It only took 4 laps -Tsali 6/12 hr race rept (lots 'o pix)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    It only took 4 laps -Tsali 6/12 hr race rept (lots 'o pix)

    x-post from passion

    It only took 4 laps until I got lapped by Tinker. Well, technically I guess it really only took 3 laps since he passed me as I was stopped for a much needed drivetrain hose-down just before my 4th lap. And he was probably starting his 6th lap, maybe even 7th, at that point.


    Tinker (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    Saturday was the 12 Hours of Tsali race. I opted to do the 6 hr solo option which was apparently designed with sissies like me in mind. This was my 2nd ever multiple lap solo endurance race. My first was an 8 hr solo effort down in FL about 2 years ago that was such a disaster for me that I had pretty much written off ever doing anything that stupid again. Don’t ask what kind of crack I was smoking that I suddenly decided 2 weeks ago that I should do a 6 hr race. Maybe the pain of the last one had finally faded sufficiently?

    The race:
    Lap distance: 12.5 miles
    Climbing: dunno, anyone have an altimeter? Maybe 1000'/lap? Whatever it was, it was more than you'd want to do for 6 hrs.
    Course conditions: muddy, sloppy, steamy, then absolutely perfect
    Goal: 6 laps

    We prerode the course a week ago. Immediately after 3 days of rain. It was awful. Tsali is usually fast and smooth. In the wet it was sloppy and horrendous - descents were slow due to all the [email protected] flying off your front tire straight into your eyes (despite sunglasses) and climbs were slower due to slick conditions and the fact that you were blinded from all the [email protected] that came off your front tire on the previous descent. Whereas I had initially deluded myself into thinking that I could turn 50 minute laps on a dry course (total delusion since that would have required me to keep an average speed of 15 mph which I can’t even do in a shorter xc race) it took us 1:20 to crawl through our sloppy preride.

    Fantasy goal: 6 laps
    Ideal goal: 5 laps
    Revised-realistic-I-can-be-happy-with-this goal: 4 laps

    This was to be a long training ride for me. I was not going out there to win. Just out to get a long, level 2 (endurance) ride and try to have fun (something that's been missing from my recent racing experiences). Rain and sloppy, muddy conditions would not be fun. All week I prayed for sunshine and dry weather. I didn't wash my car or clean any bike (all the ways in which I generally control the weather). It still rained. Thursday. Friday. Friday night. It rained cats and dogs. I'm surprised the mountains didn't just wash away. But, no such luck.

    Saturday dawned grey, misty, cool and threatening. I was unenthused, but kept telling myself that it would burn off by race time (10am). Yeah. Right.

    Our pit tent was set up just beyond the gate in the feed/pit zone along County Line Rd. Z, Charlie and I would be using this as our base for the next 6 hrs and Chad would be using it for 12 hrs (Chad’s the only real stud out of all of us!) with Tammy as our pit-fairy.

    To combat the mud we spray our bikes down with Pam before the start of the race.


    Charlie loves Pam


    bikes in the jungle (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])


    more bikes waiting for riders

    Riders meeting at 9:30 am, and then we all meandered over toward the base of County Line Rd. which would serve as the spot for the Lemans start.

    I don't believe in running. In fact, I think it may even be against my religion. If it’s not, it should be. Running is bad for you. If we had been meant to run no one would ever have invented the bicycle. Running sucks. More importantly, I suck at running. Needless to say I was not looking forward to the ½ mile up hill run that would begin our race. I decided that I would walk.

    So there we are hanging back about 30 yards away from the start and at least 15’ off the back of the pack, milling about, joking around, laughing, paying no attention to anything around us when suddenly the air horn sounds and the pack takes off!! HUH?! Was that the start?!We look at each other surprised. The pack is moving and we scramble to latch on to the back. Z takes off at a run and Charlie, Chad & I walk/trot.

    I am not concerned about starting toward the back of the pack. For me this is not a race. Just a long, long ride. Besides, we have a 2.5 mile climb up County Line Rd (fireroad) before we hit the single track. I should be able to pass a lot of people on that climb.

