A Week until the Devil Mountain Double (DMD)

Back in March I had the insane idea to attempt the DMD on my recumbent trike. To the best of my knowledge this is a feat that has never been accomplished before and for good reason. 18,600ft plus of climbing (including Mount Hamilton, Mount Diablo and Sierra Road} and bumpy back roads often coupled with huge temperature variations make it one of the toughest double centuries in California.  Just to make it even more of a challenge my training schedule for it has been almost entirely speed based with little endurance work.

In March in my blog I stated this:

On the weekend before DMD I decided to have a go at the Del Valle Climb to see if I was ready for DMD.  It seems that I am not quite ready as my time was only 9m41s. This time is faster than my Musashi Personal best but a long way off my sub 9 minute goal. All is not doom and gloom however as I did the time today in roasting hot temperatures (90 degrees) and I had my disk cover on the back wheel which must have hurt my time. The trike felt fantastic and I felt really good to, so I hit the top feeling quite a happy chappy. The weather was absolutely glorious too which certainly helps.

I decided to take it easy for the rest of the ride and even took some pictures:

This is the climb back out of the Park (much steeper than it looks)

The view looking back into the park was very nice today. It was amazing how green everywhere was.

The view back down into the Livermore Valley with Mount Diablo in the distance also was very green:

The California Poppies are past there peak now but still are a welcome sight on the road.

Jobs for the remainder of the week include fitting three new tires and two new bottle cages as well as adding some more lights and reflective stickers. The new disk brake pads are nicely bedded in after this ride and were a much needed fix.

Can I do it ?

I have no idea if I can manage DMD on the trike but I am planning to attempt it like a pleasant ride in the country rather than a race.  I plan to start with the 5am wave this time to maximize available time before the cut offs. I am not going to ride to rigid time schedules or a particular pace but there are two very important numbers for me:

  • #1: You must leave the Mines Road Rest Stop (Mile 90.9) by 1:00pm. Anyone later than this will have the option of either being Sagged forward on the course, or back to the start.
  • #2: All riders must depart the lunch stop (Mile 115) by 4:30pm or they will be sagged to the top of Mt. Hamilton. We will allow you to continue on the course at that point. If either cutoff is missed, you will receive a DNF for the ride, but you will have the opportunity to enjoy riding most of this absolutely wonderful course. Our primary concern is rider safety. These cutoffs are in place to prevent riders from having to descend Mt. Hamilton in the dark.

Average speeds required to make these two cutoffs are 11.4MPH for the first and 10MPH for the second. Sounds easy, but with all the climbing where my speed may be as slow as 5mph it is a concern.

I have a few major concerns on the course:

  1. The section of road along Marsh Creek to the Morgan Territories turnoff is very dangerous for traffic so I am hoping I am not on my own on this bit.
  2. The Morgan Territories rest stop is very unfriendly to a Catrike 700. There is about 200m of un-rideable gravel to get to the stop and I do not relish leaving my trike by the road. There is no way round needing to fill up bottles at this 50 mile marker though.
  3. I am a bit worried about how the Catrike will handle the Cattle Grids on the backside of Hamilton. (Will I have to carry the trike across or risk damaging my idler)
  4. Niles Canyon to Palomares Climb is one of the scariest roads ever for traffic on a trike. It is narrow and people drive like idiots. I am very concerned about this bit especially as I am likely to hit it in the dark.



Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “A Week until the Devil Mountain Double (DMD)

  1. drose55

    Good luck Mark! Great photos. Thought you were going to sell the 700 last year?

    • I was all set to get rid of the trike when I bought my Musashi then I went for one last ride and was bitten by the trike bug again.

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