Monday, March 26, 2012

Solvang Double Century in the wind 2012

dan curtis ron

There aren't many photos from the Solvang Double. It's too hard to drag out my iPhone wearing glove liners, and even if I do the screen doesn't react. So this is it. LanceOldStrong, Me, and Spingineer in our extra-fine looking California Triple Crown Gold jerseys at an early rest stop.

Solvang is supposed to be an easier double century (like there is such a thing.) Lance Oldstrong, my road partner and room mate for this adventure met Spingineer, a BikeForums buddy, and launched  at 5 am. We rocked. There wasn't any of the expected rain I worried about, and there was no wind. We danced up the climbs. We had a ball. We were fast enough that the Planet Ultra folks at the first rest stop chastised Oldstrong for getting there too soon. We knocked off the first 100 miles in six hour and were thinking we'd get back before dark.

Then it all changed. The storm coming in brought winds from the south, exactly the direction we were heading. I checked Weather Underground and we had 20 mph headwinds with greater gusts for endless miles. At one point a group of 20 cyclists was moving at about 9 mph up a very slight grade. It was crazy. I couldn't hold the wheels of my more powerful friends in the big winds and oozed along by myself for a long time, exhausted and depressed.

My pals had waited for me at the last rest stop. LanceOldStrong made me drink a cup-of-noodles thing, which I'd never had before, but really hit the spot, and we were off. After a bit I found I couldn't hang on and let them go.

I've never been so relieved to get to hills and out of the flats and wind. Once the road turned up I felt a lot better. I caught, and passed, Oldstrong and Spingineer. I took it easy on the downhill until they caught me, where we used our combined bike-light candlepower to really light up the night roads.

The second 100 miles ended up taking 10 hours. LanceOldStrong and I rolled in together 15:58 after we started, with 14:21 of riding time, a few minutes after Spingineer. Still, that's seventeen-point-something mph for the first 104 miles.

When we finished and checked in we grabbed a shower back at the hotel and discovered there is no place to eat in Solvang at 10 pm. We ended up at a Burger King. I haven't had fast food in ages, and now I remember why.

burger king dinner

Strava says I have a 673 "suffer score" but Strava doesn't know about the wind. And it say "no achievements" but heck with them. Just finishing and making the time cut was a big deal


  1. That is an impressive ride. I've never attempted anything quite like that, but wind like that can be killer, even at short distances.
    I have been commuting recently on my folding bike, and one day trying to get home, I just felt like I was stuck in one place - I just took the bike home on the bus instead. Much faster and warmer.

  2. Salute!

    Time for a Contour HD helmet cam?

    That Burger King photo could qualify for a Road Kill Report.

  3. You know what?
    Hooray for us! Go Team Gold Medal!
    That was an epic.

  4. Michael4:40 PM


    I rode with you and Lance Oldstrong on the last 75 miles or so of the Hemet Double 2010. Sorry I didn't see you at Solvang this year. Based on your summary of the ride, I don't think our paths crossed much.

    My group of 9 riders did the 1st 100 miles in 5:20 moving time and 6:10 total time. The next 98 miles took 7:40 moving time and 9:25 total time. We all made it with 30 minutes to spare before the 10pm cutoff, but if the wind hadn't finally started to subside at the last rest stop, I'm not sure any of us would have had the legs left to push hard enough to make it. What a tough day that turned into.

    Congrats on that 1000 Mile Gold Jersey, by the way!

  5. How the heck did you get a suffer score of 673? I must not have been working that hard (Suffer score of 424) ... but hey, it was fun, wasn't it?

    I actually had my Contour HD cam, but forgot to bring mounts ... d'oh. Should have recorded the wind noise, at least.

  6. Really impressive Curtis. Like I said on Ron's Blog, those shirts are way cool looking. You guys are pretty fearsome.


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