Best Of The Bay Double Century
October 24, 2015 Test Ride
Rider Comments

Matthew Frederick
Hello Chuck, I took the Best of the Bay Double test ride this weekend, and I was well impressed by the whole operation. The route was thoughtfully designed, with well spaced rest stops. It overlaps the Devil Mountain route a bit, but not so much as to be redundant. I like the out-and-back layout, and think it might make a good starting point for people who are looking to try a double with a little more climbing, but are concerned about having a bail out point. Generally, it was just a really enjoyable ride. I think it's a great time of year to have this ride, as it keeps the heat down a bit. Also, it would be nice to have an October double in Northern CA - Oceanside is a bit of a hike from the Bay. The support was terrific, with lots of eager folks ready to help out. They fed us very well, and the vegetarians among us, I think, really appreciated the variety afforded them.

I think this ride would make a fine addition to the Triple Crown, and heartily recommend adding them to the schedule.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

1. The Route
I really liked the route. I don't know what you could do to improve it. I heard a little grumbling about the number of stoplights, but those seem unavoidable, to me.

2. The Support Provided
The support was terrific.

3. The Rest Stops
I thought the stops were well spaced, well stocked, and easily found. The only thing I found lacking was uncaffeinated sodas or juice.

4. The Food
The food was exceptionally good. Really. Thank you.

5. Rider ID's
This, I would change. They were too wide for the bars and would interfere with hand position, at least for me, so I put mine on my top tube, and got cuts on my leg from the snipped zip tie ends.

6. Additional Comments
At every single double I have ever done, ever, there is someone at the last rest stop telling you how easy the rest of the ride is, and giving advice. They are always wrong. There was one at this ride, too. So, that's normal, expected, and it always makes me laugh, and is not really the point of this comment. The point is that this guy was also advising that we go off route, because his was a better way to go. It's kind of a bad look, and probably counterproductive. It might be worth mentioning to the volunteers that the route is the route, and not to be deviated from. Or maybe I'm just too rigid. That said, I had a great time, loved the route, was generally thrilled by the support and the food. Thanks for everything, and hope to see you next year.

Cheers,
Matthew Frederick


Anthony Hung-Tran
As a happy rider who participate in this BOB DC test ride, I'd like to thank you and many wonderful volunteers that help make this tough but enjoyable ride.

1. The Route
The route is beautiful in a perfect weather !! First leg, downhill at Gizzly Peak is a blast. 2nd leg is a little tough since we climb Mt. Diablo when the weather starts warming up. For 3rd leg, unfortunately that we got to Livermore vineyards to late to enjoy the view. Switching the first leg to last might be an interesting alternative route: rider will have fresh leg to climb Mt. Diablo then enjoy the rolling through vineyards before climb up to Gizzly Peak for sunset and down hill (mostly) back to the start..

2. The Support Provided
Can't ask for more !! One of our teammate had a bad day so we run slow. Thanks to the experienced SAG car which is always there and guide us home safely while all of our electronic maps went crazy. The SAG is also there to help us with a flat earlier.

3. The Rest Stops
The number of rest stop is about right. The Mt. Diablo stop at the lower parking is great idea. It's less traffic, easier restroom access and rest bench.

4. The Food
Delicious home made !!! Many thanks to Cheryl, Vicky and all the chefs !! For official rides, it'd be wonderful if you keep hot soup at the last rest stop(s)

5. Rider ID's
A little big but neat.

6. Additional Comments
I really enjoy hot soup at Richard Park Rest stop. Specially, the delicious meat loaf meal, warm porcelain coffee mugs and the last 3 special pineapple cake that you've saved for our lantern rouge :)

I would certainly like to go back either to volunteer or ride it again for official CTC BOB DC.


Bob Buntrock
1. The Route
I rode 100 miles of the course. The portion of the route I rode i thought was good overall. The part I disliked the most was the shoulder on crow canyon returning to the start point.

2. The Support Provided
I saw the sag numerous times on the route. It was comforting to see them every once and awhile even I did not need them.

3. The Rest Stops
I felt they were adequately spaced out and provisioned.

4. The Food
Really enjoyed it.

5. Rider ID's
Did not particularly like the location I chose to secure it on the handle bars of my bike. It got in the way of my grip and made a lot of noise. I wish it was smaller and I would try a different location next time.

6. Additional Comments
I thought the first 100 miles I rode was great and particularly enjoyed the sunset on the way to the first rest stop.

I imagine I would of enjoyed the second 100 miles also. Being a glutton for climbing/punishment, 3000' of elevation gain for the second 100 miles seems light. Would it plays able to add another cling like Sierra Road? Maybe I should finish the current course first :).


Brian Chun
1. The Route:
Out and Back is more social and easier for volunteer logistics. Some cyclists may prefer a big loop, however.

