Tuesday, May 10, 2011

18 Hours of Fruita

Some interesting things happen to your perception of time when riding a bike all night. Weekends seemingly melt into weeks, hours into days. It has always amazed me how the brain will remember so many vivid details while riding through the witching hours and at the same time completely turn to mush and blur other details together into a hazy fog. Earlier this spring, when the opportunity came up to race the 18 Hours of Fruita as a duo with Sarah, I had to take it. I have never done a long race as part of part of a team, and Sarah has never ridden a bike all night so it was a bit of uncharted territory for both of us.


Our plan was to keep things as simple as possible, have fun, and empty the tanks. As the midnight start rolled around Sarah got prepped for the start and put on her "game face". Her game face is still a smile, but don't let it fool you, she will rip your legs off. We decided to do 3 lap pulls so after the start I wandered around in the dark, took some pictures, and waited for Sarah to finish her first laps. The course if pretty short, pretty flat, but never straight. It was darn fun on a SS and I had entirely too much fun railing my night laps, sand surfing, and dodging shrubs. We kept alternating laps and kept remarkably steady. Truth be told, as the hours rolled by we never actually got any slower. For having never done any long races, Sarah's laps were like clockwork. If she ever decides to do a solo race, watch out!! 


In the morning as the sun crawled over the horizon, the top 3 mixed duo teams were all within 1 minute of each other. The race was on, Sarah and I twisted the throttle a bit more and began to put time into the others. Still there was no time to slack off or relax but again, Sarah's laps were like clockwork and actually getting faster even after ~90 miles in the saddle. Around midday, the heat started to get to us and the end of our pulls got a bit rough but in the end we were able to put a lap into the 2nd place team and finish with a total of 32 laps and about 10 minutes to spare on the clock. We each did exactly half of the total laps, and were each incredibly giddy about our efforts.


Those time warped 18 hours of synchronized yet relaxed teamwork is something I wont soon forget.

2 comments:

Dave Byers said...

Love the note pad! It is funny how "alone" you are while racing on a duo team that notepad is your lifeline to your race partner. Great race you two!

Chris said...

Nice. That's sweet you can do that with your lady. Like the cardboard message/split a time board.