The Solvang Double Century is one of my favorites.
This year I again did it on the tandem bike with brother in law, Vince Paradero.
We started out after 6am in the frigid cold. I think it was in the low 40’s.
We had wonderful conditions this year with favorable winds all day.
The first climbs through the hills of the Santa Inez Valley were just effortless and we felt great.
|Jeff ahead of us climbing Foxen Canyon|
We made the summit of the Foxen wall a little after sunrise and plummeted at full speed down to the first check point. I checked my rear wheel at this point and I noticed that I could not even turn it because it was so out of true. I trued up the wheel, got water and nourishment and we headed out with a train of people into the morning headwind.
We knew this would mean good tail winds later so we did not let it get to us much.
|The wheel suckers behind us getting close to San Luis Obispo|
We trudged into the wind and made our way up to check point 2 on the east side of San Luis Obispo. I was really hurting at this point as I let myself get low on fuel so we took a good long break and fueled up.
Off we went through San Luis Obispo to Highway One for a great headwind trek to Morro Bay area. Then it was a nice tail wind to the lunch stop in Los Osos.
We took a nice long lunch and headed out toward Pismo Beach.
Tailwinds....tailwinds...tailwinds. Finally we got a good tailwind. We flew through Pismo, Oceano and finally made it to the Mesa overlooking the Guadalupe area.
|Looking at the Mesa. That's the road to the left.|
Up, up, up we went onto the mesa. This is a pretty good climb on the tandem and we felt real good. Our average speed was not as fast as we normally go and it seemed like we had been working much harder than usual on this event. It had to be the rear wheel. Every time we checked it, it was out of true and it was rubbing on the brakes so bad it was hard to turn. Just how much harder were we working due to this? Who knows?
|Climbing up the Mesa|
We cruised across the mesa and then absolutely bombed down the descent in the tail wind to Guadalupe. We didn’t stop long and headed due east on Highway One.
Wow did we have a tail wind. I only wished I was on a single bike. I would have been blown to the next check point in Los Alamos.
We got to the final check point in Los Alamos feeling real good and there was still plenty of light. We had some quick food and headed out for the final climbs up Aliso Canyon and Foxen Canyon again.
|Climbing Aliso Canyon road|
Aliso Canyon was fairly easy and the top of Foxen was a little challenging but not too bad.
Then we bombed back down into Solvang and finished in Buellton a little after dark.
All in all we had a great day with friends in beautiful scenery and perfect conditions for a double century.
I could have done without the wheel problems though. It took its toll on us physically and we must have lost quite a bit of time. We are used to finishing this ride with plenty of daylight left on the tandem.
Moving time: 11:55
Garmin computer Elapsed time: 14:22 (forgot to turn the timer off. Actual time was13:44)
Garmin Data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/288363644