2. The Support Provided:
Excellent cuisine and road surveillance

3. The Rest Stops:
Excellent

4. The Food:
Excellent

5. Rider ID's:
Excellent

6. Additional Comments:
If there was a way to avoid the traffic along Blackhawk, and Crow Canyon, then this would help the Bay Area cyclists. The So Cal cyclists probably are much tougher in traffic, and used to it, so would not be as bothered by it.


Brian Koss
Thanks for allowing me to ride your test ride. It was he first ride I have done which has any connection or possible connection to the Triple Crown Series. It was much easier riding this than a typical randonneuring event because of the support. My comments are:

Route: I liked it even though the southbound leg through Calaveras was much harder then I had been expecting. There were fairly large wide longitude cracks on the return leg of Crow Canyon as you start the descent outside San Ramon. Next year they could catch a tire if they grow in size. Grizzy is one of the most scenic rides in the bay area and the timing was ideal for being on it.

Support: Since I am new to supported rides it was wonderful to not have to think about everything for a change.

Rest stops: It might be a good idea to have water available on Calaveras so people aren't wasted when they get to Ed Levin Park due to dehydration. Otherwise, no complaints.

The food: In general I thought it was very well done. A better selection of drinks other than just carbonated beverages might help some riders stay hydrated better. Also some small take along bars or snacks might help riders bridge the gaps between rest stops better. I liked the grape leaves and potatoes and the soup at the last rest stop was good but there seemed to be a lack of food with high caloric content at the last rest stop.

Thanks Brian


Clay Stark
First, let me say the organization, food, hospitality and attitude of all of everyone supporting the BOB test ride was wonderful and very professional. You were all encouraging and positive end to end, start to finish. You and the entire club is to be congratulated for that. There was a sag vehicle there often Although I didn't need them, it was nice to know they were there in this area that I was a little unfamiliar with. And most of all that doesn't even include how wonderful and over the top nice of you it was to open your home to us. Thanks very much for everything.

1. The Route - I am a tough customer here. I prefer big loops, but that being said... I did not know the area very well at all and found the route easy to follow and mostly lightly travelled and with good shoulder. I had not ridden Pinehurst since I was in college a long time ago and really enjoyed that. Calaveras road from this side was very different than just doing one way on the DMD, so that was great too. Mt. Diablo is Mt. Diablo... 'nuff said there.., great (and kind of a nice surprise that you didn't make us do the last ridiculously steep section there, that was a momentum builder for me at that point). There was one left turn that was difficult that we did twice, (I think it was Crow canyon onto Alcosta) I had to use the crosswalk and wait for the light because there was too much traffic to merge into the left turn lane. I might prefer a route that continued through Tilden park and around to Mt. Diablo somehow, eliminating one of the trips back through town.

2. Support - Couldn't have been better.

3. Rest Stops - Well placed, well staffed and great in every way.

4. The Food, - Was probably among the best I have ever had on a double. Baked eggs in the morning, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, Dolmas, and the turkey pita bread ready made sandwiches, just to name some of my favorites. Great. all great.

5. Ride ID's - Fine, mostly a non issue for us, more whatever makes it easiest for you. This goes back to support at rest stops for checking in. Well managed and easy.

6. Additional Comments - I will attend next year, not so much because it would be my favorite route, but because of the professionalism of Cherry City Cyclists.

Thank you very much for everything.

Clay Stark


Dave Clemes
Thanks for the great ride! Too bad I was not at the top of my game today. I wanted to continue but my body said no. Better listen!! I am going to do the second half soon to see what I missed!! Too bad the great food won't be there! Hope to see you next year! Please thank all the support crew for me!!


David Pearl
1. The Route
I liked the route, especially the ability to drop off and pick up things from my car throughout the day. Catching the sunrise on Grizzly Peak was really nice. I imagine a lot of people don't like all the out and backs and it might get old if I were doing the same route on a yearly basis. I got two flats on Crow Canyon, one a thorn and the other a piece of metal so I'm not much of a fan of that road right now ha ha.

2. The Support Provided
Excellent. Couldn't have been better. Really friendly and helpful people. I got help with two flats and I owe you guys two innertubes.

3. The Rest Stops
Good. Seemed to be in logical places and they were well stocked. Friendly volunteers who were on the lookout for riders so you didn't just ride by.

4. The Food
Excellent. I really appreciated the homemade stuff that you can tell someone put a lot of work into. I'd prefer to have more drinks like San Pellegrino than Coke, which I think has too many chemicals and artificial sweeteners. I liked the canned Perrier a lot. I also remember the potatoes at Levin Park and the bean burritos in Livermore as being particularly good.

5. Rider ID's
The card held on the handlebars fine. The Mt. Tam double has ties at the bottom of the card that help hold it on a little more securely and you can bend it to make it more aerodynamic but I had no problems at all with the card provided. I cut off the excess ties but I still recall feeling my knees scraping the ends now and again but not a big deal.

