Just some thoughts and experiences from a mountain bike endurance racer who likes to ride and race his single speed mountain bike a long long way on remote single track in the mountains and desert.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Townie Champs, 24 hours of COS

Just did the 24 hour race in Colorado Springs at the US Air Force Academy www.24hoursofcos.com.  Great course and excellent race!  Three of us raced single speed townie bikes (one guy had a 3 speed townie bike) in the 4 person geared category under the name “townie champs”.  We ended up 8th overall and also 8th in the 4 person geared category.  Not bad out of the over 100 racers.  Compared to the solo category I usually race in it was great to have a break in between laps.  At the awards they did bring us all up at the beginning to recognize our efforts for riding the townies all night, so that was cool.

We built my bike from used parts I found in the basement of the local bike shop with a total investment of under $200 after bolting on new fenders and converting it to a single speed.  My bike shoes retailed for more than that.  I did feel slightly bad when I was passing people decked out in sponsor gear on $5000 full suspension geared bikes with my heavy rigid townie that had fenders, a rear rack (with an emergency beer that blew up my last lap duct taped to it) and Hawaiian duds.  The fastest lap time was 1:03 which was set by the winning team which is the only person that passed me the entire race.  I had a 1:18, 1:22 (night), 1:25 (night) and 1:19 for lap times which I was happy with.

The most memorable thing that happened at this event was when we were waiting for our first rider Eddie.  Eddie had the 3-speed townie and was just getting over being sick so we were not sure about what his lap times would be but he is normally pretty fast.  I knew Eddie reasonably well having camped next to him at other events and spent most of the morning talking to him before the race.  We had been waiting for him to come in when suddenly his wife points out that his mom just rolled in from her lap at the check-in tent.  I had to ask again if I heard correctly.  It was true, Eddie’s 57 year old mom put the hurt on him!  None of us on the team knew his mom even road mountain bikes let alone was racing at the event until that moment.  That was a big surprise!

Here is a link to some pics a Colorado Springs newspaper reporter took.  I also did a TV interview, not sure if that will show up but it was cool to do.  I received more media attention at this race than when I get first riding a single speed 260 miles for 24 hours.  I may need to rethink my attire.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

5th place (Shared) Singlespeed, Vapor trail 125 2010

Finished the Vapor 125 last weekend in 5th (Shared, we actually had a mini race for 100' at the finish and I won) against the single speeds and 21st overall.  Here is the link to my stats http://connect.garmin.com/activity/49232863 and spot adventure http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view?trip_id=225743

50 racers started at 10:00PM in Salida Colorado when normal people are going to bed.  There is a two hour hike-a-bike topping out just under 13,000' at around 4:00AM with temps at 11 degrees.  I got frostbite on the tips of my fingers.  Better gloves next time.  Riding a singlespeed was another kick in the teeth as well but worth it.  I toasted my fork seals sometime in the night as well and had a pretty good crash.  The people at the aid stations were great.  It was pretty cool having Dave Wiens lube my chain at one.  Great race!  No problem with the tires, they performed excellent.  There was a section that has gashed a bunch of tires which we road right through, even passing someone up who had slashed their tire on a rock.  It was tough doing this two weeks after my last 24 hour effort.  I would definitely do it again.  It was great racing with such a high caliber of riders, everyone was tough and 1/3rd still dropped out.  I remember passing the “Outside magazine” athlete of the year somewhere in the night, he ended up a few spots in front of me overall at the end.  I road with a Jeff Hemperly most of the race.