Caffeine Peter Colijn

April 27, 2015 (link)
Ride Report: Devil Mountain Triple

I had wanted to ride to Devil Mountain Double for a few years, and in fact even signed up for it last year, but was unable to ride it then due to a family situation. I signed up this year, though, and to make it interesting I threw in a little 'extra' to make it a triple century. My ride report is below.

The Friday before the ride I was WFH so I could (hopefully) get a bit of sleep before rolling out. In the morning I went to Sandbox to get some pastries for breakfast and to bring with me on the ride. I kind of bought all the things. They gave me some very strange looks.

At about 2245 I rolled out after trying (unsuccessfully) to get a few hours sleep. The ride down skyline was a bit 'damp' and I opted for 0x280 given the darkness and conditions. A couple down branches on SAT and the rollers, but otherwise quite peaceful and uneventful. I came through Woodside just before 1am and there were rowdy drunk people! In Woodside! I thought all the drunk people would be in SF, but I guess they were still getting drunk when I left.

I stopped briefly at Stanford Shopping Center to eat and turn on directions (I have no clue where I'm going anywhere in east bay, especially in the dark). The ride over the bridge and through the east bay suburbs was pretty nice in that there was virtually zero traffic. Roads that are probably terrifying almost-freeways during the day were vast expanses of peaceful asphalt. Mercifully, there was also a pretty nice tailwind on this section. Things went great until Google Maps started giving me random directions to turn in strange places, like into empty parking lots. It was trying to get me on some kind of bike path but the tiny little entrances to the paths are really easy to miss in the dark. I ended up rolling through some soft, sticky mud on one of these ill-advised turns. Caked up parts of my bike for the rest of the day.

Landed at the ride start about 420am. Checked in, put my bib on, and found some coffee. Everyone else looked so fresh and chipper.

Roll out at 5am. Felt great going up Diablo. Felt like total shit coming down. It was barely above freezing and I hadn't dried out at all yet from the ride in.

The ride over to Morgan Territory and the climb itself were fine, though I was feeling a bit tired at this point. Ate a lot at the Morgan Territory rest stop.

Then came Patterson Pass. Felt like shit here too. Soul-crushing headwinds, ugly scenery, and for fuck's sake why are there so many windmills that don't even work?

Finally got to Mines Road. At this point I was familiar with things again, so felt a bit more comfortable. Found some riding buddies to chat with for a bit on the way to the junction, which helped pass the time. Managed to get a sandwich at the junction but none of the hot food was veggie. Probably spent too long at that rest stop, but chugging a Coke felt good.

The climb up Ham was actually not too bad. I was way slower than usual but it wasn't painful, I was able to take it easy. I missed the mile 4 marker so for a while I thought I was totally dragging ass but then I saw the mile 3 marker and felt better. Interestingly, there's no checkpoint at the top of Ham. I went up to Lick's and snapped a pic, but then continued down the descent.

At the next rest stop I was regaled with tales of the next climb to come, Sierra Road. Tried to prepare myself mentally for it. Cruised over there with one of the dudes I had been chatting with, and started to make my way up. And up. And up. It's kind of like Purisima, except paved. It stair-steps between a ton of steep little rises. At one of the steeper bits, a crowd was assembled to cheer people on with drums and cowbells and stuff. Pretty awesome, but I was also worried I'd run out of gas and have to walk or fall over right in front of them. Alternating in and out of the saddle, I managed (slowly) and was very relieved to see the next rest stop. They had coffee, which was very welcome.

From here it was reverse Calaveras, another rest stop, then reverse Palomares (which were both way longer than I remember from riding them 'forwards') then another small climb to the finish. I didn't hit the finish until shortly after 10pm. I had been hoping to get there at more like 8pm, but I was slow and definitely dawdling at the rest stops towards the end of the day. When I checked in, they told me there were still 200 riders on the course (out of 279 or something - the biggest group ever!) I felt less bad at that point.

I sat down with a massive serving of veggie lasagna and looked up the last BART from San Leandro. I needed another 20 miles to get to 300, and San Leandro BART fit perfectly. I had to get there by 0018, and Google Maps was estimating 1h51m. After stuffing my face I rolled out at 2240ish and landed at BART just after midnight. I'd been awake and riding for over 24 hours at this point, but the fun wasn't over. BART was messed up due to some track construction, so there was a shuttle from coliseum to fruitvale, then the train sat around for half an hour in fruitvale, then moved a bit and stopped in the middle of nowhere, etc. Finally got to 24th/mish around 0120.

The climb up to my house sucked, but at least I didn't have any growlers. My loving and devoted wife had ice cream waiting for me.

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