Sunday, February 18, 2007

5 hours and 15 minutes in the Old Pueblo

So here's how it all went down.


Without the truck in the picture we loaded up the Scion for the trip and headed out. Surprisingly enough we were more than able to fit everything we needed for the trip.

So with an overloaded car we made the two hour drive down to the venue. It was a around noon when we got there and while the camping area was less than half full nearly the whole place was roped off with caution tape but we still found a decently flat spot without a whole lot of searching. Michele and I pitched all three tents, easy up, chairs, and the fire pit and then hopped on our bikes to scope out the neighborhood. When the sun went down it got really cold really fast and so Michele's original plan of separate tents to save her from my thrashing around went out the window in favor of warmth.


Friday started out great. At about 5 in the morning Michele wakes me up to investigate a noise, so I pop my head out the door to see that the easy up that was set up behind the car was no longer there. The wind had unstaked the borrowed sunshade and deposited it upside down thirty feet away. It took me a few minutes to fold up the now destroyed sunshade and climb back into the tent. At this point Michele's fear of everything took hold and she made her way into the car to sleep for the rest of the night and for the rest of the weekend, hurray extra tent.

After a quick breakfast Michele and I went out to find the Port-O-Let and on the way we found Mark, or rather he found us. He took us back to their campsite where we found Fred working on the new jump for the kids, big and small.

I left Michele with Mark and headed back to camp just in time to see Star roll up. We went to pick up our numbers, race packets, and T-shirts. During that time Michele figured out how the Pay-N-Take trailer worked and went to town taking advantage of it.

A little later in the day Star, Michele, and I headed down to the exchange tent for the dedication dinner. Marla Streb was the guest of honor and Todd Sadow, the race promoter, was the host of course. Can you tell that Michele has a little crush on Todd?

Somehow the one free beer each turned into twelve for the three of us so I say money well spent.


In the morning I got to work on getting my things together and we all went down to the prerace pow-wow to find out how the race would be going down. After that we racked Star's bike and walked her to the start. Yeah, you got that right, Star would be doing the 1/4 mile LeMans start run to the bikes because my fat ass doesn't run, especially after that stupid adventure race. Anyway, back to the start. Star and I decided that we would start out with doubles each and then a single before we called it a night. So at noon when the cannon fired the riders were off.

Pretty cool the sound of 450 some odd people sprinting to their bikes in cleats. Michele and I headed over to the option to watch the leaders come by. Tinker was the second one through at right around the 55 minute mark, man that guy was flying.

Here's Star when she rolled into camp after lap one looking for a sandwich.

Star came in again around 3:30 and I got started one my first lap. I was feeling not so hot right out of the gate but I was determined to give it a go. The bitches were not too bad and I was starting to feel pretty good by the time I hit the corral trail. The end of corral is the lowest elevation on the course and it also so happens where the trail takes a hard left directly into the wind that was present throughout the race. So now it's headwind and mostly uphill for the next six or so miles until the trail turns again and heads toward the highpoint. Now about five miles from the transition I was feeling really good and I knew that I was good for the second lap and maybe even one more so when I came flying by Michele and Star at the split for the option I didn't even consider stopping for a chat, food, or anything else, I was on my way dammit. I hit the tent at 5:04 and was on my way once again. With an hour and a half lap behind me I was feeling really strong and went full tilt on the bitches and made really good time on corral. The problem was that as soon as I hit that headwind again I knew it was over, I was out on the trail, moving quite slowly, and the sun was setting fast. Sure enough with three miles left I couldn't see the trail hardly at all. It was braille riding for me. I was able to catch someones tail here and there but I was pretty cashed out by this point and couldn't hold on to anyone for very long headed uphill. When I finally crested highline I was able to hold the tire of the guy ahead of me pretty much all the way back into camp, my GPS shows me topping out at 14 mph, not bad for downhill, after dark, with no lights. I came off the trail at the option split and promptly racked myself on the way to the campsite. The time was 7:50, 1 hour 45 minutes, not near as bad as it felt. Star decided she was done for the night and was feeling like shit so after eating everything within arms reach I hit the sack hoping for the best on Sunday.


While I crashed quickly Saturday night, my sleep didn't last as long as I would have liked thanks to the generator that ran all night at the campsite right next to ours. I don't know when exactly I woke up but it was quite a while before I climbed out of the tent at 7 to go to the bathroom and stretch my legs. I made my way down to the scoring tent to check our standings just for shits and giggles and lo and behold, we were not dead fucking last, we were 73rd out of 80 or so with only 3 laps completed(I was technically still out on lap 4). I'm not sure what really made me do it but I quickly made my way back to camp, into my tights and back out on the trail at approximately 7:30. I was hurting the whole time, I got off to walk 3 of the 7 bitches, the headwind was stronger, and I actually found myself full on stopping a couple of times. When I finally started down highline that last time I posted my fastest speed of the day topping out at over 20 mph, not bad for dead tired and barely able to pedal. I rolled into camp at 9:30 on the nose for a solid 2 hour lap. Star and Michele were there waiting for me once again and near ready to send out the search crew even though they didn't know when I had actually left. After a little snack Star was ready to go so I jumped back on my bike and headed to the transition tent. This is from the only series of action shots of me this weekend about a hundred yards from the tent.
The transition took place at exactly 10:30 and Star had turned two 1.5 hour laps Saturday so it was going to work out perfectly. With Star on her way Michele and I went to work on breaking camp. By the time we had both cars loaded it was time to start looking for Star. Here she is at the option at 12:05 and ready to roll in.

The last I checked the stats we were in 66th place and had potential to pick up a couple of spots before the end, not that it really matters. I logged 45 miles and 3600 feet over the weekend, could have been better, but oh well. We waved bye-bye to 24 hour town at 12:45 and hauled ass towards Phoenix and warm showers.

So I fell short of my 4 lap goal and 5 laps dreams but I still feel pretty good about how it all went down. I've though a lot about my Saturday experience and I think what it comes down to is that even though I've done many a long ride, I never go nonstop. I did my first 30 miles in 3 hours 15 minutes. Normally it would take me at least 5 hours including plenty of time to stop and BS. Not making time for BS means a Sean in pain. Could I have done a better job had I not done the double? I like to think so, but who knows, ask me after my next 24 hour effort.

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