Click here to watch a short video of today's ride.
Started in 1969, the Davis Double is one of the oldest double centuries in California. This is the 42nd year of a very popular long distance event put on by the Davis Bike Club.
The start/finish is at the Veterans' Memorial Bldg in Davis. The route takes you through Winters, Pope Valley, Middletown, Cobb Mtn, Lower Lake, Cache Creek, Guinda, Capay and back. It covers 200 miles, crosses Yolo, Napa and Lake Counties and has over 8000' of elevation gain. The course has three moderate climbs; Cardiac Hill (Hwy 128), Cobb Mtn (Hwy 175) and Resurrection (Hwy 20). There is plenty of rolling and flat terrain in between all the climbs. The event provides 9 rest stops (RS) along with a lunch stop at Lower Lake.
I'm on a tandem with Wyatt and Michael is on his single. We meet up with Ed at the start and head out at 5:02 AM. Temp 57F. There are course marshals directing us at every turn out of town. It's a flat run out to the first rest stop.
I like the feel and sounds of riding out in the early morning, it's quiet, calm and very relaxing. It's a gentle awakening of all your senses. The best part of this ride is being able to see the sun rise and cast its morning glow on the vast farmlands, hayfields and orchards surrounding us. It really is a beautiful sight and what a joy it is to be able to partake in this natural wonder!
We arrive at RS#1-Farnham Ranch, mile 23 at 6:20 AM. There are too many riders at this stop, so we choose to bypass it and continue on.
**Photos may be enlarged by clicking on the selected image
We ride pass many orchards and more farmland before seeing Santa Claus "Lee" at the corner of Road 25 and Road 89. He waves us through and we continue on to Winters. The scenery out here is fabulous!
We roll through Winters and continue on Hwy 128towards Putah Creek. We exchange greetings with Patrick G. as he rides pass us. Headwinds are upon us! We make a quick pit stop at the Putah Creek Fishing Area before continuing on towards the dam.
The sweeping descent from the dam takes us to the climb up Cardiac Hill. It's 1.7 miles with a steady gradient of 6-7%. As we near the crest, I see the trailer home painted like the American flag, there's music playing and it's the Duran Duran song "Hungry Like the Wolf". There's a guy out there waving at us and shouting out that he was the mayor of Monticello, which is now under water due to the construction of the dam in 1957.
We stay on Hwy 128 for the next 8 miles. There are a few climbs and rollers before the next turn onto Lower Chiles Valley Rd.
After lunch, the route takes us on Hwy 53 for the next 6 miles. Traffic is very heavy on this stretch of road, ride with caution! There are several climbs before the turn off to Hwy 20. Michael is still cramping a bit and we stop on the side of the road for a few secs and continue on.
At mile 124.7, we make the right turn onto Hwy 20. There is one climb as we round the bend and thereafter it's a big drop down into the canyon. We're on a partial downhill and flat terrain for the next 5+ miles or so. We ride pass the Hidden Valley Sand & Gravel Company towards the Cache Creek Management Area and cross the bridge over Cache Creek.
There is still a climb ahead towards Walker Ridge and the Colusa County Line. Thereafter it's a blasting fast descent on sweet pavement all the way down to Hwy 16. The tandem is just flying- WOW!
We head south on Hwy 16 for the next 14 miles. We're on rolling terrain (perfect for a tandem) that hugs along Cache Creek. The landscape and scenery here is beautiful! I don't recall seeing any cars along this quiet stretch of road. How great is that?
We cross the bridge over Cache Creek and head towards Rumsey to our next rest stop. It's a flat 8 miles all the way to Guinda. We arrive at RS#7-Guinda Fire Station, mile 162 at 6:18 PM. I eat another cup o' noodles and chomp on some salty chips and chase that all down with a few chugs of Coke.
We're now set to head out again on Hwy 16 towards Cache Creek Casino & Resort. This is the most dangerous part of the ride; there is no shoulder area for the next 7.5 miles and you're sharing the road with very fast moving traffic, lots of it! Be cautious! You get a bit of relief when you ride pass the town of Capay with its red bricked shoulder area, but that is fairly short lived as you get back on the narrow road with traffic before the right turn on Road 85B.
There's a huge sigh of relief once we take the turn onto Road 85B. The remaining miles to the next rest stop is all flat with no traffic. We reach RS#8-Farnham Ranch, mile 181 at 7:40 PM. I eat a few red potatoes sprinkled with salt and take a few sips of Coke. It's only another 22+ flat butt sore miles back to Davis. Everyone is given a glow in the dark bracelet for the ride out.
For the next 4 miles, you need to watch out for the A-frame construction signs to make the correct turns or you'll be riding around in circles. The sun is slowly setting and the golden hue it cast on the open fields is absolutely stunning! I get to see the sunrise and sunset all in one day, how glorious is that? I can hear the sounds of crickets and frogs croaking as we pass the open farmlands and canals.
We stay on Road 27 for the next 8 miles to Road 95. We arrive at RS#9-West Plainfield Fire Station, mile 196 at 8:42 PM. This rest stop has the best food; grilled cheese sandwiches and hot chili. Many cyclists are inside the station enjoying the hot foods being served.
There is a post ride meal served to us all; BBQ chicken, vegetable lasagna, baked beans, salad and bread with a variety of drinks and fruit popsicles. We sit and share our day with Mick, Zach, and Veronica. As we're getting ready to leave, Barb M comes in from the ride. Congrats to everyone for finishing!
Thanks to Wyatt for tandeming 200+ miles with me! It takes much concentration and skill to pilot a tandem-great job! He also deserves his hard earned California Triple Clown Award tattoo. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck! We also had Jesus Christ riding with us all day long, just in case, for the Rapture thing you know.
Elevation: 8490 feet
Avg Speed: 15 mph
Saddle Time: 13:33:16 hrs
Nutrition: maltodextrin mix, lots of water, a banana, can of V8, Coke, slices of watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberries, a few red potatoes, a slice of roast beef with lettuce and 1/2 peanut butter sandwich, nut bar, salty chips and 2 cup o' noodles.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>PUSH ON-KEEP MOVING!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>