Death Valley Double Century
Fall Edition, 2008
On Saturday October 25th, 2008, I rode the Death Valley Double Century. The ride started at Furnace Creek at 7 AM and I rolled in 197 miles later at 11:10 PM. I rode the ride with my friends Doug Goodwin from Pahrump, Nevada and Dave Clemes from Oakland, CA. The weather could not have been any better with temps maxing out at 85 to a low of 60. There were no wind issues at all, which is unusual for Death Valley.
The beauty of Death Valley is beyond description. Hopefully the pictures will show you the incredible sights we were treated to. Since daylight evaporated at mile 135, sixty two miles were ridden in the dark, including the seven mile climb at mile 169 up to Hell's Gate. While we were climbing, we could see flashing tail lights in front of us. The two times we stopped to take a breather, we saw may lights coming up behind us. An incredible sight that unfortunately couldn't be captured with my small digital camera.
The route map
The elevation map
Click on the pictures to expand
Pictures are in the order of the ride
Timmer, our double century riding buddy from Mammoth, CA. He took care of us, BIG TIME. He saved some soft drinks for us at the check point five at mile 169 before the Hell's Gate climb. Thanks Timmer!
Me and Dave Clemes at the start
Me and Doug at the start
The following pictures are on the ride out to Stovepipe Wells at checkpoint 1 at mile 25. You can see the sun rising above the mountains behind us.
Dave riding ahead of me toward Stovepipe Wells
Us at Stovepipe Wells. From left to right, Richard (Doug's Pahrump pal), Doug, me and Dave Clemes.
The rest stop at Stovepipe
A left turn on the way to Scotty's Castle, which was 38 miles up the road which would be a gradual climb from Sea Level to 3000'
Check Point 2 which would also be checkpoint five later that evening.
Me at CP 2
The long, long road out to Scotty's castle. Later we would be descending this gradual climb in the dark (with lights of course).
Finally, Scotty's castle at mile 68. I decided to eat lunch before heading out and back here which would be another 54 miles later. Maybe, another lunch later in the day?
Climbing and riding 27 miles out beyond the Nevada border to Highway 395 checkpoint (another 1000' of climbing) BORING!!!!
The ride back the same way to Scotty's Castle.
Scotty's castle for lunch number 2. Me with Doug.
Me and Doug at the Ubehebe Crate, a natural volcanic crater. It looks like a meteor strike but isn't.
Me and Doug at Checkpoint Five at mile 169 before the seven mile climb to the top of Hell's Gate to Checkpoint Six and mile 176. To say we weren't spent would be an understatement. After the drinking the cold soda's Timmer had saved for us, the sugar rush propelled us up the final climb that was waiting for us literally twenty feet from where we sat.
At mile 174, Doug and I stopped at Mile 5. The climb was a constant 6% which isn't steep, however there was no let up. That my friends, wears you down. When we stopped, I noticed it was so dark, the stars were screaming at us because they were so bright. And the riders behind us were climbing up. It was quite a site to see their headlights slowly marching up behind us.
After reaching the top at Hell's Gate, we checked into our last checkpoint/rest stop. After relaxing and drinking more soda and eating more..crap for a few minutes, we headed down the 10 mile descent. Doug blew by me as I don't descend fast and he does. At the bottom of the descent, we still had another 11 miles to go to finish. It seemed like it was taking forever but alas, we finished.