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  1. #1
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    24 hours of old Pueblo

    I was slightly tempted to register for this race, but chickened out. Has anyone here done it? I decided to just go for it next year (as I am feeling pretty lame for not doing it this year) and am wondering if it is worth it. Tell me your thoughts or if you have a better early season suggestion for me. Training get SO boring by February, it would be nice to have a race to get ready for.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by criscobike View Post
    I was slightly tempted to register for this race, but chickened out. Has anyone here done it? I decided to just go for it next year (as I am feeling pretty lame for not doing it this year) and am wondering if it is worth it. Tell me your thoughts or if you have a better early season suggestion for me. Training get SO boring by February, it would be nice to have a race to get ready for.
    I just got home from there Tuesday. Awesome. Excellent race. Here's my story:

    Team Velveeta™: 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, 2013

    Highly recommended. Great vibe and a really fun course.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I just got home from there Tuesday. Awesome. Excellent race. Here's my story:

    Team Velveeta™: 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, 2013

    Highly recommended. Great vibe and a really fun course.
    Sorry I didn't get a chance to hook up with you at the race, Tom. Things got a bit busy on Saturday with us 3 Solo Canadians sharing a small spiky cactus shrub that acted as our pit area.

    Our female Solo geared racer did great with a 2nd place podium finish and our male Solo geared racer was doing great up till hour 18 when he lost his vision on the course, at which point medical staff DNF'ed him over the radio and nothing he could do about it.

    As for me, I was enjoying the singlespeed race until lap 3 when I went down hard in a sketchy corner and had the opportunity to embrace several varieties of cactus along with losing some skin and blood. Two trips to medical in lap 3 and 4 blew away approx 35mins of racing. Shortly after the wipeout in lap 3 my fork stopped operating correctly. I did another 4 laps on the pooched fork, trying all kinds of things in between laps via mechanical support tent visits and various other pit crews support efforts, along with anything else I could think of to try and fix the front end. No luck. The uncooperative fork was trashing my wrist, which I damaged in a telemark ski injury a month ago. Aaargh! One of the reasons I raced on the suspension fork, instead of a rigid fork, was to protect the wrist - sadly that didn't work out as planned. Guess I should have flown down with both of my race bikes, totally my bad. It was frustrating to race for less than 10hrs and only 7 laps but as soon as I conceded my race was over I got to roll over to coach-mode and help out where I could, which is always fulfilling.

    I really want a fair crack at this race, so I'm thinking about hitting it again next year. Maybe I'll see you there Tom? Promise I'll make more of an effort to bump into you.

    Overall it's a great race put on by a well-organized and seasoned event crew, they do a fantastic job. The course itself is fun and the vibe is excellent. I would recommend this 24hr to anyone!

  4. #4
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    Reading Tom's Blog has convinced me. I do a local series in Utah, but I am starting to get the itch to try new things. I made a couple calls and already found two others for a team. Plenty of time to think about it now I guess. Enjoyed the blog!

  5. #5
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    Great job Tom. If you were wearing that Absolute Bikes Salida Jersey I saw you there.

    My 14 year old daughter was one of the lucky girls to be selected to be on the Sho-Air Cannondale team with pro racer Pua Mata so the whole family went down to support the girls. I had never been before so I didn't really know what to expect. I was really blown away by how much fun it was while at the same time being crammed into about 80 acres with 4000 of my closest friends.

    Our team of girls had several mechanical issues, a couple of crashes and Pua got sick and had to pull out after two laps. The first girl had a great start but got a bad sidewall cut about 3 miles in and had to catch a ride back and restart lap 1. Another girl got two flats at 1 am and was out there for 4 hours before making it back in. The first girl got another flat on her last lap but fixed it pronto and made it in in time for my daughter to bag her 4th lap for the finish. I was really proud of the girls for soldiering on through the night without a single complaint. They all had a great time and want to go back next year.

    If a bunch of high school girls can pull it off without any specific training (they were only informed of their position on the team about 10 days prior) you can do it too.

