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.