Like my Mulholland ride report, Tina has procrastinated writing up her experiences during her recent Davis Double Century. However, it’s finally done and I’ve posted it below the fold.
Tina’s Excellent Davis Adventure
It has been 3 1/2 weeks since the epic event and I have finally conquered the procrastination god! She only required a small sacrifice :)
My 2008 Davis Double (DD) started at 4:45 am. Steve and I had planned to start at 4:30, but due to details which are no longer important, I started a bit late and S started later. He did a good job of catching me on the first climb of the day, Cardiac Hill near Lake Berryessa. Soon we were surrounded by thousands of swirling bright orange and black butterflies, which escorted us all the way up the climb. I have never seen anything like it. The climb was an absolute gift. I found out later they were painted ladies, the most common butterfly in CA. That made them no less spectacular or spirit-raising. It was the defining event of the day and something that sustained me through all that was to come…
As most of northern CA was in the grip of the first heat wave of the season (mid-May!!!), I expected the day to be hot. I guess one can never really know how ‘roasting hot’ will translate physically when you ride 200 miles in it. For me, it was a struggle all day to keep my core temperature down so I could still function on the bike. It involved drinking A LOT, pouring lots of water on myself, and thanks to the angels of the Davis Bike Club, using lots of ice. On the main climb of the day, Cobb Mtn., I could feel myself losing the battle to avoid overheating. I was nauseated, dizzy, and decided I needed to swallow my pride if I wanted to finish and join the swarm of other cyclists resting in the shade for a few minutes. The decision wasn’t hard—I want my triple crown like I haven’t wanted anything in many years. It was unbelievable how much better I felt and how well my heartrate came down after only 5 minutes resting in the shade. The remaining 1.5 mile of the climb was so easy after the rest!! I knew I was going to be okay.
My hero of the day was my husband, Mike Svihura. He did DD because I was doing it, even though he is hours faster than I. At the lunch stop, Steve wasn’t feeling great and mentioned he might sag. Mike went into full hero mode at that point and stayed with slow me until the end. He and I swapped lights so that he had the bright head lamp and I had the laser-like tail lamp so we would be as visible a train as possible, and we ground out the rest of the ride. The road past the casino was horrible as usual with non-stop car traffic in the dark. And once the sun completely set, it did not cool off like I had hoped it would (not even a little). We rode past the rice paddies on the way back and got plastered with thousands of little flying insects. At the finish, my skin was covered in a multi-layered film of sunscreen/bugs/sweat/salt/sunscreen/bugs. It took 2 showers to get it all off. Poor Mike had never been on his bike for this long, not even for his hard doubles, like DMD or TT. But I like to see the silver lining…I am so happy with my average speed which was 14.5 mph. My on-bike time was 13:59. Due to the extreme heat, the time at rest stops was way too long, but was necessary in order to complete.
I know a rider who was riding in with us not more than 20 miles from the end who told me he wasn’t feeling well and was going to vomit. A few seconds later, I heard him doing just that…he stopped and ended up calling his wife to sag him in. Major bummer! He’s okay now, though. Just a reminder that even an “easy” double like Davis can be an ass-kicker under the wrong conditions.
Our ending was better. Steve caught up with Mike and I at the last rest stop (where they had grilled cheese!) and the three of us finished together! At 10:45 pm. But the bottom line= WE FINISHED.
I really am hoping Grand Tour will end up being the most routine, “easy” double of the year, but we’ll see. I am determined to get it done, come hell or high water. Maybe even the triple if things go really well…
Thanks for reading!