Log in

History of the Terrible Two   The Terrible Two was started in 1976 by three Sonoma County riders, Clifford Scott, Rod Mowbray, and Gordon Burns - more-or-less members of the Santa Rosa Cycling Club. They were bored with the other double centuries and figured that a 200-mile course in and around Sonoma County would include some very challenging hills and spectacular scenery. After a trial run in June of 1976, they brought in the club to sponsor the event for the public and the first official TT was held later that summer on August 14. The date was eventually moved to a Saturday near Summer Solstice for maximum daylight. Expecting only the most serious riders, the first few TTs only provided lunch, no rest stops, and minimal sags.

The original Spartan approach has evolved to a level equal to a typical club-sponsored century. We now actually try to help riders finish, rather than just throwing out the challenge. There are now six full rest stops (including lunch), sag wagons, radio links, and extra water stops. Because the course is so difficult and remote, we log every rider through every rest stop, radio the information back to the finish, and track each individual's progress on a master chart we call the War Board. The event is timed.

Since the course was shortened from 211 miles to 200 miles (or less) in 1995, the overall finishing rate has risen, at least in years that are not too hot. Most years, a handful of riders break 12 hours. The bulk of the riders finish with times between 14 and 15 hours, but many take until the 16:30 limit or even beyond. (All riders finishing by 11:00 PM—17:30 elapsed time—receive California Triple Crown credit, although only riders finishing by our traditional 10:00 PM cut-off receive free "I DID IT!" t-shirts.)

In a year with moderate weather, the finishing rate may approach 75%. When it is extremely hot, as it can sometimes be, the finishing rate drops dramatically. The 2012 event was the worst ever, with temperatures over 110° and with a finishing rate by 10:00 PM—16:30 elapsed time—of only 35%.

In 2014, we introduced an excellent 200-K option, which starts after the 200-mile riders have departed. Click for more information about the 200-K

The TT course has changed in many ways over the years but has retained most of its original and essential elements. Practical, logistical constraints have caused us to move the start/finish venue several times. Natural events--landslides, wildfires, etc--have forced us to adjust the route many times. And red tape wrangling--squabbling with bureaucrats over event permits--has also forced us to make changes now and then.  Our goal always remains the same: to stick as close as possible to the original vision of the event. Most years, we manage to do that.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software