California Triple Crown
100 Double Club
by Paul Kopit
For more: http://www.caltriplecrown.com/Fame.htm
On Sept. 18, 2004 I completed the Tour of Two Forests, the 9th double of the year and my 100th official California Triple Crown (CTC) double century - and became the first person awarded the California Triple Crown 100 Double Club Award. I've been awarded other honors, including the VCLG 2001 Randonneur of the Year, but this achievement is the most meaningful. The title “King” (which I've held since '99, as the leading rider with the most doubles) is something I don't take seriously. Thirteen consecutive years of being a CTC winner is more a tribute to my insanity than my ability. Additional evidence of my disorder is riding 200-300 miles/week since moving to Los Angeles in 1992.
The last few doubles of the season became stressful. People kept asking what number the particular ride was. There are hundreds of riders who know me by my first name and I can only remember few of their names. For the first time I felt that I had to ride doubles. I wanted to get to 100 so that I didn't have to do it anymore. I wanted to ride for fun again. When I finished TOTF I felt a great relief. Certainly I was joyful but I recall sweeping all of the 7 doubles in the series in 1994 as more exciting.
The awards ceremony was held in Vacaville, CA. The annual CTC awards-breakfast is held the same weekend as the Knoxville Double, a wonderful ride. I drove up the 400 miles and didn't even do the ride. Burned out…done. Caryl and her sons came to the breakfast. I received many calls, emails, and cards congratulating me. Numerous friends and riding colleagues made a big fuss about me at the ceremony. It was a humbling experience. During my acceptance speech, I used the time to thank all the ride organizers, the support people, the other riders, and the CTC staff. I got the plaque and free registration for future rides. It's a day I'll never forget.
I've decided that the rides I do will be for fun. For example, at the Fall Death Valley Double, which could have been #101, I got to mile 150 (which also happens to be the start/finish point and the Furnace Creek Ranch) and just quit. Debby Caplan asked what was wrong. I looked fine, my time was fine - I was fine. But I didn't want to ride at night and besides, shower, dinner and bed looked like more fun than 25 miles to Stovepipe Wells and back. It didn't bother me a bit. I plan to do more ride support and also help other riders who want to complete a double century. I'd really enjoy being part of a group of VCLG riders who want to target doing a double.
There will be other members of the CTC 100 Double Century Club but I can always be the first.