Monday, September 24, 2007

12 hours of dauset: round and round and round...

so saturday, with the charity of boone bike giving me saturday off work, i participated in my first 12 hour solo mountain bike race. things started on friday, getting my stuff, darcy's stuff and then darrell's stuff loaded into my car and hitting the road. we started with a stop at BP giving some money to big oil companies and then to THE MAN at back yard burger. anyways, the burger was good. 6 hours later we were in jackson, ga. on the way we stopped at a gas station that was closed inside, but had a slot to put money through and get drinks/smokes/snacks through. it reminded me of why i love boone. i dropped darrell off at his hotel and proceeded to the trail/park area. we set up our tent/sleeping bags with the help of paul hein and ed hamilton. we both fell asleep quickly.

before sun was up we were loading our tents/gear/clothes/selves into our cars and moving our stuff down to the pit area. paul and ed scored a great spot right on the trail before it re-entered the woods.

we set up two of our KENDA tents and chairs and coolers and super cool cardboard box with homemade handles and bikes and more. after a quick (for me, but not most people) registration and a couple bagels, we were lining up for a lemans start.

i forgot to turn on my garmin gps computer so when i got to my bike i turned it on and waited hoping to get a quick signal. to my dismay and three minutes later, it was still searching, so i started riding (after the entire field was gone) and set it to work with gps OFF. things were still good, it told me my time, heart rate and elevation all day long. it's hard to describe what happened for the next few hours. i passed a bunch of "just doing it for fun" type riders and finally found some 12hr solo guys. i rode with a handful of different people trying to keep a slow and steady pace and not chase after each 12hr team racer that passed us. i rode with a guy named travis from douglasville for a while. he seemed to be a very formidable competitor. we took turns setting pace and passing each other for our first three or four laps. each lap is between 10-11 miles.

my first few pit stops were good. quick and efficient, though i stopped for 10-15 minutes once to change shoes and eat beef jerky. i was gulping down hammer sustained energy and heed for a while, getting a new sustained energy every three laps and a new heed bottle every lap. i was knocking out a few endurolyte tablets every other lap or so. i basically stuck to my plan of liquid diet with the exception of beef jerky. my mom kept offering chips/trail mix/granola/etc but i was like NO!!!! i'm sticking to my plan. the beef jerky was tasty because of the salt, and the taste stayed with me for most of the lap, and nutritionally i knew i needed some sodium and protein.

the only cool thing to mention during the first 6 laps was that i almost laid it down coming into the start/finish area full speed big ring pedalling across gravel with people everywhere and my pride ready to crawl into a deep dark cave and stand back up and scrape gravel from my skin and lower extremities, but i somehow kept the bike upright, sliding, but upright and unclipped my left foot and sort of moto-slid and scrubbed off speed thanks to my handy avid juicy ultimate brakes.

aside from that, its worth mentioning at the start, my goal for day the was to get 7 laps. i thought 7 laps would be good, but would allow for some stretching time and sitting around time. i kept moving things along, strapping lights on my helmet at the beginning of my 7th lap, which was surely to be during dusk. as 7pm rolled around and i finished my 7th lap, i realized i needed to set a new goal. and i also thought briely, well i got my goal of 7laps, time to stop. hahaha. that didn't happen.

as i coasted into the pit area after my 7th lap i said "two more." so i went out and rode two more laps, stopping only to get a fresh bottle of HEED between laps. as i was out on my 8th lap i started thinking about times, could i make it back to the start/finish before the cut-off time to go for another lap?? after i passed three 12hr solo riders i really got juiced up. and i started thinking about chopper reid and what he says. somewhere in my head i got thinking i had to be finished before 10pm with my last lap, but i don't think that is actually the rule. anyways, i rolled in after my 9th lap and looked at my buddies: Paul, Adam, Darcy, Mom/Dad, Cartec (Charlie) and said, i'm doing one more. i could feel myself moving up the rankings as i rolled out for the last lap and my parents worrying about the lighting situation. well, they were right!! as i was riding one of the last doubletracks i noticed my handlebar light was fading so i turned it off. usually they'll turn back on for a while after a brief rest, so then my helmet light was fading, turn it off turn on handlebar light. after a few more iterations of this process i was riding with no lights as matt hargrove and another racer pulled up behind me. i didn't know matt was there until he announced it, and the other guy had HID so i rode in his beam for about three miles. he pulled ahead and i convinced myself that riding his wheel was safe as long as he didn't go down. as we entered the moonshine section for the last time it opened up, the HID guy pulled away and matt was a little ways behind. i rode in the moonlight and matt's far off beam until he caught up, and we rolled into the finish together. i could hear bruce as usual... saying "we've got more racers coming in... one of them doesn't have any lights. i shrugged my shoulders as i passed him and finished my 10th lap and was essentially applauded and laughed at all at the same time. i rolled down to our pit area and laid on the ground.

afterwards we were worried about charlie, but he's okay i think. okay enough to type a long blog post on sunday, two days before i finished mine!!! congrats to ursula sandefur and nicki sutherland who 1-2'd the wmn's solo 6 hour race. also congrats to darrell's team "mean bean" who won the team 12 hour race. so anyways, i finished 14th out of 39 people or so. i am very happy with my ranking saturday and very happy that i continued to re-evaluate my goals as the day went on. i see more 12 hour solo events and 100 mile races in my future and maybe, maybe maybe a 24 solo next year at the BURN in wilkesboro. for now, thanks to:

my beautiful fiancee darcy, my mom and dad, frank and lingo for coming down from ATL, paul, adam, perry, matt, tom, ed, cartec (charlie), my pseudo CTS coach max shute, andy for letting me borrow lights and a spare bike even if the lights cut off!!!! dave terri and austin and joe for putting the race on, bruce for talking all day, carl mesta for taking incredible photos, kenda tires for hoooking us up!!!!!! shaw and sarah brown for letting me have the weekend off and the Columbus Bike Racing Team for supporting me even though i've moved away.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Hey great to meet ya and put a face with a name from the forums! I'll def be coming up to NC for BURN & ORAMM in 08..

Thanks for taking care of my under-prepared self after the race.. def learned about logistics in enduros!