Monday, August 25, 2008

Hot August Nights The long story!!!!

What a great weekend. Where to start. I was able to get down to the venue early because of a not planned out vehicle failure. Trust me when I say this was not what I wanted and no is was not my car that broke. My Element for work had the differential break and take out the transmisson casing. Ya, trust me not impressed. After 20 stressed out calls from Honda it was taken care of.

Now the weekend began. I was there early enough to get a few laps in of the course with Andrew. Since we have the same coach we also have a very similiar fire up routine. This was the first time on the course and trust me when I say I was smiling. Lots of climbing and singletrack. Yep this was going to hurt.

Now this is the first time in 4 years that I either haven't solo'd or tag teamed this race. This meant I had a bit more relaxed attitude on Friday about sleep etc. Those Misfit boys can tear into the beer. Adam Ruppel brought out the flat screen and fired up the women's Olympic MTB race. Beer and biking, what a better way to spend a Friday night. Let's just say that I was very hydrated at the end of the night and since beer has carbs I was fueling the system. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The boys all rolled in on Saturday morning. The team, Mike Mazza (the captain), Rob Nishman and Kevin Webster. All Expert level riders. I was given the honour of first lap. HMMM was this an honour, not to sure about that. Rob did get me staged at the front while I warmed up. The first lap adds about a km or so of double track.

Yes, thats me facing backwards. No I didn't stay that way.

I'll be honest that I was not sure what shape my legs were in. 6 days since the 9 hour. I felt ok during the warm up laps but those were only with some short intervals. Well as they counted down from 15 seconds I had no choice.

Adam making sure the path was clear for the pain train.

Go time, 240 plus racers starting, 24 hours and counting down.

Pushed hard and came into the timing tent 20th overall and handed off to Mike. I put 2 minutes into the 2nd place team and we never looked back. The boys kept the lap times sub 50 minutes all the way into the night.

So the bonehead move for me for the whole race. Coming back from my third lap, I'm coasting back to our campsite and have a hand of the bar as I take a drink. Right where the paved road turns to gravel I hit the only and I mean only pot hole on the road. Things in motion stay in motion, right over the bars. Rob witnessed it, lucky there were no children around because they would have been asking Mommy what those words mean. No injury except for my pride.

The light was fading but our lead was growing. We had a 20 minute lead. Of course one mechanical is all it takes and with the night amongst us adding possible light failures to the mix always is in your mind. I wasn't thinking that, I had leg failure on my mind. My legs felt like shit. I could not climb and since I'm supposed to be a strong climber that is not a great combination.

I also ran into a minor bike problem. A spoke on my rear tire came loose. It didn't break but I heard this weird ticking noise from time to time. Of course during the lap I wasn't going to stop and look. Once back I checked things out, I couldn't fix it, over to the tech tent, they couldn't fix. Crap. Wheel swap. Unfortunatly my other wheel set had a beefer, heavier tire on them. Later in the race I didn't mind having the extra grip in the back end on some of the tough sand climbs.

As the night went on our lead grew to about 30 minutes. After my fourth lap I opted for the best thing I have ever done in any 24 hour race. I had a massage. I did not want to get off the table!!! Our lap times stayed steady. With timing I ended up doing 3 night laps. I love my NiteHawk lighting systems and have never ever complained about them. Until now.

What is my complaint. They work great for solo since the intesity is lower. The light is very much a spot and even with the dual bar mount I was wishing for a bit wider of a beam. This course was so windy that I was forced to slow down more than I wanted to because of this. I also had a battery failure on my third night lap and lost my bar lamp. Awww could have been worst.

As daylight approached we still had a 30 minute lead, the guys were starting to get tired. Hell 18 hours of racing, I hope so. Coming into the last couple laps Kevin had to become Dad a bit early so if wife could get a could laps in for the Cyclepath team.

As the clock ticked down and I finished my 7th lap we had an uncatchable lead on 2nd. Mike hammered out another fast lap followed by Rob sealing the deal with 4 minutes left before the noon cutoff. I had debated about going out for an 8th lap but I lost that debate to Mr. Alexander Keith. It's been along time since I was able to hangout and watch the drama unfold amongst some of the teams. We had first with no questions.

The drama was between Barrie Cycling Club and Long Sault Long Shots in the corprate team division. With a very short amount of time left the LSLS were up about 5 minutes on the BCC guys. Mr Andrew Watson hammered out the fastest lap of the race at this time with a 38:08 and had his team leading out on the last lap with a 5second head start on the LSLS rider.

Don Gain was the man for the job here. He set the pace going up thisnasty sand climb. Things were close heading into the last 5 km of the course, in one of the last short punchy climbs Don cramped. Unfortunatly he wasn't able to recover quick enough from it and the LSLS guys took the win by about a minute.

The awards, after a long race nothing gets you revitalized than hearing the cheering of free stuff being thrown into the crowds!! The list of friends who tore up the course was long

The over 40 solo winner, Mr Dave Stowe. He needs to have the respect of Mr since he did this on a single speed!!

Andrew Parry took some revenge on Albion Hills finishing 3rd in the under 40 solo. He was riping it up in the morning. Great job Andrew!!!

Unfortunatly I didn't get a picture of the womens solo division. Tanya tore up the course with 17 laps and Angela did amazing with her first 24 hour solo taking second. Great job ladies.

The Tag Team Division was dominated by the boys from Big Ring. Tobin and Rick kicked ass. Great jobs boys. Hey Tobin can I have my tag partner back?

The boys, team Cranked. Rob, Kevin and Alex, Me and Mike.

The boys from Oakville rolled up for another win in their division.

We won't do the math on Ben's team. Let's just say that the total age allowed is under 100. 1st for them.

The crew from Big Ring Racing. Great job guys. The BRR guys cleaned up in every division they had a team in.

And finally the corprate teams.

The photo of the day.

If they had put this in my cage I would have defintly gone out for another lap!!!

There were alot more catagories and contratulations to everyone else.

So it' comes to an end, the 24 hour season is over for 2008. What away to finish it. Thanks to the boys from Misfit for cheering everyone on and keeping us smiling when we suffered up that climb. Rob, Mike and Kevin, did you convert me to going back to racing on a team again? Hell no, that hurt way to much but if I do, I would race with you guys again in an instant. Thanks for letting me play. Of course thanks to the boys from Chico for another kickass event.

I'm going to take a few days off the bike. Eat some chicken wings, drink a few beers and rest. I'll look at the rest of the season when I am not tired!!

RobreThere st

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