December 16, 2006 > WSDC > Route and Other Information
2006 Winter Solstice Double
(and Single) Century Information
Everything You Need to Know to Become an Official Lunatic
Double Century Start Location and Time
Double Century Start Directions
Directions to the start are from I-280.The Saratoga Ave exit is south of where 280 intersects Hwy 85 and north of where it intersects Hwy 87:
This is several miles farther south than the start used through 2001 for those coming from the North.
Please try to be quiet and not disturb his neighbors. Once you've got your bike ready you are welcome to come into the house and use the bathroom - you can park your bikes against the house, or on the lawn.
Century Start Location Directions
The century start location is the same as last year. The start will be at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. Assuming that everyone will be arriving from the north, these are the directions to the park:
For insurance reasons, we can't require payment for the ride as it's presently run. This doesn't mean that the event doesn't cost money to put on. We'd be more than happy to have people make a small donation to help defray the cost of the event. Based on previous year's costs, suggested values might be $10 for century riders and $20 for double century riders.
We've made some changes to the route so if you've done the ride before, don't assume that you know the route. A few years ago we added a change that gets everyone off of Hwy 25 a few miles earlier, but adds a couple miles to the route. We'll check on the road the week prior to this ride and decide the route then.
I have attached a copy of the route to the bottom of this. The double will have a mass start. For the first 3 or 4 miles, please stay together and don't run into anyone in the dark. We will make several turns so if you aren't sure where to go, stay at the back and follow those who know the route. Once we get on Quito, everyone is on their own and can go whatever speed they want. i.e. feel free to drop me. The first 10 miles of the route out in the morning is the reverse of the route home in the afternoon. The route heads over Kennedy to the Almaden area, and out past the reservoirs to Gilroy. We bypass downtown Gilroy.
The first (and third) rest stop is at a park on the south side of Gilroy. It's the location of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. It's the start/finish of the century and is the first and third rest stop for the double century riders. After leaving Gilroy, we will bypass most of Hollister by using a route that goes east of town. This will avoid both Hwy 25 and 156. The route along Santa Ana Valley Rd and Qien Sabe has some gentle climbs and a final descent that gets us back onto Hwy 25 at Paicines. We take Hwy 25 to Hwy 146 where we go 2 miles to the Pinnacles campground store. This is the turnaround point. The route back to Gilroy uses Old Airline and Cienega Roads for part of the way. After returning to Gilroy, the double riders continue using a slightly different route through the reservoirs.
The "century" is about 111 miles but the double measures some where around 199 miles - depending on who's bike computer you want to believe.Double Century map and profile Century map and profile
Century riders should not need lights. If they need them they will be riding much too slow and will need to be sagged in so that the support people can get back north.
Double riders will need lights. The first 30 miles of the ride will be in the dark, and you'll likely need them again in the evening. Make sure you have tail lights. Everyone involved is an adult and can choose what level of lighting they are comfortable with, but I consider a single 2-3 watt light to be quite inadequate for use in the urban areas around the start and finish.
On that day civil twilight will be 6:46 A.M. in the morning and 5:21 P.M. in the evening. The actual sunrise and sunset will be 7:15 A.M. and 4:51 P.M. respectively. The moon will be a waning crescent with 14% of the visible disk illumniated, so it won't be much help.
If you plan to use something like a Cateye Micro, I think you should attach two to your bike for use in the more urban areas so that oncoming traffic can see you. The same is true for people using something like a Schmidt generator hub (these are about 3 watts), maybe more so as they will lose most, if not all of their forward lighting when they stop. They will need some sort of battery powered light anyway in case they have to fix a flat tire or have some sort of mechanical issue.
You will be able to drop your lights off at the Gilroy rest stop and pick them up when you return, so there is no need to haul the things the whole way. Unless you want to.
Reflective clothing, leg bands, etc., is also strongly recommended.
Support and Rest Stops
Compared to a typical century, this ride is very lightly supported. The rest stops are about 50 miles apart. There are some very long stretches without stores or gas stations. We will probably have one or two SAG vehicles on the route, but with riders spread out over 50 miles by the finish, if you need a SAG vehicle, it can take quite a while for one to show up, so you need to be pretty self sufficient.
We will have Gatorade, water, fruit, cookies, pretzels, and other snacks at the rest stops. Lunch will also include sandwich fixings. There are stores at or near the rest stops, so if you want something else...
Because of the time of year, water is not as big a problem as it would be in July, but many people will find bringing a Camelback to be useful.
The Ride - Am I Ready? How Long Will it Take? etc.
The century is pretty simple. No big hills, nothing steep. Assuming an 8:00 A.M. start, you have 8 hours to ride the 111 miles and be done by our recommended 4:00 P.M. finishing time. The only issue is that there has often been a fairly strong headwind on the way north back to Gilroy. The Cienega Road loop shields the route from some of the winds, but at the price of a bit more climbing.
The double is a bit more challenging for several reasons. Riding in the dark is slower. There are a few short but steep stretches. There is more urban riding at the beginning and end. While there won't be much traffic in the morning, there can be traffic in the evening. We normally have had headwinds on the second half of the ride. This is not the easiest double around; it isn't by any means the hardest either.
There is no obligation to wait or regroup. If you want to ride with someone, and you can keep up with them, that is okay, but they don't have to wait for you, nor you for them. We tend to get pretty spread out with the first finishers as much as 3 hours ahead of the last finishers.
This is also not intended to be done as a "race". We don't keep results. If you finish the double prior to 5:00 P.M., you may not be able to get in the house.
We've found in the past that people take about two hours longer to do the Winter Solstice Double than they take to do the Davis Double. Why - there's a bit more urban riding, there are fewer people to draft, there is often a headwind home, there is at least a couple hours of riding in the dark, and most people aren't exactly in mid-season shape right now. It's kind of bad form to be in good shape this time of year anyway.
Last-minute Decisions (Weather, etc.)
Riders should come prepared to deal with rain and cold. We will not have anywhere near enough capacity to SAG everyone to the finish or probably even to the next rest stop, so you need to be ready to ride 50 or more miles while wet and/or cold. You need to have your bike in good mechanical order. The only rest stop that will have much SAG capacity is on the way back at Gilroy. This is the finish point for the century riders and they may be able to help carry DNFing double riders back to San Jose.
Route Sheets, Check in, etc.
We will have full route sheets for the entire ride. Please take one and stay on the route. If you get off the route, we will have trouble finding you. There will be no markings on the road.
We will take down everyone's name when they start and then will time them into and out of every rest stop. If you are going to stop, or turnaround at some point, make very sure that this is reported to the people running the rest stops. Make sure that they do get your name when you get to rest stops and when you finish. We don't want to lose anyone and we don't want to be looking for anyone who has gone off to do their own thing.
For double riders, we'd like to make sure that our volunteers can get back to the finish in time to join in the potluck. Recommended times to LEAVE each rest stop (you'll have to get there earlier if you want to sit around) are 8:30 A.M. for Gilroy outbound, 12:30 P.M. for the Pinnacles, 4:30 P.M. for Gilroy inbound, with a goal of having everyone finished by 8:00 P.M. You don't have to ride very fast to do this, but you need to keep moving. Much of the difference in "speed" between the faster and slower riders is really the time spent stopped along the way.
We have a potluck dinner at Ken's place after the ride. I normally provide beer, soft drinks, and wine. We will have pasta also. The double riders should bring their dishes with them at the start and we'll find some refrigerator space for everything. We'll also provide showers to the double riders. But please bring a towel.
Please re-confirm your attendance, preferably by e-mail, on December 11 or 12 to me at email@example.com. You may have told me already, but reconfirm so that I'm sure who to expect. Tell me which ride you are planning to do. I will be shopping for rest stop food on Wednesday or Thursday (and beer also) and need to have a reasonable head count by then.
My wife, Lorna Toyota, will be running the Gilroy rest stop. She will have a six-year-old boy, James, with her, so you may have to wait or take care of things yourself while certain details are dealt with. The whining, crying, and other noises will be free. Those who have done the ride before know what to expect.
Route Sheet Winter Solstice Double Start: 3965 Olga Drive, San Jose, CA 0.00 L Olga 0.03 R Hibiscus 0.21 L Williams 0.53 R Boynton 1.05 R Payne 1.64 L San Tomas/Aquino/Fenian/Harriet 3.36 R McCoy 4.33 L Quito 6.95 L Saratoga/LosGatos 8.83 L Los Gatos Blvd 9.04 R Kennedy 12.22 R Shannon 12.92 L Hicks 13.83 R Camden 16.35 R Almaden Expwy 18.81 R Harry 18.90 L McKean 25.50 S becomes Uvas 27.42 L Oak Glen 30.34 R stay on Oak Glen 32.85 R Sycamore (steep but short) 34.90 R Watsonville Rd. 36.64 L Day Road 40.03 R Santa Teresa 43.72 L Miller (pot holes on the descent) 44.46 R Christmas Hill Park Rest Stop Start Century 44.46 R Miller 44.57 R Uvas Parkway (just past levee) 44.90 S Becomes 10th 45.29 R Princevalle 45.82 L Thomas/Luchessa 46.26 R Monterey 46.68 S Underneath Hwy 101 47.51 S Becomes Bolsa Rd. 49.15 L Bloomfield 50.73 R Frazier Lake 54.73 L Shore 57.34 S Fairview 64.15 L Santa Ana Valley 71.59 R Quien Sabe 74.98 L Hwy 25 97.22 R Pinnacles turnoff 99.24 L rest stop at Pinnacles store 99.24 R go back on Hwy 146 101.26 L Hwy 25 114.09 L Old Airline Rd. 116.22 L Cienega Rd. 131.37 L to stay on Cienega 132.59 L Union Rd. 136.19 R Hwy 156 merge left - don't go to Hollister 140.37 L Hwy 25 144.05 R Shore Rd. 145.27 L Frazier Lake 149.26 L Bloomfield 150.84 R Bolsa Rd. 152.48 S becomes Monterey 153.73 L Luchessa 154.17 R Princevalle 154.70 L 10th/Uvas Parkway 155.42 L Miller 155.53 L Christmas Hill Park Rest Stop End Century 155.53 L Miller 156.27 R Santa Teresa 158.28 L Hwy 152/Hecker Pass Rd 159.79 R Burchell Rd 162.34 R Watsonville Rd 164.52 L Uvas Rd 174.28 S becomes McKean 180.88 R Harry 180.97 L Almaden Expwy 183.43 L Camden 185.95 L Hicks 186.86 R Shannon 189.44 veer L to stay on Shannon 190.23 L Los Gatos Blvd 190.84 R Los Gatos/Saratoga 192.72 R Quito 195.34 R McCoy 196.31 L Harriet/Fenian/San Tomas Aquino 198.03 R Payne 198.62 L Boynton 199.14 L Williams 199.46 R Hibiscus 199.64 L Olga 199.67 R finish