Monday, September 06, 2010
24 hours of 7 springs... boring bike racing stuff...
Ben Stephens took a pic of my first lap pain face up the long ski slope climb.
My first 24 hour race of any type. "The champion challege at 7 springs." I am so tired today (day after) that I am going to write a long boring blog about it.
I got the invite onto the ProBikes corporate team. This seemed like the best way to adventure into a 24 hour race, to do it with people who have done it before, will lend you lights, and own canopies.
8 people = 2 or 3 laps each. Should be fun right?
6 hours of sleep. Breakfast and a good NPR show. First lap is still 9 hours away.
Roll up to seven springs. The atmosphere was pretty cool. There were tons of people. It was like a music festival without music but a bike race instead.
I was up 3rd, so I could watch how the exchange of the leg band worked between persons 1 and 2. The first person had to run around a lake, which I had no desire to even attempt.
My first lap I had very little traffic on the course (there was only 3 teams ahead of us at this point) and I had a LOT of energy. At this point, I figure that I am only doing 2 laps and go as hard as I can. Pass the lead teams on this lap and put some time into them.
Unfortunately, after about 6 hours in, we lost our advantage due to a mechanical. We were up by 10 minutes and lost 20 or so minutes. Ouch.
I hung out until midnight for my next lap. I thought this lap was cold, at 55 degrees, but it warmed up. I had fancy lights, good luck, and lots of energy. I turned out a decent lap time. I finished my lap, spun out for 10 minutes, drank some endurox R4 and crashed out in my Bivy sack by 1:30, with the alarm set for 6am.
LOW OF THE RACE: Being in my warm cocoon, wrapped in my sleeping bag, soundly asleep and waking up to my name being called. It was like 4:30. It was PERFECT tent sleeping weather. It was like 44 degrees outside at this point, and needless to say, kind of hard to get out of the tent.
"Steevo, we need you to start a lap in about an hour.". Uh oh.
Luckily somebody set my bike up with CRAZY lights. Like 1400 lumen headlamp and a 900 lumen handlebar mount. From what I gather, this is as bright, or brighter than one of those super annoying Lexus headlights. It was insane how bright it was. During the lap, people were moving over for me to pass when I was still 100 feet or so behind them, cause they thought I was right on them because it got so bright. Insane.
The sun came up for the last 20 minutes or so of the lap. This was incredible. I literally almost crashed cause I was paying attention to how awesome it looked. There were little birds that must have been burrowing all night on the some of the trails that would jump out of the way as they heard me coming. Amazing. I put in another decent lap.
I drank some coffee and ate some breakfast at what seemed like noon but was really 8am. We were still in contention for the win, but were down. In true bike race fashion we raced until the last minute.
My fourth, and final lap was about 10:30 am. My goal was to beat my first lap time. I knew some time splits, and at the top of the big climb, I was a minute up on my first lap. Somehow this advantage disappeared over the final 20 minutes of the lap, and I came in 25 seconds slower than my first lap. Still a good time, but not what I wanted. I got sloppy in the rock garden.
We came in 2nd overall to another really strong team. Good times were had by all. No major crashes and my fancy carbon fiber mountain bike didnt disintegrate over the brutal rock gardens.
At some point while talking to somebody I tried playing the "oh I am just a roadie" card, but got yelled at and was told that I am also a mountain biker. This was cool. Time to grow my leg hair out or something. Will do it again for sure.
1st: 58:50 (2010 fast lap, which was a goal, barely beating a fast Evan Perrone by 13 seconds)