Sunday, August 27, 2006

VeloRochester 24 Hours of Afton Champs!!

"Why would you do a 24 hour mountain bike race?" Many have asked me that, and I always answer “Because it is fun!” Most racers will agree that when you have to head out for a lap at 2am, you begin questioning what the heck you are doing. However, 24 Hour races are truly very fun and have the most enjoyable atmosphere of any type of racing I have done. If you want to call anyone crazy, call those Solo riders crazy=) At least I was on a 4-man tag team.
After am morning filled with cars not starting, flights being missed, and stormy weather, we were all happy just to congregate at our team camp with a full team.
Our team consisted of Ben (my brother), Chris, and Ben Portilla who flew in from Colorado. Ben P was on our team last year and we wanted him back, and he obliged. The course was the same as last year except for 1 section of singletrack about 25 feet long and the removal of bypasses (last year they had work-arounds for some of the more technical sections). The length of the course was about 8 miles and included approximately 1000 feet of climbing. The climbing is fun but not too technical. The descents definitely test even the elite riders at high speed.

My brother started the race for us. After a "Oh Crap!" moment when he couldn't find his bike in the Le Mans start (you have to run a distance to get your bike), he rode a strong lap and came across with a NICE lead of about 1 minute. I put it down pretty hard and rolled 1 of two sub-37 minute laps in the race…I will tell you who spoiled my party for the fastest lap later. We each got one daylight lap, and both Chris and Ben followed suit with some fast times. After each of us had done a lap, we started our rotation Ben, Me, Ben, Me, Chris, Ben P, Chris, Ben P. We did such rotations through the night and it allowed a 5 lap break between when you were done until you had to be back out there. While Ben and I plugged away, Jen Meyer’s parent showed up with a behemoth of a tent and a fire pit/wheelbarrow. When our shift was done, Ben and I ate a tried to get an hour or two of shut eye. Chris and Ben P extended the lead with their consistent night laps. The “Graveyard” shift belonged to Ben and I, but it was quite tolerable with the nice warm fire and relatively light dew. Chris and Ben P woke up for the early-early morning shift that took us back into daylight. By this time, our lead was 3 laps, approximately 2 hours, over the second place team. The cool thing, at least from our perspective, was that with daylight, our laps got faster. The course was never really wet, but it started to get nice and tacky when the sun came out. In fact, our last lap, ridden by Chris the-hammer-head-Fisher, was the fastest of the race! He rolled a 36:54 beating my initial lap time of 36:56 by 2 seconds=)
As a team, we were elated to have such a strong overall performance with no injuries. A great time was had by all.
At this point, I want to thank those who helped out with our success. First, a big thanks to Matt and Rochester Cycling and Fitness for their sponsorship of VeloRochester, food/supplies, and use of the shop van – Ben’s car wouldn’t start on Friday morning and Matt generously let him bring the van to the race. Second, thank you to Jen, Jen, and Jen Meyer’s parents for cooking, cleaning and breaking camp. Third, thanks to my Teammates for kicking butt=).
No results are posted yet, but I will be sure do some kind of “engin-nerding” analysis on it once they are up=)
Here is a photo recap:
A couple pictures of camp...

Chamois carnage:

Coming in on my second to last lap...37 minutes and change, but didn't have the climbing legs to break 37.No "Erik's" bottles in THIS camp. Chris used a knife to make sure we weren't doing any non RCF advertising with our bottles=) I wonder what he put in there to beat my fastest lap time?

Ben: do I really have to go out there for a ninth time?

If I do, I am gonna be sure there is no "friction"

Chris is thinking, "This saddle is gonna look so cool on my new Fuel SL"

1 comment:

Eric O. said...

Good job Guys.I like that podium they set up for you.See you this weekend.