A social double? Well yes, that is possible, with the right, fun crowd. This is an event I love to do not just because it is pretty, and not incredibly, but it’s fun to reunite with my double friends from So Cal. So I coined this a social double
My friend Curtis over to pick me up. It didn’t start off on a good note. We had issues mounting my bike on the Yakima rack. We end up having to call their tech support for help, and eventually got that all squared away. What a stressful way to start the weekend.
Was trying to get a group together for dinner early, but just couldn’t arrange that. Plan was to eat, then register, then sleep. Just couldn’t get that all set up. Original plan was sushi, but the local place was too expensive, plus it didn’t seem to be
a good source for carbo-loading. We ended up at Andersen Split Pea restaurant, and I loaded up there … Mmmm
Got everything all squared away, and ready for the 5 am start.
Met Debbie, Sharona, Rory, and Less at the start and off we roll.
Three first 35 miles was just to get into a groove, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t blow myself out, and get into a nice comfortable pace. I ride with Les and Rory for that stretch. We basically rode together till the first rest stop. Less went on ahead, while we re-grouped at the first rest stop.
We continued on from there but Rory was going at a brisker pace so I decided to hang in with the gals. Besides, it was more my pace. :)
We were now three, myself, Debbie, and Sharona. We went ahead and traded leads, riding together for the remainder of the ride. This made for a much more enjoyable double century, and yes, fun!
Sharona, Ron, and Debbie
In past years, when we got to Morro Bay, we would head straight over to Los Osos Valley Road, but they changed the route last year, to go through some lush hillsides on Turri Road. This was a much more scenic option, and boy was it pretty.
Onto lunch stop … a left on Los Osos Valley Road, then … a tandem train comes. Whaddayaknow … my friend Steve, hanging on to the tandem train. I’m gonna slip in, and enjoy the fast train … woohoo.
After lunch, we travel through one of the most scenic sections of the ride, Shell Beach. It kind of reminds me of Palos Verdes .. words, and pictures don’t do it justice
By the time we rolled into the Guadalupe Rest Stop, which was about mile 136, I was feeling a bit fatigued. Back was beginning to ache, I just attributed this to lack of riding miles, translating to a weak endurance.
We continued on, picking up a couple extra riders to help lead the pace. Up to this point, I was leading our small group, but now I was just tired, and I was just hanging on from the back … hanging on with the claws of my hands. I had taken ibuprofen and endurolytes, but they just didn’t quite seem to help. Then, all of a sudden, I realize I have a flask of hammer-gel in my pocket.
Took a swig of that, and now I’m fine. Got my energy back just in time for the next rest stop.
Everything was going so smoothly, we all are in a great mood, anticipating finishing this in daylight. Then, all of a sudden, we have a flat, and this is just 6 miles from the next rest stop. Well, the tire was deflated to about 50 psi, so we figured, just CO2 it. Well, that only lasted < 1 mile, and we had to go ahead and replace it.
Damn, this tire is hard to pry off
I checked the tire but couldn’t find anything indicating a puncture, or any other debree that caused it. Roll into the next rest stop, and fill up on tubes and CO2. And oh, gotta take in the cup o noodles … gotta do that as a tradition at the last rest stop of the double.
Ok, 30 more miles to go, and we all feel good about finishing this before dark. While we are at it, we probably should plug in our external power, just to make sure we don’t run out of battery power on our Garmins (and record it as one ride, instead of separating into multiple rides). We plugged in our external power at 6 pm, and we figure that after about 40 minutes, it should have enough juice to last us the rest of the ride. All seems good, except Debbie’s Garmin seems to have been reset to 0. Noooo!!!!! Damn, and using the same cable seems to work on Joshua Tree, but why did it not work here. Phooey! Well, my external power seems to work, so I agree to give Debbie my fit file, after we finish the ride, since we all rode together, at the same pace up the hills.
Oh, BTW, we have a second flat. Nooo!!!!! What’s wrong with this tire … it’s brand new. So here we go again, same routine as before, but why did it fail again. I pry it open again, and still, don’t see anything wrong. So put on another tube, but this time, the tire is much harder to put back on. We pump it up, but there is no air going into the tube.
At this point, Lisa, one of Debbie and Sharona’s friends, comes along, and we are now 4 riding back. However, we still have the tire issue to deal with. Robert, Sharona’s hubby, who also happens to be SAG’ing the ride, comes by to the rescue, with a full floor pump, more CO2, and tubes. We get that going, and off we go. I have no idea how long we spent struggling with this, but I’m now pretty refreshed, other than the energy it took me to put the tire back on.
It’s getting dark, and we need to get our lights on, layer up, and finish this Alisos Canyon climb. After a right turn, we ascend Foxen Canyon. Debbie and I are riding in front, and I figured we would re-group when we got to the bottom at Hwy 154 intersection. We didn’t see Lisa and Sharona in back of us, but in the distance we see some headlights. We thought it was them … nope. A few more cars and bikes pass by, and no Lisa and/or Sharona. OMG … we start to panic at this point. We gotta climb up the hill to get them.
We climbed only about 1.5 miles before we saw them, and Sharona had just about finished putting it back together. Dang, what is up with this tire? What’s important is that we are back on the road again … this time, we’re going to stay together, keep every in sight. From this point on, I’m sweeping, just to make sure we are not separated.
4 flats? Damn, there goes our daylight plan … there goes our OCD plan to get to 200 miles. At this point, the drive to get OCD miles has gone … we just want to get to the finish before 10 pm. Finally, we made it back to the finish.
We were delirious at this point
Am I a lucky guy or what?
WE finished at around 9:30 pm, and here are the stats:
Strava: 194.8 miles, 8,649 feet climbing (even with elevation correction enabled)
Garmin Connect: 194.75 miles, 7,753 feet climbing
This was the most fun I’ve had in a really long time. What a way to get off double #13. This was my 14th double, 5th Solvang Double. Thanks for such a wonderful day, Debbie, Sharona, and Lisa. All for one, one for all.