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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 operators, and extra water stops. Because the course is so difficult and remote, we keep close track of riders, often with radio information back to the finish. The event is timed but is NOT a race. Our reputation has grown with the TT considered one of the hardest but best supported double centuries in the U.S.

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. A handful of riders over the years have broken 12 hours. Required finishing time was once 16:30 but is now 18:00. The bulk of the riders finish with times between 14 and 17 hours, but many take until the 18:00 limit or even beyond. (All riders finishing by 11:00 PM—18:00  elapsed time—receive California Triple Crown credit, although only riders finishing by our traditional 10:00 PM cut-off receive free a special item, in past years an "I DID IT!" t-shirt).

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 (often known as the "Tolerable Two" or even the "Terrific Two," which starts after the 200-mile riders have departed and includes a different "front end" but the same "back end" course. 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, poor road conditions, and more--have forced us to adjust the route many times. Our goal always remains the same: to stick as close as possible to the original vision of the event. 

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