    It was the most engaging and fun cycling event we've ever done. I'm planning to do it next year myself if I don't have to pit for my daughter again.

    Here's a photo of the team from cycling news. My daughter is on the right.

    Three Arizona High School Cycling League student-athletes rode the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo on a team with Team Sho-Air/Cannondale's Pua Mata. From left to right: Pua Mata, Daisy Ward, Hannah Madler, Zoe Dunn. Photos | Cyclingnews.com



    staylor, We were pitting with Tinker Juarez who was leading the solo male category but also had to pull out due to vision problems around 4 am. His vision was so bad he rode of the trail and crashed into a tent. I wonder if it was something in the air?

    Another thing I'd like to add is that the course is really fun (for going around in circles) and because there really aren't any steep or long climbs it seems like a good one for just plodding along even when you are really beat.
    Last edited by gila monster; 02-21-2013 at 11:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Losing vision!? That's some serious business! I wonder what was causing that for some of the riders? Did anybody have any theories as to why that was happening?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by speckledtrout View Post
    Losing vision!? That's some serious business! I wonder what was causing that for some of the riders? Did anybody have any theories as to why that was happening?
    I have a theory: dust. There is crazy dust out there and this year with the wind especially early in the event, my eyes and lungs and nose were wasted. You should have seen my eyes Sunday night.

    I ride with corrected blade-style lenses. Lots of people ride with contacts. I could see contacts getting corrupted, dust underneath getting the cornea irritated enough to make vision blur even with fresh contacts. staylor, was your guy wearing contacts?
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  8. #8
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    Great photos and race reports!

    Thanks everyone for posting up the photos and race reports. I was watching a few people via the web live race updates, the pictures and words really help in trying to live the experience thru a computer.

    TomP - Really dug on your race report on your blog Really felt like I was actually there. Sorry to hear about your problems with your light. Be sure to look me up if you are looking at getting a new one Was looking at the solo category, 100 in the male class. I did not know there were that many wackos out there!

    gila monster - WOW, what an experience for those girls to be around a pro racer. Sounds like some crazy issues out there making even Pua and Tinker to pull out of the race.

    Looks like the weather was better than the past few



    ****

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    gila monster, I saw you out on course, actually we chatted for about 60secs when I was riding behind you and your young daughter and congratulating both of them on their efforts. I eventually went around you at the road crossing just before entering the last set of climbs, I was wearing black Orbea race team kit.

    If you were pitting with Tinker, we were kinda neighbours, considering we were only a 15sec walk down the course from you. Hard to miss our pit which was just past Neil and Eddie's Solo pits (right next to you guys), a few more footsteps later and you would bump into our scrubby-little-shrub pit (tents in the background weren't ours). Imagine 3 Solo racers pitting out of a shrub.

    24 hours of old Pueblo-pit-shrub.jpg

    Yeah Tom, he was racing with contacts but switched to glasses as soon as the vision started going but it was too late at that point. Apparently it happens to people every year.

    Even if we have to pit in a shrub again... the course, vibe, amount of talented competition and early season dirt has me thinking about signing up for next year. It's a great way to kick off the race season.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    ... Yeah Tom, he was racing with contacts but switched to glasses as soon as the vision started going but it was too late at that point. Apparently it happens to people every year.

    Even if we have to pit in a shrub again... the course, vibe, amount of talented competition and early season dirt has me thinking about signing up for next year. It's a great way to kick off the race season.
    When I did it in '08 there was sloppy wet snow falling starting sometime before dawn on Friday. The clouds literally broke while we were lined up for the LeMans waiting for the gun. The course was a sloppy mess for the first lap or two, but by nightfall it was pure velcro. That year, as you might expect, dust wasn't really an issue

    staylor, sorry to hear about the cactus encounter. I've had a few of those over the years down there. One time in April I was picking at a persistent scab on the side of my knee, felt some little hard nubbin, finally got out the tweezers and pulled a 3/4" thorn out of the side of the knee joint. I kept it for a while as a souvenir.

