Bass Lake Powerhouse Double Century: The Ride That Wasn’t Meant to Be


In the realm of endurance cycling, every ride has its own set of surprises and challenges—some pleasant and others not so much. After completing the grueling Hoodoo 300 and working through various obstacles in the Eastern Sierra Double Century, I felt like I was prepared for anything. But the Bass Lake Powerhouse Double Century on October 14, 2023, served as a humbling reminder that sometimes, the journey is cut short, and that’s okay.

The Promising Start

The day began in the dark, chilly air at 5:30 a.m. I set out alone at that time, as most of the riders had, apparently left before then, and the faster riders who were competing in the stage race were set to leave later (and I was riding solo all day). As I cycled out of Clovis, the rolling hills unfolded in the dim light, and I was joined by the break of dawn, a vibrant sunrise that seemed to promise a good day ahead. The morning chill dissipated, and I found myself completely absorbed in the ride.

The route led me toward Bass Lake, a location as picturesque as it sounds. The sight of the lake, surrounded by forested hills and crisp blue skies, was nothing short of stunning. In that moment, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. After all, this is the same mindset that got me through the tough terrains of Hoodoo 300 and the high-altitude climbs in the Eastern Sierras.

The Unexpected Turn

Then, at around mile 117.5, disaster struck. A crash left me with an injured shoulder and road rash on my left side (arm, shoulder, thigh, and knee) and put an abrupt end to my ride. In that moment, all the mindfulness tricks, all the mantras, and all the lies I tell myself to keep going (like, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be” (not an actual lie) or “What Would Jens Do?”) couldn’t change the fact that I was grounded, quite literally. For someone who had been through the highs and lows of endurance riding and training, this was another low.

The Road Ahead

Fast forward to now, I still have limited range of motion and moderate pain in my shoulder. Physical therapy is ongoing, and as disappointing as it might sound, getting back on the bike has been a struggle.

In moments like these, I’m reminded of why it’s important to be present and appreciate each ride for what it is—a journey with its own set of challenges and joys. Sometimes, just making it to the starting line is an accomplishment, as I mentioned in my previous post. There will be more rides, more double centuries, and more opportunities to be exactly where I want to be—on the bike, chasing down the horizon.

As I look toward my recovery and eventual return to the bike, I’m not only focusing on physical healing but also emotional resilience. And for that, I draw upon the lessons and experiences from my previous rides, and the mantras that have pushed me through. Because as I often tell myself, “Suffering is temporary, but the regret that comes from giving up is eternal.”

Until next time, ride safe and keep pedaling.

Update: December 8, 2023

I’ve been pretty much off the bike due to a lingering shoulder injury which has caused me much pain and grief. I will be starting up my training again in hopes of completing some early season double centuries, and, potentially, Hoodoo 500 in August.

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