Sunday, May 25, 2008

12 Hours of Gears

Since my fingers are the only part of my body that DOESN'T hurt today, I figured I'd take a moment to recount my second 12 Hour solo race attempt.

I had intended to sign up for the 6 hour solo race, but there was no 6 hour solo singlespeed class, only 12. And since the price was the the same for both races (a relatively cheap $35), I decided to take a shot at 12 hours.

Now, had I really looked at all the particulars, I probably would have signed up for the 6 Hour Solo Men open class. I'll explain. The 12 hour race runs from 8am to 8pm (unlike 10am to 10pm in the Fun Promotions series). The race venue is 2.5 hours from Chicago. Now, the 6 hour race ran from 1pm to 7pm. You can check my math, but leaving home at 9am sure beats the hell out of leaving at 4am. But that, indeed, is what I did.

After roughly 3 hours of sleep, I was headed north.

When I arrived at the New Fane trailhead near Kewaskum, WI 1.5 hours before the race start, there were only 3 other cars there. I sure hope I got the right place! I setup up my meager pit area, and looked around to see if I knew a SOUL here.

Fortunately I eventually spotted Ben and Molly out looking for a spot to setup the Half Acre tent for their due team of Julie and Amanda. I was more than happy to share!

I have to give a huge shoutout to Ben for being my impromptu support person. Without his help I wouldn't have been able to go my first 5 laps without stopping. At about 4.7 miles those 5 laps only took 2 hours, but it was a good start.

The trail was a pretty easy mix of reclaimed ORV trail and singletrack. They laid out some new single track through a grove of pine that was not only extremely tight and twisty with trees that would take your skin off if you hit them, but it was also VERY bumpby. This is the reason I can't bend more than 5 degrees this morning without feer of throughing out my back completely. There were about 3 long loose climbs and a couple short steep climbs. But there were 3 AWESOME screamin' fast down hills. One of which was in very tight, dry, and loose singletrack. This was a stay-off-the-breaks-and-hang-on-for-dear-life rollercoaster of a ride. I looked forward to it on every lap. Fortunately I only got held up by slower traffic on a couple laps.

I pretty much managed to stay on 25 minute laps throughout the day. My first few laps where closer to 20, and later in the day they were more like 27, but as it got later in the day I started staying in the pit longer. I had set a goal of 20 laps, and it was definitely achievable, but at 17 laps and 10 hours my body told me it was done. It had tried to tell me earlier in the day, but it was fibbing then. This time it was for real.

Unfortunately the organizers stopped updating the 12 hour singlespeeders at about 4:30, so I had no way of knowing if I was in position to lose spots by stopping or pick up spots if i just did one more lap, but I was done. As of 4:30 I was in 7th of 10, and it appeared the podium was only to 3 places, so it didn't really matter. I was just surprised to find out, though, as I checked the results, that indeed I had moved up to 5th. My 17th lap in fact put me into 5th. I would have needed 4 more laps to move into 4th, however, and there just wasn't time. So even blind to the standings, I managed to do just what I needed to to get my best finish. I'm pretty happy with that!

Congratulations to Julie and Amanda for their 2nd place in the 12 Hour Women Duo catagory!!

And to Dave Norton for his WIN in the 6 Hour Solo Men Open catagory. In 6 hours this dude completed just 2 fewer laps than I managed in 10! Not only that, but his time would have been good for 2nd in the Duo catagory. Amazing job, buddy! (Sorry, not picture :( )

I kid you not. On one of my laps out in the woods I could SWEAR I smelled rootbeer. Yes, rootbeer. In the woods. Anyway, I instantly wanted a rootbeer float. Fortunately, several hours later I was able to sate my desires at culvers with my pit and racing buddies.

Goog times. Thanks again to all those that shared it with me!


Blogger Shawn said...

congrats mike!

26/5/08 3:04 PM  
Blogger julie said...

way to go Mike! it was rad tenting up with you, and i hope we didn't slow ya down too much.

27/5/08 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see your face! i'm glad we stopped for rootbeer it sure hit the spot.

27/5/08 1:26 PM  
Blogger Greg Heck said...

Nice Job!! That is about 10 hours more riding than I could ever do.

29/5/08 7:57 PM  
Blogger Soupy said...

thanks, guys.. Greg, how quickly you forget our 6 hour jaunt around the west suburbs... ;)

29/5/08 10:15 PM  
Blogger velogrrl said...

do you still have the pic of three of us that you took right after the two of Amanda and Julie? The two of them, with me in the middle. If you still have it, I was wondering if I could get a copy?

2/6/08 4:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home