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Feb 19, 2005--Heavy rain.  Flooding.  Winds.  Tornados.  Despite all this, more than 100 riders set out from Anaheim on the Butterfield Double Century, a 200-mile loop (or what was supposed to be a loop) down the California coast to Oceanside and on to Fallbrook, Temecula, Corona, and back (flooding and tornados in Temecula forced ride director Debbie Caplan to re-route us back via the same course we used on the way out--a wise choice, given the weather).  Here's how the LA Times described conditions in Temecula:

"In Temecula, roof tiles were ripped from dozens of homes, fences were destroyed, trees were knocked down and car windows were impaled by branches when a tornado touched down Saturday morning, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department."  Click here for more

Despite the atrocious conditions, 111 riders (of a total of 226 who had pre-registered) set out on Saturday morning--an early group at 4:30 a.m. and a larger contingent at 6:15.  The 6:15 group started in the rain and would stay there for about 50+ miles, including several torrential downpours of the "sting when the rain hits your face" variety.  There was water everywhere--torrents of churning, brown water in the creeks and rivers, water running across the roads, water in our shoes ...  By the time is was over, 25 of the starters had sagged in--86 riders finished.

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Weather radar, taken at about 9 am on ride day

The photos below tell part of the story.  There are a lot of shots of sky, because we spent a lot of time looking there, trying to gauge when and where the rain would hit next.

We did get some good weather--it turned sunny around Oceanside, and many riders took the chance to peel off layers and let the stuff underneath dry out a bit.  But did we mention wind?  Along with the rain, we battled headwinds most of the way to the turnaround--winds that thankfully kept blowing in the same direction and helped us back.

The folks from ride organizers Planet Ultra did their usual great job, despite the weather and the last-minute re-route.  Click here to read the official ride recap at Planet Ultra's web site.

All photos below by Eric Norris.  Email us if can ID any of the riders, or if you would like a larger version.

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The 4:30 group gets ready to roll
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Rain gear was everywhere ...
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First ride shot
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Santiago Canyon--all the creeks were flowing
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Wet streets
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Another flowing river
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Creek at the first rest stop
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Rest stop 1-- Everyone huddled under the canopy
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Gratuitous shot of Campy Only's Eric Norris
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In San Juan Capistrano
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Heading down the coast
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First hint of some clear sky
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Southbound bike path
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Rest Stop 2
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More bike path!
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Blue sky!  Yeah!
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Mud-clogged underpass--30 yards of muck
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Freeway onramp--we rode on I-5 for about 10 miles
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"On your left!" Cars zip by at 70 mph
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San Luis Rey River bike path took us back under the freeway
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On the bike path
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Heading for lunch
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The reservoir at the lunch stop was overflowing--very spectacular cascade to the rocks below
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Turnaround point
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Debbie tells everyone about tornados in Temecula
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Lots of puddles
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Heading back--a group of riders still on the way to the turnaround. In the group are Lonnie Wolff, Isabelle Drake, and Clair Jensen
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Yes, there was wind!
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Front tire spits up water
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There's our offramp!
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World's widest bike path
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Rest stop 4
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Lynn Katano crewed this rest stop--thanks, Lynn!
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Rainbow over San Juan Capistrano
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In Orange County
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The long, long uphill of Antonio Drive
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Somebody in OC has a sense of humor.  These photos were taken at the intersection of "Antonio" and "Banderas"  No, we are not kidding.

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Another gratuitous shot of Eric Norris, this time at the finish
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The Campy Only Teschner got plenty dirty
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Yes, we did say dirty!

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