This was my best day ever on a bike: The Mount Tam Double Century in 2013. The day was cool as we went up and down some great hills from San Rafael to near the Russian River and back.
- I met Jacquie Phelan, a very fun woman who was the three-time winner of women’s mountain bike racing in the mid-1980s, at a 2012 Fondo in the Davis area where some of the greatest U.S. Cycling legends rode with mere mortals. Oh, and Jacquie finished ahead of me.
Michael stands outside a hotel in Los Alamos (Santa Barbara County) on the eve of the Spring 2012 Solvang Double Century. Ride capsule: I got miles off course in the pre-dawn fog, broke the rear derailleur cable 90 miles into the ride and struggled against fierce and chilly headwinds. I had to quit 25 miles from the finish.
Here is Michael at the top of Salsbury Pass, the highest point in the Spring 2012 Death Valley Double Century. That day in March, with temps in the mid-70s, I twice rode through the lowest spot in North America — 280 feet below sea level. I finished under a brilliant starry sky.
Here I am at the lunch stop on the 2013 Chico Wildcat 100, a beautiful century with some good climbs. Capsule: My riding buddy struggled after 80 miles and I pulled him to the finish line at mile 110 against steady headwinds.
Do I look relaxed? At the same point in the Knoxville Double in 2012 I was ready for the support wagon. In 2013, I nailed it, thanks to strength training to my core muscles. No leg cramps as I reveled at the beauty of Lake County the upper Napa Valley.