Monday, May 28, 2007


Finish Line!!


Hello adoring fans....

On Friday we went out to the race site and setup our campsite. Eric lent us his family sized tent, his 10x10 pop up canopy, and his folding table. I went out for pre-ride of the course while Christie and Abigael walked around and took in the circus that is 24 hour mountain bike racing. When I got back I picked up my race packet and timing chip. We taped off an area, battened down the hatches and went to Eric's house to eat dinner and sleep in a warm dry place. We had dinner with Eric, his new girlfriend Melissa, and Jason and Emily Kinley.

Our fun little camping/pit area

My first 24 hour race ended Sunday at 12pm with me in 26th outta 30 places. I completed 8 laps for a total of 117.6 miles and a totals "wheels rolling" time of 10 hours and 48 minutes. I did complete one of my goals for this race which was riding at least 100 miles. What I did not complete was riding 100 "CONSECUTIVE" miles (in prep for the Cream Puff). Now to talk about the reason why I did not complete said goal...

Coming in to the pits after my first lap!

When I pre-rode the course Friday night I noticed a slight strain/pain in my left Achilles tendon (heel) but I just put it off as soreness from the previous weeks pain which turned out to be a huge knot in my left calf muscle. I came back to Eric Ewing's house and iced it all evening. On Saturday it still felt tight so I stretched as best as I could and put "Icy/Hot" on the sore heel, thanks to the RCR boys!! The race started at noon with a LeMans (running) style start. I had no idea the run was up a hill and through the woods and then back to the bikes!!! It was not the best way to start a race when I have a hard time walking let alone running and the jog put me in the pain hole right off the bat! I should have just walked the "run" but I jogged and I don't think it did my Achilles any good because as soon as I started riding I could feel pain in my heel. I found a sweet spot with out stretch it or straining my heel and rode on. I completed my first 14.7 mile lap in about 1:13 with a 20 minute transition I went back out for lap number two and then I was going to take a break during the heat of the day. I should have stopped with one lap under my belt. The heat hit me like a 2x4 and I started cramping worse than I have ever cramped before! I didn't think I would make it back to our pit/camp area and when I did I fell into the chair knowing I had just complete one of the longest 14.7 miles of my life!! I just sat there and drank water and swallowed Hammer Nutrition Endurolyte pills, downed bottle after bottle of Hammer Heed, iced my screaming ankle/heel, and took a nap. Christie, my AWESOME pit crew, was outstanding with her support!! She fetched fresh water, filled/mixed bottles of electrolights, got ice for me, and entertain the kid!! She is the best support crew I could have asked for!! After about 3 1/2 to 4 hours I felt like a human being again instead of a human (dried-up) bean! So I decided to give it a go again around 6:30pm.

Yes, I rode the entire race on a fully RIGID Mt Bike!!!

This time out I felt great, hydrated, and strong. Although my heel still hurt like crazy I knew I could ride on and push through the pain. I turned on my light system from AY UP! lights and BOY WAS I AMAZED!!! I had more than enough light at night. The LED system out shown all lights except the craziest HID "stadium" lights that were more than too much light! I would recommend the Ay Up! light system to anyone looking for a light weight LONG lasting bright lighting system. I raced the entire race with my lights already mounted on my helmet and bike, that is how light they are!!! I completed three laps from about 6:30 till about 10:30 with small pit stops to refill Heed bottles, hydration bladders, and re-lube the chain n' wipe down the bike. After coming in from 44.2 miles I needed to eat food! I decided to wait (no more pizza was left) for the midnight chicken wing feed and after eating I got sleepy and realized that if I went out for another lap it would be unsafe, so I went to sleep! I really regret not getting out on the trail more that night! It was not too cold and the conditions were perfect for night riding... Oh well next year!!

Abigael, Christie, and I feel asleep on the big inflatable mattress in the tent together and my alarm went off at 3am and I promptly fell back asleep and then woke up in a start at 4:30am! Oh crap! an hour and a half?!! I had really wished to get up in time to ride at least one more night lap, to give the Ay Up!s at least one more lap, and then catch the sunrise at 5 am. Oh well! I got up and got ready to go. I left the made up water bottle of Heed on the table as well as any gels and food. My ASS hurt so bad when I sat back down on my saddle I thought I would wake the entire camp with a scream of pain!! But I got comfortable and soon all was well again in the nether regions... I was able to watch the sunrise while out on the trail! I came back to the "pit" and my crew was still asleep so I pitted myself and went out for lap number 7.

While I was out riding all I could think about was the pancake breakfast that was going on back at camp and was I going to miss it??!!! I had wanted pizza earlier that night and they had run out by the time I got in from my laps!! I had no way to contact Christie or Eric to tell them to save me a plate! When I came back to the pit again the family was awake and I was screaming for pancakes!! I rushed Christie and Abigael down to eat fresh hot blueberry pancakes! We ate pancakes with Jason and Emily Kinsley (from Hammer Nutrition) and Eric. I decided to attempt an eighth lap and rode off into the quickly warming up morning. While out on the 8th and final lap the heat turned up and I knew I was, D-U-N, done! I also felt a sharp shooting pain in my left heel/Achilles tendon right at the start of the lap and made the call to continue on and it soon passed to a dull ache.

Throughout the race I received TONS of support and help from the boys in the Viking Sport (raced as Team Speedy Reedy) camp and the Recycled Cycles camp. Ryan Vanderloop, fellow Viking Sport teammate, was riding on a 4 person team and helped with ankle support... And of course there is "the bianchi" master mechanic and athletic supporter!!! Thanks guys for everything!! I do believe the hoots and hollers as I started my laps kept me going as well as the J.B.!!!!

I also met quite a few people at the race. Doug Walsh is from the Seattle area and he is a fellow 29er rider! He ripped up the course in the Men's Solo and placed 7th! Francis (Fran) Bach is from Colorado and he and his girlfriend drove all the way to Spokane to do this race. I kept telling myself he looked familiar and then it hit me! I briefly met Fran and his twin brother in Colorado at the 24 hr Kona Global series race I helped Eric time in Winterpark last September. Fran was racing in the Men's Solo Singlespeed division and did rather well. He also has a Black Sheep Ti MTB I took a picture to show the difference between his 26" wheel and my 29" wheel! Our neighbors across the race course where Moishe (Mo) and Lindsay Lettvin and there daughter Amelia. Abigael and Amelia became fast friend s despite the 18 month age gap and played like crazy in the dirt! Mo raced in the Men's Solo Singlespeed div as well. Mo did well until he developed some narly blisters on his hands and then called his race placing 6th! Jason and Emily Kinsley mentioned about are old friends of Eric's from Spokane. Jason reps for Hammer Nutrion and his wife Emily, woh is 20 weeks pregnant, does as well. Jason raced in the Men's Solo Singlespeed and was kicking ass until he ran into some health issues and had to pull out placing 7th in the singlespeed div. I had met Jason once before at the same 24 hr race in Colorado as I met Fran.

Two Black Sheep Ti Highlights
My geared 29er on the left and Fran's painted singlespeed 26er on the right

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