6. Additional Comments
Really great ride. I did a ride done by Planet Ultra the week before and it was night and day. You guys were great. If I can get credit for this ride once it becomes official I can get the 1K mile with 1 volunteer jersey for 2015 and that would be a very cool bonus.


Greg Fong
1. The Route
I liked the order of the three sections. The Berkeley hills were great to do when it was fairly cool and dark still. Diablo isnít open that early, so I think the order is correct for the first 100 miles. I enjoyed doing Palomares Rd in the previous Best of the Bay ride. Iím sure you have your reasons for doing Dublin Canyon and Foothills Rd instead.

2. The Support
I did see the SAG vehicles a bunch along the road. One happened to be perfectly timed for a fellow that just got a flat and needed an extra inner tube and pump. I forced myself to drink a bottle of water each hour. I found myself running out of water on Calaveras Rd right before hitting the actual reservoir. I didnít have any trouble on the way back - just on the way out there. Luckily one of the SAG vehicles happened to be stopped at that location. Itís 25 miles from the house but I only needed to make it another 7 miles to hit the rest stop. If itís hot, then I could see a need for one.

3. The Rest Stops
The rest stops were spaced out just right (minus needing some water near Calaveras). It was around 2 hours or so to each stop. I ate so much that I went to the restroom at 3 of the 4 stops.

4. The Food
Fíin amazing. Best food Iíve had on an organized ride. Seriously. We all kept talking about how good the food is :) I also liked the V8 juice, mainly for the sodium.

5. Ride ID's
I did arrive late so I probably missed the info on how to attach the ID badge to the bike. I ended up folding it and putting it in my back pocket since my frame is rather small. I donít know how much it would cost to print out some numbers, laminate them and then punch a few holes so we could pin it to the jersey? I realize this might be a bit hard to see in the morning, but you can still lift up your jacket/vest.

6. Additional Comments
Wanted to say a huge thanks for organizing everything. It was my first double and I found it quite enjoyable. While I do miss the old Best of the Bay, this one was just a fun :) I donít know if you need to submit Strava rides as proof, but hereís mine just in case: https://www.strava.com/activities/419680660


Ken Shoemaker
Thanks again for the ride yesterday! Was a fun time and you and your crew did a great job keeping us going and also appreciated the special treat of dinner at the end. And really liked the food back at BOB central during the day and the turkey cranberry pitas on Diablo!

The final stats I got from the Garmin 1000 are 201.59 miles with 14,429í of climbing. My experience with rides is that the organizers advertise more climbing that I actually get :) Gave some verbal feedback at the end of the ride but overall it is a good course. One thing I was thinking, and I am not familiar enough with the roads in the area to know if this is even possible, is whether the route could go down Diablo via North gate to turn that segment into more of a loop instead of an out-and-back? Just a thoughtÖ

Anyway, thanks again and delighted to see another double added to our Northern California list of events! Look forward to riding it next year when it is on the official calendar.


Khoa Tran
1. The Route
The route was nice, the setup back to HQ after every leg was helpful, we could change/remove clothes and lights without carried all the stuff during the ride.
Leg 1 and leg 2 were scenery. Leg 3 was dark and cold. Going through downtown San Ramon got some left turns that crossed 4,5 lane expressway with 50mph limit were scary.
The signal sign before the turn was helpful, it's big and hard to miss. But those mobility signs was sabotaged before on other DC when some one moved/misplaced the signs and riders were lost! If we could paint on the road, would be great. Even better if we got some one dedicated at each turn to guide riders on easy-to-miss turn; but it would be hard on support staff.

2. The Support Provided
Every one was excited!, and helpful. For slow riders like us, the staff checked up every 1, 2 hour on the ride, especially at night was very encouraging to ride. Keep up the good work!
On SAG vehicle, please keep a minimal tool such as pump, wrenches, just to help with minor mechanical. On some DC they didn't help at all, or they towed and DNF. I don't think there's rule on DC to not help riders mechanical, only on self-support ride.

3. The Rest Stops
The rest stops was good. Huge and with restrooms. On top Mt. Diablo: instead of the top after the Wall, the parking lot was huge with benchs, better than rest stop on top.

4. The Food
The food was excellent, home-made soup, sandwich, especially the post-ride comfort food. Hot soup at night is a must because around Livermore/San Ramon always cold at night and after a long day ride. On the full DC, there will be much more riders, it'd be hard to prepare home-made food though.
Hammer products: need more endurance like Perpetuem, Sustain Energy, I think they provided more on official ride.
Handle the powder drink: was it the the staff have to pour in the powder? I heard that riders could not pour the powder themselves, for their hand/glove could be dirty.

5. Rider ID's
Some of the DC mail out the bib number before the ride so we can attach it to the bicycle, avoid the frustration in the start. If you can do the same, it would be great. Would be better if there a chip to automatically record the time.