    Back in those years I stayed out on course for quite a while before race day. And I had a travel trailer in '07 and a truck camper in '08. Being early enough to pick and choose where you want to be before the hordes arrive is really nice.

    This year I got there Friday mid-morning and went straight to my friends' compound which is just downstream from the start/finish. I had a pretty sweet spot, but was operating out of a Toyota Matrix until my neighbors offered to help me (as described in blog).

    Your shrub looks gnarly. If it was a cat's claw as it appears it would be a serious threat to the health of your skin and clothing. The mesquite that are all over are about the only benign plant in that whole part of the state, so if it was one of those it would be less dangerous.

    Sorry I missed you too staylor. Maybe next year!
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  11. #11
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    Ok...being snowed in up here in Utah you guys and your sweet stories are killing me (the air quality here right now isn't helping either)! Thank goodness I have a race next weekend in Saint George.
    100% I will be down there next year with me team. It looks like lots of guys rent RV's for the race. Seems like a good idea. What would you say was the RV to tent ratio? What tips would you offer for a first timer to be able to enjoy the experience and not swear every time I see someone else who has something figured out that I am suffering through?

  12. #12
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    24 hours of old Pueblo

    Quote Originally Posted by criscobike View Post
    Ok...being snowed in up here in Utah you guys and your sweet stories are killing me (the air quality here right now isn't helping either)! Thank goodness I have a race next weekend in Saint George.
    100% I will be down there next year with me team. It looks like lots of guys rent RV's for the race. Seems like a good idea. What would you say was the RV to tent ratio? What tips would you offer for a first timer to be able to enjoy the experience and not swear every time I see someone else who has something figured out that I am suffering through?
    I don't think you'll regret it. 24HOP was my first solo 24 back in 2004, and it's a really fun race. I've found, now that I'm in my 40s, that for me racing and tent camping don't go as well together as they used to. When I do 100 milers now I prefer to get a hotel.
    If I do Old Pueblo again, it would be with an RV.

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  13. #13
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    We were in tents and with the wind, dust, campfire smoke and generators running I was wishing for some kind of RV. We were right by the main venue though. I figured I got 12 hours of sleep over 90 hours and I wasn't even racing. The worst thing was the people running smoldering campfires in the wind. I'm really surprised there weren't a few tents burned down. Up the hill away from the main area it was way better and quieter. I'd say the RV to tent ratio down low was close to 2:1 but overall it was probably like 5 tent camps to each RV. If you rent an RV you would not want a very big one. The roads are bad and the camping is amazingly tight.

    staylor, I remember seeing you out there.

    The event had a real effect on both of my daughters (my 11 year old races too and was really inspired by being at this race) They are both suddenly psyched to train now and are looking for more of these kinds of events. We did an XC race today and my 14 year old daughter stepped it up and took 2nd place in Cat 3 15-18 beating a girl she never had before. She said that after the 24 hour race she has a lot more confidence in herself and just went into the race with a stronger mind. The younger one doesn't have much competition with the 11-12 or 13-14 girls so she took it out on the boys and beat all of them too. I just like to see kids with passion for something giving it all they have. I can not be more thankful to Pua and Sho-Air Cannodale for giving these girls the best weekend of their lives and inspiring them to work hard.

  14. #14
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    I would definitely recommend this race. It was well organized and the volunteers and race organizers really got behind you. It was my first time at the race and it was a good experience. Check out my blog for the full race report. I am new to this forum so I am unable to post a link. My blog is Rolling in the Dirt.

  15. #15
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    Here you go, Julie:

    Rolling in the Dirt

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos View Post
    I don't think you'll regret it. 24HOP was my first solo 24 back in 2004, and it's a really fun race. I've found, now that I'm in my 40s, that for me racing and tent camping don't go as well together as they used to. When I do 100 milers now I prefer to get a hotel.
    If I do Old Pueblo again, it would be with an RV...
    I bought a travel trailer in 2006, did my first Old Pueblo in winter '07 operating out of it. Next year I sold the trailer and bought a slide-in truck camper. Had that rig until fall of 2010 when I realized that my work life had led to not being able to use it. Now I've got a way better job and have the freedom to get out and do stuff...

