Students, community members reflect on the milestone ride
The 50th annual Davis Double Century took place on Saturday, May 18, with bicyclists riding through Lake, Napa and Yolo counties. The race started and ended in Davis and took place over two days. The first Davis Double Century was in 1969 and the event has been a staple of the Davis community ever since. Preparations have been underway since March, when registration opened for the ride. The terrain covered around 200 miles and varied from flat farmland to hills and even valleys. The race started at the Davis Veterans Memorial Center and ended at the Davis Senior Center.
Stewart Thompson, the director of the event, talked about how he initially became involved in the Davis Double Century.
“Three years ago, I retired from the Bay Area to Davis,” Thompson said. “I had ridden in the Davis Double Century before and joined a bike club here in Davis, which is how I got involved. People [come] from all over to take part in the ride. We have people coming from the Bay Area, Southern California and even a few people coming all the way from Oregon.”
This annual event, according to Thompson, requires coordinators to adapt to the conditions.
“We had planned to have lots of ice on hand to keep riders cool, but with the change in weather, we had to switch to bringing warmer things for the riders,” Thompson said.
Maximilian Cawley, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major at UC Davis, was one of the many participants in the annual ride.
“I completed this ride last year and had an amazing time so I want to do it again,” Cawley said via email. “What originally drew me to it was the challenge of riding 200 miles in one day along with all the support I knew I would receive throughout the race. Also Napa county is a beautiful area, and the perfect backdrop to any epic ride.”
Cawley also took part in the same ride last year.
“Last year I went in quite nervous and actually got slightly dehydrated,” Cawley said. “I had only done my first century the week before this race, and I was not as dialed in on my fitness. I was very focused on maintaining my energy last year; I spent a lot of the time drafting off of my friends.”
Cawley described the experience a cyclist has during the ride.
“The brain can fall into a bit of a lull when riding for so long, but the change of terrain helped me regain my focus and woke me up,” Cawley said. “The people who volunteer for this race are amazing. This ride also gives me the perfect excuse to down as much soda and ginger ale as I want.”
Evan To, a fourth-year civil engineering major at UC Davis, has also participated in the Davis Double Century for the past two years and described his previous experiences.
“It’s all about working on your mental stamina, and you have to remember that it’s not about doing it as fast as you can but to reach the end of the ride,” To said. “Remember to eat and stay hydrated.”
Both To and Cawley are members of the UC Davis Triathlon Team. Cawley described the motivation and support he receives from To and his other teammates when biking.
“Evan’s specialty as an athlete lies in his endurance,” Cawley said. “We always joke and say that he isn’t ever warmed up until the very end of a race or ride. Evan, along with my other teammates that I ride with, are all great people. They make getting on a bike that much more enjoyable. They can also help push and motivate me to perform above what I thought I was capable of. Having a group of friends out on the bike is one of the main reasons why I saddle up for long, early rides.”
Written by: Taylor Martinez — firstname.lastname@example.org