6. Additional Comments
Cherry City Cyclists was experience for organize cycling rides for many years, hope you keep the same quality support on your new DC. Thank you again for let us test ride. It's a privilege and pleasure to ride this route.


Metin Uz
1. The route: I really enjoyed the three sections, but did not like Crow Canyon during mid-day. There was too much car traffic and little space in some areas. Camino Tassajera and Crown Canyon was fine at night.

2. Support was great, certainly on par with the well supported doubles in the area.

3. Rest stops were well-positioned and stocked. The last stop was a little too far from the restrooms, perhaps that could be improved.

4. The food was great, easily the best I've had in a double century. I mostly relied on solid food, usually I use Hammer products. On that note, many riders prefer Perpetuem over Heed in longer rides, I would like to see that next year.

5. I placed the rider id on my top tube, but that didn't stay in place very well. I prefer the jersey bib like Quackcyclists use, with the name visible when approaching a rider from back.

6. This was a well run test ride, exceeded my expectations. It didn't hurt that it was a gorgeous day. There were a few minor issues with the cuesheet, like the street names changing to South Gate Road and Summit Road on Diablo. The left turn to Alcosta from Crown Canyon was difficult in traffic, may add note to use the button at the crosswalk. We also missed the right turn to Bollinger Canyon on the way out -- it comes up fast on a downhill, and the sign is hard to read at speed.

Thanks again, and looking forward to seeing it on the calendar next year!

--Metin


Michael Chalfant
Some general notes:
First, it was an honor to participate and I am grateful to Cheryl and Vicky. I also want to thank Scott Halversen for sending out the call for volunteers to ride.

General comments and thoughts.
I stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express which was about a mile from the BOB Headquarters. The room was clean and quiet. The elevator was nice and wide. Now finding the BOB in the dark was a bit of an adventure to someone new to the area, but eventually I got there. I was very pleased with the hotel.

The multiple out-and-backs might turn (or pivot?) some riders away, but on the other hand it could be developed as the signature for the event. I see some variation of the three-legged Sicilian flag to represent each of the three out-and-backs.

Although no worse than any other Double through urban areas (particular some of the Southern California ones) there are a lot of red lights which add up over the course of the day. I know nothing can be done about this, but you'll want to communicate this at some point, perhaps in the pre-ride announcement.

Some of the highway underpasses have rough road which with traffic and the transition between light and shadow could make it tough for some riders.

Some riders are going to be on DMD autopilot. The good news is that almost every time you see a DMD marker on the pavement the rule is don't take it!

There does not seem to be any one stop which stands out for the lunch stop. The riders will get spread out by the summit and even more so as the ride progresses. On the Test Ride, there was excellent lunch food at the Diablo summit (the ratatouille pita was nothing short of awesome) and next at the Bob headquarters. Unlike some other doubles which can get away with being sparse at the penultimate rest stop, the difficulty of Calveras climbs and descents suggests bolstering the Levin stop.

As a vegetarian I was delighted and impressed with the the options. For me, I am a big fan of Hammer Perpetuem. At the beginning of a ride, I use Heed, but after mile 110 find Perpetuem to be easier on my stomach and provides better protein and carbohydrates. Having a non-electrolyte powder alternatives would be good.

Personally, the hardest stretch for me was the return from Diablo and the 1st 10 miles on Calaveras. After that I felt I got continually stronger through to the end.

At some point either on Wente or Concannon you got a great view of Mt. Diablo which helped give a sense of accomplishment and a signal that the end is within reach.

Now for some specifics of the route itself.

First Leg. It is hard to find any fault on this segment. There is a road sign to indicate the turn onto Pinehurst. You'll want to make sure the junction of Pinehurst and Canyon is marked clearly as it will still be firmly dark when most riders go past. Of course the right onto Grizzly Peak needs to be marked, but since it is not at the top I doubt too many will continue on skyline. For those who like this sort of thing, upon reaching the top of Pinehurst, looking backward you get a great view of Diablo silhoutted by the dawn. Beatiful.

Second Leg: Since Norris Canyon Rd is passed on the way out on Crow Canyon and heading toward Bollinger Canyon, riders need to pay careful attention to the cue sheet. Again, I presume this will be marked. On the way back the Left onto Alcosta Blvd. is on a downhill with a fair amount of traffic. Caution here is warranted.

Third Leg Phase 1 - The Sunol - Calveras out-and-back
Although nearly two-thirds of the climbing is over, this portion is real work.
I missed the turn onto Bond St and had to use Kildare (the dead end sign was a hint that something was not quite right). Again the risk is for those on DMD autopilot. Calveras outbound is relentless and technical. Looking left you can contemplate the drought. Once at Levin, the food and liquid options at this stop will need to be diverse. You might want to have some hot food here, which will be appreciated on a rainy October afternoon.

