No Spills, just fun!

July 28, 2008

As Mum as already been duly informed, I had a great weekend that did not involve any spills off my bike, and no blood.  The boys on our team, being boys, did have a spill or two, but nothing too critical.  And I did get to meet up with Heather from Salt Lake, who got to take in the start of the race.  So where to start?  Picture hundreds of riders, over 150 soloists (who rode mostly non-stop for 24 hours), and 1400 people on teams.  Hundreds of bikes on the course, hundreds of people camping, cooking, partying, having a grand old time.  Picture kids running around on their tiny bikes, helmets bigger than the rest of their bodies competing in the 24 minutes of Adrenaline.  At night, lines of lights going up, and up, and up the trails, snaking through the woods, racing by on the course.  Seeing the soloists in the morning on the trail, in a coma-daze, not responding, not even there really.  Falling over, getting back on, and pedaling, pedaling, pedaling.  Covered in mud, blood, sweat, and more mud. 

I wasn’t worried about Phil the bear (I named him to make him less scary) as he was seen quite close in to our campsite.  So I slept with him only 100 ft away, but I knew on the trail he was far away.  Make sense?  Plus it was difficult enough at night to keep my bike upright, going forwards, without worrying about anything else.  You couldn’t do anything but concentrate on what was coming up.  At night your world is reduced to a small spot of light, only 4 ft ahead of you, and you have to react instantly to dips, rocks, roots, and whatever is there.  You can’t lose focus for an instant.  It started to rain heavily around 6 pm, stopped, and started again a few times.  I did my first lap just after 9 pm, and the course was already a mud pit.  Most of the trail I had to walk over, it was unridable for me.  My calves cramped from pushing the bike uphill.  Here is the before shot:

Unfortunately my light went out just before Checkpoint #2, so I rode quickly to where my teammates were waiting on the course and got new ones put on.  You can ride so much faster when you can see!  Here is the after shot:

I kinda felt a bit like this as well, but no nearly as muddy as other people.  Like Mike here:

Mike should be a mud poster boy!  Here are some more photos on Flickr if you are interested!  I got to do a second lap in the morning, which was much better as the trail had dried out a bit.  Instead of giant bog mud pits, there was a hard packed trail through it instead.  It was still wet roots that are so slick to navigate, but wonderful daylight to see them in!  I’m signing up for next year!

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3 Responses to “No Spills, just fun!”

  1. margene said

    It sounds great and you all look like happy (yet messy) bikers!

  2. Anne said

    Yay for you! Sounds like a great time (in it’s own weird way). I think I’ll stick to a riding partner that has better night vision than I do for 24 hours of riding, tho….

  3. Mom said

    Is that “Mike from Canmore”, the personality on the Royal Canadian Air Farce?

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