2010 Fall Death Valley Double Century- Quick Post

October 30, 2010 I completed the Fall edition of the Death Valley Double Century.  Unofficially my time is 11 hours 39 minutes.  Unofficially, I came in 3rd place.  It is my Personal Record for the northern route.  My previous best was 12:11 back in 2006.  I am happy with my result.  After the Furnace Creek  508 I hung up Felicia and I haven’t ridden her since.  Basically I have been off the bike for a month.

I will post a race report soon.  In the meantime you can check the AdventureCorps  site for the official results.

2010 Fall Death Valley Double Century T- Minus 2 days

Saturday October 30th I will be riding the Spring Death Valley Double Century.  It will mark my 22nd double century in the last eight seasons.  In my first couple of years I did a lot  more double centuries.  But over the years I branched out and starting doing brevets (unsupported events) and eventually I focused on the Furnace Creek 508.  I became interested in brevets because they were unsupported.  The shorter brevets like the 200km (125 miles) are just a fast century plus rides.  But the longer brevets like the 300km (187 miles), 400km (252 miles) and the 600km (375 miles) really test your stamina, nutrition and endurance.  I became interested in brevets but I fell in love with the 508.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I started in Ultras doing double centuries I really enjoyed the difficulty, and solitude of the longer events so my double century count is really low.  By contrast, my focus in the Furnace Creek 508 allowed me to finish five consecutive solo races and an invitation to the Furnace Creek 508 Hall of Fame.

Death Valley Double Century

Brandy and I did the Death Valley Double Century on Feb 28, in a sub 15 hour time. It was much tougher than I remember it when riding it solo. The climbing was much tougher on the tandem. It marks my 19th Double Century.

I love riding in Death Valley. The scenery is spectacular. We were fortunate to have a very mild day. It was slightly overcast and I don’t think the mercury rose above 85F.

Brandy was a real trooper as she suffered from undercarriage issues. We both suffered from nausea but that expected at least once in a 200 mile event.

Chris Kostman puts on a fantastic event. It is very well supported. The aid stations are all in the right place. Thanks to Hammer Nutrition we felt well fueled all day.

If you haven’t ridden in Death Valley you have to put it on your short list of rides to do. AdventureCorps is offering yet another opportunity to ride in Death Valley on April 18th. It is a century ride with other activities. It is called the Hell’s Gate Hundred. There will also be a Fall Double Century and if you are an Ultra Cyclist you should try and tackle the Furnace Creek 508!

I haven’t done a slide show for the Death Valley Double Century. But here are a few pics from the weekend.

On the drive in to Death Valley we took Chris Kostman’s suggested a more adventurous route up through Emigrant Pass. It was a very good suggestion and we thoroughly enjoyed the “off the beaten path” directions. I longed to get on my bike as we climbed up to Emigrant Pass.

The morning of the double century.

The highest point of the event don’t forget to add the an additional 282 feet– the amount of feet we were BELOW sea level at Badwater.

On the drive home we took a different route and took Townes Pass out of Death Valley.

Ever wonder why the climb up Townes Pass hurts so much on the 508? Well this sign tells quite a story doesn’t it?

Butterfield Double Century Ride Report





Thank you to all my sponsors, Cervelo and their fantastic Soloist Carbon SLC-SL, very aero very comfortable and very stiff in a sprint, Niterider lighting systems,Kenda Tires for the C2C’s, Showers Pass for their Protech Jacket that I wore in the morning and again in the afternoon as the temperatures dropped, Nathan Sports for the reflective gear. Sportquest for their amazing CarboPro 1200 nutrition product, Red Star Energy for their quick pick me up energy tablets, and as always my club Team Velosport Team Sho-Air Sonace.


Saturday was the first double century of the California Triple Crown Series. I have done the right preparation for the limited time that I have to train. I felt good during the event. I came in with the third fastest time 10:46. I had good energy but lost the power in my legs around Mile 155. I had worked hard all day off the front with one or two other riders and paid I for it. Additionally, I had done 260 miles of commuting during the week before the double century and that was also something I would pay for on the course. However, in the annual plan, this was just a training event with Everest Challenge and Furnace Creek 508 being goal events.


I rode the Cervelo Soloist SL–Sasha. I wanted to ride the SLC-SL because of the long miles that I would ride solo. I expected to be dropped by the lead pack so I also put clip-on aero bars. I used the Profile Design Sonic CSX because they are very low profile. They rest right on top of the handlebars, they are light at 280 grams because of their full carbon construction. I ended up being the lead pack all day and used the aerobars when it was my turn to pull in the paceline and when I got dropped a couple of times and maintained my third place position during the last 50 miles.