Third Leg Phase 2 - Sunol - Livermore - San Leandro
This segment through the rest stop and along the early part of Camino Tassajara Rd. was very pleasant as the sun was setting and we transitioned back to riding at night. The roads were generally in great shape and there was not much traffic.

Indicate that Vellecitos is a T intersection. That will eliminate some uncertainty in the last mile or so of whether a turn on Vineyard was missed.

It will be dark for many riders along the Camino Tassajara. At one point on the way to Crow Canyon, the route crosses Blackhawk X. It doesn't matter what X is, some riders will be convinced that was the road they were on during Leg 2 which stays straight and becomes Crow Canyon. This will need to be clearly marked as by then the cue sheet might not be easily read. Actually taking this would lead to a dead end. Perhaps a big red X just past the left would tell riders they've gone astray.

Although not a shortcut by distance, some riders might be attempted to forgo the climb up Norris at the end and instead take Bollinger Canyon and return via the same route as Leg 2. The real benefit is that this is open road with basically no traffic and no traffic lights!

Conclusion: The organizers have taken care to develop a route which distinctive and challenging to experienced riders. This Double gives Northern California riders a late-season event that is sorely missing and is a worthy addition to the repertoire.

Thanks,
Michael


Peter Meyer
1. The Route
To my delight, I really like most of this route. I am not a fan of out and back legs, but the views from Grizzly Peak at dawn were exceptional and the roads the club chose to get there are really good. A big plus to include that!

I would suggest a longer route from Mt. Diablo back to the ride HQ, use up some miles and stay off Crow Canyon. Then do the Calaveras turn around at the top of the wall if you can.

Bond street was nearly invisible, trees block the street sign. Easy to fix with a marker by the road for the day.

It is truly a pleasure to have a double that starts and finishes in the Bay Area. We have too few of those. The downside is urban riding, but the upsides of proximity and avoiding hotel stays more than make up for a few city miles.

I like the fact that I can roll by my car a few times on a fall day. The ability to drop clothes and lights and get supplies is a really nice feature, so the clover leaf design is a big plus for me. In the summer this matters less, but in the autumn, it is another great idea.

2. The Support Provided
OUTSTANDING!! This was well organized, and well run. It was smooth and efficient and very rider friendly. A lot of really nice small touches. These guys are great.

3. The Rest Stops
EXCELLENT! All the rest stops were done really well. Plenty of food and water, at least for me. Big thanks to Eve and Patricia by the way.

4. The Food
Another excellent!! A lot of great home made and interesting food, totally wonderful. You don't need much of that, just a little at each rest stop, for the whole ride to be a lot better. I would never have thought of Dolmas, but it was good!! This was a fine plus, and a sign of good organizers.

5. Rider ID's
What is there to say about IDs? The organizing team needs them, I dislike them. The handlebar mount is a problem with lights. Maybe the same thing, two sided, for top tube mounting? Then we can say 'Hi' to each other and the sag drivers can see who is who. I am just as OK with numbers on the jersey. I'd rather not have them at all, but I can see why the organizers want them.

6. Additional Comments
I do a lot of doubles, and this may have been a test but it already ranks as one of the top doubles in my calendar


Rico Mundy
1. The Route
There are several things I like about the route, several things I'm unsure about. Usually I do not like rides that are out & back and prefer loops instead to be able to see more new places without backtracking. However, (perhaps getting used to 8 Pass Challenge) I was enjoying both directions on this route. If it was just me designing a course, I would have been inclined to do some sort of loop from the end of Grizzly Peak segment going further north (perhaps following some of the pieces of the Grizzly Peak century) and then heading over to Diablo, perhaps coming up Northgate and descending Southgate. I've never climbed Northgate as the only time I'm at Diablo is in DMD. But again, I did like coming back to the central hub after GP, because it was cooler in the AM and I had used arm/knee warmers and I appreciated dropping them off in the car before heading to Diablo. I do not make use of drop bags and don't like the logistical challenges of them, so coming back by my vehichle to leave stuff (or get stuff) was really nice.

As far as the climbing, analyzing my data afterwards with the other 30+ doubles I've ridden and also looking at the data of the other 8 cyclists who uploaded to Strava using different devices, I would be inclined to peg this at 14,300' climbing or (from my two times riding CCD), the same climbing as Central Coast Double. In fact the more I thought about it, the more I would tell people this really is like CCD (ie most of the climbing in the 1st half, 1 major climb and other lesser climbs, flatter 2nd half with rolling grassy hills). The thing is, CCD gets put in the TC race stages. I think for BOB, this late in the season, it is a bit too much climbing for most people. I didn't mind it, in fact enjoyed it as I had maintained my shape, but I was thinking for attracting more riders it might be better to have climbing in the range of KX 12,500 or less. Perhaps an option for a lowland double?

