Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ride Report: DBC Antelope Lake 600k

This was my first activity with 24 hours+ of continuous action.  After 28.5 hours and 375 miles, Sigman and I finished riding the Davis Bike Club's Antelope Lake 600k brevet.  Starting at 8 pm on Friday and ending after midnight on Saturday, we were on the move for more than 22 hours.  We had been eyeing the 600, after doing a 400 a few years back.  We had intended to participate in one last year, but that fell through at the last second, so we made this one a priority this year.  We chose this 600k as it fit our schedule the best, and it ended up being one of the easier ones for us.  The route is very flat, an easy out and back, starting at night, meaning we got to travel in a pack for most of our night time riding.  Here's the route:, and my track:  

Furiously organizing gear... intended to take a small cat nap, but as I laid down, I checked traffic and saw red, much to my dismay.  So I packed up, picked up Sigman, and headed out to Davis in stop-n-go traffic..
Dan, the RBA of DBC giving us the pre ride pep talk.
Sigman's sweet ride.  
Mass start
Catching up to the pack
This first section probably had the best light... beautiful sunset... really flat, country roads.
Snowy Egret... a distant relative of Snowy Monk...
At the first control.  We were in a pack of around 20 folks up until this point...
Check out my uber reflective tires!
These DBC rides are well known to have superb support and yummy food at their checkpoints.  This exceeded my expectations!
After 100+ mils of riding, we started up the hills and the groups split up.  By the time we got to Tobin we were a group of 5 or 6... and by the time we left it was just Roy, Sigman and I.  Here's the drop bags @ Tobin.  It was nice to brush my teeth, but I really didn't need any of the spare clothing.
Golden hour... riding up this scenic highway during sunrise was probably the highlight of the trip for me.  As it got lighter and lighter, you could make out more and more of the beauty of the Feather Canyon.  We were following the North Fork of the Feather River, which meets up at Lake Oroville.  From Wiki - (The North Fork is heavily developed for hydroelectricity generation and is impounded by five dams, as part of three hydroelectric projects – the Upper North Fork Feather River Project, the Rock Creek-Cresta Hydroelectric Project and the Poe Hydroelectric Project. The system is so extensive that it has been dubbed the "Stairway of Power")... that would be a good name for a Tower of Power tribute band.  
A repair truck driving on the railroad track. The railroad tracks, the busy highway, the dams, power plants, and conduit tunnels really take away from this amazing place... but I appreciated it for what it's worth...  BTW for those that haven't I highly recommend watching DamNation.  Which you can view on VIMEO on demand right now for 6$!  There have been some win's for conservation folks with the success of the Hydropower Reform Coalition at the Rock Creek-Cresta section.  
Indian Valley... this valley reminded me of Montana or Idaho. It's such a huge valley surrounded by mountains... a rare sight in Cali.  
This last checkpoint before the turnaround was pretty sweet.  The Genessee Store was rented out to us, and they served up some nice breakfast tacos for us on the way up.  This area has a lot of cycling events as these roads don't see much traffic.  The previous weekend there was another cycling event here, and it snowed on them at Antelope Lake.  Yikes.  
This weekend just a few hundred yards down the road, the start of the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder was under way.  We saw an inordinate amount of mountain bikes on the back of bikes passing us, so we figured something must be going on.... 
mmmm.... breakfast taco...
There were some nesting swallows at the Genessee store with 4 chicks that provided some entertainment during our two stops.  
Heading up, slowly....
Check out these boulder fields on the way up to Antelope Lake... there might be some fun boulder problems in there.
Antelope Lake... 
The State Water Project... moving water from N. Cali to the S. Cali desert...
Our checkpoint.
Back at the G. Store!  Mmmmmmm
The best sign of the trip.  Doesn't really make me want your sandwiches... however.
Cool geology all along the Feather River Hwy.

There a fun looking rafting section from here...

