by Christy Frazelle

Dbl16 1rI want to thank everyone who participated in the continued training toward the very notion of doing a double century. There is no way I would have even considered it before Stagecoach! I am still so thankful for that experience...The countless Saturday CV centuries since September 2015 have been a blast and hold very fun memories for me...So, after Rob Kelly suggested it, I thought, why not double the fun and do The Camino Real Double Century?!

Canyon Velo Eleven Strong:
The day started early, as Team CV started to arrive and gear up around 5am ready to roll by 6:30am with the “fast group”
...As you might have guessed, CV hung in just fine. In fact, in the first 25 miles or so, every time I looked up it was either Danny Davisson or Brett Chambers pulling the group.

Down to Nine:
Unfortunately, around mile 30, unbeknownst to the rest of us, Chris Morris’ Garmin decided to launch itself off of his bike which caused him to fall behind considerably. The silver lining was that Clint Shaffer was nearby so they had a 200 mile adventure together. They never gave up!!
All of which is a story in and of itself- although we texted whereabouts throughout the ride, the next time we saw them was exhausted, in the parking lot, over cold beers...I am hoping Chris M. will tell the story as it is very entertaining and with his quick wit, demands a laugh throughout.

And Then There Were Seven:
Mile 89: First lunch, and then the climbing began...good and bad timing depending who you are.
While Steve Ferreira, Richard Kwok, Chris Bergstrom, Wesley Kridle, Brett and Danny picked up the pace, I decided to stay with a couple of legends (Rob Kelly and Paul Leek)...We laughed, chatted, and enjoyed some pretty stunning scenery...This part of the ride seemed to mark the beginning of a beautiful day!

Dbl16 4rI imagine the group got split somewhere ahead because the three of us stumbled on Wes, Chris B., and soon after, Rich and Steve. We never saw Brett and Danny after that. They finished about an hour ahead of us, so I am hoping they had a great journey as well!

As mentioned before, with the (almost weekly) century training rides, the first hundred of the double did not feel much different to me. I had a “personal time goal” in mind, but I realized very quickly, if I wanted to enjoy the day and the CV family, my personal agenda had to be set aside. In fact, as I tried to rush people along at one of the SAG stops, I remember Rob smiling at me with a sucker in his mouth....”Just relax and enjoy.” ...Coming from The Double King himself, his words had an instant effect on me.

After mile 130, it all became a little blurry in my memory. I was getting hungry which scared me a little. Bars and Gu’s were not cutting it for me, and I didn't want to bonk. Thankfully, Richard, a Camino Real vet, gave me hope and told me that “Cup of Noodles” awaits me around mile 175. I think at that point we all talked about food and described everything from donuts, grilled cheese to hamburgers and ice-cream for about 45 miles.
Let me tell you, when I finally held that “Cup of Noodles” in my hand and took my first bite, it was the single best thing I had ever tasted!

Things worth remembering:
Dbl16 2r*At a stop, Wes pointed out his brother’s badge pinned on top of our 2016 kit sleeve with the TK (in memory of Todd Kridle)...It made me think of all the stuff Wes had gone through last year. I felt so thankful to be on this ride with him. His first double as well...Inspiring to say the least.

*After the group got split and we rolled up on Wes and Chris I started to worry that we lost our whole group. Seeing Steve and Richard sitting at the end of the road with smiles on there faces was like a little oasis! They had beans and they saved them to pull us through the next 25 miles!

*Around mile 145 Chris B. looked at me with tired eyes and said “This is going to be ugly...We are a long way from finished...” I watched the group make him smile and in turn, I saw him gain some momentum and pass that energy around the group telling jokes and making us laugh.

*Several times, I watched someone reach out and pat another on the encouragement and spirit.

*Antonio Pkwy hit Paul hard. Rob stayed by him and my guess is they made each other laugh and distracted themselves from the pain. After that, all I saw was Paul Leek come to the front of the pace line and pull us for miles into a pretty strong headwind.

Dbl16 5r*Our final 25 miles through The Oaks (up The Wall) and through Santiago Canyon at 6:30pm in pitch black with our lights shining bright and freezing our arses off...Rob Kelly pulled us strong all the way through to Jambo!
Like a boss. Boom.

*Lastly, as we were nearing the last ten miles of our very long journey, we came upon a gentleman who is obviously just as eager to get off his bike as we are to get off ours...He races by us at a attack? All seven of us chase him down (Steve leads the chase) we hit a red light..The light turns green —out of the saddle, it’s ON!! We race him all the way to the finish. He was actually very serious... (probably half frightened wondering who these crazy people were)...We were laughing so hard!

Bike epiphanies:
Dbl16 3r*200 miles is a long time to be on the bike, however with the right people, it’s time well spent.

*The best and most rewarding distraction to pain on the bike is a deep belly laugh with a friend.

*Seeing one of your mates in pain then in turn go to the front of the pace line to do work is one of the best motivators to not give up.

Thanks for reading about my first double! I can only hope sharing my perspective will encourage you to join us on our next adventure!



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