Devil Mountain Double Century
I once again rode the Devil Mountain Double Century on Saturday, April 18th. I have ridden this ride five times before and only did not finish (DNF) the ride once. My goal was to finish this ride. I was a driven man. Last time I attempted the ride in 2006, I gave up at mile 100 with knee problems.
This ride is undoubtedly, the hardest ride I've ever ridden. It is a 206 mile ride with 18,600' in elevation gain. That includes the two tallest Bay Area mountains, Mt. Diablo at 3897' and Mt. Hamilton at 4,400'. Also thrown in for the yucks of it, major climbs including Morgan Territory Road, Patterson Pass, Mines Road, and the very serious Sierra Road for 3 1/2 miles. All of the major climbs are extended climbs lasting from 3 1/2 miles (Sierra Road) to well over 10 miles (Mt. Diablo). I am not the fastest rider in the shed. In fact, I am among the slower riders BUT make no mistake about it. This is not a leisurely bicycle ride. In order to complete the ride, there are two time cutoffs. One is at the beginning of the Mines Road climb at mile 92. If you arrive later than 1 PM, you are finished. Also, at the end of Mines Road, you need to be out of the designated lunch stop there by 4 PM. You cannot dawdle. If you do, you will not make it!
That being said, I started the ride at the 5 AM start and finished 21 hours later at 2:15 AM. While not I'm proud of that time, I know that I busted my ass! And I was not the last to finish (but one flat could of changed that statistic). I also know that I did every climb even though I wanted to get off my bike one time and walk while I was traversing the Sierra road climb. Honestly, I did stop to help a fellow cyclist who was having cramps. I gave him some Tums and then I continued on. Indeed, I did not walk one inch of the ride.
The weather was absolutely spectacular! It started off at 45 in the morning to a high of 85 and back into the 40's at night.
And sure, I could taken less (or no) pictures, but note that for most of the pictures, I was riding. I don't think it made for me going any slower. Maybe a little...
Click on the pictures to expand them
All pictures are in order
From Start/Finish in Dublin, CA. to the top of Mt. Diablo (20 miles) Time of arrival to rest stop #1: 7:15 AM
Mass start at 5AM. It's a 9 mile ride to the south base of Mt. Diablo. Then it's 10 miles straight up!
From left to right, two Quack Cyclists (the organization that organizes the ride) at the rest stop at the summit of Mt. Diablo. Next, a picture of me and my bike and then Doug Goodwin, who is driving a SAG vehicle the entire day and night!
The bottom of Mt. Diablo on the north side.
Ride to Morgan Territory rest top #2 at mile 52. Time of arrival: 9:50 AM.
It's a 11 mile ride of two climbs before start on Morgan Territory Road. First, it's relatively flat until it becomes a rural one lane road.
Doug Goodwin, George Pinney and Dave Clemes at the rest stop #2. And me again.
Shots of the killer descent into Livermore Valley
The ride out to Patterson Pass Climb at mile 75 via Altamont Pass Road. Remember the famous Stones concert at Altamont Speedway? I rode right by it.
Mines Road rest stop #3 at mile 92. Time of arrival: 12:45 PM. After this rest stop, the climb starts on Mines Road. It climbs for about six miles and then flattens out on a plateau out to Mines Road Junction which is lunch at mile 115. Time of arrival: 3:15 pm
Me and my friend and fellow Diablo Cyclist, Craig Martinelli who was helping out at the rest stop.
Ride out to the back side of Mt. Hamilton. There is some climbing before we got the the base of the serious climb to the summit at 4,400'. And of course you have a reminder of your progress. Mile markers ion the rode starting at mile 5, then 4, then 3...you get the picture. Very hard climb! Time of arrival to the summit: 6:05 PM. At the summit you have Lick Observatory which is a world renown observatory.
Me and Doug, who I stopped for water on the way up!
After this last shot, I ran out of daylight..and I still had 56 miles to go with perhaps the hardest climb (for me of theday, Sierra Road.
The top of Sierra Road, which was a checkpoint/mini-stop called Pet-The-Goat at mile 161. Time of arrival: 9:15 PM.
Me... and the goat...he had gas :-O