The NITERIDER MINEWT.X2 DUAL LIGHTING SYSTEM is a very lightweight system with a small battery pack and two very bright headlights. The benefit of the dual headlights is you can point them in different directions to make a broader beam pattern, or “stack” them to create a longer beam pattern i.e. one shining close to your front wheel and one overlapping but shining further ahead to allow more time to react to debris on the road. My only gripe with this light is that it appears to use the same battery pack as the MiNewt which is only one headlight hence the burn time is cut in half to 1:45 hours on High and 3:30 hours on low since you have to the draw of two headlights on the MiNewt.X2. ON THE OTHER HAND, you are getting twice the light as the MiNewt which is really nice when you are in rural sections of your double century. I would accept the weight penalty for longer burn times on the MiNewt.X2 Dual if the battery pack was bigger. Currently, the battery pack fits underneath a stem length of 90mm or longer. Very neat and clean installation!!! I strongly recommend the Niterider MiNewt.X2 Dual if you expect to finish within three hours of sunset in your double century efforts. If you need more burn time GET THE MINEWT IT IS LIGHTER, AND THE BURN TIME IS LONGER. The MiNewt is a fantastic light choice for commuting!

The route was very urban, subsequently there were way too many traffic signals and stop signs as we meandered from Irvine (start) to the coast, “inland” and then back to the coast again. We started as a HUGE group and during the first stretch I took the time to coach Brandy on her pack riding skills. The traffic signals kept the pack together as we did the rollers. The ride finally started to move and pick up the pace as we got back on the coast at Crown Valley Pkwy and headed South through Dana Point and San Clemente. By the time we reached the San Onofre Campground we were down to seven riders in the lead pack.

MILE 54.7 I was in and out of the first rest stop in two minutes or less. I went out on my own and got caught by David “Mudcat” Holt about 1.5 miles before getting off the I5 southbound freeway. About 1 mile from the off ramp a paceline of six riders caught me.

MILE 66.2 We took the exit off the I5 freeway and Max tells me someone flatted behind us. I knew there were eight of us in the paceline and now it’s just the two of us, so I figured a few riders had stopped so Max and I rolled on. When I pulled into the lunch stop I find out that Keith Brodsky had crashed. After the event I found out he fractured his clavicle. I wish him a speedy recovery he is nice guy and fierce competitor. I’ll miss chasing him for the next 6 weeks. From the 5 Freeway to lunch it was just Max, another rider and I off the front.

MILE 84.7 Max, another rider and I pulled into the lunch stop together but I didn’t stay long. I checked in, said thank you to Phil Thomas for volunteering, said hello to Jon S. and I was off in two minutes again. I knew Max was stronger than me. I thought if I took-off ahead of him he would chase me and hopefully each time he had to chase me it would wear him down. Remember, I left out of the first CP first and they had to chase and catch me for 12 miles. But Max didn’t stay too long and he was on my wheel half-way up the Circle R Rd. climb. We chatted for a little bit and then he said we needed to keep the tempo up otherwise the tandem would catch us on the second half of the course. And with that, Max accelerated his pace and I couldn’t keep up. I was dropped and he was gone. I WAS NOW RUNNING IN SECOND PLACE.

MILE 100.4 I was alone for the next 15 miles and just as I was about to make the left turn on to Reche Rd off of the 395, I was caught by Dan and Phil. That is where I had my “defining moment”. Their pace was faster than mine and they were working together climbing a roller. I got dropped. I knew that the roller came down to the entrance of Live Oak Park (Fallbrook). If I didn’t get on their wheel now I could possibly lose them and going West on the Oceanside bike path would slow me down even more. I made a huge effort to catch them. They were about 100 meters away. I dug deep and was able to make contact just as I blew up. I recovered on the downhill and since they were larger riders I was able to recover and draft off of them until my turn came to pull. It was a gamble and it paid off because I was able to ride with them until mile 155.5.

MILE 155.5 The left turn onto Antonio Pkwy was where I started falling apart. Dan and Phil dropped me on the “endless climb up Antonio Pkwy.” I was fine as far as nutrition but I had no legs left. I was slowing and slowing and kept looking back but no one was coming. I WAS NOW RUNNING THIRD

MILE 167.5 CP#4 Trabuco Oaks General Store I was caught by a pack of 7-10 riders. I was in and out in about 2 minutes again. Lee was there volunteering and I told him that I was hurting. It was 3:30pm.

