Friday, June 29, 2012

24 Hours of Summer Solstice: LOGJAMMED

While Tall Tree’s ‘gentlemen’ were micturating in public, several of us raced the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice at Albion Hills, on 23-24 June.  We fielded two teams in different categories and one loco solo rider.  Andy, Noah, Sneaky Pete and I comprised the four-person team, Tall Tree Cycles Presents: LOGJAMMIN’.  What follows is my best recollection of what actually happened.  Given the state of burn out that I was in before, during and after the race, this may not be accurate.

After losing a team member and dropping into the 4 person class, we all had low expectations.  One less rider meant that we all had to work a little harder.  I was worried: the combination of my natural aversion to work, my dubious form and my notoriously poor eating/drinking habits meant that this race had the makings of a disaster. At our team drinking session meeting on Friday night, we discussed how we were hoping to put in a hard effort and enjoy some quality time with The Burning Sensations, our five person entry.  If I could do this and refrain from looking down the in the Port-A-Potty, I felt that I would be alright. That all changed once the race started.

Andy’s opening lap put us near the top of the category and we were able to climb up to second place by the fifth lap.  It became apparent that if we were willing to do the work, we could compete.  We tried to focus on keeping our lap times below 1 hour and eating and resting properly. Andy was strong; especially on his first few laps. Despite hitting a tree with his face and doing one of these, Noah put up consistently great lap times.  Sneaky Pete’s riding was particularly impressive: he rode his Specialized Stumpjumper 29er demo as though it was stolen and he was being chased.  I did my best to be a shining beacon of mediocrity in a sea of excellence. Although the gap between us and the third place team was reduced to about a minute during the night, we managed to hold second place.  We were able to restore a comfortable lead in the morning, but by then, the first place team (Team Purple, from Ottawa—Congratulations!) was well ahead.  We were pleased to take second place. Here’s the evidence:

Congratulations to Tall Tree’s Mike Abraham (4th place, solo- 17 laps!), and Tanya Hanham, who rode with Bicycles for Humanity and finished 3rd in the 6-10 Person Mixed Team.   

Thanks to Chris Geren and family for use of their portable shower.  It was like being born again, only cleaner.

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