A couple of weeks ago I learned about the Urban Double Century from the PCH Randos Group. I knew that I wasn’t in the right shape to ride it, but I thought it would be fun to do support. So I contacted Shaun, the event organizer, and volunteered.
The week leading up to the ride Los Angeles was hit with storm after storm. There was some concern that the storms would still be there on Saturday, but as it turned out we had amazing weather. Every other cyclist in LA noticed and the roads were packed with cyclists.
We met up at the Bicycle District in LA, on the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope. We had 5 cars ready to do support. We only ended up with 6 brave riders though, so we quickly consolidated gear and I jumped in Shaun’s car.
After a quick pre-ride meeting, we posed for pictures and the ride began. Roll off was at 8:30am.
After the 1st stop the riders broke into 3 packs. We followed the lead pack to the 2nd stop where Janet and Arthur were already setup.
After leaving the 2nd rest stop the riders head out to Sunland and then across the north end of the Valley. This was an area that I’ve never pedaled before so I was enjoying this section. I was looking at the route and taking mental notes for future rides. We followed Danny and Craig until the lunch stop in Chatsworth.
Danny had a mechanical right before lunch. Luckily the good people from the Bikery were there to assist the riders. Before too long Danny and his bike were back on the road.
Later in the afternoon 2 riders took the Century option and we shuttled them over to PCH. I switched cars and rode with Kat down PCH in an effort to catch the lead riders. We picked up Arthur in Venice after Janet headed home. The riders had already gone through Venice so we continued south to Rancho Palos Verdes. We finally caught them around Manhattan Beach. We went ahead to set up the rest stop for them, but in the dark they missed us. We caught up to them on the hill and they stopped to refuel.
After this stop we leapfrogged the riders all way home. We did one more stop near Bellflower. We were around mile 190 I think when Sean pulled off. He had pedal’d enough and was ready to join us in the van. We did another fuel stop for Alex along the way.
We shadowed Alex the remaining miles and he arrived back at the start at 12:30 am. Only 16 hours later! I think he said that he had some bonus miles in there too!
I don’t know what happened with Wayne and Steve, but we were hearing that they were still on their way. I drove Alex and Arthur home while Kat waited for the remaining riders.
It was a lot of fun to support the riders and I learned a lot. If I continue with my plan to ride the Brevet series I’ll be doing rides of this length and longer. So it’s good to see how people are fueling themselves and pacing themselves. I think the most important lesson was to keep the stops to a minimum and don’t stay long.