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.
- 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.