I left the rest stop as quickly as possible and didn’t see anyone chasing me except David “Mudcat” Holt. He caught me on one of the rollers exiting Live Oak. My feet were really starting to hurt. I WAS NOW RUNNING FOURTH

MILE 171.7 Right turn Santiago Canyon Rd. My right foot hurt so bad I had to take my shoe off and pedal with my foot on top of the pedal. I hadn’t had “hot foot” this bad since I was training for the 508 back in 2006 and I would go out on 150 training rides. I mean I was so close to pulling over but I didn’t want to get caught and so slow and steady I moved through Santiago Canyon. I pedalled like that for a good 5 miles and finally my foot felt better and I put my shoe back on. When I finished putting my shoe on I looked behind me and saw the tandem of Craig Robertson and Graham Pollack. I knew this was going to be a fast chase because we were on a slight downhill. I timed my acceleration just right and jumped on the tandem’s wheel. I stayed on the tandem for the last 10 miles in to the finish. On the way we picked up David “Mudcat” Holt. I WAS NOW RUNNING THIRD AGAIN. The positioned remained unchanged until the finish.

I finished at 5:01pm


This was very important because the very next day at 7:00 a.m. I was doing the CBR Anger Management Criterium in Long Beach. I immediately took my Recover Amino capsules from Sportquest and downed a bottle of Endurox. I needed to wait for Brandy to finish before I could go home and get some sleep. As part of my recovery I immediately put on my Skins Travel and Recovery Compression tights which I would later wear to bed. My legs were sore the next morning but I know they felt better than if I didn’t wear the Skins. The Skins truly helped my recovery since I only had 5.5 hours of sleep. After eating a recovery burger at the restaurant next to the hotel, I went to get the truck to double back on the course and see where Brandy was. As I pulled up to the front of the hotel I recognized her bike outside! Well, she really surprised me being there that soon…she finished 8th overall, second fastest women’s time with a 12:18!! I wonder if it was her dedication to training or my superb coaching?!?!?! 😉

KOM Series Breathless Agony & Heartbreak Double Century

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support this season without them I wouldn’t be able to race as strong as I have been. Thank you. Here they are in alphabetical order:
Accelerade- Sports Drink with Protein a must for Ultra Cycling– Chris Facas
Bonk Breakers-Peanut Butter and Jelly nutrition bars very tasty –Jason Winn
Cervelo Bikes– Truly the best engineered and best riding bikes in the world- Phil White
Finish Line- Your chain is the life of your bike lube, clean it. Love your bike clean it too–David Clopton
Kenda Tires– You must ride the C2C tire developed especially for RAAM- Jim Wannamaker
I have been training and working so much lately I haven’t been able to issue my race reports as promptly as I used to. But here I am posting about two events that are part of the Planet Ultra King of the Mountains Series. There are three events are:
1. Mulholland Century Challenge although I did the Double Century and then the Century the next day.

2. Breathless Agony
3. Heartbreak Hundred which I did the Double Century

So first I will talk about Breathless Agony. 114 miles and 12,000 feet. Of which 11,000 feet in 73 miles. We climb to a max altitude of 8,443 up to Onyx Summit. I had a a great day on the bike. My goal 5:45 and top 30. I did even better than I expected. In training I had done the course in 5:51 so I thought 5:45 was doable. I finished in 5:40 and 21st place overall and 7th out of 144 in 40-49 age group.

Next was the Heartbreak Double Century 202 Miles and 17,000 feet. I had a bad day on the bike. It was my worse race day on the bike this year. I went out with the lead group and suffered quite a bit. By mile 25 I was dropped and 6 riders went away. It continued to get hot during the day and I knew I was heading for a meltdown eventually. It happened sometime before the lunch stop. I was overheating and feeling miserable.
Mile 104. 6 –At the lunch stop I soaked my head twice once when I got in and once before I left.

I stopped consuming calories after my first century. I then started drinking sodas. I had a Mountain Dew at lunch.
Mile 119–Vanilla Cola at the base of the Heartbreak climb.
Mile 126.7 –1 bottle of water
Mile -171.4– I had 1/2 an Orange Sunkist (knock-off).

The last 30 miles I hooked up with another rider who helped me get through the next 14 miles and then I helped him get to the finish. I was not feeling good all day and lost valuable time climbing Old Ridge Route –two years in a row I have faded there.
My goal was sub 14 hours I finished 13:28 for 5th place. I’m quite happy with the end result but the process to get there was one of the most challenging days on the bike in recent memory.