The one thing least enjoyable, but no way around it starting in Castro Valley is the urban traffic of Castro Valley/San Ramon/Livermore. I know a lot of the southern CA doubles have this and I dislike the traffic lights and lots of vehicles, etc. Of course in northern CA we are spoiled with so many doubles that are so rural and hardly have any traffic or city riding.

2. The Support Provided
This was incredible. I was so amazed you all learned my name and that I was a vegetarian by the end of the ride. I have never felt so supported by volunteers at any CTC double (or any organized ride for that matter). If you can keep this level of support for the double with 100+ riders it will be a special experience for everyone that sets apart.

3. The Rest Stops
The people were nice. I liked the rotating volunteers who got to know me over the ride. I think the locations are good ones and spacing was just right. I don't really have much to offer on this as overall I was too fast and arrived before the stops were fully setup and prepared.

4. The Food
I liked the custom gourmet items at each stop. Wasn't expecting it, so I was eating and drinking like I would riding any other double, but knowing the food options, the next time I ride, I would definitely be planning to save some room for oatmeal (GP) or the grape leaf things with rice (Ed Levin). I do suggest the full complement of Hammer for the regular CTC like Perpetuem, Hammer Gel bottles (because we carry flasks to charge up), etc. I do like Quack events as they seem to always have the drinks I crave (like root beer, fruit juice options as well as V8. I do like seeing a large variety of options (in contrast with Mt Tam double this year where they just had Monster/Coke at one of the latter stops, which was terrible and I didn't want either). Overall, though, I didn't get to fully experience the rest stops as I was too fast and arrived before fully set up :( Oh, I do like Jelly Bellies, that Quacks have sometimes at later stops. The bean and cheese burritos were great and I think would be even greater with the addition of some rice.

One thing I think would be incredible to try and add in is things I learned and recipes from the book "Feed Zone Portables" by Biju Thomas & Allen Lim. The recipes and philosophy in this book for things like rice bars, two-bite pies and pancakes and waffles have been really excellent for me and it really helped me understand and resolve the stomach bloating issues I've experienced in endurance riding. The thing I felt was lacking in this ride was stuff to eat on the bike in between rest stops (I just mostly used the HEED, Hammer gel packs and occasionally the PBJ or banana). No other double (or any organized ride I've experienced) is making stuff like Feed Zone Portables, and I think it would be incredible (since there is already the focus on home-cooked things from BOB), to provide food items like this. It would really set things apart and perhaps help with the bloating issues some of us experience from Hammer.

5. Rider ID's
I like number plates that have rider names on them. That is the best! Do have the ids to pin on to the back of the jerseys with the names on them. It helps to get to know the riders you are with. I like that a lot about Quacks.

6. Additional Comments
I think you have a good thing going with the personalized service. Look forward to seeing this on CTC, but I also am giving serious thought and concern to continued participation in CTC since this summer when I first read the following article. I think it is something CTC should give some thought to as an organization promoting endurance cycling: http://velonews.competitor.com/cycling-extremes

Sincerely,
Rico Mundy


Roy Ross
1. The Route
I normally don't do out an back rides, there was a bit too much of that. I like the first section out and back. What I would do is the 1st, out and back, the 2nd a loop that avoids Crow Canyon Road as much as possible, and the 3rd a loop also. The second and third loops depended to highly on the Crow Canyon area. It seemed we were in the same place a lot, retracing our treads way too often.

2. The Support Provided
The support was very good. I did see SAG vehicles fairly often and they even stopped to fill water that was ice cold.

3. The Rest Stops
Well place. I felt spoiled as they seemed more often than I am used to. Much appreciated.

4. The Food
This was the best part of the ride. I don't think I have ever had this good of food on a double century.

5. Rider ID's
This was find with me. This is mainly for the volunteers to check in. They seemed to stay intact.

6. Additional Comments
Depending on the route changes, I will consider riding this next year.

Thanks for a great experience. It was fun to be a part of this.

Roy


Sherry Adams
A huge thank you to you and the rest of the crew who put on Saturday's successful double! I had such a nice day on the bike and was grateful to take part in the event.

I have written below a lengthy list of feedback for you. It is only one person's opinion, so you may want to disregard some or all of it. Based on my experience of doing ~10 doubles run by other clubs, here are some things I think you will want to consider to ensure your ride is a success when you join the CTC calendar.

1. Some suggestions on your route slip.
a. Where Skyline and Snake roads meet, at ~28.5 miles and again on the way back, put a note to bear right (left) to stay on Skyline. A cyclist not paying attention might go straight onto Snake.
b. Warn in your route slip and in your pre-ride briefing about the 2 crossings of railroad tracks at oblique angles. I think this is on Plesanton-Sunol road. For me these were right around dusk. A tired cyclist could crash here.
c. Do what you can to make the mileage on the cuesheet very accurate. Even being off by a few miles makes it easier for people to get lost when it is dark, they are tired, in an unfamiliar place, and trying to find their turn. I put the route on ridewithgps, brought that route slip with me Saturday, and found their mileage was a perfect match for my bike computer, but off by a few miles from your cuesheet. You can see the route here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10887310 It has a few minor errors, in part because I didnít know the exact location of your rest stops. I donít know if it is indeed more accurate than yours, but might be something to check out.

