Featured photo for Solvang Double Century

Solvang Double Century

Here are excerpts from an email I wrote to a friend that gives some insight as the Reynold Wishbone recumbent’s performance during the 200-mile ride. In short: awesome.

I rode the recumbent for this ride, and my goal for the ride was to finish in better time than during the 1998 and 1999 Solvang Doubles I did on the Cannondale, which I finished in 14:10 and 14:25 respectively. This might have seemed somewhat far-fetched considering I still have not put many miles on the ‘bent and even abandoned Death Valley after 151 miles, but I knew this course had only moderate climbing and the weather would be near-perfect. I started the ride late, just after dawn and way after everyone else had started, but started catching people after Mile 60 or so. Actually, I rode the first half somewhat conservatively, well within my limits. I put the hammer down after Mile 90 or so, and was jamming. The result:

First 100 miles: 6:20
Second 100 miles: 5:52
Total Elapsed Time: 12:12, a new personal record.

I couldn’t believe it; this even surpassed our 12:57 on the Davis Double, Dan, and should be good for a top-20 if not top-10 finish (out of 350 participants or so). And I could have easily come in under 12 hours if I didn’t get lost 5-6 times. The ride was not marked this year at all and we actually had to use the map every 10 minutes. Support was pretty poor—e.g., no water at lunch—but man, what a fast ride.

The recumbent was super comfy and stable at speed and because it was so comfortable I only had to stop a few times for a few minutes each during the ride. I still am not a great climber on it but on this ride, its better aerodynamics more than made up for it on the flats and downhill sections. I also was feeling very strong and surprisingly felt in better shape than I did last year, maybe because of the 151-mile and 112-mile rides last month.

I’m debating whether I will do the super-hilly Devil’s Mountain Double in April, considering my climbing needs improvement.

Ride Data

  • 201 mi.
  • 5:44 a.m. start, 6:56 p.m. finish – 12:12 hours, a new personal record
  • Average Speed: 17.2 mph moving, 16.5 mph overall
  • Max Speed: 40 mph
  • Total Climbing: 6000 ft

Rating

(5=best)

  • Scenery: 4
  • Support/Organization: 1 No route markings means everyone was getting lost. Only saw the SAG wagon twice.
  • Food: 1 No water at lunch.
  • Weather: 4+ Just a tad windy on a northbound stretch.
  • Relative Difficulty: 2
  • Overall Rating: 5- A fast, pretty double.
Harry Gretzke, Felix Wong's red Reynolds Wishbone recumbent, start of 2000 Solvang Double Century
Felix Wong's red Reynolds Wishbone recumbent, 2000 Solvang Double Century
riding on shoulder, tree-lined roads, 2000 Solvang Double Century
early morning mist, 2000 Solvang Double Century
downtown Solvang, 2000 Solvang Double Century
catching up to cyclists in the 2000 Solvang Double Century
Felix Wong's red Reynolds Wishbone Recumbent
rest stop, 2000 Solvang Double Century
four cyclists, Zach Kaplan readying his Festina recumbent bicycle, 2000 Solvang Double Century
two recumbent bicycles on the road, 2000 Solvang Double Century
Harry Gretzke, lunch stop, 2000 Solvang Double Century
riding through San Luis Obispo, 2000 Solvang Double Century