Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DBD4 ride report

With a new route, the fourth Double Bay Double has gone into the history books as another successful event. Our 12 riders and and seven volunteers made it all the way from Sunnyvale to Marina and back without any significant incidents, and we have so far raised more than $10,400 to support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

In fact, after having unpleasant weather surprises in every previous DBD, we were extremely fortunate this year that temperatures were moderate throughout the weekend and (sadly for the state's drought) the most precipitation we faced was just a few scattered sprinkles on part of Day 2.

You can read the ride director's full report here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

DBD4 frequently asked questions

Last updated August 6

Do I have to be a member of Different Spokes San Francisco to participate in DBD?
No, but anyone who wants to can join DSSF here.

Is there a rider limit?
Yes. The event is limited to a maximum of 50 riders.

What is the fundraising minimum?
Each rider must have at least $300 credited to their fundraising account no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 25. If you're still short at that point, you can donate the remainder yourself, but you will not be reimbursed if additional donations come in later. Because corporate matching donations can take several months to process, these might not be reflected in your Day 0 total, but we cannot count uncredited matches toward your Day 0 total.

Are volunteers required to register and fundraise?
No; there is no cost for non-riding volunteers to participate, other than the supplies you bring (including gas) and your own meals and lodging. If you wish to fundraise as a volunteer, you can register at the SFAF site for $35; please let us know that you plan to be a volunteer and not a cyclist so that we don't count you toward our 50-rider limit.

I want to volunteer. Where do I sign up?
Here. You can tell us what you're interested in doing to be part of the event. The most common volunteer roles are SAG driver (including caboose), rest stop volunteer, and bike tech, although we're open to any other good ideas that you might have.

What's the weather going to be like?
Weather in Northern and Central California can be especially fickle, and we will be traveling through many of the region's microclimates. Almost anything is possible, ranging from chilly drizzle at the coast and in the mountains to dry heat inland. Winds are generally out of the north or northwest, which usually helps us on Day 1 and slows us down on Day 2. Coastal fog is common. Be advised that every year of the event so far has featured unusual weather (heat, cold, wind, rain) of some type at some point during the weekend.

Where do I stay at the end of Day 1?
Day 1 officially ends at the Comfort Inn in Marina. You are responsible for booking your own room and, if you wish to share your room with someone else, making your own roommate arrangements. You are also free to stay elsewhere; the Holiday Inn Express and Motel 6 are within easy walking/cycling distance. Also, you can choose to return home for the night -- but, if you do so, make sure you are back in Marina before our 6:45 a.m. meet time on Day 2. Be sure to book your room as early as possible because the Monterey coast is a popular weekend destination!

What do I do with my bike at the end of Day 1?
You take it with you to your room, or back home if you're not staying in Marina. If your bike becomes especially dirty during the day, please clean it before taking it into your hotel room, and please do any necessary maintenance outside.

Where do I eat at the end of Day 1?
As in past years, ad hoc groups of riders and volunteers probably will form to go to specific restaurants. Denny's is within walking distance of the event hotels, but most of the other restaurants in Marina will require either a long walk or a short ride. Some of our support vehicles will be used to transport riders and volunteers to and from restaurants. If you require any other supplies, 7-Eleven and a large Walmart are located within walking distance of the event hotels.

How much can I pack?
There is no weight limit, but please limit your packed belongings to one small bag, preferably backpack-size. Because we are staying in hotels, you do not need any items other than something to wear to dinner, your Day 2 cycling apparel, any special nutrition that you use, toiletries, medications, and perhaps a couple of spare tubes. Our space to transport bags is limited, and with a full ride expected, we need to transport as many bags as possible in a small space. Because this is a small event, it's unlikely that your bag will become misplaced, but you still should label it in case it does.

What if I can't finish a day in time?
We will have SAG vehicles on the route that can transport you to the end of Day 1 or Day 2. Depending on the demand for SAG services, there might be a delay before you can be retrieved. You can choose to call someone else to pick you up -- but if you do, you must notify a DBD official so that we are aware of your situation.

Can I ride after sunset?
Sorry, no, not even with proper lighting. The route closes at 6:30 p.m. sharp each day. If you are still on the route at sunset, you must stop and wait for a SAG vehicle to retrieve you. We have rest stop closing times throughout the day that will be enforced to help you finish each day in time. If you choose to ride around Marina on your own after sunset, legal lighting is required.

Can I get a ride to skip part of the route?
Possibly. If SAG vehicles are not being used for anything more urgent, they might be able to give you a lift if you are running behind schedule.

What types of support will be available?
We will have several volunteer SAG drivers stationed along the route and at most rest stops. Most will have basic supplies such as water, ice, light snacks, and some basic bicycle equipment such as a floor pump and extra tubes. (You are responsible, however, for obtaining and paying for your meals and snacks along the route and at the end of Day 1.) In some cases, the SAG vehicle can transport you to a nearby location if you are unable to continue riding. Please note, however, that the SAG vehicles are not a personal taxi service, and if you decide to leave the event, it is your responsibility to get transportation for you and your bicycle back to Mountain View or some other location. Depending on volunteer availability, we might have one or more bike technicians available for at least part of the weekend. Please respect and thank our volunteers who are donating their time and supplies and are helping make your ride a success.