2. Some suggestions on rider support
a. Your sag drivers were fabulous. Perhaps they would appreciate having rider numbers on the backs of the cyclists? All of the other doubles I have done had Tyvek rider numbers which we pinned to our backs with safety pins. Also, if you stick with your current system, you donít need a number and first and last name of rider- if you have a number, it is enough to just use one of the personís names. This means you can use larger font (better for your volunteers) and make smaller cards (better for riders).
b. Riders will need to fill water on their way up Diablo if it is a hot day. With our small group, mostly familiar with this country, we could just use the park water fountain behind the junction ranger station. But this one slow water fountain won't work for a larger group, you'll need a volunteer somewhere along the climb with water.
c. On the other CTC doubles Iíve been on people expect several flavors of Perpetum at each rest stop along with Hammer gel which the club buys in the liter bottles to refill the plastic flasks that Hammer will give you to distribute. Many people on doubles are pushing themselves hard enough they can't do much eating of real food, otherwise they puke. Also, many want to be in and out of the rest stops quickly, grabbing food they can stick in a pocket and eat on the bike. The burritos towards the end were perfect for this. Also having ziplock bags people can fill with chips etc. works well. In my experience the sort of absolutely wonderful food you had will really attract people to a century ride, but most people on a double will not take the time to appreciate it. Some of the things you had that were perfect : little potatoes, potato chips, bananas, tangerines pre-peeled, hard boiled eggs, nuts, little cooked egg & potato treats, bagels with cream cheese, peanut butter sandwiches-- finger food, easy to digest, and with plenty of salt. You'll also have some demand for an electrolyte replacement powder like EFS. As you did with us, it's a good idea to give people pretty detailed info about what will be at rest stops; many of these riders know what they need and will bring it themselves if you won't have it.
d. If this ride becomes popular, at some point someone will get food poisoning the next day. It might be from where they went to dinner the night before, but they will suspect it is the ride and report you to the health department. The health department will talk to people on the ride and ask them if they were ever able to stick their grimy little hands directly into a food serving dish, like a bowl of potato chips or a platter of stuffed grape leaves. You donít want this problem, so youíll need to have little ladles or tongs in every single food serving dish, constantly insist riders use them, or have volunteers wearing gloves handing out food.

3.Some suggestions on route
a. When you have an option, right turns are always better than left turns. In heavy traffic areas, 3 right turns are better than one left turn.
b. In many ways the route is fantastic, the bulk of each loop really is great.
c. Riding through the traffic of Castro Valley is the low point of the route, and for quite a few riders the idea of having to wait through a bunch of red lights will actually cause them not to come to your ride. I think you can address most of this by having a start location at the north end of town, such as Proctor Elementary School or Canyon Middle School, and/or carefully choosing the details of the route through Castro Valley. For example, heading out on Redwood road at 5:30am works fine since there is no traffic. But coming in on Redwood Rd after the first loop is a real drag with all those lights. It is worth doing what you can to avoid it. People have so many options for double centuries now, and even well established rides have a hard time turning a profit. If you get these details right you will get the reputation not just for totally awesome support, but also a great route.

4. Pre-ride info
a. Some rides that include night riding will very clearly spell out visibility requirements above and beyond what the law requires. For example reflective ankle bands and vests are requirements for longer RUSA events. It is common for the organizer to actually threaten to do a pre-ride inspection and not allow anyone to do the ride who has not met their standards on being visible at night. The reason for this is that every once in a while a cyclist gets killed on these rides, and we all like to think if we go above and beyond the minimum it may save a life. There was one rider I saw on our ride Saturday night whose taillight had nearly dead batteries, his outfit was entirely black, and he was wearing no reflective gear.
b. One of the most annoying things about rides that start before sunrise is the fellow cyclists who have extremely bright taillights on flash mode even when they are surrounded by other cyclists. You may wish to request that all riders have their taillights in solid mode, not flash mode, for the first 30 minutes of the ride.
c. Ridewithgps says the elevation gain is 16,000' for this ride. I have no idea what the actual gain is, but you should probably use whatever system the Quackcyclists use for DMD, because that is the ride that more people are familiar with and will want to compare this one to.
5. Your cloverleaf route design means you could simultaneously run a shorter ride without too much more effort on your part. This could be a double metric consisting of the first loop and a modified third loop. If you find you are having a hard time breaking even or attracting riders with the double century, this may be something to consider.

