There is an unequivocal enjoyment in knowing that in the next twelve hours there will be but 2 of them spent racing. That is, a 4-man team at a 12 hour race is pure fun. Especially when the course is 7.5 miles of fantastic Sundance singletrack. And so, round and round we went, like NASCAR drivers on bikes, but with out the tire changes. The lap was short and sweet – 40+ minutes, and we were back in the lawn chairs sipping this or that and grazing on the various and sundry pastries, fruits, and other paraphernalia at our disposal.
Somewhere in the midst of all the lounging around, story telling, and heckling of the indomitable solo riders there was actually a bit of racing going on. The team I rode with, Keith, and the Moffits (isn’t that a rock band?) ran a clean race. No flats, no crashes, no broken this or that. Just 17 very consistent, very predictable circuits around the contouring, rooty, dusty, awesome singletrack. It was the perfect iteration of a long distance team relay. And for our efforts we were rewarded with a first place finish.
Never for an instant did I wish to be among the dirt caked, achy legged solo riders. Not this time. But the resolve they displayed was inspiring, intrepid, invigorating.
And speaking of such, Chris and K.C. nipped the Gibson’s in the duo category to take the overall victory. How ridiculous is that? Ridiculously fast. The Holley’s are riding as strong as anyone, and I’d put my money on them in any race, against any riders. Especially in a 12 or 24 hour duo race. Those two have fine tuned that style of race down to a nuanced science.
And so, now the sun sets on what has been a long and fruitful summer. The temperatures are receding, and the leaves starting to turn. The daylight is fading sooner, and the night lasting longer. I feel the fatigue and the satisfaction of a season well ridden. But there is yet one more effort, and one more last hurrah before it will be time for trainers and skis.
The 24 Hours of Moab.
As always, that behemoth will be the season ending capstone, marking the end of another year of bike racing. I am excited this year, to be on another 4-man team. Once again, like Saturday, it will be NASCAR style racing interrupted by campfire tales and good eating, all the while being surrounded by friends.
And people wonder why we do the things we do.