This past weekend we raced our last 24 hour race of the season. It was a blast, everyone was on hand to get us back on the top of the podium. Shannon and Becky got out here Friday, Brendan was putting the finishing touches on the Song and the trailer was set up in our usual spot. Saturday morning rolled around and I was feeling pretty good. The race started off fast and stayed that way. The pit was getting me in and out in no time. I'd run through start finish, hand a bike off pick up a new one while someone stuffed food in my pocket and mouth. The guy in first and me who was in second were riding so fast, had we signed up for the 8 hour race we would have podiumed. Our first 9 laps were sub hour, then I had to take an actual stop to put on more cloths. It ended up being a very cold night, below freezing. This triggered my asthma something awful. I tend to get congested but it never puts a stop to my race. By the time the sun came up it was all I could do just to walk the climbs. In the end we were second, with 21 laps. First place did 22. He raced an excellent race. He pushed me to ride harder than I ever had at this venue. In the morning he passed me on one of the climbs, but he did recognize me until I walked up to him and congratulated him. We both looked like zombies, he had that 1,000 yard stare and I'm sure I did as well.
Recovery has been quick, with the exception of my lungs. I'm still coughing up some trail. Next week I'm going to a doctor and getting my asthma under control. It was something that was pretty serious when I was a kid and I thought for the most part I grew out of it, but I guess the combination of the cold and dust make for the prefect lung restricting mucus.
The bikes ran great with the exception a minor mechanical with the rear shock on the Song. It lost all air pressure about half way through a lap late in the race. It was no problem for Brendan to fix it and I was back out on it the next lap.
Huge thanks go out to everyone who helped out at this race. Thanks to Bonnie for all her support not only at the race but all season long. To race well I need to spend a lot of time on the bike every day and she understand this. Now that we have Finn she understand this even more. Thank you to Shannon and Becky for being there for almost every race, no matter where we are. You guys are the best! Brendan and Mary, you guys are awesome, it was great knowing I could come in the pit and say what the bikes needed and know it would happen. It's also very cool having someone in the pit who has raced 24s and know what your going through, thanks Mary. Thank you Darren and Ay Up lights. I never have run the down hills as fast at night as I did on my Song with Ay Up lights. These lights were a big part of the reason we were able to close the gap to first to 8 minutes at one point. And last but not least thanks to all the folks out on the course and in the campgrounds. There is so much love and support out there for the solos. It means a lot to us when we are feeling half alive to have some tell us we're looking good.
So now it's time to goof around a little. Ride without purpose and with friends, go for runs, long hikes. Next race will likely be 12 hours of Temecula, I don't know if I'll race solo or duo with Mary or pit for Brendan. We'll just see what feels right.