Thursday, June 18, 2009

Davis Double: Ice socks, paddling pools and rattlesnakes 5/16/2009

The heat wave duly arrived on Saturday making for a tough ride. Although I finished a couple of hours faster, at times I felt worse than on the Devil Mountain Double. Despite being advertised as such, Davis is definitely not an easy "first" double (in the heat), Solvang is much easier for a first timer. Started at 5, did the first 100 by noon, but didn't get in until 9, owing to spending increasing amounts of time at the later rest stops recovering from the heat, which was around 100 in the heat of the day. Evidently it was even hotter last year!

The tough thing about Davis is that the easy stuff is at the beginning and the end, when it is cool, and the hard climbing is in the heat of the day, and you do get to 3000' at the 100 mile mark. The after lunch section is the killer though. Although it only averages 5% grade, the climb to the top of Walker Ridge ("Resurrection") is at the hottest part of the day and with full sun on your back. At the rest top just before the summit, I have never felt more drained and had my first real experience with "hot foot". After that it's pretty much downhill and small rollers but the heat intensifies if anything. The final runout on the flat is fast, and it's amazing how much better I rode once the sun dropped below the ridge.

A nice touch, and probably critical in staving off heat stroke, were the "ice socks", provided at the rest stops. Drape one around your neck and it's good for an hour or so of cooling. At the later rest stops they also had paddling pools, which were a boon for relieving hot foot.

I counted six sqished rattlesnakes on the road.

Total fluid intake: 3 gallons of gatorade/water, 2 cokes, 2 mountain dews, 4 V8s and copious quantities of water melon.

Based on this I'm guessing that the Terrible Two really is the hardest double, since it has the same potential for heat, twice as much vertical and a hard time limit. They say you shouldn't attempt the TT unless you can finish Davis in 13; that's 3 hours faster than I managed it.

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