Central Coast Double

| June 3, 2009 3:51 pm

by Deborah Hoag

Central Coast Double (Second Leg of Stage Race, 3 hardest 200 milers) starts and ends at City Park in Paso Robles. The route takes you over the Santa Lucia Range to the Pacific Coast via Adelaida, York Mt., and Santa Rosa Creek into Cambria. The route then takes you from Cambria to the Nacimiente Fergusson (7 mile climb) via HWY1 with 45 miles of nasty head winds. After the Nacimiente Freguson climb with temperatures in the nineties and no tree coverage due to a fire last year, the route drops down into Fort Hunter Liggett for lunch at mile 113. After lunch (3rd rest stop), the route continues through Salinas and Lockwood (4th rest stop) Valley via Quinado, Espinosa, and Tule Canyon. Then the route continues on to Bradley School the 5th rest stop at mile 184. Leaving Bradley, the route then turns up Hare Canyon for the last eight mile climb. From there the route is 27 miles of rollers into Paso Robles.

The Central Coast Double started with 175 riders and finished with 150 riders. For the riders completing the stage, the route was 219 miles with 13,800 feet of climbing. There were eight ACTC members (Barley Forsman, Art Cruz, Ken Emerson, Ehud Yuhjtman, Bernard Cushing, Paul Ries, Barry Schwartz, and Deborah Hoag) who completed the route for the stage race credit. For the riders completing 204 miles for Triple Crown credit, there were four ACTC members (Ken Holloway on a tandem, Gary Boal, Paul Vlasveld, Richard McCaw) who completed it. Cindi Stailger provided sag support.

I went into Central Coast focusing on finishing strong, not blowing up the last 40 miles like I had done on Devil Mountain Double. I had completed this ride in 2008 at 9:39P, however, 9 miles were added on to the ride in 2009. We rolled out at 5:41A with clear skies with great temperatures.

I started off slow. The motor would not get going. By the first rest stop after climbing Santa Rosa Creek, I was feeling warmed up. And who was there at the first stop, Kitty of course. I chased her last year. I told Art as long as we are with Kitty, we will finish. Before, we left the first rest stop, Art took off his jacket. He had his Terrible Two Jersey on. I could not believe it, because I had mine on too. We had done this a few years go together with David Hoag beating on us.

Then it was out to the coast for 45 miles of coastal riding on Highway 1 with some pretty nasty headwinds.  After lunch (that lasted 28 minutes) at mile 113, Art and I headed out on our first detour of the day additional 5 miles of nasty headwinds. As we turned into the head winds, I fell behind Art and end up riding solo, until the next rest stop. At this point, I kept focusing on the pain in my hands. I could not find a comfortable spot for my hands to rest on the bike. Doubles play a lot of head games with your mind. I started focusing on having my best friend being with me. And I was able to buckle down and enjoy the ride. What I remember between the lunch rest stop and the next rest stop is five miles of nasty head winds, then two miles of descending with nasty cross winds (keeping one leg down to stabilize the bike), and then another two miles of nasty head winds again. However, I was in very good spirits.

We reached the fourth rest stop, Lockwood at 6:30P and still had 70 miles to go. Art told me no way, were we going to reach the finish before 12P. I told him yes we were. I had talked Art into doing Devil Mountain Double. And then I talked him doing the Central Coast Double. What are friends for? Now he is looking forward to the Mt Tam Double to earn his Stage Race Jersey and so I am.

It was dark when we reached the fifth rest stop, Bradley School. This would be our last rest stop. We would skip the sixth rest stop. Last year, I skipped the last two rest stops, but felt this was a mistake. So, we fueled up at Bradley, and headed up the last climb, Hare Canyon with a beautiful full moon. After the climb, Art and I treated the last 27 miles of rollers as a Time Trail. Our Bailey Time Trail on Monday evenings had paid off. We past several people and raced into the finish. We came in at 11:51P. I had reached my goal and finished strong. The following weekend, I was able to complete 90 miles in a little over six hours.

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