Monday, June 15, 2009

2009 24 Hours of Big Bear

Friday was great! Good ride in wet conditions with some good teammates, great dinner, plenty of off-color conversation, mostly at Darren's expense... We were ready to race! We had already looked at the caliber of the other teams and I had decided that fifth was likely our best outcome. Not to spoil the ending, but we got fifth. It was a good thing we pre-rode: there were numerous issues that needed to be addressed on various DCMTB bikes (more later). GrannyGear results here.

Kent jumped on the grenade for the run and went into the woods in reasonable position. The first of three flats contributed to a frustrating lap for Kent. We were solidly in sixth place out of six teams. After Wheaton and I tried to fix Darren's stripped shock mounting bolt, Darren was pushed from his hard-fought-for second slot into fourth. He managed to head into Morgantown and find a replacement before he was due for a lap. It's a good thing that Wheaton noticed that nut because it would have caused a HUGE problem, most likely at night, knowing Darren. And no, Darren, rubber cement will not keep a shock mount nut on a bolt...

(Reminder: PLEASE make sure your equipment is in good working order WELL BEFORE a race.)

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful from my viewpoint. I got pretty frustrated estimating Kent's lap times and ending up waiting in the start/finish for him to come in 10-20 minutes later than expected for the first three laps. Kent's three flats kept us from fourth place. Such is racing. I'm glad that somebody took a look at Kent's tire before his fourth lap so he could have one clean lap. I imagine that was a big relief for Kent.

On my fourth lap, I passed a guy with a double-flat on a tricky section before the super technical g-out/hike-a-bike section. I had my eyes on the wet, muddy, slippery rocks to keep it together so I didn't realize who it was, even after asking him if he was ok and hearing about his double-flats. I shouted words of encouragement and kept slogging it out. Wheaton asked me if I passed the fifth-placed Gripped Films expert team and I said 'I don't think so.' Wheaton pointed to the Gripped Films guy standing behind him so I shouted at him to 'GO! GO! GO!' I headed for the showers and ran into Dave Olsen from Gripped Films heading back to camp and he just smiled. I asked him how he was doing and he said 'Nice pass. That double-flat killed me' and related a story of borrowing CO2 and a tube from somebody. I realized that was him on the side of the trail. We both laughed it off. Such is racing...

In a perfect world, we could have made it to fourth. That assumes that we would have had no other mechanicals besides those flats (and Darren not breaking his bike!) I'm really glad nobody got seriously injured although the jury is still out on Wheaton's mid-shin puncture would. I think it re-opened something from 'Nam as his eyes glazed over and he started shouting 'Di di mau!' Laird put on a top-notch event once again.

The conditions were wet enough to frustrate many people and forced quite a few 2+ hour laps. The DCMTB co-ed open team seemed to have a great time and did well. I had a great time hanging out with everyone. HUGE thanks to Miss Communication for her swimsuit modeling and caged GoGo dancing! That really made the difference! She deserves that crown!

I don't have many pics but I'll get some up later and steal some from others...


At 6:18 PM, Blogger Darren said...

No broken bike this year! I really thought I was doing a fourth lap, I would have gone harder on my third.


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