radiating from the asphalt surface. An occasional breeze helped cool things down. Temps were mid 60s along Highway 1.

Rolled into the finish at 7:41pm with Janet and Rob who I met at the '05 Death Valley Double. Took 128 minutes off my time from last year. It's amazing how much time you save when you don't have to soft pedal it 10 miles into the next checkpoint when your pedal breaks, convince a sag driver to drive you into Healdsburg and back to buy a new pedal set, and then rejoin the route where you left off and play catch up and climb Skaggs Rd when its 108 degrees out.

Terrible Two has to be one of my favorite double centuries. Has just enough climbing to make it fun but not torturous. Plenty of enthusiastic volunteers--150 volunteers for about 300 riders. Ice cold coke and Endurolytes at every stop. Bringing back the iced cappucino machine they had in place at last year's Ft. Ross stop would only make it better.

Polar 720i Ride Stats
  • 15.3mph average
  • 202 miles
  • 16480ft

Garmin 60CSX barometric calibrated GPS stats

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