Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 45
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351

    Devil Mountain Double recap

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    First of all I feel so fortunate to have had the support of my wonderful husband and friends through this process. And it’s NOT over.

    The alarm went off at 3 AM and we began getting ready to go the ride. Everything was going well. I was even able to eat some breakfast, which is hard for me at that hour. Thom packed up the car with things he would need volunteering while I concentrated on prepping myself for the ride. We were just about on time, when I realized the cat was nowhere to be seen. The front door had been open while the car was being loaded. I suspected that she had wandered outside. At 17 she is still very curious. We finally found her in the garage. Apparently she meandered in while the bike was being put on the car.

    We drove about five miles down the highway and I realized that I had left my water bottles in the freezer. We stopped at a convenience store and got me a bottle of water. They did not have any with a sport top that would fit a cage, so I ended up with a screw top bottle. It’s a good thing I’ve got pretty good bike handling skills.

    Between looking for the cat and the need to get a bottle, I left at least 8 minutes behind everyone else who left at 5 AM. As a result I was by myself most of the day. The ride to the base of Diablo was uneventful. I turned onto Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd. and found myself faced with a big ditch. “Holy Moly!” I uttered and thought to myself, this road really has gone downhill. Then I realized I was actually on the asphalt sidewalk and the ditch was a ditch. Oops.


    At the start

    Diablo was totally socked in with fog below about the 3,000 foot mark. It was cold and I was wishing I had worn wool socks. I passed a couple on the side of the road. I said, “Hello” and continued on by. The woman caught up to me and said her husband had broken his chain, I don’t have a spare chain and they had a chain tool, so there wasn’t much help I could offer. I did call Thom and ask him to make sure that they would be Sagging South Gate Road. I continued climbing.

    In retrospect I wish I had taken a picture of my arm warmers as I was climbing Diablo because they looked like they had frost on them. Maybe it was just dew, but it looked wicked frosty. I also think some of the trees were dropping hail not water as I passed under them.

    Right below Juniper the sun was shining and it was so warm I rolled my arm warmers down. I continued on in the sun, it was nice to be warm. I got to the last stretch of the climb – the 17% bit, made sure I was in my easiest gear and started up. Fifty feet into it, the chain fell off the rear cluster to the inside and took my rear wheel off! I got off the bike to fix it, as I’m working on it, two women start up the climb and yell at me to clear the road. This section is at least ten feet wide. I have been passed by cars here. If I am two feet from the right hand edge I’d be surprised. Nonetheless I moved towards the ditch. They neither said, “Thank you” nor asked if they could send help from the top. Whatever. I’m sure they started at six and were racing for time.

    Everything was fixed, but I couldn’t get the chain to go back on to the largest cog. It was three down and I was determined to start right where I was on this 17% grade. Freakishly strong legs came through and I was able to start and down shift to the right gear. I spent less than five minutes at the rest stop. I got my funky water bottle refilled and added some Sustain and Gatorade to it. As I begun rolling down the hill I realized that I had not closed the quick release on my rear brake. But when I closed it, the brakes were rubbing. Hmmm… I checked to make sure the wheel was in properly. Yep, that was good. Maybe when I dropped the chain and the wheel come off it moved the brakes. I decided to ride with the quick release open and I’d get Thom to look at it when I got to Morgan Territory. The upper part of the descent of Diablo is great. But when I hit the fog bank again, it was COLD! I decided not to be stupid and stopped and put on my jacket and long fingered gloves. Two guys passed me as I was doing that. I caught them south of the junction of North and South Gate roads. They asked me if they were going the right way. I assured them they were and led one of them down the mountain. I don’t know what happened to the other one. This guy seemed happy to have someone who knew the descent. It was kind of gnarly with the fog and I took it much easier than normal. I was also totally aware that my brakes weren’t 100%.

    I climbed up Ygnacio, probably one of my least favorite climbs. It’s just ugly and there is so much traffic. I stopped when I saw Cindy Sue on Pine Hollow. Then I tootled on over to Morgan Territory. I love the Morgan Territory climb. Yes, the road is horrible, but it’s quiet. You can hear the stream, the birds and critters in the woods.


    Rolling into the Morgan Territory Rest Stop

    I was stopped at Morgan Territory for 17 minutes while Thom looked at my bike. He tuned the limiter on the rear derailleur. The problem with my rear brake seemed to originate near the brake lever. The cable worked just fine further back engaging and releasing as it should. But when you used the lever, it wouldn’t release. We suspect maybe the cable has frayed. We decided I would continue with just my front brake. It was doable. Required more thought and caution than using both brakes. But I know these descents. I still hit 45.8 MPH on the Plunge!

    The descent down the Plunge was foggy and again I took it a little easier than I have on past rides. The flat section in Livermore and climb up Altamont were great. Tailwind! I was doing 29 MPH without even trying.

    Then I turned to go up Patterson Pass. Patterson Pass is about 4 miles long and climbs 1100 feet. That’s an average grade of 5%. There is a wind farm there. Another thing I wish I had taken a picture of. I don’t know how hard it was blowing, hard enough that on the few downgrades I could not coast, hard enough that when I got to the summit the wind nearly pushed me over. But I still felt good. Nothing hurt. It was just an obstacle to get over.

