It's rainy, windy, tornadoy, miserably reminder of shall I dare say it, 2009 24 hour of Summer Solstice. Of course it's not going to be like that this year as I am making sure I am prepared for the worst conditions possible. I have to admit that I'm really looking forward to racing Tag Team for a change. I have a teammate that is fast, very fast!!! On my side of things, I'm riding faster longer than last year. Between those two combinations Tristan and I have a pretty strong chance at winning this year. Of course there are always underlying problems that can happen and here are some of my plans.
Yes, I'm telling you our race strategy, why, because apparently even if the opposition knows what you are going to do, if you execute is right it doesn't matter. Ok maybe that only works in football but I'm hoping.
So first off will be preparation for the weather. Last year it rained because I wasn't prepared to hide from the rain. I had no tent, no mud tires, no real food besides race food. I was planning on not stopping no matter what. Well we were stopped and I was miserable, trashed, and slept in the front seat of my car with the heated seat on to try and stay warm. Not this year, I'm bringing a tent, sleeping bag, Tristan may be bringing a cargo trailer where we can stay dry, kitchen sink, every piece of rain gear I have, a live cow that I will sacrifice to the rain gods to stay away and to fatten up everyone around my campsite. That should keep the weather away. I will also have beer, lots of it. If it rains I'm planning on going on a drinking bender with Sean and Adam.
So that is the simple side of things, Mother Nature can be bought. Gear wise, well I'm planning on having many bikes there, why why not?? I'm bringing a hardtail for sure because if it does turn crappy I learned that it's a much easier bike to drag, carry, throw in the mud. It's also a little cheaper to repair. The thoughts of bring the cross bike just for backup has crossed my mind. For those that raced last year, honestly that was probably the best bike to have after the 5 hour mark of the race.
On to me and my team mate. Tristan is fast, very fast. His left turns are a little off, his right turns are a little skewed, he knows this and acceptance is the first step to a cure. Being a long race I will be attempting to make him slow down. Yes that's right I want him not to go as fast as he can, he is that fast that he can afford to slow down and still crank out fast laps. Why am I slowing him down or at least trying to, I need him in one piece for 24 hours. I know you are reading this Tristan!! Thoughts on first lap, I started to debate with him about who should go first. Final decision, Tristan will be blasting off the front first. The fun of going off the line in the huge pack is great but when I get on the course an hour and a bit later I will have a clear race course for two laps. For those lining up at the front, you may want to give some space. I will be assuming that Jacob will be doing the first lap for the BCC which means the Shake'N'Bake twins will be on the course, starting side by side. There could be some havoc on the trails of Albion.
So there is the next thought. More than likely we will be doing double laps. The last time I did tag we found that we needed to do singles during the day and doubles at night. I was a lot slower back then and lap times were an hourish during the day. Last year we were pulling low 40's. Preride plans have been made. Of course we will have the greatest support crew ever at the race making sure we are fed, ready to go for our next laps, etc etc. Mom and my Aunt will be there again keeping T and myself in line.
Coming into the nighttime, triple laps will probably be the plan. Sleep at a 24 hour is almost impossible but weak attempts will be made to close the eyes and not open a beer. I will need to save a little extra energy for laps though, I've vowed to push a solo or two up a hill when need be. I've received my fair share of assistance out there, it's just something you do.
So thoughts on the competition. I know for sure that the Cyclepath Markham boys of Mike and Kevin will be a threat. I've raced with both in the past and they can both ride well for a long time. They will be watched, also Andrew Parry (returning to 24 hours) and Gord could make things interesting. They say they are riding single speeds and drinking after every lap. Until I see them drunk on the course, they will be watched. Their site may be visited if we run out of beer. Of course there are always wild card teams. There are a few names that I don't recognize. These are the teams that really need to be watched, the ones racing in camouflage.
Either way, it's going to be fun. It better be fun, it's riding bikes for a really long time. A for warning to all for after the 24 hour. Our team name is Turning is Over Rated. Based on Tristan's technical skill. Well after he practises for 12-14 laps on the same course there is a very strong chance that he may become the premier Ontario technical rider and be giving people like Andrew and Peter some lessons on single track. Maybe.
Ok I've procrastinated enough, the rain has not stopped, the wind has not let up in anyway and I just saw Auntie Emm's house blow by with Toto yapping his little dog head off. The trainer and rollers have never looked so good.