The race was lightly attended with maybe 50 riders comprised of teams of four, two and solos. The smart ones opted for the 12 hour race while those of us less pragmatic planned for 24 hours. After making a few stops along the way (Thanks Dan and Solon Bicycle), My dad and I arrived at the venue at 5pm friday evening.
We promptly set up our camp/pit area. At around 6:00 or so, it started to rain which would continue lightly the rest of the night. I stayed up a bit late hanging out with some other racers but was feeling good when I woke up at 5:30 am. As soon as I woke up there was a 20 minute burst of rain. After that, saturday was clear with no more showers. Much different than Cleveland where it rained all day.
The race started promptly at 12noon with the obligatory Le-Mans style run. I was 3rd or so to the bike and ended up the first lap in just over an hour in the top 3 overall. The trails were amazingly dry with only one muddy section. They were amazingly fun, however, I forgot how much climbing there is on this course...yikes.
After 5 laps I was right on my 1:15 per lap schedule. I took about a 20 minute break to have something to eat. I finished laps 6 and 7 with no pit stop. However, during lap 7 I was thinking of pulling the plug. Not because of any physical issues (i.e. no bonk, no cramps, no back issues), but more due to general fatigue and an overwhelming desire to stop riding my bike. Sooo, after 7 laps and 9 hours I pulled the plug. I ended up staying up all night watching the solo riders and teams duke it out. I hung out until about 4am with Darren Spence and Mike Fletcher who finished second in the 12 hour duo class. Chip Meek from Spin and a guy from Missourri were going hard all night. I think they ended up with 15 laps!
They looked like they were having fun, so at about 4am I suited up and banged out an 8th lap. I rode the descents conservatively and rode all the climbs hard (except for really steep shit). I rolled a 1:20 lap and decided to get some shut eye for an hour or so. Legs felt good. After a short nap, we packed up and were on the road by 10am.
After some retrospective thinking, I believe I am done with these 24 hour solo things. At this stage of my life, I am not willing to put myself as deep into the hurt locker as you need to go to be successful. Maybe I am getting smarter with age afterall.