    I was an hour behind the cut off when I got to Mines Road. The ride coordinator was there and he said I could keep going. I stopped for about three minutes here. I still felt really good. Mines Road starts off with a fairly stiff climb, but then becomes a steady 1 % grade for about twenty miles. This part of the ride was actually some of the most pleasant. I was riding along by myself, enjoying the scenery and the sounds. I saw a deer and maybe a red wing blackbird. It was a black bird with red wings anyhow. Fifteen miles or so into this section, I start experiencing hot foot. I’ve never had this before. It’s very uncomfortable. I estimate I’ll get to the next rest stop at just about the cutoff time. It’s supposed to be the lunch stop. I haven’t spent much time off the bike so I plan to take a little break there. Maybe take off my shoes and massage my feet. I was also starting to not want to eat anything.

    About half a mile from the rest stop a motorcycle pulls up beside me. It took me a minute to realize it was Lisa and Robert. We talked for a minute and then met up at the Junction. Lisa took some photos of me there. I’m afraid I wasn’t very chatty.

    Another rider pulled in behind me and a volunteer at the rest stop begins telling us that we have to be sagged forward. We are ten minutes past the cut off and I was NOT getting sagged forward. She insisted that there will be no support for us and we will have to finish the ride on our own. Huh? I know that is not how Quackcyclists do things. They want you to finish and will do whatever they can to help you do so. I told the guy not to worry that we will have support – even if it is just my husband who is at the next stop. The other rider leaves the rest stop ahead of me. Most of the food was gone or already packed away. I refilled my water bottles and put extra Sustain in one since it seems to be the only nutrition my stomach can handle. I was there for 13 minutes.

    I left the rest stop and had a blissful section of downhill and rollers. I still felt pretty good. I could tell that I was getting fatigued since I was going to the granny a lot sooner. But that’s okay. I could still do it. I don’t mind being slow. There are a couple of little climbs before the final five mile push up Hamilton. I caught up to the other rider, whose name was Kim, just before one of these. We mostly rode together the rest of the way. He had never ridden here, so I filled him in what to expect. We started up the final climb. He was kind of struggling and would stop, rest, then catch up to me again. I was riding in my 24 X 27, so was not going all that fast. Kim commented on how small, my small ring is. After about a mile of this, everything fell apart. The hot foot was becoming unbearable. I would pull my feet out of the pedals, reposition them and continue pedaling that way. This on a 7% grade! Both my lower back and upper back began to ache. My butt felt numb, but also hurt. My stomach was feeling nauseous and even Sustain was becoming difficult to swallow. My neck hurt, my abs hurt. I kept pedaling, cataloguing all the reasons to finish the ride. I wanted the jersey; all sorts of people had come out to support me. Completing the ride was the goal I had set for myself. How could I even contemplate not finishing the ride?

    Just the fact that I was thinking about stopping clued me in to how miserable I was. It would take me at least seven more hours to finish the ride. All this went round and round in my head for the hour it took me to go three miles. I rolled up to Thom at Windy Gap and told him I was done. I was thinking, but didn’t say out loud, “I am f@cking nuts.” I don’t swear a lot so this was big. He said, “No you’re not. Sit down, rest for awhile.” “Okay,” I thought, “Maybe I will feel better and I can do this.” I sat. Kim arrived. He was ready to pull the plug too. I tried to stand up and couldn’t even stand straight up, my entire back hurt so much.


    Arriving at Windy Gap

    Thom was still hoping I’d be able to get back on the bike. I went off to change into some dry clothes behind a bush. I could not even balance to get my clothes off. I had to lie on the ground. I started walking back to Thom and sort of collapsed in a heap. Thom saw me sitting there and realized I really was done and stopped pushing me to get back on the bike.

    My initial thought when I got off the bike was there is no way in h@ll I am doing another double century. By the time we drove to the summit of Hamilton I was thinking I felt so good after Solvang. I need to do two more “easy” ones and get the Triple Crown. Before we were off Hamilton we were talking about what I need to do to be able to finish this ride next year. Yeah I am f@cking nuts.


    Sunset at the summit of Mount Hamilton

    I lost four pounds on the ride. I usually hydrate and eat so well that I don’t lose anything. I never felt like I had bonked. I was still eating, right until the end, even though it felt gross. And I don’t feel dehydrated today. So I’m not sure what is up with that. Sure would be nice if they stayed lost.

    Finally, I so appreciate those of you who came out to see me on the course and the Good Luck wishes from all those far away. It really means a lot to me. I’m not a crier but you guys have brought tears to my eyes.

    Total Time: 14:10
    Miles: 135.1 (133 according to GPS)
    Total Climb: 13,370
    Avg. Speed: 10.3 :-(
    Last edited by Veronica; 04-30-2006 at 12:31 PM.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Off eating cake.
    Posts
    1,700
    Cheers for the great report and the photos. Bummer that you couldn't finish, but if you were done for the day, you were done for the day. Here's to next year!
    Last edited by DirtDiva; 04-30-2006 at 10:27 AM.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    325

    Thumbs up

    "Fifty feet into it, the chain fell off the rear cluster to the inside and took my rear wheel off.."

