This past weekend I rode the Death Valley Double Century and completed my first California Triple Crown. It was a pretty exhausting weekend (Fri-Sun) with over 1,000 miles driven and 195 miles on the bike. We were really fortunate to have highs in the mid-80s and, aside from one 25 miles stretch, favorable wind conditions.
The course was really exposed to the sun and wind since there is very little vegetation. And a majority of the roads are straight. It was really interesting to ride in a straight line seeing your next destination miles and miles ahead. Additionally, the climbs were very gradual with most of it coming in under 5%. There was a stretch of around 20 miles where it seemed the gradient was less than 2%.
On the drive down, we joked that we would be sick of the landscape come the following day. It turns out though that the views are always good from a bicycle.
Oh, and we burned through the course in under 13 hours. Super stoked about that!