The Feather River has plenty of swimming holes.  
Lunch break at Tobin.  We took a long rest here, as Sigman showered, and I laid down for 15 min.  Probably spent an hour on this stop.  
"Resort" should be in quotes...
one of many tunnels that provided some nice cool air on our way down in the 90 deg heat.
Table Mountain - Check it... there are about 5 caves located on N. Table Mountain, all behind large waterfalls....  That seems like something I should look more into.  Maybe next spring: Table Mountain is most famous for its vast array of wildflowers, which bloom during spring time. The bloom usually lasts from the last 2 weeks of March, to the first 2 weeks of April. The flower bloom is the most popular attraction on Table Mountain.  This might be a fun 12 mile run...
Rice fields and snowy egrets...
The Sutter Buttes... a state park with no access.... 
At the last check point, a receipt control.  Didn't know they made these still...
The end.  Boy, I was glad to get out of my cycling clothes.  
In Conclusion... would I do this ride again?  Sure... but I'd prioritize other 600s before repeating this one.  I'd like to try a daytime start with more sleep at night and see how that feels.  Roy was selling us the Orr Springs ride... maybe do the whole adventure series?

Next time:
  • Take allergy meds
  • take stomach meds
  • don't take caffeine until you need it... once you start... you'll need to keep using it. 
  • Keep track of heat
    • take more salt tabs, take off layers, and keep cool
  • In the drop bag:
    • less things.. this was my first time with a drop bag, so I took advantage of the situation with a bunch of items that I never used: sleeping bag, 
    • eucerin/butt cream
    • ear plugs
    • first aid kit
    • From SFR list (deb)... put these in a ziplock in a bigger bag:
      • Bag 1: Clothes. A complete change of cycling clothes - shorts/bibs, jersey, under shirt, sox, jogbra, gloves (for longer than 600ks). IF I am reaching said dropbag at night, I'll have evening gear in it too - wool jersey, heavier shorts, heavier gloves, wool high sox. 
      • Bag 2: Food. Gels, powder for drinks. Paydays. Ensure (so easy to swig and swallow right there). The stuff I love that I typically carry. I almost always leave some of it in my dropbag, but I don't mind. 
      • Bag 3: Gear. More tubes, Co2 cartridges, tire boots (I'm resupplying only if I used what I am also carrying with me), a complete extra light set-up + extra batteries for my back-up (I run a dyno-hub these days), a tire only if I haven't just put brand spanking new tires on my bike before the event, 
      • Bag 4: Pharma. Endurolytes, a tiny toothbrush (clean teeth ROCK!) & toothpaste or mouthwash, wet wipes, or Tucks, a small camping towel (on 1000+), chamois cream, Advil/Aleve, Tums, vivarin, Caffeinated gum (Stay Alert!), second pair of photochromatic sunglasses - in case the first pair break. Cortaid for anything that needs numbing to make it through. 
Look into:

  • Table Mountain hiking
    • waterfalls
    • wildflowers
  • Sutter Buttes access
    • how? when? legal?

  • My left hand is quite sore, and when I bend it back 90 deg and tap on the base of the outer palm my finger tingles.  I think I need to adjust my position a bit more.  Maybe for these longer brevets, getting a stem that puts me a bit more upright would help?  Maybe tilt the seat back 1 degree, so there is more weight on my butt?  
    • Found out this is a fairly common symptom called, "Cyclist Palsy" or Guyon's Tunnel Syndrome.  
    • I think bars with a flatter top would help, and maybe experiment with grips with more cushion, or gloves with more padding?  
    • The numbness and tingling are still here a week later, but is really not affecting me anymore.  More annoying than anything... 
  • Legs - are sore.  That's it. 
  • Butt - is sore too.  I'm going to put my Selle Anatomica seat on my road bike and put this one on my x-bike.  
  • Shoulder - no pain... feeling fine.
  • Route from the DBC
  • Sigman's ride with elevation, HR, cadence, watts, speed, grade, and temp...
Here's a fun totally unrelated TED talk that folks should watch.... about the Science behind the Paleo Diet...

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