Carmel Valley Double Century
November 14, 2015 Test Ride
The course was exceptionally scenic and sufficiently challenging. The route sheet and Garmin file were excellent. Traffic was moderate to light and I never felt unsafe. Road quality was generally very good with the exception of the mud covered roads near the vegetable fields. An earlier start time option would helpful, perhaps 4 or 4:30 to reduce the time in the dark at the end of the ride.
I only used water and had a very light lunch (meat and fruit). All was excellent. I observed a wide variety of food and drinks that should be sufficient for any rider. Dzung was very receptive my suggestion of adding Mt. Dew to the soda options. In the future there will need to be an after ride meal as there are no eating establishments open late in Carmel Valley.
Although we did not need to use it, roving SAG support was always present and checking up on our needs. Rest stop support was excellent. There were no extras but who really needs them.
There were clean restrooms at all but two stops. Restrooms will have to be provided for all rest stops when this becomes a CTC sanctioned ride.
Great value and great location. Dzung and his team did an excellent job. Negotiated hotel prices were reasonable. When this becomes a sanctioned ride a jersey or tee-shirt would be great advertising.
Course - 9
Very scenic traveling down the coast and getting around the Hunter Liggett Military base.
Other than the bumpy road from King City to Greenfield, the course was awesome. Moderate traffic on Hwy 1 and low traffic everywhere else.
Food - 10
Plenty to grub on at stops. Bottled water was in abundance.
Energetic support crew throughout the ride !!! Very helpful! Was able to borrow support's jacket on final descent . SAG never missed a beat.
Needed a porta potty at two of the stops. I can understand with only a few riders in the test ride.
Overall - 10 !!!!
Loved the ride and route !! Ride has quite a bit of climbing but not too difficult. Will come more prepared for final descent in the cold and dark next time. With the lack on sunlight, start time of 4 am would be beneficial to avoid the chilly evening temps on the 17 mile descent to the finish.
This was a challenging course with some amazing scenery and surprisingly minimal traffic, even along the Hwy 1 section due to the early start. The road conditions were very good with some caution required on the descent down from the top of Nacimiento. Bright lights and battery capacity for several hours is essential on this ride, especially for the San Lucas to Carmel Valley section. I concur that an earlier start at at least 4:30 would be optimal, to minimize the night riding on the tail end.
The food at the rest stops especially at the lunch stop was excellent (the lemon bars at Greenfield were delicious). I would recommend v8 juices and the usual complement of electrolyte drinks, etc. provided at most doubles. I agree with Robert that there would need to be an additional food stop at Lockwood store. There might be a possibility of a lowland route option which would avoid the big climb to lunch, which would also make providing lunch items at Lockwood store a necessity. Water availablility especially at the top of Nacimiento is key and hot drinks and soup at the lunch, San Lucas, Greenfield and top of Carmel Valley Rd was wonderful.
This was the best supported double that I have ever been on, most likely due to the high volunteer/rider ratio. Scaling this great support to accommodate 50-100 riders and giving them a comparable experience would be great. Additional accommodations like Carmel Mission Inn with a special rate would be needed for a larger group. The route maps and gps files provided were very accurate and the sag wagon support was phenomenal. Course markers or volunteers posted at key intersections, especially for the nighttime riding sections would be a big improvement. A meal at the end in Carmel Valley would be ideal due to the late finish for many riders.
Rest rooms were not a problem on this ride, as great facilities were available along the coast at Big Sur Bakery, Lucia and the lunch stop. Portable toilets would need to be provided at rest stops to accommodate a larger field of riders
Overall this was an amazing ride. Having done most of this route as a two day ride for many years, the necessity of riding at night along the Arroyo Seco and Carmel Valley Rd sections means missing some great scenery on the last part of the ride. I would recommend a spring or late September or early October ride date, with day light savings time enabling less riding after dark. A ride t-shirt would be great and eventually a jersey may be appropriate given the epic nature of this double.
Again, a big thank you to Dzung and the XeDapViet Cycling Club volunteers for making this ride possible and giving me and my fellow riders an awesome double century experience!
Beautiful and challenging course. Incorporate rest stops, water, restroom info into MMR route downloads.
Good variety, tasty, and made to order. Not overwhelmed by cycling products, chocolate milk too.
Water Quality: It would be nice to have a small bottled water to carry in a pack to add to water bottles. Water quality was good.
Excellent, knowledgeable, and friendly support. A massage would have been nice; )
Roving SAG Support: Helpful for navigation, especially at night.
No problems here.
Incredible world class route!
Thanks so much to you and all of your great XDV crew. That ride was quite the adventure and the scenery was great. I look forward to returning there.
Here's some feedback -
1. Some sort of real food at the top of Naciemento would be a big help in making it to the official lunch. We topped out the big climb of the day at about 1pm, and it was 40 miles to the official lunch. Some hot noodles would be low-tech and easy to supply up there.
2. Naciemento is a descent worthy of special care. A sign would help - Watch out for rockfall and oncoming traffic.
3. Its pretty late in the year and I expect that everybody who rides it will be out there in the cold. You may want to offer drop bag support so that folks can send clothes ahead to the 2nd-to-last stop. The last 20 miles into the finish are going to be cold - its a sheltered canyon. The double-century crowd is pretty hardy, and I'm sure that folks would be better able to handle the conditions if they were ready and had access to clothes.
I'm sure that hot drinks would go over very well at the end of the day. I think that would be help a lot with getting folks home in the cold of the evening.
Here are my pictures: Carmel Valley Double Test Ride Photos
Very scenic and challenging. Depending on what time of year this is run, you might want to start it even earlier, as it gets very cold once the sun goes down. Also the out and back to lunch is more challenging that we expected, might want to warn people at Lockwood to be full up with water and so forth before that.
Food : 10
Plenty of options provided, both sweet things and nice salty stuff later. I'd second the recommendation for a post ride meal, as when we got back it was certainly past when anything was open.
Support : 10
Very friendly and helpful support crew, couldn't have asked for more. I didn't expect to be lantern rouge, but having them light up the road behind me for the last six miles was pretty epic.
Restrooms : 8
No problem for our small group, but presumably there'd be porta-potties for a full sanctioned double century.
Overall : 9
Had a great time. It's a lovely route, and look forward to seeing you run it in the future.
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