    My way of saying that I gave up sleeping on the ground 6 or 7 years ago. Now I'm 49 and I have a little Toyota car and a nice Marmot tent. Those campers will spoil you baby. In '08 I was at OP when the pre-race snow storm raged in. I sat in my dry camper with a heater looking out the window at the poor sad refugees climbing in and out of muddy tents.

    RV is a nice way to go even if it's good weather. But if the weather goes all poopy on you, an RV is worth it's weight in gold. And they are pretty heavy mind you.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    [QUOTE=staylor;10192317]Here you go, Julie:

    Thanks Shaun for posting the link and for all your support at the race

  18. #18
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    The sweet blogs that are getting posted are inspiring me to get my own blog running again. Winter is hard on everything. Training can just suck the very life out of you.
    As I said, I have put this race on my calender. I will be out there in my team kit: Utahmountainbiking.com (yellow, white and grey)
    Keep an eye out for me and I will say howdy.

  19. #19
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    Almost missed it this year for the first time in 12 years. First most of my old team took a pass this year. So I found myself with no team and I wrote it off deciding to target some MBAA racing instead. Then on the way home from work on my bike after dark I was cruising through a neighborhood where someone had a fireplace burning. Bam! I had a 24HIOP flashback. Suddenly I was reliving the final rip through the camps of Solo Alley. If you haven't haven’t been there this section is right at the end of a lap. It is fast and flowy and no matter how much the lap sucks I always get a lift from the cheers when I come in. Now I was bumming that I hadn’t pursued a team or partner and registration had long since closed. Later that night I was looking at MTBR.com and came across a Duo entry for sale. The last 24HIOP duo I did was 2007. The next morning, just for grins, I sent an email to the first three people I could think of that might be crazy enough to sign up. My eventual partner Mark (the ‘young gun’ from the Honeywell Wed night ride) responded immediately with a very simple message. ‘I’m in’.

    So that’s the story of how team Old Dog & Young Gun formed. We were about a month away at that point. I amped up my training a bit, Mark just kept doing what he does all the time which is to ride his bike over ridiculous terrain for very long distances. For him the two weekends preceding the race included the Gila 100 and Tour De 50 ultra Arizona endurance series races.

    Mark and I hatched a simple plan.
    • Start out slow
    • Keep going… answer the bell every lap.
    • Give the old guy a break… Mark pulled a double lap, riding lap 7 & 8.
    • Keep racing until it’s over… No quitting

    We ended up doing 17 laps and finishing 6th.

    The worst part of the whole thing is packing up on Sunday. As I folded up my camper and put stuff away I was telling myself ‘never again’. But it’s amazing how quickly the memory of the fatigue fades. I’ve already started thinking about next year.

  20. #20
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    Almost missed it this year for the first time in 12 years. First most of my old team took a pass this year. So I found myself with no team and I wrote it off deciding to target some MBAA racing instead. Then on the way home from work on my bike after dark I was cruising through a neighborhood where someone had a fireplace burning. Bam! I had a 24HIOP flashback. Suddenly I was reliving the final rip through the camps of Solo Alley. If you haven't haven’t been there this section is right at the end of a lap. It is fast and flowy and no matter how much the lap sucks I always get a lift from the cheers when I come in. Now I was bumming that I hadn’t pursued a team or partner and registration had long since closed. Later that night I was looking at MTBR.com and came across a Duo entry for sale. The last 24HIOP duo I did was 2007. The next morning, just for grins, I sent an email to the first three people I could think of that might be crazy enough to sign up. My eventual partner Mark (the ‘young gun’ from the Honeywell Wed night ride) responded immediately with a very simple message. ‘I’m in’.

    So that’s the story of how team Old Dog & Young Gun formed. We were about a month away at that point. I amped up my training a bit, Mark just kept doing what he does all the time which is to ride his bike over ridiculous terrain for very long distances. For him the two weekends preceding the race included the Gila 100 and Tour De 50 ultra Arizona endurance series races.

    Mark and I hatched a simple plan.
    • Start out slow
    • Keep going… answer the bell every lap.
    • Give the old guy a break… Mark pulled a double lap, riding lap 7 & 8.
    • Keep racing until it’s over… No quitting

    We ended up doing 17 laps and finishing 6th.

    The worst part of the whole thing is packing up on Sunday. As I folded up my camper and put stuff away I was telling myself ‘never again’. But it’s amazing how quickly the memory of the fatigue fades. I’ve already started thinking about next year.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideandshoot View Post
    ...The worst part of the whole thing is packing up on Sunday. As I folded up my camper and put stuff away I was telling myself ‘never again’. But it’s amazing how quickly the memory of the fatigue fades. I’ve already started thinking about next year.
    My theory about this is that when we are fatigued, exhausted, and sleep-deprived we aren't storing long-term memory very well or completely. Thus our sad brains trick us into repeating the misery. Couple days after finishing up we vaguely recall feeling a sense that we wouldn't want to do it again, but somehow remember something positive about the experience, like hearing an owl hooting over on Rattlesnake as the first thin line of light was appearing on the eastern horizon. And then we're screwed.

    That packing up thing is the worst. After I finished my solo I was drinking a San Tan Hopshock and walking back and forth between my tent and my car looking for one thing. It was something I considered of critical importance, and I must have crawled into the tent and rifled through everything then back to the car to rifle through everything for at least 6 cycles. Then I gave up and started looking for some other single item and almost immediately found the first item. It was fairly comical. I think it took me nearly 90 minutes before I started actually accomplishing any of the real packing duties.

    Good times.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  22. #22
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    Here's an interesting video that gives a some impression of what you will see out there.

    Video: 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo « Mountain Flyer Magazine

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by speckledtrout View Post
    Losing vision!? That's some serious business! I wonder what was causing that for some of the riders? Did anybody have any theories as to why that was happening?
    It's interesting that you mention the eye problems. At the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run this year, one of the research proposals accepted for study is "Investigation into the cause of ultramarathoner’s eye (The ultra-eye study)". Research – Western States Endurance Run

    There is also some research on "Exercise-induced vasospastic amaurosis fugax" which is a general clouding of the eye. Here's an interesting look at three cases: JAMA Network | JAMA Ophthalmology | Exercise-Induced Vasospastic Amaurosis Fugax

    At any rate, losing your eyesight where there is a lot of cacti sounds really painful...ouch!
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    Quote Originally Posted by speckledtrout View Post
    Losing vision!? That's some serious business! I wonder what was causing that for some of the riders? Did anybody have any theories as to why that was happening?
    While it might be different for everyone, I thought I would share my experience with lost vision during endurance mtb events. My vision would slowly start becoming cloudy or foggy, typically around mile 80 or so. In most races I had enough vision in one eye to continue riding, albeit at a slower pace, but in others, it was a hellish nightmare making it to the finish line, with one DNF last year when my vision went to sh*t at mile 45 or so.

    After a little bit of research and talking with a few others, we came to the realization that my contacts were the main cause of the problems. They weren't allowing enough oxygen to my corneas, causing them to swell just enough to distort how light entered my eye, thus creating a ‘glaze’ over my eyes with what looks like a milky substance. You can still see light and dark in the form of shadows, but all definition goes away and so does depth perception. As you keep riding, the problem becomes worse and pretty soon you can’t make out your hand held at length in front of your face. You feel like you can blink the 'cloud' away, but there's no grit or dust in the eye. After taking out my contacts, my vision would return to normal, usually after 6 hours of rest or a night of sleep.

    The solution was to buy and ride in prescription sunglasses. I've only ridden in two endurance mtb events since the purchase of the glasses, but I did not experience any vision problems. Keeping my fingers crossed that this is the solution and not something else.

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