Instead of racing at Panoche and watching Dennis give lessons on how to win a bike race, I decided it would be a great idea to wake up at 3am and ride my bike for 11+ hours in record setting heat for the Davis Double century.
The weather reports said it would be 102 deg in Davis, hotter in the Cache Creek valley, so I started at 4:15am to get an early jump on the heat. I met up with some nice guys from Fremont Freewheelers club to ride with, and we stuck together through the dark working well together for the first 30 miles. At about mile 45, just after Cardiac Hill by Lake Berryessa a tandem and group of fast riders passed us, so we jumped on. I stuck with the tandem and fast riders, picking up another tandem and some other riders, and skipping some rest stops to not lose time until the main climb came, Cobb Mountain. It's about 4 miles long with 2000 ft climbing, and about 2/3 of it is exposed with no shade. It feels like Bonny Doon road, but with the sun bearing down and temps rising it was really tough! I made it up and over and was one of the first dozen to make it to lunch (I had dropped the tandems and most others on the climb). This gave me a little extra time to eat and hydrate before the tandems rolled out after lunch, but it was still a quick stop. At mile 135 came the hardest climb, not because of the length, but the fact it's completely exposed and along a highway. At the top, it's only 60 miles to home and all downhill/flat... but it was scorching hot and I knew it would be a challenge. I was with 2 tandems and a couple good friendly riders, so I felt like I was in a good spot.
The next 40 miles were tough and hot so we all slowed down quite a bit. Each rest stop got a little longer as we cooled down and hydrated. By mile 175 I was alone, either dropped by strongest riders, or ahead of those suffering more than me. At mile 180 I was considering calling it quits, but the cute nurse tending the kiddie pool full of ice water told me I was a stud and that she wishes all her single friends could meet me. That was all I needed to get home (well that, and another 60+ oz of H2O).
I felt great physically except for the heat, it really slowed me down. I ate just right, moderated my effort, drank an amazing amount of water, spent as little time working off the front alone as possible, and finished 45 minutes faster than last year even with record heat! That night I went out with a bunch of friends who said I was a complete idiot for doing the ride, but then bought me beer(s) to congratulate me on being "hard core".
Distance: 203.3 mi
Work: 6067 kJ
Norm Power: 187 Watts
Avg (Hr/Max): 137/174
Speed (avg/max): 18.1/51.1