Thanks again,
Sherry


Scott Halversen
1. The Route
As I know you've already heard, heading east on Crow Canyon in the mid-morning was fairly miserable. I think Norris Canyon would be a good option at that time of the day. Heading west on the way back from Diablo did not seem nearly as bad. A big part of the difference is likely just that you're able to go quite a bit faster for most of it while heading west. Although Norris has less traffic, the shoulder is much better on Crow Canyon, so as you will always find, there are trade-offs all along the way. I didn't get to ride the last half as you know, but have ridden most if not all the roads in the past and it seems like a good route.

2. The Support Provided
Support was great. I actually really liked the hub and spoke configuration. I think it provides for better support overall. There may be some riders who complain about the out-and-back design, but I found the opposite directions to seem quite different in each case.

3. The Rest Stops
Rest stops were nicely situated at good intervals. Again, having the hub and spoke configuration made numerous things more convenient for everyone. I liked having the Diablo stop in the lower parking lot where the picnic tables were.

4. The Food
As always, the food was something to look forward to and savor in the partaking. Those "egg-muffins" were incredible. It kind of felt like a food festival / double century. I found myself wondering what combination of flavors I would experience next. My only suggestion is that many riders, myself included, seem to prefer either Sustained Energy or Perpetuem as opposed to HEED.

5. Rider ID's
The ID's were very legible. I'm a big fan of having rider names on there. It was nice not to have it on the jersey as it makes it visible throughout the day and night.

6. Additional Comments
Using your home as the hub was fantastic for the number of riders you had. My guess is that it may be problematic with the number of riders I would expect to be interested in this ride.

Kind regards,

Scott


Tom Truong
Thank you for letting me participate in the test ride, and here are my comments that I hope to help making this ride a real popular and successful addition to the triple crown ride list.

The route: traffic westbound on Crow Canyon approaching Alcosta blvd during the day can be very heavy, and fast being downhill and all, making a left turn there difficult. It's probably not a problem during the last leg, later in the evening. My suggestion is to continue on Crow Canyon passed Alcosta for about 100 m to the Iron Horse trail crossing. There's a traffic light there for bikes and hikers. Riders can take the trail to Bollinger, they will hit Norris Canyon first and can choose to cut out about 1 mile of riding when they're tired. ;)

The support: great

The stops: great

The Food: great, love the hot breakfast. My only suggestion- go easy on the BBQ sauce, there's too much sugar in it that could become a digestive issue for some. You have the best food of all the organized rides I've been on in a long time.

Thanks again, and I hope to participate in the inaugural ride, either as a rider or a volunteer.

Best Regards,

Tom Truong
Hayward, Ca


Eric Horning
Thank you very much for inviting me to participate in the test ride for th BOB Double. It was a great day for riding and I enjoyed the ride. Below are some observations from the ride.

First of all, let me make my disclaimer. The comments may reflect my personal prejudices and may or may not align with other rider's preferences.

1. The course was generally good except the sections on Crow Canyon Road. Even descending Norris Canyon in the dark was not too bad compared to riding along Crow Canyon. I would suggest looking for an alternative route. Perhaps take advantage of some of the roads through Tilden Park and around Lafayette to go over to Diablo and use Dublin Canyon or Dublin Boulevard.

2. Having the route return to the start twice during the ride is good and bad. On one hand, it is nice to be able to put things in your car or retrieve something. On the other hand, it is very easy for people to call it a day and I am guessing the completion rate will be affected.

3. The rest stops through Ed Levin Park were very well done. The food was great and the volunteers were supportive and helpful. The Robertson Park stop was a little short on food choices (though the burritos were brilliant) and the last stop is a very important stop for a double. Riders are starting to run low on energy and things like fruit and salty snacks are desirable at that point. The food at the end was fabulous.

4. If the day is warm, you may want to consider having the later rest stops a little closer together or having a couple of interim water stops with snacks. Going 30 - 40 miles without stopping in the morning is fine, but on a hot day, 30 - 40 miles is a long distance for someone carrying just 2 bottles (I think that is what many riders carry). Terrible Two has a fairly good finish rate for a tough double and they have 50+ miles to the first stop but only 12 miles from the last stop to the finish.

That is all I have for now. If I think of anything else, I will send it along. Thanks again for a fun day of riding and some really good food.

Eric Horning

After I read your list of topics, I thought of a few more things:

1. The numbers (rider ID) were good and I like the idea of zip ties for attaching to the bike. The one possible down side is that some methods of attaching the numbers made them hard to see so it may present additional challenges for sag and volunteers checking in riders.

2. Some rest stops did not have many places to lean a bike, which was not a problem with only ~25 riders. If there are many riders in one rest stop, there should be sufficient places to put a bike while re-filling bottles, eating, rest room, . . .

Again, thanks for putting on the ride.

Eric Horning


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