What happens on Day 0?
We will meet on the evening of Thursday, September 25 at Sports Basement Sunnyvale (same location as in previous years). Here, you will be able to meet other riders and volunteers, receive route sheets and maps, sign the event waivers, and view an important presentation about safety on the event. Day 0 is highly recommended for all participants, but we recognize that some people will be unable to attend. Those who cannot attend Day 0 must arrive at Day 1 at least half an hour earlier (6 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m.) to complete the necessary paperwork.

What happens on ride morning?
You should plan to arrive at the meeting place in Sunnyvale, near U.S. 101 and Lawrence Expressway, by 6:30 a.m. so that you have plenty of time to unload your bicycle and check in. We will ride out as a group at 7 a.m. sharp. If you arrive late and still plan to be part of the event, please call event dispatch to let them know that you are still on the event.
NOTE: The start/end location of this year's event has changed from the one used in past years. Riders and volunteers will receive specific information on the new location.

Where do I park during the event?
Our meeting place in Sunnyvale provides free parking for the duration of the event and is in an office complex. But just to be safe, don't leave anything valuable, especially in plain sight, in your vehicle.

Are toilets available at the meeting location?
Probably not, although we're working on it, but don't assume that they will be available. Please take care of your restroom needs before arriving, and make sure your water bottles are full and ready to go. Plenty of 24-hour gas stations (and a McDonald's) are within a half-mile of the meeting location.

Will we ride if it's raining?
Probably yes. We will cancel a day of the ride only if there are severe conditions that pose an imminent danger to riders and volunteers.

What's the route?
You will receive a route sheet and map on each morning of the ride. For riders with GPS devices, here are links to the preliminary (and subject to change) RideWithGPS routes for each day of DBD4. A couple of caveats: Navigation around our rest stops is not precisely spelled out, so you still need a printed route sheet; and the route is still subject to last-minute changes that might not get reflected in these files.
Day 1 | Day 2

How much of the route duplicates AIDS/LifeCycle?
This year, hardly any. The exact numbers are subject to change, but we estimate that Day 1 of DBD will overlap about 1 mile of the ALC Day 2 route around Aptos and about 4 miles heading into Marina, and DBD Day 2 will overlap about 8 miles of the ALC Day 2 route between Marina and Salinas. Even if you're a veteran ALCer, you'll get to see plenty of new territory!

What rules of the road do we follow?
Although we are not AIDS/LifeCycle, we completely follow the ALC Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines. Specifically, we stop at all stop signs and red signals, we ride single-file at all times, and we do not do pacelines. Please help us set a good example in the areas through which we ride.

Is the route marked?
No; there are no pavement arrows, signs, or other markings. You will need to refer to your route sheet frequently during the ride; consider a map holder or binder clips. On some parts of the route, you will see pavement arrows of various colors and styles; these are for other events to other destinations, and you should not follow them. Navigation is as much a part of the event as is pedaling!

Will we encounter other events along the route?
The Surf City 600k overlaps our route this year for a short distance near Aptos and again both before and after Marina. We might see a small number of riders from this Santa Cruz Randonneurs event.

How fast do I need to ride?
This ride is designed for riders who can maintain an average pace of at least 12 mph on flat to rolling terrain. We love all cyclists, but the 12 mph pace is necessary to complete each day's route before sunset.

Are hotels available near the meeting location?
If you are coming from far outside Sunnyvale, you might want to consider getting a hotel for the night before the ride, so that you can arrive on time. Several hotels are available in a variety of price ranges within five minutes of the meeting location; any of the online booking services can steer you in the proper direction.

Can I transfer my DBD registration to someone else?
No. If you are unable to ride in DBD for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible. If we reach our 50-rider limit, we will maintain a waiting list, and we will contact the person at the top of the list. That person must register and fulfill their own $300 fundraising minimum before September 25.

Who is the DBD staff?
DBD is fully volunteer-run with no paid staff. (So please be patient if we don't answer your question or resolve your issue right away.) The San Francisco AIDS Foundation processes DBD registrations and handles fundraising.

Monday, September 23, 2013

DBD3 ride report

The third Double Bay Double is successfully into the history books! Our 20 riders and 16 volunteers have raised more than $15,000 (so far) for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and everyone ended the ride safely. Our weekend was full of fun, surprises ... and some epic challenges.

You can read the ride director's full report here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

DBD2 is history

The second Double Bay Double is in the history books, and we had a weekend that provided challenging cycling, great company, an important cause, and countless displays of the human condition at its best.

Our group of 21 riders and 18 volunteers worked together over 210 miles and more than 9,000 feet of climbing to raise more than $17,000 (update: $20,600 as of March 15, 2013) for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation ... and because everyone gave freely of their time and money, there was no event overhead to the foundation, meaning that every dollar we raised is on its way to providing important services.

You can read the ride director's full report here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

DBD1 is history!

The first Double Bay Double is a success!

All of our riders successfully completed the 208-mile route (plus, for a few riders, some bonus miles) from Mountain View to Marina and back in just two days. When the final accounting is in, we expect to have raised about $10,000 (with no event overhead) for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

A full ride report is available here.

Congratulations to all of the riders, and giant thanks to all of the volunteers who made this memorable weekend possible.