    I'm thankful you didn't get hurt. Thanks for the story, it gave me a sense of the struggle and dedication that goes into distance riding. I appreciate your incredible courage!

    Carole

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,869
    Excellent report V - wussy snap would've bailed when the chain came off

    The plan for two easier doubles, then DMD next year is a good one. Yes, you are f*cking nuts, but we love you anyway!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387
    Talk about some bad luck...I think it was just an all-around weekend from hell. I certainly can't top your and Beta's stories, but I did manage to get 40 miles off course on a Century today that I was in the process of bailing out on, trying to pick up the 61 mile route (+ 5 bonus miles thanks to the escort at the start)...That'll teach me! At the first rest stop, 20 miles, some guy was ranting about how they should re-name it The Endless Winter With Gale Force Winds Century. Yeah. At least there weren't any mountains...You guys out there- I don't know how you do a single Century, much less a double. There's this rule in diving, if three things go wrong, quit the dive. Let's see, misplaced cat, forgotten water bottles, and rear wheel falling off. Looks like you did the right thing :-) When I look back at the two rides I've DNF'd, one due to freezing rainy weather, one due to SAGs running out of water in 90F heat, (both off-road) and I don't feel even a little bad- I know I made the right decision. There's no point in torturing yourself if you aren't enjoying any aspect of the event.

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    1,262
    Veronica,

    I commend you on your ride and even though it sounds like you're a bit disappointed, you did a fabulous job! Based on your recap it sounds like several things came together and did not combine for your best efforts as I know you were well prepared for this ride. What a great recap and an interesting adventure! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Well done Veronica!

    Tracy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    1,320
    V- great report. Thanks! I'm so impressed that you were able to make it to the top of Diablo without turning around....tells me you are one strong lady!
    Thanks for all the details and the photos. Now we REALLY know how it went for you!

    Hopefully you can do the Central Coast Double and the Davis Double.

    Re hot feet- I'm an expert on that one having suffered for about 6 months before I figured out how to handle it! If you need any advice, just let me know!
    Nancy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I'm not going to do Central Coast. I was doing it since it's one of the stage races and since I DNFed on DMD, the first stage race, it seems pointless. Yes, I've paid, but I won't have to pay for a hotel now.

    I am doing Davis, still thinking about Tam, doing Knoxville and maybe the fall Death Valley.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    I am doing Davis . .
    The hotel room is magically still available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    Iím not a crier but you guys have brought tears to my eyes.
    Well, I am a crier and you brought tears to my eyes. Stupendous effort, V.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    427
    Great job Veronica! Even harder than not finishing, is not listening to your body, so you earn extra points in my book for listening to your body. You are such an inspiration!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    999
    thanks for the great story and photos! I'm also a crier and I was really touched by your determination despite so many obstacles. And kudos to Thom for being such a great support! Until the next adventure..........
    Cheers!

    Cindy

    Team Luna Chix

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    Congratulations, Veronica! It takes a strong woman to listen to her body when it's telling her to stop. There's a big difference between wimping out and making a wise decision. Had you continued, you could have gotten an overuse injury that would put you out for the rest of the season, or been so dazed that you lost control or made a serious judgement error. Your 135 miles of mountain climbing is still an incredible feat, hat's off to you!

    And I can totally empathize with showing up at the support stations to see the food all gone, and the SAG vehicles telling you "you're on your own, kiddo".

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    This morning I was lying awake, filled with remorse that I didn't finish the ride. I knew this would happen. I remember thinking that I would second guess my decision to stop and telling myself on Saturday not to do that.

    I can finally stand up without my back screaming too much. I don't know what it is about climbing - 100 miles , 10,000 of climb I could do with no pain. You add 30 miles and 3,000 feet more climbing and my lower back hurts for days.

    I'm commuting to work in a skirt today with bike shorts underneath. AND I'm still down three pounds in spite of eating a huge amount of Mexican food yesterday.

    V.
    Last edited by Veronica; 05-01-2006 at 06:11 AM.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    great report! I haven't been at a computer much so I wasn't able to get a word in yesterday. anyway, I am so impressed with how far you got and the fact you were wise enough to know when to stop. when I do have a chence to get to a real computer I will do a quickie report on what I saw - but its clear this is an epic ride. I saw some folks who had stomach issues and I have to think heat had some thing to do w/it. no one has trained in heat yet this year so you're not acclimated.

    I am glad we'll see you at davis - its a fun ride. any chance you want to come do ESDC w/ me weekend of June 3? sounds more epic than advertised according to my sources...

    I am glad you're recovering. back pain on climbs stinks. unless I am diligent w/ab work it plagues me. take care of yourself and drink a lot this week!! (water - okay, whatever you want ).
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I'm doing LRRH the weekend of Eastern Sierra, but thanks for the invite.

    Something I learned on this ride - arm warmers rub off your sun screen.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •