White Mountain Double Century
September 13, 2008 Test Ride
My altimeter read 11,394 total for the ride. My total mileage was 198.6.
Computer Manufacture : VDO
Model : MC 1.0 wired
And no deviation from the route slip.
The support was great. You couldn't ask for nicer people. I think mike mentioned an extra water stop between the lunch stop and the next rest stop would be good. I'm a big soda drinker (sugar) for the last half of doubles and V8's are good too. I think handmade sandwiches are better than prepared sandwiches. The smoothies was a nice touch as also was the soup at the last rest stop.
I really enjoyed the route. The climb up white mountain was great. A perfect challenge for me. Traffic was super light. I like the isolation too. When I stopped for a bathroom breaks. The quietness and isolation was breathtaking. The only thing that I liked about the Eastern Double more than the WMD was snow in the mountains. Just made it more scenic. Not a big deal. Thanks again. Hopefully this will be added to the California Triple Crown Doubles.
I rode Jim Cook's White Mountain Double tester last weekend.
Absolutely stellar route, great organizer, highest marks. (Some other organizers could learn lessons from these guys)
I use a Polar cs600. My readings were:
10,384 ft. ascent
avg temp 78.8
Thanks again for a wonderful day of cycling! I couldn't have asked for a nicer group. The volunteers were fantastic - and Pricilla's enthusiasm was particularly contagious. I sure appreciated it.
Here are my stats from my VDO MC 1.0+ Altimeter:
Distance: 204.78 miles (probably due to all that tacking I had to do to get to the top of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine climb!)
Elevation Gain: 11,567 feet
Ave. Grade: 4%
Max. Sustained Grade: 14% (though I saw 17% near the top!)
Ave. Speed: 14 mph
Max. Speed: I'll never tell :)
Total Time: 15:46
Ride Time: 14:37
Here are the outstanding features of the ride:
Ancient Bristlecone Forest Climb - That's probably the most challenging climb of any double I've ever done. Thank goodness it's at the beginning! (Unlike the Everest Challenge where it's the last climb!) The views are spectacular and the sense of accomplishment upon reaching the top is worth the pain.
Potatoes - I loved the sea-salted potatoes! What a treat. I think I ate 2 whole bags.
Smoothies - Another treat! Perfectly placed after lunch and after riding in the hot, hot sun.
Here are some things I miscalculated; maybe you'll want to put some additional info in the website so people don't make the same mistakes:
Gel Flask - The last ride I did had gel packets instead of bottles. I left my flask at the hotel - a big mistake since I rely on Hammer Gel. I should have asked. Maybe a reminder on the website to bring your own flask would prevent people like me from making the same mistake.
Soup Stop - I saw the arrow for the turn to the last stop, but in my tired state I didn't realize we were supposed to ride down to the park. When I didn't see anyone in the store parking lot I rode off. Maybe an extra arrow after we make the turn would help riders know to go a little further. It did say "Park" on the route slip, but dusk was approaching and I know several riders will come in even later on the "real" ride.
Sunscreen - I put on my 70+ sun block and even carried extra with me the whole day. Nevertheless, I still managed to get painfully sunburned. Maybe you could post a warning that the course if very exposed with little shade. I know the volunteers had sunscreen at the SAG stops, but maybe if it's out on the table people like me would remember to actually use it/reapply it!
Here are the things I would tweak - but I think you already know:
Water Stop - An extra stop after lunch; maybe at the right turn to Route 773 before we start the climb.
Caffeinated Sugary Soda - My performance is always better on the rides that have Coke at lunch and subsequent SAG stops! I really missed it. (But thanks for buying me one at lunch!)
Porta-Potties - We ladies are at a distinct disadvantage here! Between lunch and the last stop there was no place for even minimal privacy (at least as far as I could tell). I'm sure many ladies would find a porta-pottie at the Hwy 6 turn around very helpful.
My overall impression: Outstanding! I laughed when I went back and read the pre-ride email warning of "primitive" aid stations. Your stops were nearly perfect for our small group - I've been on rides produced by a well-known company whose SAG stops are way more "primitive" than yours!
This was a classic desert ride - more comparable to Death Valley than Eastern Sierra. I'm biased toward wooded routes with lakes and such, and do prefer Eastern Sierra scenery-wise. However, I did like this ride better than Death Valley (southern route - due to rider limits I've not been able to ride the northern route).
So congratulations! I can definitely recommend the ride. I wish you the best of luck for a successful debut on the California Triple Crown schedule next year!
P.S. I hadn't met Jim beforehand, but he and Pricilla (and the rest of the crew) were absolutely delightful. They put on a top-notch professional event!
John D. Long
I just wanted to tell you about The WMD or better known as Mount MO FO wow what a ride!
I have only done Mulholand, Mt Tam, Central Coast And Bass Lake, but it's right up there with them.
It was great about 18 miles into the ride you knew that it was going to be a long day at the office but man what a view. Wow!! Certainly worth the work to see the top of the world!!!
Jim Cook Had a great crew out there and really took good care of us. It was hard for us fat out of shape guys but the fit people did great.
I hope it's a go for next year. I don't know if I will be able to ride it but If not I'll be there to work. It was great.
John D. Long
Hello Jim, Thank you again to you and all your volunteering friends for organizing the White Mountain Double Test Ride. The route was particularly enjoyable!
Highlights of the route include climbing up to the Ancient Bristlecones in the morning, the long E-Ticket descent down to Westgard Pass and Deep Springs Valley, cruising through the surprisingly green Fish Lake Valley, with constant views of White Mountain and Boundary Peak, the brilliantly colorful Volcanic Hills, the eerie salt marshes along Highway 773, and the final descent into the green valleys north of Bishop - almost 50 miles of descending and flats. This ride was very special in its remoteness, lack of traffic, and fascinating geology and scenery. It was interesting doing a circumnavigation of the White Mountain Range.
The ride was very well organized, and your support team was outstanding - very friendly and helpful!
The food and beverages were good, especially the cold bottled water, Clif Blocks, and individually bagged boiled potatoes. It would also be nice to have cold Coca-Cola and cold V8 in the afternoon, for the wake-up jolt, sugars, and salts. It can be easier to stay hydrated with an assortment of beverages rather than just water.
It also might be helpful to have an additional beverage stop somewhere between Dyer and Coaldale and/or between Coaldale and Basalt.
P.S. Also - Jim Cook and his team were just amazing! I was really impressed with how well Jim organized everything. He and all of his volunteering friends were very friendly and helpful, which made the ride that much more enjoyable. I REALLY appreciate the way he encouraged me to come out for the test ride. ... His attitude is very inspiring, and I highly recommend this ride. I wish him great success, and I sincerely hope that this will become a new double on your Triple Crown schedule!
Thanks for organizing this ride and and the great support from all of you guys during the ride. I particularly enjoyed the first part, during the climb in the Bristlecone Pine Park, where the scenery was just spectacular. Also what was noticeable to me was the minimal vehicular traffic, for most of the ride, which made it so much more enjoyable to be on the bike.
I also was impressed with the road conditions which generally were very good. I think that your rest stops were nicely placed and sufficiently stocked for the number of riders you were supporting on this ride.
My suggestion would be that on the portion of the ride from Coaldale Junction to Montgomery Pass on HWY 6 you set up one or two more water stops, or provide frequent SAG thru that stretch of the ride as the temperature climbed to 100 degrees and it got very warm on that long climb.
If this ride becomes part of the Triple Crown next year, which I hope it will, and you need volunteers my girlfriend Terri would love to help you guys in running the ride as she really enjoyed meeting all of you and would love to help, if needed.
I am attaching a PDF file of my IBike Areo power meter /computer which gives all of the stats of the ride including the elevation graph. Let me know if you need any other info as I can break the ride down into sections/ clmbs etc. and convert it into separate PDF files.
Jim, What a fabulous day, and a giant THANK YOU to you and all of the crew that supported us all day long!
We talked about many of these points while my knee “recovered” in your SAG car out there mid-course, although I have a few other, minor thoughts that have come to mind, so, at the risk of being too lengthy but well-intentioned, here goes:
1. 5:00 AM start was perfect for me. Some rides of this magnitude even allow 4:00 AM, and that would probably work, too, since the first leg of the journey is SO slow for older, heavier riders like me. It would be pretty easy for the support team to be “out there” on the climb pretty early, since it is so close to Bishop, and the drive down 395 as well as UP the course can be done quickly and efficiently without too much trouble. I Volunteer for that, if you like!
2. Wow, what a climb that is. I have ridden up to Schulman five times now, and it is ALWAYS a tough one. Since there is very little true “recovery time” in the “flats” after you turn onto White Mtn Road, that second push up to ten thousand feet is pretty hard. I think that you should have someone at the turnaround, up top, with at least a “tail gate” stop with water, Hammer gel, Clif Shotblox. You were having that discussion with Kermit, and I am in agreement there. I would not have stopped at the mid-mountain roadside to chat with you and Hugh Murphy on the descent IF I had not been in need of water, which was indeed the case. BTW, it is really easy to blow by that one IF you don’t know the road, since it is hidden from above and you are carrying pretty good speed right there.
3. That is a steep, technical, potentially dangerous descent off the top. As you know, there is sometimes debris in the middle of the road, as was the case in a few turns, and your route description should certainly mention that this is an “advanced” course in terms of the climbing and descending. Advise people to have fresh brake pads and know how to alternate. I’ve seen melted carbon wheels and heat blow-outs from inexperienced descenders on these roads. Inflation pressures from Bishop, at ten thousand and too-hot-to-touch rims, gotta be careful there. Good news, there is VERY little traffic on that road, AND one can see forward, down the switchbacks, to be aware of traffic approaching. Hard to say what this may be like under the actual event conditions, with RIDERS coming up the road, “zig zagging” as many will be doing after 9,000 feet on some of those “blind” ramps, and people coming down, fast and near the limits. That is the main problem on Ebbett’s on the DeathRide, just something to be aware of.
4. You might also want to consider having a Course Marshall at the EXCELLENT cell phone point at the “wide point and gate” about 2 miles below the summit. It is “line-of-sight” right down and in direct alignment with Line Street in Bishop, and always “5 bars” right there, I usually call home and tell Debbie I am descending, from that exact point. Just a safety and communication idea.
5. FABULOUS pavement, wide-open sweepers on the descent down the backside of Westgard, I encountered ZERO traffic, what a blast!
6. Agree with you, that’s a good spot for the CP/station out at Deep Springs.
7. Sorry that my knee was sending danger signals and that I did not RIDE that next section, oh well. Better safe than sorry. Agree with you that SWEEP SAG should stay back of the last rider at all times, or only make short “leap frog” excursions up-course as we do in daylight hours at the508 or RAAM. It is a bummer having to wait for someone to come BACK for you, and sometimes a dangerous thing and not mere inconvenience, if you have gone down in any way.
8. Walkie-talkies in the SAG vehicles were an interesting concept.
9. FABULOUS lunch, many thanks. Excellent location, nice host that fellow Brian. I particularly enjoyed the lawn, shade, picnic tables, and the breeze. You should ask him about setting up a couple of kiddy play pools for cooling hotfoot, and consider a hose-sprayer station as well as your water-bottle-filling manifold set-up out there, Jim. This is a highlight of things like the DR, Climb-to-Kaiser, Davis, and many others I have ridden.
10. You might want to consider having the tube socks for ice-wrap-on-the-neck available at the Lunch Stop, too. They were a TRUE lifesaver at DAVIS this year, and you have potential for triple digits out there at this time of year, especially out by Coaldale.
11. Agree with some of the other comments, I often “break the rules” and go for a Coca Cola as well as V8’s in addition to all the Hammer products and Endurolytes in the second half of these rides. That’s why I brought you a case of V8’s that morning along with my lights.
12. Hard to coordinate, but a PREMIERE feature of Quack rides (KV in particular) is the ability to send lights / outerwear UP THE COURSE after sunrise, in color-coded, pre-labeled paper bags instead of hauling sleeves, knee warmers, outerwear, et cetera around the desert. That sets the bar pretty high, and flies in the face of the true Randonneur perspective, but some might avail themselves of such pampering. I generally ride with my lights attached / SON generator hub, sometimes various NITERider battery systems, whatever, but not always. Don’t always have the “carrying capacity” on my bike, either.
13. Agree with others about a tailgate water stop out at the head of Fish Lake Valley (I have several gallons cached in the culvert at that very intersection), for that very reason.
14. Can’t comment on anything more than my own uneventful ride down from Montgomery. Pavement is good, although Nevada road department has rumble strips only a couple of inches to the right of the white line, although they are the “mild” three-quarter inch type, NOT the killer California variety. I stayed left of the white line and had no problems at all with traffic. Truck traffic on weekdays is WAY more heavy on that road, and Saturday afternoon was a pleasure, not even very many Charter Tour Busses or Motorhomes, and after crossing the State Line back into California, the shoulder is even better. Never a glass problem or goatheads or that sort of challenge out there, either.
15. Sorry I missed the stop at Benton since I outran you guys with my SAG wagon advantage; think that is a good placement.
16. If you also had a tailgate stop at Chalfant, that was probably a good idea, too. The crosswinds and headwinds up-valley out of the south almost ALWAYS are in full force by late afternoon out there, and that stretch takes true mental toughness even though it is basically flat. Never “easy”, and I’ve ridden it several dozen times in the past five years. People at the little store there are friendly, and they sell chocolate milk, too! woo HOO!
I think that this course provides some TRUE variety. More like Kostman’s DV courses than anything else, a great taste of the508 or a final tune-up for the event itself, and I hope that you are successful in your bid to get it on the CTC calendar. You should position it as something “spectacular and challenging and a bit different, remote and beautiful”.
Thanks again for everything, Jim. Sorry that my knee was “talking to me” and suggesting that I take it easy, which I did. I look forward to helping out as a Volunteer on the course, here in my own “back yard”. Maybe even ride it, who knows!
Your friend on the pedals,
Timmy the Tortoise
Thanks for putting on such a well supported ride. Everyone on the staff was great and they all had a lot of positive energy.
As you know, I am 270 lbs. That first climb was very difficult to complete in a timely manner. I was determined to get to the top of that climb, and I almost made it when you advised me to get in the truck. I was at mile 37 according to my cheap computer, but I was so far behind the next to last rider (~1 hr) at that point. I should have turned around when John Long did since we were together at that point. Thank you for driving me up to the lunch stop so I could continue on from there.
My computer accidental got reset when it was in the back of the truck, so my data is useless. However, after lunch the mileage I had was 112. Add that to the first 37 and I had a great 149 mile training ride that should help get me through TOTF.
The best part of the course for me was the smooth roads and no traffic. The best part of the support was the friendly people serving great fuel for riding. The homemade soup at the last stop was the best. A close second was the homemade smoothies at CP4 when it was HOT. A close third was the boiled potatoes with sea salt at all of the stops.
As for improvement ideas, the other feedback you have had so far covers it. COKE & MTN DUE at the stops, at least from lunch on. I get sick of the other stuff so it's nice to have something different. I would have liked to have Power Bar Endurance drink mix for my water bottles. I know a lot of people like Sustain or Perpetume, but I don't know why. That stuff is like drinking chalk. Also, John Long brought some electrolyte Jelly Beans and shared some with me and they were great.
Also, water at the top of the climb is a must. I was out when you picked me up. I left my Camelback empty and only had my 2 water bottles to start. I did that on purpose because it was cold in the morning and didn't want to carry anymore weight that I already am. After the first climb, I used the Camelback and didn't have any issues with running out of water, even in the really hot times of the day.
I hope this helps,
P.S. I forgot to say that it was the BEST supported ride of any distance I have ever been on!
Again, the smooth roads with no significant traffic is very important to me on an aluminum frame. I felt unusually good after the ride.
Jim put on the best tester DC one could ever imagine. It was a 5 star rating across the board!!!!!
Everything about every detail from me is POSITIVE!
No complaints, no suggestions. I am assuming the first stop which was a water stop, will also be a food stop.
I'm glad I went out there and tested this terific double in the making.
Looking Ahead for another terrific CTC DC,
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