Last updated May 2013
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.
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 19. 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.
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 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.
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 we did in 2011 and 2012, we probably will have an informal and optional dinner at a nearby restaurant. (Denny's is within walking distance of the official hotel.) You can eat with the group, or you can choose to eat elsewhere. Note that most of the other restaurants in Marina will require either a long walk or a short ride. Chances are that some of our support vehicles will be used to transport riders and volunteers to and from restaurants.
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 a hotel, 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 SAG service will be available?
We will have several volunteer SAG drivers stationed along the route and at 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. 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. Please respect and thank our volunteer SAG drivers 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 19 at a location to be determined, probably in the Sunnyvale area. 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?
Our meeting location is in a residential area (and next to the police station), so please be quiet and respectful when arriving. You should plan to arrive at the meeting place in downtown Mountain View 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.
Where do I park during the event?
Our meeting place in downtown Mountain View provides free parking for the duration of the event and is next to the local police station. But just to be safe, don't leave anything valuable, especially in plain sight, in your vehicle.
Can I use the toilet at the nearby police station?
Sorry, no; the police station isn't open for public access that early in the morning. Please take care of your restroom needs before arriving, and make sure your water bottles are full and ready to go.
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 RideWithGPS routes for each day of the 2012 ride. 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?
Not much. The exact numbers are subject to change, but we estimate that Day 1 of DBD will cover about 31 miles of the ALC route, mostly along Highway 1 north of Santa Cruz and around Aptos, and DBD Day 2 will cover 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!
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?
(Information for 2013 to come.)
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 Mountain View, 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 be maintaining 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 21.
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 Greater Than One endurance events program, which processes DBD registrations and handles fundraising, is part of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
Will there be scheduled DBD training rides?
(Information for 2013 to come.)