    Without sending my heart rate through the roof by running I am on my bike, climbing and passing people. Up County Line Rd, there is one short steeper section but it is a middle ring climb for me all the way (big ring for an xc race).


    on the bike (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    It is still grey and misty and the ground is saturated and boggy. Not as bad as my preride a week ago but still sloppy and muddy. There are large mud puddles some of which are only an inch or two deep while others have deep pits in the middle that are just waiting to grab your front wheel, throw you to the ground, and then point and laugh at your sorry butt sitting in the mud. Unfortunately, from bicycle saddle height it is impossible to tell the difference between the innocuous and the evil puddles. I tread lightly through or around all of them.

    Over the top of County Line Rd and then down some fast double track to a sharp left turn that will take you backwards on Left Loop over the overlook and down. I am gaining speed as I head down the descent. I go to brake and scrub some of that speed. Um....no brakes?! Ack! Note to self: DO NOT SPRAY PAM ON DISK BRAKE ROTORS!!! I aim for every mud puddle and wet spot on the trail in hopes of getting that grease off my rotors.

    After the overlook on left loop you eventually hook up with Right Loop and ride that backwards until you reach the big stump, then it is only 3 more miles (I thought it was 5 miles and often it felt like 50 miles) and 2 climbs till the finish where you get to dismount, climb over a waist height (ok, it was only waist height on me) railing and the trot through the transition to begin again.

    I am having a great time!! I feel good. I am keeping my heart rate where it should be. The trail is congested with riders but it's not too bad. There are places to pass and everyone is in a good mood. The sun starts to peek through the mist and clouds. I am alone in a rare point between groups of riders. I search through my head for something to sing and the best I can come up with is the nursery school song "the itsy bitsy spider". I try to think of something else but once the spider is in there I can't get rid of the song. I catch up to more riders and we chat briefly.

    The only time the congestion becomes a problem is on short steep technical climbs or creek crossings. Both of these seem to jam people up and I get caught in a clusterf--trying to get across a creek with a root on the other side. 3 riders have stacked up in the creek just as I roll up. Not wanting to step down into the creek I manage to track stand until the creek begins to clear of bodies. Just as I start to pedal forward someone comes flying past, knocking into me and I step down with a splash into the creek. "Hey!" I yell. Oh well, I hope he won whatever race he was having.

    I finish my first lap in 1:18, not bad considering the course conditions and number of riders on the trail, and head out on the short section of single track that will take me back up to the pit area. I am behind Jodi (hey girl!!) who is also doing the 6 hr and in front of another girl who is doing the 12 hr (you go girl!) whose name I have since forgotten. Sorry!


    Jodi, rt, unnamed 12 hr soloist (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    I feel, and look like a giant mudball but the sun is out in full force and it is beautiful.

    muddy but having fun (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    I cruise through the pit area past our tent. I don't stop but I do take in a gel and as I'm searching for something to do with the wrapper, I pass Cass (who is doing pit for her husband who is doing the 12 hr solo) who holds out her hand for my wrapper. Thanks!

    I continue on. Still feeling great and still singing about the itsy bitsy spider. *sigh* I chat with more people on the trail. It helps get rid of the spider for a little while.

    On my 2nd lap I meet Darkwing Duck and we chat. I am having a ball. Other riders help to keep me from going to hard or too fast as well as keep me company as we ride. I can hear the mud taking it's toll on other people’s drivetrains but mine is still running smoothly. I wonder if I should clean it off after this lap. Nah, I decide, don't fix what's not broken.

    My 2nd lap passes quickly and I am in the last 3 mile stretch. There is a long fast section on the part of the course that, when dry, can be done at about 20 mph. However, when wet it is curvy enough to send you flying if you hit a rock or root at just the wrong angle. I pass a few team riders - they are easy to spot now because they are so clean, solo riders look like creatures from the mud bog. A few hundred yards later I find the edge of my tire tread and go down in a curve. Just in time for the guys I just passed to catch up. they laugh to find me disentangling myself from my bike, "Oh! So you pass us just to fall down! We see how it is!" LOL! They let me hop back in front of them and we are off again.

    I pass through the transition area in 1:16 for my 2nd lap. With the sun the conditions are improving, the trail is getting faster, and riders are getting more and more spread out. My plan is to stop briefly. I am starving and I need to switch out my camelbak for a full one.

    As I roll up to our tent Tammy is there waiting. She is the best!!! I inhale 1/2 a pb & j while Tammy refills the bladder in the camelbak I was wearing. I don't think I will need it again since my other one is 70 oz and that should last me for another 2 laps which is probably all I will have time to do in the 6 hrs. I also pop open a Burn energy drink. Wow! That is the best thing I have ever downed during a race (Tyler, it rocked! I need another case!!). The caffine kicks up my heart rate a little bit, but between the food and the drink I am ready to go out and conquor the world....or at least ride another 2 laps. Tammy asks if she should spray down my drivetrain which more closely resembles a large clod of mud than any sort of working mechanics but I am still in 'don’t fix what ain't broke' mode and I say no. In less than 5 minutes I am refuled and refreshed and back on my bike.

    I head up the long climb and pass Dave, our trusty organizer, on his motorbike.

    Dave, our fearless organizer (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    I offer to trade with him but for some reason he refuses. Go figure! I continue on and begin to regret my decision not to tend to my drivetrain. With fewer mud puddles to navigate I can hear how dry the chain really is. It crunches with every pedal stroke. Ugh! My bad. As on my first lap to get rid of the pam on my rotors I begin to aim for every puddle just so I won't have to listen to my chain crunch. I keep my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that my chain doesn't explode in protest of my lousy treatment of it.

    Conditions on the course are fantastic. For the most part the trail is dry but tacky. Perfect for traction. As I lean into the turns I call out "Wheeeeeee!" which makes some other people on the trail look at me a bit strangely. Not sure why? The mud holes are predictable now though some are getting treacherously deep and it is easy to bottom out your fork as you roll through some of them. I have more time riding alone on this lap than on the previous two. Mary Had a Little Lamb replaces the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Why couldn't I have something from the Offspring or the Killers or White Stripes stuck in my head? Why songs from nursery school?

    My chain is crunching and squeeking an doing it's best Huffy impression. I start to talk to my bike and tell it that I will clean it as soon as the lap is over. I also begin to make a list of the things I will do when I stop after this lap: drink a bottle of endurox, eat more gel, clean the chain up, stretch....I had wanted to do another 2 laps without stopping but I am getting hungry again and my chain will explode if I don't tend to it. Also, for reasons that I can't figure out I have not yet taken off the knickers that I put on at the start when it was 20 degrees cooler. It is hot out and I am wearing tights! Why?!

    Must remember to stretch when I stop. I am now 3 hrs into the race and my back doesn't hurt!!!!! Amazing!!! Well, it hurts a little but I think that stretching before the race is really helping. How happy am I that it doesn’t feel like someone is knifing me in the back? Very happy!

    I creak & squeek my way through the transition and up to our pit. My 3rd lap has taken me an astoundingly consistent 1:18. Tammy-the-wonderful is right there asking what she can do to help. I set her to work spraying down the drivetrain with water while I mix endurox and take off my muddy knickers. Love the sharp line on my leg where the mud ends and the knickers used to begin. LOL!


    mud knee socks....sexy!

    I eat a gel and then help Tammy with my bike.

    gu is good!


    bike work - lube the pivots


    more bike work - lube the chain


    very close to my bike work!


    sometimes endurox is so good you have to dance (not really sure what i was doing when this picture was taken!)

    Someone from the pit next to us comes over to help as well. Many thanks!! As I work at relubing I see Tinker go past. Ah, lapped by Tinker. What an honor!


    even Tinker rests sometime (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])


    pit view - almost ready to head out

    With my bike relubed and much happier I am off for my 4th lap. My legs are getting tired now and I am wondering if I will have the energy to do another lap if I make it in before the cut off. The 6 hr race is scheduled to end at 4:00 but the cut off for going out for another lap is earlier than that. For this race the cut off will be the total time (6 hrs) minus the fastest lap time. So, for example, if the fastest lap in the 1st 6 hrs is 45 minutes then the cut off will be at 3:15 pm. I have not paid any attention to time, nor have I asked anyone when the cut off is so I am just riding. I know they will tell me whether or not I can go out again when I come through on this lap.

    At about mile 42-ish my legs start to cramp. Ouch!! First it’s my calves. Note to self: do not step off the bike!! Then my right hamstring. Ow! Ow! Ow! Then my left adductor. Yeowch!! I shift around until I find a gear that keeps the cramps at bay. Where as I have spent the last 3 laps in my middle and big rings for this lap I am all over my granny gear. Without it my legs would lock up on every climb.

    I feel like I am going slower but the conditions of the course have improved so it is faster. Fortunately this works in my favor and I am probably not losing too much time. As I head through one of the premanent mud bogs I pass another 6 hr solo female rider. We say hi and agree that we are ready to be done. I continue on. I catch another female rider on one of the long descents. She is keeping an excellent pace and so I sit in with her and we begin to chat. She asks if I want by and I say that I am happy where I am. She is doing this race with a team from Charlotte NC and she races Sport xc. After a bit I ask if I can pass and she hops on my wheel. We continue on. From behind me she says "You can pick up the pace a bit if you want." I begin to laugh!! I respond "This is it! I’m going as fast as my cramping legs will go. Let me know if you want by again!" She says maybe she will pass on the next descent. We hit the hike-a-bike hill and slog up. I get back on my bike and the next time I look back she is gone. Hmmm. I didn't think I got any faster. Later, after the race is over she comes up to me and we talk some more. Apparently I did have a little bit left because she says that I suddenly picked up the pace and she could no longer hold my wheel.

    The last 3 miles seems to take a year. I am praying that I will not make the cut off. I know that if I do I will go out for a 5th lap and it will just be painful. I come through the transition and up to the line. Dave is sitting there and makes a slashing motion across his neck. I am done!! My last lap has taken me 1:20.

    Total stats:
    5 hrs 28 minutes out on the course
    4 laps
    50 miles
    average speed 9.24 mph

    I head out of the transition and off to socialize. I am cooked! My legs are thrilled to be done pedaling. But overall I think this has been the most fun race I have ever done. I had a blast.

    I head down to the lake with my friend Mark and walk into the lake fully dressed including my socks and shoes. The lake feels like heaven! Then I head back up toward the tent and run into Z, Tammy, and Charlie heading down. Apparently they will be doing the awards for the 6 hr race soon. Despite my lake wet shorts I join them and Tammy says "Oh, but I don't have your camera" to which I respond, "That's ok, you won't need it! No reason to take pictures of me watching other people getting awards!"

    As we walk up to where the results are posted my friend John is standing there. He sees me and says "Hey! You got 2nd!!"

    WHAT?! I look up at the board and sure enough. I finished 2nd for the women’s 6 hr! (yes, there were more than 2 people. 12 to be exact!) It was just supposed to be a training ride for me. Who'd have thought! It really did take only 4 laps!


    podium

    Congrats to many:
    John for 1st in men's 6 hr

    John (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    Z for 2nd in men's 6 hr

    go off any awesome jumps with that?

    Mark B for 4th in men's 6 hr

    Steph for 1st in women's 6 hr

    another podium shot

    Liz (who was the one I passed on my last lap in the mud bog) for 3rd in women's 6 hr

    yet another podium shot

    Jen for 9th in women's solo 12 hr (for her first solo endurance race ever!! You rock!)

    Jen - always smiling (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    Kaj for his first solo effort (12 hrs) and riding 3 times further than ever before

    Kaj (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    and
    Chad for 9th in men's solo 12 hr (see? I told you you’d finish).

    Chad (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    Many thanks to my awesome sponsors: Titus Cycles for the most amazing bike ever; Team 180s for the shades; Outback Bikes for making sure I could ride my awesome bike; Crankbros for pedals that shed mud better than anything else out there; Manitou for the fork I am not yet riding but will be soon; and Burn energy drink for giving me that kick start on my 3rd lap. You all rock.

    Thanks also to Dave and Terry for putting on another fantastic event;
    Tammy for being the best pit crew in the world

    Tammy relaxing

    and Steve Kaufman for letting me link to all of the amazing photos he took (check his stuff out here or email him at [email protected])

    Steve's wife Tammy on her ss - she put in 6 laps during the 12 hr solo....after recent knee surgery! what a studette! (photo credit: Steve Kaufman, [email protected])

    You guys all rock too!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
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  2. #2
    Domestic Fowl
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    Nice write-up and excellent effort, *rt*. Congrats!!!

    Training ride....



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    Post removed and retyped for spelling errors.
    Last edited by spydersmom; 05-24-2005 at 10:38 AM. Reason: spelling - retyped post below.

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    Thanks *rt*, but you're giving me waaaay too much credit! I only managed to do 5 laps (not 6), but I believe I was the only woman on a rigid SS and I think I would have been top 5 had I registered for the SS class rather than solo women, so I'm still beyond happy with that! Mucho congrats to all the women out there - they kicked serious butt!!! (Oh, and I did manage to escape knee surgery, but did have to suffer through months of physical therapy - I wonder sometimes which would have been worse!!! Should be back to 100% by next season though, fingers crossed.)

    Congrats to you on an awesome race - love the write-up! Sorry I didn't get to talk with you more, but there was just no way I could ride fast enough to keep up with you!

    Will we see you at Burn this coming weekend?

  5. #5
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeRangeChicken
    Nice write-up and excellent effort, *rt*. Congrats!!!

    Training ride....


    thanks FRC!!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  6. #6
    consistent default champ
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    Pam??

    Are you serious? I have never heard or given any thought to combatting mud. Did the Pam work?
    Congrats!! Sounds like you had fun! I can not imagine doing that many miles....I did two laps out there Sunday and the 24 miles still has my legs sore.

    And I totally agree with you on the running. it is EVIL

  7. #7
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    Lalalalalala... Not listening to the geary.

    (Good job, but you know the Surly would not have had as many drive train issues...)

  8. #8
    No more slogans!
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    This was really fun to read! I've never ridden Tsali when it was dry, the four times I've been there it was raining...no...downpouring, and the pictures just made me smile. I wish I could do something like this, but I can't duct-tape my kids to the wall anymore (they're too heavy) ...

    You rock girl!
    Its bad luck to be superstitious.

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    Way to go to all who rode...

    rt and Tammy, especially. I was sitting on the sidelines with my knees elevated as I took a nasty tumble pre-riding on Friday. Was bummed I couldn't ride as I'd worked hard, but I had a great time rooting on all of the awesome solos and team riders. I'll just have to work double hard to impress Tammy at the Cowbell in June. Well, I'll just be trying to keep up with her!!!

    rt...we were just a few spots farther down the trail from your tent and I recognized you from your pics in other reports. Wanted to say hi, but the one time I had the chance you were working on your bike and didn't want to disturb.

    We were useful to other riders, I'll have you know. Jeff used his muscles to help a rider with a nasty derailleur problem and I used my awesome skills as a quick-fixer to duct tape a guys shoe back together so he could finish up the six hour.

    Can't wait to actually compete next year!

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    woohoo!

    Way to go! Sounds like a fun event (and looks like you had better weather than we did at the 12 Hour)... where is it?
    6 hours of solo riding is stellar! Way to be...
    M

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownieinSC
    Are you serious? I have never heard or given any thought to combatting mud. Did the Pam work?
    Congrats!! Sounds like you had fun! I can not imagine doing that many miles....I did two laps out there Sunday and the 24 miles still has my legs sore.

    And I totally agree with you on the running. it is EVIL
    Pam does work but don't spray it on your disk brake rotors!! seriously, it does work to some extent - particularly if it is really wet mud/raining during the race mud. i have to admit that it wasn't particularly great with the sticky, clumpy mud at Tsali.

    thanks! it was a lot of fun. 50 miles wasn't so bad - it's the people that got 100+ miles like my friend Chad who really impress me. i can't imagine doing that many miles!

    running is definately evil!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    Lalalalalala... Not listening to the geary.

    (Good job, but you know the Surly would not have had as many drive train issues...)
    LOL!

    thanks. i know the Surly would have been the ideal bike for the first couple laps. but all in all my drivetrain issues were minor compared to some i heard - mine was just a dry, dry chain. but others....whew!! never heard so much chain skipping/crunching/grinding/exploding ever!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderTaxi
    This was really fun to read! I've never ridden Tsali when it was dry, the four times I've been there it was raining...no...downpouring, and the pictures just made me smile. I wish I could do something like this, but I can't duct-tape my kids to the wall anymore (they're too heavy) ...

    You rock girl!
    perhaps you should try some of that new locktite stuff they've been advertising?

    lol. maybe not. Tsali when it is dry is fast, fast, fast but i do not envy you for having only been there in the rain. yuck!

    thanks!!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MallieD
    rt and Tammy, especially. I was sitting on the sidelines with my knees elevated as I took a nasty tumble pre-riding on Friday. Was bummed I couldn't ride as I'd worked hard, but I had a great time rooting on all of the awesome solos and team riders. I'll just have to work double hard to impress Tammy at the Cowbell in June. Well, I'll just be trying to keep up with her!!!

    rt...we were just a few spots farther down the trail from your tent and I recognized you from your pics in other reports. Wanted to say hi, but the one time I had the chance you were working on your bike and didn't want to disturb.

    We were useful to other riders, I'll have you know. Jeff used his muscles to help a rider with a nasty derailleur problem and I used my awesome skills as a quick-fixer to duct tape a guys shoe back together so he could finish up the six hour.

    Can't wait to actually compete next year!
    bummer girl! sorry to hear you were sidelined for the race. you'll kick butt at Cowbell! sorry also that we didn't get to meet. that was one of the best things about the race - all the people i met and chatted with during & after the race.

    just having people cheering was awesome. i looked forward to it on each lap! thanks & heal fast!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcdemon
    Way to go! Sounds like a fun event (and looks like you had better weather than we did at the 12 Hour)... where is it?
    6 hours of solo riding is stellar! Way to be...
    M
    thanks!! you too. yeah, our weather improved drastically by about 2 hrs into the race and we couldn't have asked for better. not too hot, lots of sun, and a little bit of a breeze to cool you down on the exposed parts of the trail. the race was held at Tsail recreational area which is on Fontana Lake in western NC. it's pretty much near nothing and spitting distance from the TN line.

    rt
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    running is evil - check

    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    I don't believe in running. In fact, I think it may even be against my religion. If its not, it should be. Running is bad for you. If we had been meant to run no one would ever have invented the bicycle. Running sucks. More importantly, I suck at running. Needless to say I was not looking forward to the mile up hill run that would begin our race. I decided that I would walk.
    I did the Le Mans start in my first ever 24 Hour event. Never again, never never never. When I am the fastest person on the team, I just tell them that I'm the closer.

    I'll be thinking of you when I slog around the course at 3 AM at 24 Hours of Big Bear and am feeling whiny: "Suck it up! At least you aren't soloing!".

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidAtlanticXCer
    I did the Le Mans start in my first ever 24 Hour event. Never again, never never never. When I am the fastest person on the team, I just tell them that I'm the closer.
    do what we do and get your triathlete/mountain biker buddy to do the leman's start. They love that stuff. And it's fun to watch them demolish the field! Hint: stand by his bike with a flourescent yellow tshirt on...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidAtlanticXCer
    I did the Le Mans start in my first ever 24 Hour event. Never again, never never never. When I am the fastest person on the team, I just tell them that I'm the closer.

    I'll be thinking of you when I slog around the course at 3 AM at 24 Hours of Big Bear and am feeling whiny: "Suck it up! At least you aren't soloing!".
    i never ever volunteer or let myself be volunteered to do the le mans start at any 24 hr race. to me it's like swimming butterfly in the IM. i just was not meant to do it. i run with all the speed and grace of a drunk puppy and swim butterfly like i'm trying to empty the pool of water so as not to drown (though it's likely that i'll drown long before the pool is empty). i think the smartest decision i made at the race this weekend was to walk the start. you can see how far back i am in the picture where i just got on my bike - note there are exactly 2 people behind me (not counting my friend Chad who is next to me). that means the rest of the field is ahead of me!!!

    i use that reminder in every 24 hr team event i do. 'although i feel like hell right now and this sucks worse than anything else i've ever done, at least i'm not doing this solo!!'

    have fun at Big Bear!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
    mm blogging

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