Location: Motel 6, at 3885 W. Florida Avenue Hemet, CA
The double century is a giant figure eight type route composed of two 100-mile loops (centuries). The start/finish and lunch are at the center of the figure eight at MOTEL 6. The 100-mile option is available for either loop. However, the first loop is a Great Beginners Century. The first loop has 3506 feet of total accumulated elevation gain spread over the entire 107-mile loop. The second loop has about 3431 feet of total accumulated elevation gain, in which 1100 feet of climbing occurs in the first 13 miles of the 97 mile loop.
The double century has a eighteen-hour soft time limit. The double century riders can start between 3:30 AM and 6:00 AM. The double century closes at 10:00 PM soft limit, but completion is key and riders are allowed to get credit after 10 pm. No double century rider is allowed to attempt or start the second loop after 2:30 PM.
Single Century riders can start the first loop between 3:30 AM and 6:00 AM or they can start the second loop between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
The Hemet Double Century is the second oldest double century in the U.S, started in 1965. Originally it was held in the Spring, but was moved to a Fall ride in later years. I’m guessing this move was made because it occasionally snows at Mountain Center in the Spring.
In 1978, I rode the Hemet DC, and completed this ride as my first double century. The race consisted of two 100 mile loops, the fist loop being relatively flat. The second loop however, went up 4000+ feet to Mountain Center in the San Jacinto wilderness, and then dropped down a steep downhill into Temeculah CA. The total elevation gain was over 9000′.
My 1978 Hemet DC Finisher’s Patch
I’ve been looking at the routes on the current Hemet DC, (see map below) and learned they have changed the route of the second loop several times. Now it climbs for a total elevation gain of 6937′ for the whole ride.
Getting back to the ride – Going down the steep downhill wasn’t any fun… by the time we hit it, it was getting dark and, being an April ride, much cooler. I remember we rode the brakes going down, so we wouldn’t get too cold. Now, I have learned my lesson and have a lightweight, breathable cycling jacket made for such situations.
That was the first and last double century I rode using that plastic seat, and with no cycling shoes! Now I have a nice pair of Sidi riding shoes, which are really comfortable, and stay put on the pedals. When you ride 100+ miles, and your legs are tired, it get’s harder to keep your feet on the pedals if you aren’t clipped in, or using toe clips.