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My First Davis Double

by LaValle Linn - May 1999

I'm Ready to GoThis year’s Davis Double was my first double century and what a great ride! I’m certain that a large part of my positive reaction was that the weather was almost perfect. Many of my friends have told me of the absolutely horrid conditions – unbearable heat and headwinds at the end of the ride. I  don’t think the temperature ever went above 80 degrees the whole day. And amazingly enough, the headwinds during the first half of the ride weren’t bad  (plus everyone was fresh), the crosswinds on the second half were bearable and the tailwinds were outstanding at the end. 

When I asked about carrying lights, most everyone had told me that I   probably wouldn’t need them. I had misgivings the night before (later in the   ride I found out others had done the same thing) and went into one of the   local Davis bike shops (they stayed open late) and bought an inexpensive,   just-in-case, headlight and taillight. I actually probably could have gone   out without them when I left (just before 5:15, see me above getting ready to leave) and was back in  time not to need them (right around 8:00). But having them, let me sleep better.

Monticello Dam Rest StopOn the Road near Monticello DamI started the ride with a woman who I had met the night before, but  shortly after the Monticello Dam (left), we got separated. I was being  pretty conservative and didn’t try to draft too far over my head in the beginning. The winery rest stop looked like fun, but remembering advice from Wendy and with Emilio’s voice in my ear (you should eat on the bike and not spend so much time at the rest stops), I pedaled on to Pope Valley. The one picture I took while I was riding was somewhere between Monticello and Pope Valley.

Pope Valley GrangeThe logistics of this ride are staggering – eleven rest stops, sags, dinner the night before, check-in before and after the ride, dinner after the ride. Like the Hop Kiln stop on the Wine Country Century, the Pope Valley stop (left) had music. And one worker put together a tray of assorted fruits, cookies and other delights and walked up and down the line for the loos asking if anyone wanted food.

Middletown High SchoolWhat a beautiful ride from Lake Berryessa to the lunch stop in Lower Lake. The hills still have a great deal of green left, the trees have leafed out, the climbing was not too taxing and the descents were fast. After the Middletown rest stop (right), before I knew it I had gotten to the top of  the Davis Double and was in Lower Lake and the lunch stop. I had lunch with Don and Chuck Tyler (below). All of us swapped stories and picture taking chores (Don took one of the pictures below). And then we were off again. I recall that I made almost all of the traffic lights leaving town, unlike the light coming in, two minutes out of the day that seemed like an eternity.

Lower lake
Lunch Stop at Lower lake
Chuck Tyler and Don
Chuck Tyler and Don from the Hub Cyclery in Cotati
Lunch Stop
Chuck and LaValle


Resurrection HillI kept waiting for Resurrection Hill (left) and finally decided that the hill we were climbing was it when I saw the rest stop. After refueling, I was off again flying downhill to Hwy 16 and through Capay Valley. I skipped the next rest stop, waiting for Canon School. Canon School (below) had valet bicycle parking and cots along with the usual food and port-o-lets. The cots were full so I sat on the ground using a van bumper as a back rest. Peter found a better seat (below), but then he was waiting for three spokes to be changed on his wheel.


Canon School
Canon School
Peter from Woodland waiting for his spokes to be fixed - Cannon School

Plainfield Fire StationAbout 25 miles from the finish, I started biking with Mark from San Diego. My odometer wasn’t working correctly and so it was nice to be able to ask him how much farther we had to go. Initially we weren’t going to stop at the Fire Station rest stop but changed our minds and we met up with Mark’s friends Red and Scott (left shows Red, Scott, rider X and Mark, the rider in yellow). All four of us rode in from the Fire Station arriving right around 8:00 PM before we needed lights.


We Made It!!Bill, my husband, was waiting for me and took the last two pictures, one of myself and Mark and one of Red (Editors note: Mark & LaValle left, but Red's photo was too dark). He wanted to use the flash but none of us wanted to take the time for that so the pictures don’t quite show the excitement of the finish.

Tom (Bikecal.com’s producer) promised that he would work on the pictures. Many thanks to him, Bill, and all of the volunteers and coordinators of the Davis Double for making my first double century truly memorable.

Editor:  We'd like to congratulate LaValle on completing her first double century.   I'm expecting a first person report from her next year at Paris-Brest-Paris.

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