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.

Here is a quick ride report along with picturess taken during the ride. Also, stay tuned to see how the Reynolds does in the hilliest CA double century of them all, the Devil Mountain Double with 18,000 feet of climbing, coming up on April 25th.

I rode the ‘bent 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 Canny, in 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 ride and 112-mile ride (on Canny) the last month. I’m debating whether I will do the super-hilly Devil’s Mountain Double in April, though, considering my climbing on the ‘bent needs improvement. Also, I’m thinking of boycotting all of Hugh Murphy’s rides, since he keeps raising the registration fees to ridiculous new heights while his SAG support on these rides has been getting worse and worse every year. But that is another issue.

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



  • 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 CenturyFelix Wong's red Reynolds Wishbone recumbent, 2000 Solvang Double Centuryriding on shoulder, tree-lined roads, 2000 Solvang Double Centuryearly morning mist, 2000 Solvang Double Centurydowntown Solvang, 2000 Solvang Double Centurycatching up to cyclists in the 2000 Solvang Double CenturyFelix Wong's red Reynolds Wishbone Recumbentrest stop, 2000 Solvang Double Centuryfour cyclists, Zach Kaplan readying his Festina recumbent bicycle, 2000 Solvang Double Centurytwo recumbent bicycles on the road, 2000 Solvang Double CenturyHarry Gretzke, lunch stop, 2000 Solvang Double Centuryriding through San Luis Obispo, 2000 Solvang Double Century

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One comment
  • Joe Stafford says:

    Hi! I have a reynolds nomad, my frame looks a lot like yours, can you tell me if they are the same? I also have a reynolds round tube wishbone and a z-bone. I wonder if my nomad can become a wishbone? Have you ever considered running a 700×23 wheel on the front? I ask because the height from ground of the seat and the down pedal are almost identical to the z-bone. The z-bone is the fastest of the 3 for me. I use velocity sparatus wheels and real design 1365 gr per set wheels. I did change the rear nomad wheel to 700×23 real design.

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