Sunday, March 28, 2010

Solvang Spring Double Century

This week’s event was the Solvang Spring Double Century. One of the most popular double centuries on the schedule with 550 riders. It is a Planet Ultra Event.

They had an open start between 5:00 AM and 7:30 AM. The course closed at 10:00 PM. The fast riders would go out at 7:30 for “official times.” I went out at 6:00 with @pedalobo, it was his first double century. According to my garmin it was a balmy 36 degrees at the start.

We start by heading east then turning into the Foxen Canyon area. Rolling hills, vineyards, and farmland. Quiet roads, minimal traffic. Cycling at its best. The downhills were cold, but fun. The sunrise was spectacular.

About 9:00 it started to warm up, it wasn’t long after that it also got windy. I mean really windy. With crosswinds that would push your bike, and headwinds that made doing 15 MPH a daunting task.

The second aid station was at mile 88, 48 miles after the first. This was a bit long for me as my bottles were empty with about 7 miles to go. I fought a bit of a hydration deficit for the next several hours.

After the 88 mile stop we headed to Morro Bay, a great little tourist beach town, known for Morro Rock. We then stayed along the coast through Pismo and on to Guadalupe.

Eventually we headed back inland. The final aid station was at mile 177. Immediately after that we turned on to Drum Canyon Road. Have you ever watched pro cycling in Europe? You know, narrow bumpy roads barely wide enough for two cars, no markings? That is Drum Canyon. Oh, and by the way, it a 3.5 mile 800 foot climb. By gradient, I’ve done many tougher climbs. But factor in the condition of the road, and that the climb started at mile 178, this was a grind. Then the descent! 180 degree switchbacks on roads that looked like the geological society had been testing earthquake damage on it. Needless to say, I took it easy on the descent. Finally the road straightened, and smoothed out a bit. Into the drops and full tuck, Yahoo! Back to Highway 246, about eight miles and done!

Congrats to my friends @pedalobo on finishing his first double century. Next stop, Triple Crown. And of course @cyclewarrior who started with the speed demons at 7:30 and caught us by mile 120.

This was the fifth double century I’ve done. And it was most scenic, a route I would enjoy doing weekly without getting bored. Especially the back country.

The stats: 193 miles. Average pedal speed 16 MPH. Max HR 161. Temperature Low 36, high 90 per Garmin. More like 36-82. Pedal time 12:08, total time 13:26. Max speed 40 MPH. Elevation gain 7,201. With the exception of Drum Canyon, mostly through rollers; the short but steep leg softening type.

A big thank you to the great Planet Ultra staff and volunteers, especially Mel at the lunch stop. (I spent about 100 miles with Mel on the PCH Randos 400KM).

Pismo Beach. The Pacific Ocean
Drum Canyon. Narrow, rough, steep in spots. The "Pain Cave."
The first control a popular place!

1 comment:

  1. Nice report. Here is the route from my garmin: and here are some photos: