KNOXVILLE FALL CLASSIC
DOUBLE CENTURY RIDES
September 21st & 28th, 2019
Changes. Many. Please read on.
In light of changing demographics and other reasons, I have decided to re-imagine both Knoxville and Devil Mountain Doubles. Essentially, the rides have become unsustainable in their previous formats. These rides mean much to me and I would like to see them go forward into the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, they cannot continue in the manner that has worked for a very long time. I feel that together we have created some of the best double-centuries out there on some of the best courses. It has been an incredible experience for me and for many others. Change can be difficult, but I feel it is necessary at this point and I hope that together we can keep these rides viable for many more years.
Going forward, there will be a “Staff Ride”, limited to 50 riders. Volunteers that work the “Public Ride” will have registration priority for this ride, but there will be room for 35 to 40 non-staff riders as well. This ride will be very similar to our staff rides of the past. For the most part, we will continue to use our traditional rest stop locations, each run by 1 or 2 people, who will also drive SAG for a period before and/or after their assigned rest stop. Lunch will be at the Foster’s Freeze in Lower Lake. There will be no Pardehsa rest stop. Riders will be supported only by SAG drivers for the last 45 miles. There will be no after-ride meal.
The following week will be the “Public Ride”, also limited to 50 riders. This ride will have the exact same format as the “Staff Ride”. Those volunteers that work the “Staff Ride” will have registration priority for this ride, but there will be room for 35 to 40 non-staff riders as well.
I will continue to be the Executive Director for the time being, although I will be looking to transition this role within the next 3 years. This job primarily involves obtaining permits and coordinating volunteers for the 2 weekends.
There are 9 specific volunteer assignments for each ride. One is for both Friday and Saturday -- the Quack Van / Ride Director for the day. One assignment is for ride prep on Friday, working with the Ride Director. Dedicated SAG - 1 is all-day and all-night Saturday. The other 7 assignments vary between 8 and 11 hours the day of the event. Each position would require one person, but could accommodate two, especially if the two wanted to work/drive together.
Volunteers will continue to receive a discounted entry (currently -0-) to the ride for which they are not working. The one assignment that would allow a volunteer to work and still ride either weekend would be the Friday prep.
I’m excited about this change. I think it will work, but only time will tell. The plan will require a minimum of 9 volunteers for each weekend. For the 1st three weeks of registration, 15 spots for the opposite weekend will be reserved for those volunteers desiring to ride. In other words, if you work, the “public” ride, you can ride the “staff” ride, and vice versa. After the initial three weeks, any open “volunteer” spots will be made available to paid participants that are interested. This time around I am actually not even opening “public” registration for the first 2 weeks.
This is a work in process. I’m sure there will be additional changes as we move forward and learn what works and what doesn’t. Please contact me if you have questions, concerns, or ideas.
You may have heard through other channels, but we will no longer be hosting the California Triple Crown Award Breakfast the day following the Knoxville Public ride. We hosted the breakfast for 18 years, and doing so was one of my favorite life experiences each year. There are so many memories from our time together during those special hours. The breakfast this year will be in Irvine the day following the Beach City Double. I owe a huge thank you to Lynn Katano, Eric Smith, Chuck Bramwell, Roland Hoffman, Frank Neal, and so many others that gave so much to make these breakfasts what they were. Most of the key “breakfast” people were not riding Knoxville, but still making the long trek from SoCal just for the breakfast. I am indebted forever to so many that gave so much.
The "staff" ride will be Saturday September 21st, 2019. The "public" ride will be Saturday September 28th, 2019. As a paid participant, please sign up for whichever weekend is best for you. As always in the past, both weekends qualify for California Triple Crown ride credit.
The Quackcyclists would like to invite you to participate in the Knoxville Fall Classic Double Centuries. As many of you know, we have had some rather large staff rides in years past. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, the 28th of September, 2019. This is an endurance ride, not a race, not a timed event. Ride your bike with friends, take in the scenery. Just finish.
This is an endurance ride. It is not a race. It is not a timed event. We will be keeping track of rider times at Rest Stops, but these are not published and are simply used for the management of the ride.
We now offer a "Lowland" option. After lunch, instead of climbing up Siegler Canyon and over Cobb Mountain, each rider will have the option to head straight down Highway 29 from Lower Lake to Middletown where the two courses will rejoin. It's about 8 miles shorter, with significantly less climbing. However, it is still within tolerance to qualify as a double-century. "Fast" riders may get ahead of the rest stop opening times if this option is elected, so be aware that you may have the privilege of helping set up the later rest stops if you get there too quickly. You will also miss out on one of the best descents on the course. Any rider leaving lunch after 3:00 will be required to take the lowland course.
All riders must be pre-registered. Registration will close Tuesday, September 24th. No day-of-event registrations. No rider exchanges. Each entry is only good to the person registered. Proof of identity may be required. Cancellation and refund may be possible with timely notification and if we can fill your spot.
Entry fee: $100 prior to September 1st. $120 after August 31st. Please sign up early!
Rider limit: 50 for each weekend. Rider entry applications beyond 50 will automatically be wait-listed and you will be contacted if space opens up. We will no longer have a permit with Napa County as any ride with 50 or fewer riders does not require one. However, we still do coordinate with them, and we are required to have 50 or fewer riders each weekend.
The ride will start & finish close to the traditional location at Pena Adobe Park. I'm still finalizing the location and will let you know prior to the event.
The general design of the course is as follows: From Vacaville, we ride north thru Fairfield, over Mt. George, up the Napa Valley, over Howell Mtn, then along Lake Berryessa on Knoxville Road, all the way to Lower Lake, site of the lunch stop. The afternoon course heads up Siegler Canyon and over Cobb Mountain via Loch Lomond to Middletown (unless you take the "Lowland" course down Highway 29 to Middletown), through Pope Valley, back beside Berryessa, then finally down Pleasants Valley.
All registered riders must check in before you start to ride. Check in will be between 3 and 6 AM Saturday morning. The start is “open”, meaning any time after 3:00 Saturday morning. However, all riders must be off by 6:30 a.m. Please use an earlier starting time if you are concerned at all about making the cutoffs - see route sheet for rest stop opening and closing times. Preliminary Route Sheet
First light: (when you won’t need lights on your bike) about 6:30. Riders have until midnight to complete (with intermediate cut-off times that correlate to a midnight finish).
The Double Century Highland is 202.5 miles, with total climbing of approximately 12,600 ft. Almost two-thirds of the climbing is in the morning. Most climbing is under 10%, but some of the climbs are quite long. Lunch is at mile 107. Most riders seem to finish between 7 & 10 PM. The Lowland course is about 8 miles shorter and probably 2,000 ft less climbing. The course is mostly very rural, scenic, lightly traveled, & remote. Lots of it is twisty & turny (is that a word?) up & down, and often in need of repair (but that keeps the cars away!) Knoxville Rd is particularly bad of the rains of 2018, but the county assures me they are continuing to work on it.
As Chuck Bramwell so eloquently puts it, “There is not a single 'easy' double century”. The nature of riding 200 miles continuously means that it is a very challenging endeavor, even for experienced cyclists. When the original course & timing for Knoxville was conceived, the idea was for it to be (relative to other rides) challenging and moderately difficult, but without significant time pressures, or any form of “race” mentality. The first two years of the ride, I think most riders agreed that was an accurate description. However, in the following two years, the temperatures during the afternoon reached well into the 100+ range, and we have heard numerous riders describing this as “the toughest ride I’ve done this year”.
A number of riders have completed this ride as their first double century. It’s not the ideal “first double”, but there are numerous other much tougher rides out there. We have attempted to set up the course so the afternoon is less demanding than the morning.
We are really proud of the support we offer. Although the ride is much smaller in scope for both riders and volunteers, we still feel that our support will be excellent. There will be five rest stops. Lunch will be served at Foster's Freeze in Lower Lake. They have a wide selection of food (I really like the chicken salad) and have been our staff ride lunch stop for most of the 19 years we've been doing this. Bottled water (not hose water) will be available at each stop. Gatorade, Hammer Gel, Endurolytes, HEED, and Perpetuem will be available at each stop. All riders will have a route sheet. We are no longer marking the course with paint. There are still some remnants of prior year markings, but please don't count on those as the course has seem some changes over the years. We will also have SAG drivers on course Many of them also work a rest stop for a portion of the day.
WHAT IF I'M HAVING AN "OFF" DAY?
The time cutoffs on the route sheet are intended to provide a pre-midnight finish. If at any point during the day you find yourself falling behind the cutoffs, there are always at least a couple options:
(1) Offered a ride back to the start /finish. This would typically be with one of the rest stop workers, so you may need to be patient. As you likely don't have anything else planned for the day, this shouldn't be a problem.
(2) Offered a SAG forward on the course. Although you would not get double-century credit, you could still end up with a wonderful day on the bike. In my earlier years, I would have thought this a crazy option, but once had an opportunity to take this option and had a wonderful time seeing parts of the course I had never seen before as it had always been after-dark for me in the past.
(3) There are several "bail-out" options that we can share with you if you really want to finish under your own power. The most straight-forward comes at Rest Stop #2 where you take the most direct course back from there to the finish. You still end up with about 120 miles for the day and absolutely see some of the best parts of the course. This is actually the old double metric course (only ran from 2000-2003) back to the start/finish. You will be unsupported. The good part is, if you make this choice, it is a simple route, 50 miles total, (only one turn is not part of the main course) and there are numerous facilities along the way, washrooms, stores & campgrounds where food & water is available. Further it is well enough traveled (but not crazy) that if you have any significant problem you are likely to have someone come by that can help you.
In any of these scenarios, please make sure and communicate with at least one ride volunteer. It would be super helpful if you also text the Ride Director for the Day. That number will be published on the route sheet. Please don't make us spend limited resources looking for you when you're okay.
In any of these options, you can still have a good day of riding, but just won’t be an official finisher.
Well, it’s early fall, so we can get, and have gotten, the gauntlet. Perfect weather, rain, or hottr’ than stink. We are personally hoping for perfect, . . . but . . . The last couple of years have seen moderately hot afternoons (depending on who's doing the talking). We do our best to get ice & plenty of water out there, but every rider needs to be smart for any conditions.
Virtually all riders will need legal lights. First light: about 6:30 a.m., full darkness, about 7:30 p.m. The California Vehicle Code mandates that any rider on the course before 6:30 a.m. or after 7:30 p.m. must have a full complement of front & rear lighting. If you do not, you will be disqualified. Therefore, even if you think you are fast & can beat the daylight limits, we suggest that you do carry at least minimal lighting in case you get caught out late. Better to carry maybe ¼ lb of extra weight than to end up with a DQ.
CALIFORNIA TRIPLE CROWN STUFF
The Knoxville Fall Classic Double Century rides will count toward the California Triple Crown. Those who volunteer will receive "Volunteer" credit with the California Triple Crown.
REGISTERING & CONFIRMATION
We have been using an online registration process for a long time. The changes to the event structure have necessitated changes in that process, and I'm sure there are still have a few bugs to work out. Please be patient and let me know if you encounter difficulties. Once you've submitted your application online, you can pay either through PayPal or by sending a check. Please do not pay if you are on the wait-list. Online Registration
P.O. Box 2488
San Ramon, CA 94583
Once we receive your registration, we will send you an e-mail confirming we have you registered. Registration turnaround depends on how busy we are with our "regular" jobs & family life - registrations are processed on a more regular basis closer to the ride date. You will be sent a link to a web-page that contains “Instructions to Riders & Rules of the Ride”. It contains exactly that, as complete as we can make it. Hopefully it will cover all your questions, and give tips about the ride, a more thorough course description, and make clear the few “gotcha’s” we do have. Please read it carefully.
We will also post on the web a list of registered riders as we receive them. If you don’t get an e-mail confirmation and don’t see your name on the list a week after submission, please contact us. The week before the ride, we will likely send out a final e-mail detailing last minute-stuff.
QUACKCYCLISTS & OTHER VOLUNTEERS
Quackcyclists are not a club. We have no dues, no membership rolls, no formal meetings. We are just a group of friends & cyclists who somehow got this crazy notion to put on a couple of bike rides. We are not formally “non-profit”, but we don’t make any, and none of us gets paid. (We all have regular jobs for that.) The entry fee covers the ride’s expenses, and on the occasional times the rides actually make any money, we give it away to charities & cycling organizations.
Our volunteers & workers on the rides are our friends, folks we’ve met riding, and their friends & family. We have always managed to pull it off, and most folks have a great time (sometimes better than the riders) helping out. The re-imagined format requires substantially few volunteers than we have needed in the past, but there is still a minimum of 9 for each event. Volunteers can receive a complimentary entry into the ride the opposing weekend if interested. It is important to sign up early as the "staff" slots will be released to paid-riders at some point. Volunteer Information
Alamo Inn - 707 451-2424 (Closest in Vacaville)
Best Western Heritage Inn - 707 448-8453
Courtyard by Marriott - 888 451-8700
Motel 6 - 707 447-5550
E-Z-8 - 707 426-6161 (Closest to the west in Fairfield)
Pietro’s #1 is our local recommendation. They catered our after-ride meal for 18 years. It’s a guaranteed fill-up of fantastic and classic southern Italian fare. Located at 407 Cernon St. In Vacaville, off Merchant St. 707 446-1771
There is almost any chain-restaurant you can think of available as well.
The Quackcyclists & The Knoxville Fall Classic Double Century reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone, to remove riders from the course for reasons of their own safety, for the safety of other riders, for obvious & flagrant violation of the course rules or the California Vehicle code, or for the general well-being of the rider, the ride, other riders, or the Quackcyclists.
In all our years, our most requested products have been from Hammer Nutrition. They have been a huge support to all our events over the years and we are very grateful to them again this year. You can find out more information about their products on their website.